We’ve heard that 40 is the new 30, 50 is the new 40, and so on. Though the average American life expectancy has taken a small dip, you’ll still find that we’re living significantly long lives. For one reason or another, this means we’re working longer, too.
That doesn’t have to mean endless toiling. Even part-time and freelance work can keep elderly people active and earning. Here are some of the benefits of working into your seventies and how you can make it work for you.
Satisfy a Search for Meaning
Some people work to live while others live to work. The latter group has always been reluctant to retire, fearing that without a full workweek, all they’ll do is sit at home. Retirement can represent a jarring life change that people don’t always anticipate. For many seniors, staying in the workforce isn’t about earning enough to get by—it’s simply a matter of staying in the game. They derive meaning from their work and don’t wish to lose that.
Putting off retirement isn’t just about continuing to make a mark on the world—it’s about maintaining connections. Maintaining high levels of socialization can be extremely beneficial for mental health, especially for widows and widowers. Interacting with customers and coworkers is a way to stay sharp—an extrovert’s alternative to doing crosswords and sudoku at home.
Deferred Social Security
Beginning at age 62, seniors are eligible to start drawing on their well-earned Social Security benefits. However, if you plan to work into your seventies, you can defer those benefits through your sixties and up to age 70, when you’ll receive them in full. Bigger Social Security checks in your seventies can be a real boon, and with expanded investment opportunities, you’re about to see why.
Keep Growing That IRA
Working longer and living longer can mean you’re just putting off some robust golden years for a few years. One of the biggest benefits of working into your seventies comes in the form of retirement planning. While you continue to earn, you can continue to put that money to work with the tantalizing compound interest of your individual retirement account, thanks to new guidelines for contributing to IRAs. While traditional IRAs once prohibited contributions after age 70 ½, that rule is off the books, and Roth IRAs also bear no age limit on after-tax contributions.