10 reasons you might not want to retire

Retirement can worsen your finances, health and even your marriage. And yes, you may miss many aspects of having a job.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 23, 2013 12:44PM
This post comes from Emily Brandon at partner site U.S. News & World Report.

USNews logoAfter a lifetime of working, it's certainly fun to dream about playing golf, lying on the beach and not having to deal with bosses or customers.

Senior with Laptop © H-Gall, Vetta, Getty ImagesBut after a few months of relaxation, some retirees find that they miss the friends, structure and steady paychecks their career provided.

You might not be ready to retire (or fully retire) if you:

1. Like your job. If you enjoy the work you are doing, there's no reason to leave just because you hit a certain age. "A lot of times, your job defines who you are and you take part of your identity through what you do for a living," says Dana Anspach, a certified financial planner and author of "Control Your Retirement Destiny." If you retire, how will you answer the question: What do you do?

2. Need the money. Saving up enough money to pay for a 30-year retirement is a daunting prospect. "Many Americans don't have enough money to retire in this ultralow interest rate environment," says Kimberly Foss, a certified financial planner and author of "Wealthy by Design: A 5-Step Plan for Financial Security." "The boomers are squeezed by their kids going to college, the kids moving back home and also having aging parents who are living a long time, too." Delaying retirement gives you more time to save and shortens the number of retirement years you need to save up for.

3. Avoid lifestyle cuts. Retirement often involves cutting back your lifestyle so you can live on the amount you have saved. Your retirement years could involve downsizing to a smaller house or condo, clipping coupons and eating at home to save money. "Some people can't give up the nice dinners out and latest style of clothing. They want to travel in retirement," Anspach says. A retirement job could give you some extra income to pay for luxuries.

4. Want to protect our health. Continuing to work could have a positive impact on your health. A recent study of about 429,000 self-employed workers in France by the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, found people who retire later have a lower risk of developing dementia. "For each extra year of work before retirement, it lowers the risk of getting dementia by 3.2%," says Carole Dufouil, a director of research at the institute. "This is in line with the 'use it or lose it' hypothesis, which says that as long as you use your brain, it is efficient."

5. Socialize with work colleagues. Friendships are often forged with colleagues and might include lunches out or after-work drinks. You aren't likely to get invited to these events when you no longer share the same office.

6. Value marital harmony. Retirement requires you to establish a new dynamic at home that will often include much more face time with your spouse than you had while working, which can create challenges for your marriage. The transition can go more smoothly if you have a job outside the home. "Being stuck at home every day, all day, can lead to some real issues in people's marriages," says Nancy Collamer, a career coach and author of "Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit from Your Passions During Semi-Retirement." "By having something else in your life, it enables you to quite frankly get out of each other's hair."
7. Want bigger Social Security checks.
You get bigger Social Security benefits if you delay claiming your payments between ages 62 and 70. For example, a baby boomer who could get $750 per month at age 62 would get $1,000 per month at age 66 and $1,320 monthly at age 70. After age 70, there is no additional benefit to delaying your payments. Social Security benefits are calculated based on your 35 highest-earning years in the workforce. So, if you earn more than you did earlier in your career, you could further boost your payments.
8. Prefer to continue to defer taxes. Retirees are generally required to take withdrawals from their retirement accounts after age 70 and to pay the resulting income tax on the amount withdrawn. However, if you continue to work in your 70s or later, and don't own 5% or more of the company maintaining the plan, some 401(k) plans -- but not IRAs -- will allow you to defer withdrawals from that 401(k) account until you actually retire.

9. Enjoy workplace benefits. The group health and retirement benefits you get through a job are often better than what you could buy on your own as a retiree, which is particularly important for people not yet old enough to qualify for Medicare. Many workplaces also provide other perks including company-paid travel, discounts on company merchandise and the occasional company party.

10. Like helping others. Whether by mentoring younger employees or providing a service to the community, many workers help people through their jobs. The rewards you get from providing a valuable service often go beyond any paycheck you receive. "By the time people are well into their 50s, they generally are less driven by the next promotion or opportunity on the job," Collamer says. "They tend to be more motivated by wanting to make a difference in the world."

