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Working Beyond 65 — Will You Want To Or Need To?

Working Beyond 65 — Will You Want To Or Need To?


Many of us work with two kinds of coworkers – those who say they can’t wait to retire and those who swear they love their jobs so much they plan to die at their desks. I get the first group. Who doesn’t want to retire to a life of leisure without alarm clocks, meetings, conference calls, and commuting in traffic?

The second group, however, I view with a somewhat skeptical eye. Sure, some of us have dream jobs that we can’t wait to dive into every day and we would be very happy working in them until we are simply unable to do so. But when it comes to working past “normal” retirement age (let’s call it 65 since that is when Medicare kicks in for American workers), how many of us are going to work that long because we truly want to, and how many of us are masking the reality that we might actually need to work well into retirement age due to financial reasons?

According to Gallup’s 2016 Economy and Personal Finance Poll, almost one-third (31%) of U.S. workers anticipate they will work beyond age 67. A slightly higher percentage (38%) expect to retire sometime between 62 and 67, with only 23% forecasting early retirement prior to age 62. Baby Boomers (workers born between 1946 and 1964) appear to be even more reluctant to retire at earlier ages. A separate Gallup study indicates that almost half of the Boomer workforce (49%) does not expect to retire until age 66 or older, with 10% suggesting they never expect to retire.

Know Your Numbers

Even if you are unsure as to which of these two camps you may find yourself, a good first step for all of us is to periodically run a retirement income projection to estimate how much of our pre-retirement income we could potentially replace at retirement time. The latest Retirement Confidence Survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and Greenwald & Associates reports that only 41% of workers or their spouses have attempted to estimate how much savings they…

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