I am 74 and my husband is 76. We are healthy and have active minds ["10 Reasons You Shouldn't Retire," usnews.com]. We love all the challenges of business, and besides the fact that we love to travel and enjoy the niceties of life, my work keeps me involved in the mainstream. My husband and I are more interesting to each other and our friends. People want to be with us and we have an active social life. No need to change our routine because someone decided that it should be time for us to retire. No retirement for us for the near future. As long as our health holds out, we're staying.
Comment by Francine Brodsky of NJ
Preparing for retirement is more than money in waiting. It's recognizing early on that work alone isn't life. Develop interests throughout your life, cultivate them so that they won't let you down in the long haul of retirement years. Be ready to admit that golf won't sustain you in retirement, or skiing, or bridge, or whatever, and that it will take activities you want to get at when you wake each and every day. I think it a great shame that there's talk of increasing the retirement age. Retire when you want to, and don't be seduced by more Social Security benefits or a larger 401(k) pool available if you defer retirement. There's life there for the living, life unavailable when 40 or more hours a week are dedicated to work.
Comment by Ron W. Smith of UT
With a shortage of skilled workers, it will be a benefit to the economy if we stay in the work force. Also, when you get to retirement age, you have some leverage with your boss. Work on your terms or you can retire and then go work somewhere else. Take nice vacations and enjoy the time away from work, then get back to work. When it becomes a chore, you can call it quits, if you have enough money saved up. In the meantime, max out your 401(k) and your Roth IRA (and your spouse's Roth).
Comment by Hannah Katz of CA
I took early retirement at 55, after working part time to train my replacement. My wife is retiring when she wants, probably in the next four to six years. I am busier than ever with nonprofit work, as is my wife, and we will both be busy with civic volunteering for the rest of our days. Our identities were never tied up in our work but rather our professional identities, membership in professional organizations, and a personal network of friends in all 50 states. We were talking about [my wife's] retirement the other day, and we could go on the road and be welcome to stay at friends' and families' homes in every state and five foreign countries without staying at the same place twice. Because we always lived within our means and have no debt, we won't need to touch our deferred retirement accounts and probably will end up putting money from our Social Security checks into savings. None of the items in the article are applicable to us as we have planned for the past three decades to get where we are now.
Comment by Tom of WI