Aging Options

5 reasons why you might not want to retire

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Many people enter their 60s and immediately begin thinking about retirement.  But, is retirement something you want to do?  Here are some reasons retirement might not be for you.

It will affect your sleep.  I was listening to the radio this morning and Carl Kasell is retiring after 60 years of being in radio.  One of the things he talked about is that he’s been waking up for years at 1:05 a.m. So you’re probably thinking and I’m sure Kassell is thinking, that now he’ll get to sleep in.  He’ll no longer be a slave to the alarm clock.  He’ll be able to get more sleep.  Or so he might think but WebMD found that downtime associated with not working could negatively impact your sleep schedule and actually result in less sleep.  To be fair, an even more recent study in the Journal of Sleep found that in a comparison of 14,714 French subjects between the seven years prior to retirement and the seven years after retirement, those in retirement slept better.

You die sooner.  I’ve written about this before in this article.  If you drop out of society, your body is likely to respond by going downhill just that much faster.  That’s not just conjecture but scientific fact.  It’s not that there isn’t a way to address this because there obviously is.  You have to remain busy.  Kasell is planning to continue to work, just not at his current rate.  For the Baby Boomers, it may not even be a choice, many will need to keep working because they’ll continue to need the income and there’s also likely to be a shortage of employees for at least the short term which may eventually make the work environment more elder friendly.  If you do manage to retire, staying busy with volunteering, starting your own company or getting more involved with a hobby will help to keep you active.

You’ll run out of money.  Obviously, some people are financially prepared for retirement but there’s something to be said about staying employed, even if it is part-time.  For one thing, working will stretch out your ability to afford continuing to live.  Baby Boomers will likely spend decades living on their savings.  With the average Social Security check coming out at $1,293 a month, if you’re like most Baby Boomers and have a savings account that’s sadly lacking, being able to postpone collecting Social Security or supplement your benefits will contribute to making the last decades of your life more enjoyable.

You need a purpose.  If you have no reason to get up each morning and no reason to continue to stay healthy, you’ll eventually find life is boring and hard to bear.  Your purpose might be to spend time with a great-grandchild or to mentor someone.   For all that people complain about work, work provides a reason for your existence.  Before you retire, you need to honestly decide what you will do all day if you don’t have the daily structure of a work day in front of you.

You can delay taxes.  People who are working can postpone withdrawals from their current 401(k) until April 1 of the year after they retire (otherwise they must begin at age 70 ½.

So what do you think?  Will you hold off retiring?  Why or why not?


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