Figuring Out When to Start Your Second Act
Many Gen Xers and baby boomers look forward to retiring on their terms. In such a circumstance, a key question becomes when to walk away from work.
According to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, the average retirement age is now 65 for men and 63 for women. You may retire before or after that age, depending on a few critical factors, which can vary per individual.
First, what do you see yourself doing in retirement? If you have a strong, clear vision of what you want to do, then you might be mentally prepared to retire sooner rather than later. If your sense of identity and your friendships are linked to your career, you may want to put off retiring while working on that clear vision of the future.
A second factor is your health. This argument says to retire while you are still healthy rather than working until your health compels you to retire.
The third is the nature of your job. If you do hard, physical work or work that cannot be done remotely, you may want to anticipate an earlier retirement compared to some of your boomer or Gen X peers.
Fourth is the amount of retirement savings you have. Should you need to increase that amount, you could delay your retirement and postpone claiming Social Security retirement benefits. Even holding off on both for a year or two might give you more compounding and more monthly retirement income.
Could an Income Stream Run Right Through Your Home?
Millions of Americans are working from home these days, and you may be one of them. You also may be pleasantly surprised to learn just how much you might be able to earn working from home part time in retirement.
Recently, U.S. News noted 11 jobs that can be performed from home, all of which could provide a nice income boost for those seeking to supplement Social Security retirement benefits.
Consulting and coaching come to mind, of course, but have you considered options such as appliance repair and transcribing? The pay is usually in the range of $15-20 per hour for bookkeepers, customer service representatives, teachers, transcriptionists, and virtual assistants (i.e., remote executive assistants) who work from home. Some virtual assistants with top-flight social media or coding skills earn $50-75 per hour.
For freelance writers and proofreaders, $30 per hour is typical, and the fee rises with experience, especially experience in a particular field. Workplace and management consultants earn a median pay of more than $40 per hour.
Any part-time work you take in retirement, of course, must be considered with regard to its potential impact on your Social Security benefits and tax picture.
On the Bright Side
The University of Georgia’s Institute of Gerontology notes that Americans older than 70 seem to be coping well with the risks and stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic. In March and April, the Institute surveyed 833 U.S. adults, and 74% of the respondents age 71 and older said that they were experiencing little to no stress from the pandemic, ranking the experience on par with the war years they had lived through.
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This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty.
1 – USA TODAY, July 22, 2020
2. U.S. News & World Report, July 1, 2020
3. University of Georgia, July 21, 2020