How to Pick the Right Age to Retire?

The Politics of Retirement

As retirees we often times depend on two different economies. The first being global trade-able sector-companies which are efficiently competing everywhere with everybody enjoying new rapidly growing markets. Retirees also depend economically on industries not facing global competition like Health Care, Education, and Government. Republicans often embrace the private market, global trade-able sector-companies are efficiently competing everywhere, model. Democrats tend to highlight the disparity (huge profits for a few at the top) and the stagnant wages in the middle while attempting to protect healthcare, education, and government, model.

The notion that we as a nation can come together and be on the same page regarding short-term and long-term spending, cutting, taxing and investing simultaneously is, at best, wishful thinking. America’s continued political stalemate will likely result in a negative perception regarding America’s economic standing in the world.

Politically speaking; regarding the deficit, we may get the grand compromise between capped spending limits and cutting future benefits from what they otherwise would be, and cutting benefits and raising taxes. If politicians can’t agree then taxes will go up and spending will be cut across the board. This will likely cause politicians to try and save face by kicking the can down the road with a legislative commitment to deal with the deficit later.

The Middle Class and Retirement

Restoring prosperity to the middle class is a tall order. Middle class families work longer, delay retirement, rely on double incomes, need more help from government to help ends meet, and accumulate debt. Working- age adults now make up 56.7 percent of the poor making less than $22,113 for a family of four.

According to AARP, Harris and Gallup polls 53% of families don’t think they have enough for comfortable retirement. 75% of families in 2010 are living paycheck to paycheck, and the middle class saw a 292% increase of median debt of middle-class families.

Deciding When to Retire

Knowing when to pull the trigger on this most difficult of decisions is critical to one’s happiness in older age. We now hear the phrase “I retired again” all too often. Every situation is different, no one size fits all. The bottom line in my view is in the event one decides to retire earlier rather than later; one seriously needs to embrace creative work for compensation. In the event one decides to retire later rather than sooner one’s nest egg must be sizeable. Delaying of retirement should include realistic work, shelf-life expectations. Last but not least in many cases one’s personality drives the decision making process. Consequently communication between spouses and financial partners is critical.

In a recent article April 13 2012 a US and World Report News survey reveals- How Baby Boomers are Picking a Retirement Age.

Here’s how the oldest baby boomers are choosing when to retire:

Retired baby boomers left their jobs at an average age of 60 for men and 57 for women. Over a quarter (29 percent) of those surveyed retired between ages 56 and 61, and 20 percent retired at age 62. Just over a third (36 percent) of these boomers say the main reason they retired was because they reached retirement ageand wanted to. But about half (51 percent) of retired boomers report they retired earlier than they originally expected to.

Baby boomers currently working expect to retire at an average age of 69, and over a third (37 percent) hope to retire in 2012 at age 66. The planned retirement age of baby boomers born in 1946 has increased by over two years since they were previously surveyed in 2008. Working baby boomers say they are planning to delay retirementbecause they need to continue receiving a salary to pay for day-to-day expenses (27 percent) and they enjoy working or want to stay active (24 percent).

Financially prepared. Only a small minority of baby boomers left their jobs upon hitting a retirement savings goal. Just 6 percent of the baby boomers surveyed retired primarily because they had enough money and could afford to. Most senior citizens have very small retirement incomes. The median income for those age 65 and older was $25,757 in 2010, according to a new Social Security Administration report. The most common retirement income level is between $15,000 and $19,999 annually, an income range that 12.6 percent of retirees fall into.

Perform Creative Work all Through-out retirement, and Grow One’s Nest Egg all Throughout one’s Career

Sources of Income for Retirees:

Social Security -The median Social Security payment amount was $15,701 in 2010.Income from assets – The median asset income was just $1,260 in 2010. Pensions, Government employee pensions generally paid considerably higher annual benefits ($20,000) than private pensions and annuities ($8,844) in 2010. Employment. People who work at age 65 and older earned a median of $28,000 in 2010, considerably less than the median of $45,000 earned by people age 62 to 64 and the $54,000 workers age 55 to 61 were paid.

I recommend the following movies to help one get into the right frame of mind as a precursor to the decision making process on when or at what exact age one actually retires. About Schmidt (2002). The Artist (2011). The Bucket List (2007). Gran Torino (2008). The Notebook (2004) Something’s Gotta Give (2003).]Up(2009).

Good decisions involve asking the right questions of both your mind and heart. Clear communication between spouses and financial partners is critical. Whatever age you decide to retire at, I wish you continued growth and happiness.


About Roger O'Keefe

My background is in education and finance. I'm a published author and photographer, former radio talk show host, and creative retirement planning expert. My work is a love of labor, I do not sell any products of any kind. I've appeared as a guest on more than 50 national and local television and radio shows. With a Masters in education, I'm a licensed educator and author of the “Future Bright Program” and the California State Department of Education “Teacher Appreciation Program.” I'm a member of the American Association of Retired Persons and the National Care Planning Council NCPC. I'm currently writing my second book and reside in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. My mission is to reshape retirement planning one person at a time. Please visit my website and take advantage of the many complimentary online seminars, resources, and retirement planning tools.
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