168 Hours a Week of Retirement? Better Get a Job
Most people still view retirement as crossing a finish line because they have reached a certain age. This construct is based on our nation's industrial past when most workers performed physically demanding jobs. The paradigm then was you worked until age 65 when you were physically worn out and then you retired. The company you worked for would typically pay you a pension "for life." Unfortunately "for life" in the good old days might have only meant two or three years!
Fast forward to our current U.S. economy: Most workers today are no longer engaged in physically demanding jobs. Instead most of us are engaged in intellectual or service-based work. So in today's world many of us are capable of working past age 65. For most people working past 65 is a better option than permanently retiring at an artificial age-based finish line.
For individuals who work for compensation during retirement there are the financial benefits. Retirees who work part time during retirement can defer collecting social security until their full retirement age or even to age 70. Waiting to collect social security until at least your full retirement age results in a benefit 25% higher than starting at age 62. Another financial benefit of part time work is it might give a retiree access to health care coverage till they reach Medicare eligibility at age 65. Finally, the post-retirement income might allow the retiree to defer drawing down a portion of their retirement assets just a bit longer.Working past age 65 can be helpful for financial reasons but it goes deeper than extra money and doesn't have to be about compensation. If you are lucky enough not to need the money, volunteering at a not-for-profit is a valid form of work. Some non-financial benefits of working during retirement include:
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