July 31, 2019 — Nearly one-quarter (23%) of Americans say they never plan to retire, according to a poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. This suggests a disconnection between individuals’ retirement plans and the realities of aging in the workforce, since government data shows that roughly 1 in 5 (20%) Americans over 65 are either working or looking for a job.
The disconnect between saying they will continue to work and actually retiring often comes from outside forces. Illness, injury, layoffs and caregiving responsibilities often force older workers to leave their jobs sooner than they’d like. And that causes an unanticipated problem – they are out of the workforce before their retirement savings are up to the job.
The Retirement Confidence Survey makes the same point. The RCS identifies a lack of alignment between workers’ expectations about their age of retirement and prospects for working in retirement, compared with retiree experiences. Workers continue to report an expected median retirement age of 65, while retirees report they retired at a median age of 62. The survey has consistently found that 43 percent of retirees leave the workforce earlier than planned, with 35 percent citing illness or disability as the reason and 35 percent retiring due to changes at their company. In keeping with their income expectations, 80 percent of workers expect to work for pay in retirement, while only 28 percent of retirees report that they have actually done this.
May 14, 2019 — The government isn’t quite ready to slap warning signs on retirement contracts like it did on cigarette packages, but maybe it should. The Wall St. Journal recently reported on several studies showing that delaying retirement can improve your longevity. While most people look forward to pursuing their hobbies, traveling, and spending more time with the grandchildren, there are some downsides. Many folks watch too much TV, don’t exercise, and lack the mental stimulation to keep them sharp. The studies seem to find that policies that encourage people to keep working result in fewer health problems and longer lives.
According to a WSJ article, “The Case Against Early Retirement”, researchers for the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, using an idea from a Dutch study, “concluded that delaying retirement reduced the five-year mortality risk for men in their early 60s by 32%”. Women experienced less of a mortality risk. The study in Holland used a series of increasing incentives to get workers to stay on the job longer.
December 24, 2018 — (this is a continuation of our “Time to Retire Retirement” Series.) Part 1 of this series starts with the idea that since people are living active lives much longer than what used to be retirement age, the idea of retirement might need to be reconsidered. In this edition we want to focus on the difficulties that older workers have if they decide to take up on that idea – postponing or maybe never retiring. An article from the Wall St. Journal, “Booming Employment Market Can’t Fill the Retirement Shortfall“, has some very sobering information on older people who would like to remain in the workplace.
The number of older Americans are out of work or stuck in low-quality jobs is large, almost 8 million. Over 5 million of those do not have health insurance. Adding to retirement savings or improving their earning record for Social Security in a meaningful way is difficult for them. Even for those who do manage getting another job, their earnings after a period of unemployment will likely suffer. Whereas workers under (more…)
December 12, 2018 — This is Part 1 of a 2 Part Series. Part 2, “Older Workers Face Bleak Employment Prospects“, describes the problem along with some strategies to overcome them. Back when the concept of retirement became institutionalized, our live expectancies were nothing like what they are now. When Social Security came into being in 1935 the retirement age was set at 65, but the odds were that if you made it that far you wouldn’t be collecting long. During the Great Depression of the 1930’s life expectancy for men was 59 and 63 for women: for people born in 2018 the expectancies are 83 and 86.
Although not everyone over 65 is healthy, vigorous, and mentally sharp, millions of us are. Which leads many experts to propose that in the face of a tightening employment market, employers should consider putting the whole idea of retirement on hold. This excellent article in Nautilus, “Retiring Retirement: A Growing Portion of the Elderly Look Anything But”, explains the growing phenomenon of people who are not acting their age, and the reasons why they should be more gainfully employed.
The authors give some wonderful examples. One of their fathers-in-law, a 97 year old retired Air Force Colonel, is posed in (more…)
January 24, 2018 — The Topretirements.com survey from last week asked 11 questions about your plans or experiences concerning work after retirement. Over 400 members gave back to this community by taking the time to respond (thank you on behalf of everyone who will profit from your investment!). This article will summarize the overall results along with the data for each question. And, since so many people shared their opinions, we have provided you with summary documents where you can read all of the practical ideas, experiences, (more…)
January 14, 2018 — Do you have plans for working after you retire? And if you did, how did it work out? We know many people think they might work after they retire, either to keep busy or to help overcome an income shortfall. We would like to find out more about what people like you intend to do on this subject. Please fill out our new, quick question quiz on your plans to work post-retirement. We’ll take the results and develop an informative article that summarizes what we learn about people’s plans and the success they might have had in finding work in the next few weeks.
October 15, 2017 — The idea of retirement is supposed to be – that you get to relax and not work anymore. Unfortunately that concept is running up against a harsh reality; not having enough money to retire. In this article we will talk about some creative ways folks in that predicament are managing to survive.
A harsh reality
A record one in five Americans over 65 is working today, a reflection of our longer lifespans and a changing world. An increasing proportion of retirees in the workforce coincides with the avalanche of baby boomers hitting retirement age; the oldest boomers are 71 this year. Although many are employed because they like working, millions of others are forced into it because of their fragile finances. Three quarters of Americans between 55 and 64 have less than $30,000 saved, according to the AARP. According the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Social Security constitutes at least 90 percent of income for more than one-third of retirees. And, since (more…)
May 23, 2017 — There is a great new industry getting off the ground now, one that is likely to get even bigger as more and more of us baby boomers age. The popular term is “senior concierge”, and you can join the movement in multiple ways: as a volunteer, employee, or entrepreneur. Who knows, maybe even Benjamin, Dustin Hoffman’s character in “The Graduate“, would be getting advice to go into this field, were that he was a real person and entering retirement!
The idea is simple. More and more people need help as they age or experience some type of impairment. In fact the U.S. will have 72 million folks over age 65 by 2030. Enter senior concierges, who can provide assistance for all kinds of everyday needs. For example many people can’t drive anymore, but want to live at home. You can do their shopping for them, take them to appointments, or do anything they have (more…)
August 23, 2016 — One of the often overlooked challenges of retirement is how you will stay busy and engaged over time. You might think that you’ll be happy just by kicking back and relaxing, but that is not generally how humans are built. In that regard we are a lot like working dogs, happiest when we have a job or activity that keeps our minds and bodies busy.
Volunteering is an obvious and rewarding way to keep a focus in retirement. There are so many possibilities: mentoring children, helping a small business on a project, assisting at the library or hospital, trading work for free space at a national park, helping a local volunteer group or community association, or (more…)
September 1, 2015 — Note: This is continuing series. See the latest installment: “The Sharing Economy Could Be Your Ticket to a Comfortable Retirement“.
Elaine (Brickhorse), a longstanding member at Topretirements, recently asked if we could write an article about working and/or starting your own business in retirement. We think it is a great topic so we have shared some thoughts about it here. Best of all, we look forward to reading the experiences, hopes, and dreams of all the great people who contribute to this website in the Comments section below.
Sure, lots of people dream about starting their own business. It sounds great: be your own boss, make lots of money, work when you want to, do something you love – there are many good reasons (or fantasies!) to be an entrepreneur. On the other hand there are plenty of negative realities to think about. This article will explore the pros and cons, as well as summarize some of the current best practices for how to go about starting your own business, large or small.
We think there are at least 4 great reasons to start a business in retirement: