The life script is pretty much set: you go to school, get a job, get married, have kids, work some more, then retire. Many parts of that script are changing, and the social norm of retirement is one of them.
You donâ€™t have to retire if you donâ€™t want to. There are a lot of reasons why people might not want to retire, from amazing career success and a sense of purpose to a recent job change and a desire for reinvention. No matter what your reason, you shouldnâ€™t retire if you donâ€™t want to.
However, just because you donâ€™t want to retire doesnâ€™t mean you shouldnâ€™t plan for it. Sadly, there are a lot of scenarios in which retirement isnâ€™t a choice:
- Recession â€“ An economic slump may cause employers to lay off workers, and those close to retirement age often seem like the best ones to go first.
- Industry Changes â€“ As our technologies advance, our industries change. While in many ways this is wonderful, it can also cause problems for employees whoâ€™s jobs are no longer relevant.
- Age Discrimination â€“ Unpleasant as it is, a lot of elder worker experience age discrimination. Some employers force workers to retire early to make way for younger employees, and some employers are less likely to hire older workers for new positions making it hard to find a job as you age.
- Failing Health â€“ Itâ€™s hard to predict when your health will fail, and a lot of workers are forced into retirement because of an illness or age-related health problem.
- Family Care â€“ As you age, everyone around you is aging too. A lot of people are forced to retire to spend more time at home caring for an elderly parent, sick spouse or other family member in need.
These are just a few of the reasons why you may be forced to retire even if you donâ€™t want to. These reasons make it vital that you save for retirement even if you donâ€™t plan on ending your time in the workforce at all or anytime soon.
This concept, however, is very different for those who want to retire but canâ€™t. A 2013 survey by the Center for Public Affairs Research found that 47% of Americans are going to retire at a much later age then they originally thought because they donâ€™t have enough money saved. That same survey also discovered that 39% of workers over 50 have $100,000 or less saves for retirement, which is not nearly enough for most people.
Either way, whether you donâ€™t want to retire or you canâ€™t because of your savings, you need to save more for retirement. The sooner you get started, the better off youâ€™ll be.
Get your retirement savings off the ground by using tools like:
- Retirement Savings Calculator to help you calculate how much you need to save
- Find a financial advisor to help you make a savings plan
- Use budget software and investments to keep you on track
Do you want to retire? Comment below why or why not. If you need help with your retirement savings, check out some of our other articles.