Taking Inventory

What to Do If You Can't Retire Yet

Some individuals will work in retirement because they want to, but for some, work beyond traditional retirement will be the key to future financial success. Although we all hope to be able to retire at age 65, for some of us this is an unrealistic expectation. This is due to a number of reasons: Your company may not offer a traditional pension plan, Social Security benefits may be taxable, and the Social Security age at which you are eligible for full benefits is rising.

So, if you haven't saved enough for retirement, here are some of your choices:

  • Adjust your lifestyle, cut back on expenses and invest the savings.
  • Maximize tax-deferred and tax-free savings—put the maximum pretax contribution into your employer's 401(k) plan now, or consider contributing to a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA.
  • Reexamine your investment strategy. Be careful, but consider taking on a little more risk, for more reward. Make sure your investment strategy reflects your time horizon and risk tolerance. See the section Fine Tuning Your Investment Strategy for more information.
  • Keep working in retirement. Flextime, part-time, and consulting arrangements have increasing appeal, both to aging workers and employers. Employers are able to tap into a trained, reliable, and mature work force on an as-needed basis. And many workers are not ready to take it easy. They want to continue working. To many, work means more than earning money: It is a way of life, a self-defining act. It keeps many individuals active and happy.
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