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98Comments
Jul 23, 2013 2:00PM
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If you've been working your whole life, and can afford to retire, why would you want to get up early in the morning and battle traffic, then go to a job somewhere.  Most people work because they have to pay bills, like mortgages and such.  If you have the financial means, don't wait too long to retire.  Doing exactly what you want to do, planning your days, and not doing what some employer says you must do, is one key to changing your happiness.
Jul 23, 2013 2:34PM
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I have already been working for 40 years and have 5 more to go before I get to 62.  I will not wait to collect retirement until I'm 66.  Most people have a small window to enjoy life before something happens to their health or their spouse's health.....I've seen it many times.  I work in health care and those people who are 80+ years old that have a great quality of life are few and far between.  I think I will let a younger person have my job. 
Jul 23, 2013 2:17PM
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I ride with a huge bicycle club here, LOT of retired couples who are much happier than I am with all the time they can do trips riding all over the country, I am in mid 50's but long time before I retire....why work till you DIE...if you saved enough to retire

Jul 23, 2013 3:06PM
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Coming from one of whom is living the life; me:

 

Retire when you are ready. There is a whole world waiting for you. And, you'll make a job opening for another.

Jul 23, 2013 4:13PM
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S.S wants you to work till you drop, so they won't have to pay you! 
Jul 23, 2013 3:03PM
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Why you shouldn't retire?  Because working is soooo fun?
Jul 23, 2013 3:01PM
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Number 1 is a good reason to stay and, looking at it the other way, I say you should retire sooner if you 'don't like' your job.  At some point, you have to cut your losses and try to turn things around to enjoy whatever you have left in life.
Jul 23, 2013 2:47PM
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Wish I had stayed in the work force longer............if health was not an issue, I would never have retired @ 62, miss the money, miss the people at work and miss just being a part of something again.

But have to continue down the road I chose.

 

ps

Younger workers, you may think it's a lifetime until you retire........but get into a 401K plan, IRA, savings, any form of putting money away for your retirement....you will definitely need it.

 

God Bless America.

 

Jul 23, 2013 3:42PM
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I have been working for 47 years, it will be 53 IF and I do mean IF I can afford to retire when I hit 65. Not only am I working a full-time job, I'm working a part-time job just to try to make ends meet and be able to eat, buy gas to get to work, and keep a roof over my head. IF nothing else goes wrong and I am able to make my mortgage payments, my house will be paid off in 5 years, my car will be paid off in 4 years, and I pray I can retire. I am tired of working, fighting traffic and going further and further in the hole while working harder and harder and making less money. Taxes keep going up, groceries keep going up, gas keeps going up, our retirement contributions keep going up, insurance keeps going up, copays keep going up and benefits keep going down. I pray daily I will be able to retire and IF I am ever able to, I will be singing and shouting for weeks!!
Jul 23, 2013 4:39PM
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BS- having lost 2 small fortunes in my 401k plan in the last 20 years & saving as much money as I legally can towards my retirement-i can't wait to retire. i get angry when I see politicians & journalists

spreading government propaganda to try to get us to retire at 70.  corporations are paying the lowest rate of taxes that they have been paying in the last 30 years, millions of American jobs have been outsourced-the 1% high class moochers need us to keep working until we drop because we are the one's who are shouldering the tax burden.  Detroit may be bankrupt, but they have 283million of the publics tax money for the RedWings Arena.  Something has gone terribly wrong in this country.

Jul 23, 2013 3:55PM
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I've  had some sort of job since I was 12, retired the day I turned 62 & never regretted a second of it. Live on less than 35K/yr., debt free and have the toys I want so why not enjoy them while I'm still young.  If you can't think of something to do you're dead already. Swimming, fishing, motorcycling, x-country skiing, hiking, even home imoprovement or go back to the rat race?  Not so tough a decision! If you're healthy enough to work you're more than healthy enough to enjoy life without it.  If you think you can't afford it you have only your own poor planning and/or ambition to blame.

  P.S. My kids are well provided for.

