On the job
to the very end
Here’s an interesting report from The Associated Press: Out of 1,423 participants in a poll, nearly one quarter of them said they never plan to retire from work. Given that today’s average lifespan is 78 years, that’s got to be a long time for some of the people who said they’ll work till they die. While some of them simply may enjoy working, it’s obvious that a bigger factor in this decision is that too few people have set aside enough money to live comfortably without the income.
Another 25 percent of those polled said they plan to keep working beyond the traditional retirement age of 65. That’s no surprise at all: For anyone in their 50s today, the retirement age has been set by Congress at 66 or 67.
Given that lifespans keep getting longer, it’s pretty easy to predict that younger workers will have to stay on the job until age 68 or older to collect their full retirement benefits.
The poll also indicated that a lot of people don’t feel financially able to retire. Only 29 percent of those older than 50 said they were very well prepared to stop working, and only 14 percent of those under 50 said the same thing.
The easy thing to do is encourage people to set aside more of their pay for retirement. There are many tax-friendly ways to do this, such as through a 401(k) plan at work or through an Individual Retirement Account.
However, as many workers have discovered, saving money can be difficult. It requires some sacrifices at a time when there are plenty of demands to spend. And there are no guarantees: The loss of your job or a serious illness that’s not covered by insurance can wipe out the best of retirement planning.
Today, one of every five people older than 65 is either working or looking for a job. Let’s see if that percentage increases in the coming years.
Jack Ryan, Enterprise-Journal