Keep on Rollin’
By continuing to work after retirement, baby boomers are poised
to single-handedly change the way we look at our golden years.
The Rolling Stones.
Their band name alone can conjure up images of rock and roll glory, greatness, and success. But, to
mention the “Stones” without mentioning several attempts at retirement would be foolish. They’ve had
almost as many last-hurrahs as Cher and are still rocking to this day. They’ve even made it clear that this
year’s tour is by no means their last.
The average age of a member of The Rolling Stones is 64 years, and they’re showing no signs of
slowing down anytime soon. The same can be said for the rest of the Baby Boomer generation. A
generation that changed America is now changing the way we look at retirement. Gone are the days of
taking early-retirement and then simply passing time. Baby boomers are expected to retire and then take
up new careers in fields they’ve always wanted to explore, but were never able to. Retirement may be
something they do two or three times as they try new jobs and adventures. With medical advances and
an increase in life expectancy, most Boomers will live longer than their parents did, and that means a
need for more income.
Boomers have made it clear that they aren’t slowing down and just like their counterparts in the band;
they want time to travel around the country and see new sights. Aside from having more personal time,
boomers are also expected to take up new jobs and business endeavors. That means working later in
life. But what effect does that have on things like Social Security benefits? And what are some of the
other pros and cons to working longer in life? We’re about to find out.
Many boomers who have begun to retire and take up new careers are finding
one major plus to working: health insurance. One of the added bonuses to
staying active and healthy includes the possibility of an extension of health
benefits. While not all employers will offer them to part-time employees, some
will and it will mean another way to make sure you’re saving money even during
retirement. Some employers may also offer a 401k to part-time employees,
which allows them to save even more as they work.
The need for money isn’t the only drive for extended employment, however. A lot
of people just want to get out and stay active and alert. Mentally and physically,
the benefits of working part-time during retirement are very attractive. The overall
sense of community and personal interaction is a far cry from retirements of the
past where retirees were often isolated from much contact.
Of course, there are always a few drawbacks to everything. If you decide you
want to work more than just part-time after you’ve officially retired, you may want
to wait to start receiving Social Security benefits until you reach the
full-retirement age, which varies between 65 and 67, depending on the year of
By waiting until you turn 65 1/2, you can draw full benefits and still work as much
or as little as you want with no effect on your monthly Social Security check. If
you decide to start taking Social Security benefits early, at age 62 for instance,
there are limits to how much you can earn each year. If you go over these limits,
your Social Security benefits will be reduced even more. When making a major
decision, such as deciding the age you’d like to retire, it’s always important to
involve a trusted financial professional for advice. A professional can not only
give you more options and plans, but added tips that you might not have known
regarding various aspects of Social Security.
Something else to consider when deciding to work longer are the tax
consequences. In addition to earning income on top of your Social Security benefits, you may also be
withdrawing from your IRA especially if you’re over 70½, (the age you’re forced to make the minimum
withdrawal). All of that income adds up and means more money paid to Uncle Sam. If you plan to receive
pension payments from a former employer, you will want to check with a financial professional to see if
you will face any additional penalties for working during retirement.
All in all, some would argue that the benefits of working past retirement age are significant. Even when
factoring in the drawbacks, most retirees would choose the extra activity and mental stimulation even if it
meant a slight reduction in benefits or more money paid in taxes. The bottom line is that the next
generation of retirees, the baby boomers, will not go quietly into the night. It’s a generation that has
brought us more women graduating from college and challenging the standards of workplace equality. It’
s an age group that lived through the Vietnam War and Watergate. They’ve brought us Microsoft, the
personal computer, and Starbucks to mention only a few of their many contributions. It’s a generation that
will not be told what to do, and in the end, only the Baby Boomers will decide which farewell tour will be
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