Jul 23, 2013 4:18PM
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I wish MSN would quit with these retirement "jewels". Retire when you want to and when you can afford it. We have no debt, use one credit card on vacations, take advantage of the discounts available to seniors, we're both "cheapskates" and don't spend money on what is not necessary for us. You don't need a ton of money to retire, and you can't plan for absolutely everything sometimes....so enjoy. Ms. Brandon needs some advice herself, I believe.
Jul 23, 2013 3:54PM
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I just retired in April, and I am loving it so far. You just retire when your body tells you too. I did  a lot of walking at my job, and felt it was time to cut down on walking. Have been busy in my gardens this summer.
Jul 23, 2013 4:37PM
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What happens when you want to work but the owners want you gone because of your age?
Jul 23, 2013 4:40PM
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If you love your job, then by all means keep working. But if like #1 you derive all your identity and self-worth from what you do for a living and would feel lost without it, you have failed to construct a rich life. I could think of a thousand things I'd rather do more fulfilling than sitting in a cube until I'm dead.
Jul 23, 2013 3:25PM
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Although I am barely over 50, my husband and I are already working on our "exit strategy".  We are on target to pay off our home in about 10 years (maybe less).  We will then put half of the mortgage payment into retirement funding (ROTH IRAs, traditional IRAs, and increasing 401(k) contributions).  When I hit 67 (or when I feel like it!), I will retire and we will take a 2-year road trip through America, after which we expatriate for 2-5 years, probably to Panama or some other Banana Republic (the Far East is out due to a major seafood allergy ... we need to be able to eat!).  We will figure out where we want to spend the balance of our retirement once we are ready to return to the US.

 

Yes, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my job.  I'm good at it, it's challenging and rewarding and I look forward to going to work each day.  It provides us with the wherewithal to have a modest but nice home and salt money away every month (my husband is responsible for covering our daily living costs, I cover the roof over our heads and keep the lights on).  I'm in no hurry to stop working, but when the day comes that I've had enough, we have plans in place to keep us going until at least 90, and we're already looking at contingency planning in case we live longer than that.

 

Plan ahead, children.  That's the way to do retirement right.

Jul 23, 2013 4:20PM
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Now they are going to tell us that if we retire, we will regret it.    They have to mentally prepare people for the influx of illegal immigrants that they are going to give Social Security in just ten years.  I have no problem with the amnesty bill, but if I can't retire after forty-five years ow working, how can a person retire after only ten years of being a legal resident?  Now multiply that times 10 million.  I believe there are twenty million illegals in this country.  Many of them are over fifty.  How many will claim disability?  In ten years they will be able to collect Social Security retirement?  What's the minimum payout if you have only worked for ten years?  What if you have been on Welfare for ten years?  How much do you get? 
Jul 23, 2013 5:45PM
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You can't retire ! Millions of lazy bums on welfare are depending on you !
Jul 23, 2013 4:06PM
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I have been planning my retirement for a very long time. I am in my late fifties and I would like to continue to work for another ten plus years. People have different wants and needs for their retirement. Many people would like to retire early because they do not enjoy their jobs and would like time to spend with their families and take it easy. Other people enjoy their work and plan on retiring later in life or continue working until they drop.

 

Some people have no choice when they retire. They may have health issues and cannot work or have lost their job and cannot find any work. When I retire I would like to live comfortably and not have to live month to month worrying about paying the next bill. I plan on traveling and having more quality time with my friends and family and having time for the many hobbies I enjoy. I may even work part-time just to keep busy and to socialize.

 

I know what I want to do and I have meticulously worked on an investment and retirement plan that will achieve all of my financial goals. I carefully monitor my investments every quarter and tweak my plan as needed. I keep an emergency fund for those unexpected occurrences and I am debt free. I am on track to realize all of investment and retirement objectives.

 

My advice to anyone who would like to retire is having a strategy for you retirement and financial goals. Your plan should include short and long term objectives. Try and keep out of debt and pay your debts off as soon as possible and have a rainy day fund for the unexpected. The earlier you plan the quicker you will achieve your goals and the easier it will be when you do retire.  

 

Jul 23, 2013 3:56PM
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Been retired for 8 years and love it. Going on a beach vacation in a couple of days.

 

One of the things that these retirement articles rarely mention is making investments to increase your bank account rather than living on your SS/ savings and reducing your net worth. Purchased a beach condo and hired a great manager to rent it out. The depreciation wipes out the income when filing taxes. So, that becomes tax free money and I get to use it 30 days a year. Real estate is a great way to make money and beat the tax man.  

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