When to Retire: Pros & Cons
Are you wondering when to retire? Compare the pros and cons of retiring at different ages in this guide. Retirement is often a long-awaited dream. Unstructured days, the freedom to do what you please — these are just a couple of the perks of saying goodbye to your desk job.
While it’s alluring to leave the workforce, you may wonder when exactly that day should come. Generally speaking, there’s no “right” time to retire. But as you narrow down your ideal retirement window, it’s important to consider the type of lifestyle you’d like to have. Are you thinking about traveling the world? Interested in purchasing a new home? Or maybe you’re looking to scale back and live more simply.
When To Retire: Financial Planning
You’ll need to determine how much money you’ll need to sustain that lifestyle, and take a look at your current savings, investments, or potential income sources like Social Security. If you’re married, consider when your spouse will retire, since that will affect your Social Security benefits and earnings. All of these factors could affect your ability to leave your nine-to-five job.
If you’re fortunate enough to have control over when you want to retire, consider these factors before making a change.
Retiring Before Age 65
Retiring early can have its perks. You’ll likely have more energy to get out and enjoy your hobbies, or even spend time traveling the world. Leaving behind your daily grind can also help you build healthy habits like exercising or spending more time outdoors.
Even if you’re not ready to completely leave the workforce, retirement doesn’t mean you can’t make a living in other ways. This could be the perfect time to start your own business, find a part-time gig, volunteer, or even jump into a new career path.
While it sounds nice to get out and bask in your newfound free time, odds are you won’t have as much financial freedom if you retire early. Your retirement savings will have to last longer, which means you may not have the funds for those trips you’ve always wanted to take.
Social Security is another consideration. While you become eligible for social security starting at age 62, your benefit will be reduced. You also don’t qualify for Medicare until you’re 65, which means you’ll pay more in out-of-pocket costs for health insurance on your own.
It’s also important to consider your mental health. After working for so many years, many retirees have a hard time transitioning into a new routine and may feel lonely or without a sense of purpose. Making sure you plan things to do in retirement can help with that.
Retiring Between Ages 66 and 70
Retiring between the ages of 66 and 70 seems to be the sweet spot for many. You’re old enough to have built up your finances but young enough to get out and enjoy well-deserved time off the clock. Plus, you’re eligible for Medicare and full Social Security benefits at this age. There’s certainly a reason this is the most popular age for retirement.
Waiting to retire until you’re 66 can feel like a long time. If you’ve been delaying retirement already, you could be putting off the start of your dream lifestyle and working longer than you want.
On the other hand, if you wait just a few more years, your Social Security payment will actually increase at age 70.
Retiring at Age 70 and Older
If you love what you do for work, there’s no rule that you have to stop at a typical retirement age. There are benefits of waiting until you’re 70 to retire, like feeling more fulfilled or having a sense of purpose. You’ll probably have more in retirement assets, which reduces the likelihood that you’ll be stressed about your finances.
Retiring at age 70 or older means you’ll also get the highest possible Social Security payout. Many individuals find this appealing since benefits increase on a prorated basis until you reach age 70.
It sounds nice to live in a world where money isn’t necessarily a source of stress, but at what cost? As you grow older, you may not have as much energy — or the ability — to do the things you truly enjoy. Your time may be more valuable than money at this age.
The Bottom Line
Deciding when to retire can be daunting. There’s much to consider when it comes to your finances — like retirement assets, savings, your health, income, or Social Security benefits. It can be helpful to consult with a professional to see where you stand. It’s also never too early to calculate if you’re saving enough for retirement.
Still, Need Help? Contact The Professionals At Emerj360
Even if you do know when you want to retire, it’s important to live within your means. Schedule a consultation with an Emerj360 team member to help you crunch the numbers and develop a plan to meet your retirement goals.