I think I’ve mentioned it before, but periodically I’m ask about when I might think about retiring. I’m certainly past the standard retirement age, but my answer remains the same: “Why would I retire? I’m still doing what I love! I think I’m doing it at a relatively high level and people seem to like what I’m doing, so onward and upward. Retirement for today’s seniors is not quite the same as it was for say our parents.
About 1 in 4 adults age 65 and older is now in the workforce. That number is expected to increase, making it the fastest growing group of workers in the country.
The days of working for one company that would take care of you after you retire are long gone. Few private sector workers now have traditional, defined benefit pensions, where you’re paid a fixed stipend for life depending on your salary and years of service.
Most retirement funds now are 401(k) types, where the employer and employee contribute a fixed amount and the money is invested in the stock market. During the worst of the last recession, 401(k) accounts lost almost one-third of their value. That was enough to change some would-be retirees’ plans.
A recent survey found that about 50% of older Americans are dipping into their retirement savings to help their grown children. And some folks just haven’t saved enough: Baby boomers have median savings of a little over $150,000 to get through what could be a 30-year retirement.
Meanwhile, roughly half of private sector employers offer no retirement plans at all. That’s one of the reasons about a quarter of retirees get 90% or more of their income from Social Security.
In an AARP survey of older workers and their reasons for staying on the job, a need for money came first. But liking to work was almost as popular.
I’ve always told perspective young work force recruits “Find something you love, pursue it and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I’ve been lucky with that. As I continue ‘Doin The Cruise’ I do still love it, but the extra money comin’ in ain’t bad either! Yeah Baby!