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Common Myths about Working in Retirement

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In the past, we’ve covered some of the financial challenges seniors are likely to face in retirement. In turn, these hassles have played a role in shaping Americans’ retirement expectations. One of the growing trends is post-retirement employment.


At present, many people have a shortfall in retirement funds. For instance, the Boston College Center for Retirement Research found many Americans were greatly underprepared. According to the center’s data, as of 2013 half of American households didn’t have enough money to sustain their current standard of living in retirement.

Despite this challenge, many Americans believe working longer will help cover the shortfall. This belief is increasingly giving way to a new expectation: that post-retirement employment in itself is enough to make up for not having a retirement plan. But the truth is many factors can unbalance this approach and lead to unnecessary financial hardship.

What are Myths about Working in Retirement?

In a recent Harris Poll completed for the Nationwide Retirement Institute, 40% of respondents said they expected to never retire. They believed ongoing employment to be necessary due to ongoing cost burdens such as elevated healthcare costs. Another factor was related to security. Having a stable income and employer-paid insurance was another justification for ongoing employment.

Nonetheless, other surveys show just how unpredictable retirement trajectories can be. In the University of Michigan’s Health and Retirement Study, almost 37% of people working at age 58 retired earlier than they planned. Data from other studies show how retirement expectations can be curtailed, too. Much of these “retirement disruptions” occurred due to unexpected life events, including:

• Being laid off from employment
• Place of employment shutting doors
• Changes in family circumstances
• Shortfalls or increases in wealth
• Unanticipated medical emergencies

No matter what someone plans, life is filled with unexpectencies. From that standpoint, it’s best to have a plan that accounts for the worst outcomes and positions you for a secure future. Proactive financial planning will help you avoid those unneeded “retirement nightmares” and enjoy these golden years of retirement living.

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If you need assistance with your finances, please use the articles we have here on SafeMoney.com. This content provides you with valuable resources for taking the first step: becoming fully educated about your financial situation. We offer articles on a wide range of hot button topics, including annuities, life insurance, Social Security, IRAs, retirement income planning, estate planning, and more.

When you're ready for personal guidance, SafeMoney.com can help you. Use our Find a Licensed Advisor section to connect directly with an independent financial professional, and to request a personal strategy session to discuss your needs and goals. And should you have any questions or concerns, call 877.476.9723.

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