A recent MSN Money article regarding retirement age noted the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found that 51 percent of working households are "at risk of being unable to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living in retirement."
This means that many people are rethinking their retirement age. In fact, the center estimates that "23% of U.S. households would need to work one to three years beyond age 65 to "attain readiness" for retirement. 17% of households would need to work four to six years beyond age 65. 9% of households would need to work seven years or more."
These numbers don't bother me personally though, and the idea of working until I'm 70 really isn't all that disconcerting. Here's why.
Working Longer Doesn't Always Equate to Working Harder
Just because I plan to work an additional five years or so doesn't necessarily mean I'll be giving up any semblance of retirement life. In fact, it could be just the opposite. I think I'll be able to pair a retirement lifestyle with continued work in a somewhat diminished capacity in a comfortable balance.
As a self-employed "solopreneur," I currently have the ability and opportunity to work when, where and how I like. In a way, even though I work full-time, it sometimes feels like I'm retired already. Therefore, considering continuing in this capacity until age 70 doesn't seem like much of a hardship.
Even if I work at a reduced rate - and bolster our retirement income by say, $10,000 or $15,000 a year - it could give us that additional financial security blanket that provides not only peace of mind but allows us to enjoy a better lifestyle in general.
Working Longer Might be Better Anyway
The thought of working later in life is actually somewhat appealing to me since it provides added security against a number of situations that are difficult to plan for. It can act to hedge our bets against things like inflation, an economic downturn, a variety of possible bursting financial bubbles, a stock market slide, low investment returns, diminished Social Security benefits, higher health care costs, and similar other unexpected economic or financial scenarios that can be devastating to those on fixed retirement incomes.
Working Longer, but Living Better
Some people might say, "Yeah, but no matter how much you enjoy working, it's still work, and I want to relax in retirement."
For some, that may be true. For me, I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes with my work and know that several hours each day put into my work, as opposed to spent on a crossword puzzle or reading a novel is quite satisfying and even invigorating.
That feeling of accomplishment - paired with the extra income that it will provide - will hopefully allow us the financial freedom to enjoy the additional spare time we have together to a greater extent through increased entertainment and travel options. And if that's the case, then to me, those additional years added to my working timeframe are worth it.
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.
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