Another Way to Look at Retirement: Don't Do It

OntheClockWe're not all fortunate enough to have jobs we might want to work at forever. But some of us are doing just that -- and instead of reinventing retirement, these folks are avoiding it.

Take the case of Judge Jack Weinstein, a spry 96-year old who has no intention of retiring. He was appointed some fifty years ago but isn't about to give up his profession now. He tells The New York Times, “I’m a better judge, in some respects, than when I was younger. I don’t remember names. But I listen more. And I’m more compassionate. I see things from more angles. If you are doing interesting work, you want to continue.”

Other elders love their jobs. Consider Warren Buffett, still an active investor at Berkshire-Hathaway at the age of 87. Or Adolfo Calovini, perhaps less famous than Buffett but no less active. Also mentioned in The New York Times article, the 82-year old Calovini teaches English as a second language at a New York high school. An immigrant. Calovini has a special understanding of the students who take his class. He tells The Times, “To me, teaching is about life. This is what I do. I can’t see a time when I wouldn’t.”

Weinstein, Buffett and Calovini are just examples of the 1-1/2 million people still working after the age of 75, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau estimates that almost 11 percent of the workforce will be age 75 or older by 2026.

If you have a job you love, consider yourself lucky -- maybe it'll be yours for life.


Executive Recruiter Authors Employment Guide for Boomers

Screen Shot 2018-02-09 at 1.06.48 PM BooksThere has been a spate of books recently about seeking employment for Boomers. Here's one that is particularly interesting.

One of my blog readers, Rick Manning, is an executive recruiter with over 40 years in the employment field. He has authored and recently published a new ebook: You are a Classic: An Employment Guide for Baby Boomers. Geared to all job candidates over 50, this employment guide has been written to provide the reader with both support and expert instruction; in particular, with additional focus on empowerment and inspiration for those dismayed and dispirited by perceived ageism, which can be prevalent in the marketplace.

This guide also provides information offering a perspective on “positive aging” and optimistic attitude and outlook. Further, it has suggestions to help confront the common emotional impediments, which often occasion difficult job searches. Says Manning, "It is my intention to provide older job candidates with a proactive approach to their job hunting campaign, where they can take satisfaction in their effort worthy of a healthy self-esteem."

You can purchase You are a Classic wherever ebooks are sold, or directly from Amazon by clicking here. The Amazon listing includes the option to view a Table of Contents and a portion of the first chapter.

 


No Surprise: Experts Advise Boomers to Work Longer

MusingsNew year, new goals: If one of yours is retiring from your job, hold on just a minute. Well, make that three to six months.

A recent report entitled "The Power of Working Longer," issued by the National Bureau of Economic Research concludes the following: 

"...delaying retirement by 3-6 months has the same impact on the retirement standard of living as saving an additional one-percentage point of labor earnings for 30 years. The relative power of saving more is even lower if the decision to increase saving is made later in the work life. For instance, increasing retirement saving by one percentage point ten years before retirement has the same impact on the sustainable retirement standard of living as working a single month longer. The calculations of the relative power of working longer and saving more are done for a wide range of realized rates of returns on saving, for households with different income levels, and for singles as well as married couples. The results are quite invariant to these circumstances."

MarketWatch looked at the report and added the following analysis:

"So why does working longer have such an impact on the standard of living in retirement? Because it bolsters two types of retirement income — Social Security benefits and 401(k) withdrawals, the research says. The longer a person works, the longer Social Security is deferred, which means a higher benefit check. The worker’s 401(k) withdrawal will also be higher from more money in the account. Social Security makes up 81% of retirement income in this case, the researchers said, and 401(k) payments make up the rest."

Bottom line: If you've been thinking about retiring this year, maybe you should hold out just a little bit longer. Experts think it will make a significant difference when it comes to financing your retirement years.


Do Yourself a Favor... Age Well

MediaI find stories about people in their 80s and 90s who are relatively healthy and have positive outlooks to be an affirmation that aging is a natural process that doesn't have to be traumatic. It is true that our bodies slow down, creak, and even fail us once in a while, and that our memory isn't what it used to be -- but it turns out that we can do a lot to "age well."

Thankfully, Tara Parker-Pope, the wellness columnist for The New York Times, has prepared a very handy and very comprehensive guide to aging well. It includes brief but authoritative sections: Eat, Move, Think, Connect, and Live Well. It is brimming with simple steps and helpful advice in a short, easy-to-read format. Embedded in the text are numerous links to other articles and research that backs up the content.

