First Person: 5 Reasons I'm Not Retiring Early

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No one can predict when they will die, but I base my retirement plan on reaching 100. I plan to work many years into my official retirement. I've witnessed too many colleagues who have been booted out of the workplace, only to use that as an excuse to take early retirement. Others jump into retirement as soon as they can claim Social Security only to struggle with a fixed income.

Here are the 5 reasons I won't retire early, but will continue to refine my works skills and remain flexible through my working years and beyond.

I don't do poor

I spent my 20s living far below my means so that I could get out of debt and save to buy a house. I don't plan to be frugal when I'm older. I won't be scrimping and clipping coupons. Working during retirement will give me plenty of money to blow or to spend on my family.

Experts say if you can't pay off your mortgage you are too poor to retire. My mortgage will have been paid off for decades, but I still won't take early retirement.

I don't count on Social Security

I strongly believe that Generation X will be the first generation that will not receive Social Security benefits. If we do receive Social Security benefits, they will be greatly reduced. I'm planning for no Social Security . According to the Social Security Administration, retired workers make about $1,100 on average each month. By working, I'll easily replace the average Social Security benefit of former generations.

I would be bored

Without work, I may become bored. If you are in a helping profession, you get paid to take care of others. People in creative professions, including yours truly, get personal satisfaction out of their livelihood. I don't want to be the gray-haired lady who gets the senior citizen discount at the pancake house. I want to keep my professional identity. Using my brain may even prevent Alzheimer's disease .

Work provides a social outlet

I have managed older employees who became part of our office family. Some people view their customers and coworkers as friends. My father worked up until two weeks before his death. He had appointments on his calendar to visit clients that were dated after his passing. Most of his clients considered him a friend. He used to play tennis with coworkers.

It will keep me in shape

If I retired, I'm afraid I'd vegetate. With my career, I am always on the go. Even though I'm frequently on the computer, I tend to stand. I rarely sit still. A lot of retired people I know gain weight because they take up sedentary hobbies and attend groups that revolve around food.

Many of my relatives have lived to be 100 or older so I want to stay in good shape both physically, mentally and financially. Keeping a career going will improve my quality of life and make me happier. Also, having an income stream and money in the bank means I won't have to depend on relatives' charity and can remain self-sufficient.

More from this contributor:

Baby Boomer Money Mistakes

My Lame Excuses For Not Saving For Retirement


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