Sixty-five was once the golden age when people looked forward to that somewhat hazy time of life known as retirement. But retirement ages changed, and now full retirement, or that magic number when people receive their full benefits, may be sixty six, or some time between sixty six and sixty seven. For some people, it may be much later.
The earliest that people can take their Social Security benefits is age sixty two. Of course, they will get a reduction in pay if they retire early. They will get a smaller reduction every year they delay before the full retirement age. This can add up, and for some, this can mean a difference in hundreds of dollars each month. If, on the other hand, they choose to work beyond the retirement age, the benefits increase, up to the age of seventy.
Many people are choosing to continue working for this reason and other factors. For those who truly enjoy their job and have no specific goals for retirement, retiring early, or even at the retirement age, is not an option. Some people actually remain more active, and healthier, when they continue their daily routine, go to work where they feel they are contributing something, and interacting with others.
Finances are a big part of choosing to continue working, and many that have retired are going back into the workplace. Inflation, increasing health care costs, food, and gas, are all incentives for staying on the job. Company benefits, such as health care, are also taken into consideration, and it is often much more economical to stay with a company program than to rely on Medicare and a supplemental insurance.
There are arguments, of course, on both sides of the debate. Some claim that the loss in increased benefits if they retire at sixty five or sixty six instead of seventy, balance out in the fact that they are more likely to receive more checks over the rest of their lifetime. They point out that the longer they wait, the fewer checks they are likely to receive, and even though the pay is larger, they may not live long enough to reap the rewards. For those that are planning on saving money on health care, continuing to bring home a check and contribute to a 401(k) plan, they can see that increasing their savings is definitely a temptation.
The top breadwinner of the family also needs to take into consideration the benefits they receive will eventually affect their spouse’s benefits. This is because spousal benefits are up to 50 percent of their partner’s monthly benefits at full retirement age.
For many people, if they are in good health, and enjoy staying active, delaying retirement can be the best choice, financially, emotionally, and health wise.