Parker-Pope writes, "While you can’t control your age, you can slow the decline of aging with smart choices along the way. From the foods you eat and how you exercise to your friendships and retirement goals — it all has an effect on how fast or slow your body ages."

I highly recommend this useful guide. You can find it here:

https://www.nytimes.com/guides/well/how-to-age-well


Let Employment Statistics Be Your Guide

MusingsLike many Boomers, you may be in a transitional state in 2018 when it comes to employment. As you consider your work options, it may be wise to review some current employment statistics to get an idea of where opportunities exist. Entrepreneur magazine offers a handy infographic, based on data from Paychex, a leading payroll service, that looks at employment ages in the U.S. in states and industries.

Here are some interesting Boomer-oriented highlights from the data:

  • The five states with the highest percentage of workers 65 and older are, in descending order: South Dakota, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Washington, DC
  • About 23 percent of U.S. adults age 55 and older were working in 2016
  • The top five industries with the greatest percentage of workers 65 and older are, in descending order: Legal; Community and Social Service; Life, Physical and Social Science; Arts, Design, Entertainment and Social Media; Personal Care and Service
  • The top five states with the greatest percentage of MALE workers 65 and older are: Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, Kansas, Washington, DC
  • The top five states with the greatest percentage of FEMALE workers 65 and older are: New Hampshire, Vermont, Washington, DC, Connecticut, Hawaii
  • The three leading ways unemployed workers age 65 and older have attempted to enter the workforce are (1) contacted the employer directly, (2) sent out resumes or filled out applications, (3) contacted friends or relatives.

If you're looking for work, maybe some of these statistics can provide clues that point you in the right direction.

 


What Does 2018 Look Like for Retiring Boomers?

MusingsThe new year is upon us, and it starts with a booming stock market and major tax reform. Is this good news for retiring Boomers?

Retirement expert Mark Miller offers an excellent assessment in his article for Morningstar. He acknowledges that the stock market is at all-time high, but quotes wealth management advisor Michael Kitces, who says instead of withdrawing the traditional 6.5% from investment accounts, "it might be wiser for new retirees to just start with a lower initial rate of around 4%."

Miller also cautions that Social Security and Medicare, while they remain unchanged on the new tax law, could undergo some changes in the future. According to Miller, there is the possibility that the full benefit age for Social Security could eventually be raised to 69 from the current 66. It is already going up to 67 for those who were born in 1960 or later. 

Everything, it seems, has a positive and negative side. For example, with the Fed continuing to raise interest rates, low-risk investments such as CDs may benefit, but the cost of borrowing would go up. It is also a fact that those individuals entering retirement have more debt than ever before, in part because of home mortgages.

There is more to keep an eye on in 2018. Read Mark Miller's excellent article for more details... and consider subscribing to his highly informative e-newsletter, Retirement Revised.


For Some, Retirement and Work Don't Mix

MusingsAs much as we Boomers like to believe we have reinvented retirement, there are some forces we are pushing hard against with limited success. The reality of the American job market, lack of sufficient retirement savings, and other challenges are vexing for Boomers who want to work in their retirement years.

Each year for the past eighteen years, the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS) has a retirement survey of American workers. This year's survey results, published in December 2017, reveal some interesting and, in some cases, troubling attributes of aging Boomers. Some key findings of the survey:

  • Only 26 percent of Boomers plan to immediately stop working and retire when they reach what they consider to be retirement age. Already, two-thirds of them are working or plan to work past age 65 or do not plan to retire, and 54 percent plan to continue working after they retire.
  • 38 percent of Boomers expect Social Security to be their primary source of income when they retire, while 39 percent expect that primary source to be retirement savings.
  • The median savings of all household retirement accounts for Boomers is $164,000.
  • Only 42 percent of Boomers are keeping their skills up to date so they can continue to work past 65.
  • Only 28 percent of Boomers have a backup plan for retirement income if they're unable to work prior to their planned retirement.

Next Avenue's Richard Eisenberg did an excellent analysis of the survey with some pertinent comments from Catherine Collinson, the president of the TCRS, and helpful suggestions.

In addition to Boomers, the TCRS survey studied two other generations, Millennials and Gen Xers. You can get a copy of the survey results by downloading a PDF from the link below.

