USA Today's article on Boomers who retire early, posits that half of the Boomers will take retirement at age 62 and three quarters will have taken it prior to age 66.
Grace will NOT be among that number.
Financially, I cannot afford to leave my employment at age 62, so what would be the point? More importantly,I'm not willing to suffer the effects of Social Security's "earnings test" which cuts benefits for those who who apply for Social Security but continute to work by $1 for each $2 they earn over an annual limit. In 2008, that limit is $13,560. OUCH!
But there's also the fact that work structures my life. As I said in an earlier post, I love what I do. I can imagine slowing down. I can imagine working part time. But I cannot yet imagine not working at all. That's a good thing, because my personal financial calculations show me that I will need to work to at least age 69.
I have always thought that taking Social Security benefits at age 62 was the equivalent of betting that I would not live past 77. There are things in my medical history and that of my parents that give me pause. My father died of a stroke at age 68. My mother did not survive a heart attack at age 78. These are NOT good statistics. Nor is the fact that they both had Type II Diabetes and so do I. On the other hand, I treat my medical conditions aggressively and I am in better health at age 58 than either of them were at the same age.
The USA Today article disputes that age 77 is the break-even juncture, pointing out that retiring early may cost more than the simple calculation upon which my assumptions are based.
Which brings me to my question. Leaving aside those people who must retire due to health issues, why are boomers so eager to leave the work force? Do they really have a plan for their retirement? Have they figured it out financially, or do they just think it's the next logical step?
When I was in my thirties, 62 seemed ancient. Come to think of it, mine is the generation that coined "Never trust anyone over 30!" The years beyond that were some sort of emotional wilderness. Now that I'm barely three years away from the earliest retirement date, I still have trouble taking it seriously. Certainly, I'm not willing to run up to it nor to "take advantage" of it. For me at least, later is definitely better.