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March 13, 2017

Retirement: The Money Question

shutterstock_99535256As many of us reach full retirement age – currently 67, according to the Social Security Administration – the thought of money becomes a primary focus. We saved, maybe have a company pension, possibly an IRA or 401(k), but will it be enough?

For women in particular, that question is amplified. According to the Department of Labor, women are paid an average of 77 cents for every dollar paid to men. Also, in many cases, women took time off from their careers to raise children. According to the Center for Retirement Research, that typically means lower month Social Security payments based on the reduced number of earning years. Women may have to spend more time catching up in terms of earnings.

Another factor impacting a workers decision to continue working – delaying drawing on Social Security increases the monthly payments one receives at a later date. For example, today’s 62 year old would receive 75% of his or her retirement benefit. If that same person waited until age 70, that amount increases to 132%.

Whether male or female, sometimes retirement, while desired, isn’t a financial possibility. In fact, a 2013 Harris Poll revealed that 79% of people aged 60 or older were working because they couldn’t afford to retire.

One reason could be the financial hit that impacted their retirement plans. Many retiring individuals lost stock value during the recession, which may have left a significant gap in what they we relying on to retire. As a result, some workers are delaying retirement or seeking ways to continue working, but in a different work arrangement.

Ideally, a delayed retirement plan would include finding a part-time or full-time position that offers more flexibility. Luckily for many “pretiring” insurance professionals, companies are beginning to recognize the need for their veteran workers to decrease their responsibilities and still remain engaged. Some are offering remote work arrangements that allow their most valued workers to contribute without the commute.

It’s a win-win for both your employer and you. Employers still retain the knowledge and skill you bring to the company, save lost productivity due to family issues, illness, or bad weather, and avoid the expense of hiring and retraining your replacement. As a remote employee, you get to supplement your retirement income and put off the need to tap into retirement savings or Social Security benefits.

By continuing to work into your retirement years, you can give your savings the boost it needs in order to ensure that your retirement is comfortable from a financial perspective. Talk with your employer to discuss how you can establish a flexible arrangement that benefits you both.

Insurance professionals: for more information on how you can extend your earnings into retirement, visit our Become a WAHVE page.

How has economic issues impacted your retirement?
Has this impact caused you to delay retirement indefinitely?
What is your ideal retirement or pretirement scenario?

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