Download TCRS2017

 


Work Alternatives for Boomers

OnaWhimIt is demoralizing being a Boomer with a legitimate skill set who is turned away from traditional employment. Too many Boomers are prematurely let go simply because they have become a financial liability to a company. Boomers, after all, typically must be paid higher salaries and their benefits are more expensive -- at least that is the rationale used to dump a Boomer. The Boomer's superior experience, demonstrated expertise, work record, and loyalty to the company suddenly become immaterial.

The Boomer in search of a new job is likely to face an uphill battle. Sure, there are plenty of "Help Wanted" signs on retail store and fast food chain windows, but that is a minimum-wage desperation move for many Boomers, not to mention a loss of dignity for some. Is it any wonder, then, that some Boomers give up on the traditional job market altogether?

That is one reason the "gig economy" is flourishing. Getting a gig is easier than getting a job. It requires a minimal commitment on the part of the listing company, who gets work for hire at a contract price without paying a salary, doling out benefits, or hassling with taxes and workman's compensation insurance. The level of commitment on the part of the "gigger" is equally low, although quality work executed on time is required to secure repeat engagements. Gigs may also be even more desirable in 2018 because of the new tax reform bill, which essentially rewards self-employed individuals.

Despite potential pitfalls, gigs seem to be a pretty good way for Boomers to generate part-time income. Gigs can be particularly attractive because you can work independently and set your own schedule. You may not make a ton of money, but gigs can provide solid supplemental income to retirement savings and Social Security payments.

Getting started with gigs is relatively easy. Here are two articles published by The Balance that will jump start your efforts:

Freelance Jobs You Can Work from Home

15 Side Jobs to Make Some Extra Money

Happy gigging!


Happy New Year Sale - 50% Off Couples in Business eBook

LMMH book cover-jpg BooksIf you've ever thought about going into business with your spouse, you need to read Let's Make Money, Honey: The Couple's Guide to Starting a Service Business. The book has received excellent reviews from book reviewers and readers alike. It tells the story of how a Boomer couple started a small service business and sold it seven years later. You'll find plenty of advice about what to do and what not to do when starting a business with your spouse. Included are details about planning, financing, outfitting, and launching a service business, as well as operations, marketing, sales, customer service, and managing growth. Useful tools to help couples assess their business interests and business compatibility are also included. 

From December 25, 2017 through January 1, 2018, Happily Rewired is offering the eBook edition of Let's Make Money, Honey: The Couple's Guide to Starting a Service Business at half price -- just $3.50 -- if you order it through Smashwords. You can get the book in any format for any device, including a PDF. 

To get your copy at half-price, simply go to: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/568837  When you place your order, enter the code SEY50 and you'll pay just $3.50 instead of the regular price of $6.99. This offer is only good from December 25, 2017 through January 1, 2018 at Smashwords so order today!


Why Phased Retirement is Elusive

MusingsWill the new year be the time when you decide that you'd like to phase out of your full-time job? You can dream, but apparently, it isn't so easily done. While "phased retirement" sounds as if it would be a win-win for both employer and employee, the reality is that gradually phasing out of a full-time job is a concept most U.S. employers are not widely endorsing, at least not yet.

A recent article about phased retirement in U.S. News cites a sobering statistic: Only 6 percent of employers offer a formal phased retirement program. What's more, only 11 percent of Boomers gradually retired from their jobs, according to a 2017 Government Accountability Office report. The article goes on to discuss six challenges of phased retirement:

  1. Negotiating the arrangement
  2. Qualifying for health insurance
  3. A reduction in retirement benefits
  4. Getting a 401(k) match
  5. Unplanned phased retirement
  6. Justifying your reduced schedule.

Challenge number six gets to the heart of the matter. According to Emily Brandon, author of the article, "Those who want to gradually retire may need to prove their continued value by being a consistent high performer, staying up to date with innovations in the field and learning how to use new technology. It can help if you are willing to mentor younger employees and pass on your acquired skills and institutional knowledge."

What it really amounts to is convincing an employer that a phased retirement is not just good for you, but good for the company. Unless an employer believe you and enthusiastically embraces the idea, resigning may be the only real option to retiring from a full-time job.

Read the entire informative article here: https://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/second-careers/articles/2017-11-13/6-challenges-of-phased-retirement