When can you choose retirement?

Long version

If you’re like most people, your work has been a central part of your life. So, wouldn’t it be nice to have the flexibility to decide when you no longer want to work?

Many people of retirement age have achieved this type of control. In fact, two-thirds of workers ages 65 and older say they work primarily because they want to, not because they have to, according to a 2021 study by Edward Jones and Age Wave. But that means that one-third of workers in this age group feel financially compelled to work. This doesn’t necessarily mean they dislike the work they do — but it’s probably fair to say they would have liked the option of not working. How can you give yourself this choice?

You can start by asking yourself these questions:

  • When do I want to retire? You’ll want to identify the age at which you wish to retire. You may change your mind later and move this date up or back, but it’s a good idea to have a target in mind.
  • What sort of retirement lifestyle do I want? When you retire, do you anticipate staying close to home and pursuing your hobbies, or do you hope to travel the world? Would you like to spend your time volunteering? Open your own business or do some consulting? Clearly, some of these choices will require more resources than others, so you’ll want to follow a financial strategy that aligns with the retirement lifestyle you intend to pursue.
  • Am I saving and investing enough? As you chart your course toward your retirement journey, you’ll want to assess the sources of income you’ll have available. If you think you may be falling short of achieving your retirement goals, you may need to consider saving more.
  • When should I start taking Social Security? You can begin collecting Social Security benefits as early as 62, but your monthly payments will be much bigger if you wait until your “full” retirement age, which will likely be between 66 and 67. Your decision about when to take Social Security will depend on several factors, including your other sources of income and your family history of longevity. Of course, as you’re probably aware, the Social Security system is facing significant financial stress, so it’s possible that we may see changes to Social Security, based on actions Congress could take. In any case, you might want to be fairly conservative in estimating how much Social Security can contribute to your retirement income. 

By addressing the above questions, you can get a clearer sense of when you might reach the point at which work is optional. But you’ll also need to consider other factors, too, such as how much you enjoy working or when your spouse or partner is planning to retire. In any case, the sooner you start planning for this next phase of your life, the better position you’ll be in when it’s time to make the transition.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.
Edward Jones, Member SIPC

Number of words: 494

Short/radio version

PSA: When can you choose retirement?

TBA: August 8, 2022

Here’s an interesting finding: Two-thirds of workers ages 65 and older say they work primarily because they want to, according to a 2021 study by Edward Jones and Age Wave.

Essentially, that means that one-third of workers in this age group feel financially compelled to work. It’s probably fair to say that they would have liked the option of not working. How can you give yourself this choice?

First, choose an age at which you’d like the flexibility to retire. This will help guide your plans.

Next, think about your desired retirement lifestyle. Do you want to stay close to home or travel the world or open your own business? Once you’ve identified your retirement goals, you can build a financial strategy to achieve them.

And that leads to the next step — making sure you’re saving and investing enough. Try to contribute as much as you can afford to your 401(k) and other investment accounts.

Taking these steps can help provide the freedom you need to decide when you want to retire — and that’s certainly a choice you’d like to make for yourself.

This content was provided by Edward Jones for use by (FA’s NAME), your Edward Jones financial advisor at (Branch address or phone #).

Member SIPC

Number of words: 183 (excluding FA’s name, address/phone number)