Traditionally pension plans paid out at age 65. You can thank the “Iron Chancellor,” Otto von Bismarck of Germany for that. When he introduced a social security system to appeal to the German working class and combat the power of the Socialist Party in Germany during the late 1800s, he set the retirement age at 65. This was when the typical life expectancy for a child born at that time was about 40 years.
When am I eligible for retirement benefits?
- In the U.S. you are eligible for Medicare insurance at age 65.
- If you were born in 1937, or before, you were eligible for full Social Security benefits at age 65.
- If you were born in 1960, or later, you need to be aged 67 years to get full Social Security benefits.
When you use an online retirement calculator, you may pick age 65 to calculate your retirement savings goal. If you do, odds are you are wrong.
A recent study published by the investment research firm Morningstar suggests that on average Americans retire about four years earlier than they think they will.
When do most Americans retire?
This is consistent with data from a 2014 Gallup survey that showed the average age at which U.S. workers retired was 62 and the age at which non-retired Americans expected to retire was 66.
- 62 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds expected to retire at 65 or older.
- 62 percent of 30- to 49-year-olds expected to retire at 65 or older.
- 58 percent of 50- to 64-year-olds expected to retire at 65 or older.
Why do retirement plans change?
Some folks I talk with say that they don’t plan to retire, or that they plan to work as long as it takes to get the money saved. That’s an OK goal, but real life doesn’t always play along.
The Employee Benefits Research Institute 2017 retirement confidence survey states that nearly half (47 percent) of current retirees were forced into early retirement. Half had to quit because of health problems or disabilities (55 percent), another 23 percent had to take care of family members, and about 20 percent were forced into retirement due to changes at their companies, such as downsizing or closure. These are some of the reasons that the Morningstar report states that the average American now retires at 61.
If you find yourself thinking about retirement day and wondering what your options are, it might be good to consult an expert. A good financial planner has already helped a few dozen families retire. They can help you consider your options and work effectively toward your goals.
I suggest you set a meeting with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. If you meet with a planner who is always an advocate for the client– a fiduciary advisor – and only works for the client – a fee-only advisor – you can be confident that the financial advice you get is focused on your best interests and is a good fit for your complete situation.
CFP® professionals take a multi-faceted approach to your financial planning process that includes budgets, risk protection, retirement planning, investment management, taxes and estate planning. All these related aspects of your financial life are what really matters when it comes to reaching your goals and retiring on time.
A CFP® professional can help you create a financial plan that is driven by your goals and priorities and addresses all aspects of your financial life. With a big-picture approach, you will be better prepared in the event that you have to leave work earlier than you expected.
Yes, I am a CFP® professional. I’m always a fiduciary and I only work on a fee basis. And yes, I’m still taking on a few great families to be part of my financial planning practice.
If this article has you thinking about your own retirement plans, contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am always happy to meet with people who are working on their financial goals. Dunncreek Advisors does not provide legal or tax advice, nor is this article intended to do so.