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I'm Not Dead Yet!

I'm Not Dead Yet!

| May 01, 2024

Yesterday's column certainly seems to have struck a chord. Yes, I would actually consider a dog-walking business in my retirement. Think about it - getting paid to exercise plus furry companions? But let's turn back to the Employee Benefit Research Institute 2021 Retirement Confidence Survey (updated December 31, 2023; Greenwald).

Of those surveyed (and yes, some chose more than one answer to the question of "Why work past 65"), 52% said they want to keep working past 65 because the want to stay active and involved. 38% said they enjoy working so why stop? And finally, 22% said they wanted to stay on because of the job opportunity. These are the positive reasons for staying on past 65. In other words, I'm not dead yet! I can still contribute!

On the flip side, a variety of financial reasons were given by some who have to work past 65. These include "avoiding reducing savings" (24%), making ends meet (17%), and decreased savings (11%). This speaks to what I wrote about yesterday on the need to save early for retirement and the need to save as much as your budget will allow.

Some stay on to keep insurance or benefits. This is where financial planning may help in terms of finding replacement insurance. And I was curious about the 5% who said they will keep working past 65 because they need to financially support others. In this, you might see a need for long-term care insurance and certainly a robust discussion of Universal Basic Income.

What I say to all of my employees in my various 401k plans is this. I would rather they get to 65 and say, "I want to keep working". It is a challenging conversation as a 401k advisor when an employee states instead, "I need to keep working". My heart goes out to folks who find themselves in the latter category. The question then becomes, perhaps, can we as advisors do anything to help!