Should You Retire?

Five reasons to keep working

For most people in the workforce, retirement is dangled out there as the carrot we’re all working toward—but what if retirement isn’t the end goal?

Retirement isn’t for everyone. Many people look forward to the idea of spending their golden years playing golf, traveling, and visiting grandchildren, but the reality of retirement is often a far cry from the fantasy.

Should you retire? Here are some legitimate reasons to keep working:

1. You enjoy working. Let’s face it—work isn’t always drudgery. Many of us take great pride in our work and enjoy continuing to grow, learn, and meet new challenges. If you are passionate about your work or have goals you would still like to achieve, perhaps it makes sense to continue working beyond retirement age.

2. Work may keep you healthy. People who continue to work typically stay physically and mentally healthy longer. Work provides a healthy sense of purpose as well as social interaction. For some people, retirement leads to loneliness, isolation, and a lack of structure or purpose. If you thrive on purpose and productivity, you may want to keep working.

3. You need health insurance. Health insurance is one very practical reason to continue working at a job that provides benefits. Medicare coverage does not begin until age 65, so if you retire before that age you could be faced with a coverage gap.

4. Your finances have taken a hit. The recession and unpredictability of the stock market may have adversely affected your savings and investments. If you have lost money in the stock market, your retirement fund may have dwindled. In this case, it is not just desirable, but necessary, to keep working. Continuing to work will give you more time to contribute to your retirement accounts and will give those accounts more time to grow.

5. You want to delay Social Security. The longer you wait to begin receiving Social Security payments, the bigger your monthly check will be. By remaining in the workforce longer, you’ll be able to collect bigger monthly Social Security checks for the rest of your life, which can add up to a huge difference in your finances.

Continuing to work during your “retirement years” can provide you with social interaction and a sense of purpose. Plus, you’ll continue to earn income, which may help you to create a larger cushion for your future. If you’re ready to retire and enjoy some long-awaited free time, by all means, take the leap; however, if you enjoy your work, consider staying in the workforce—your health and finances will benefit.