Redefining the Age of Retirement
Retiring From Classical Retirement
The fact that you are reading this shows that you may be asking yourself asking "When Can I Retire?" This is an indication that you think that you can retire, which is a great head start on many other professionals in today's work force. Many younger people are unfortunately asking a more relevant question for their generation "Will I ever be able to retire?". Now the normal retirement age is now far above what the average age for being alive was only two hundred short years ago. 62, 66, and 70 years of age are not uncommon ages to retire now, which is honestly quite impressive.
As far as social security is concerned, if you are eligible you will receive the same amount of money regardless if you retire at the designated age or not. The key is that the earlier you retire the more "spread out" that money will be. So perhaps you would prefer to retire at 62 instead of 66. In theory, you will receive the same amount of money either way but at 62 you will receive less money per month for a theoretical longer period of time.
In an age when 60 is considered early retirement the key is not to hold out for the maximum about of social security that you can get. For some people social security will cover most of what they need. For other people, social security will pretty much buy groceries. In theory people retire because they don't like what they do or because they would rather be doing something else. If your savings are not on track for you to retire then it is important to open up a different or better source of revenue. Maybe it is better to have a "retirement mindset" then to have a goal of stopping work entirely. Stopping work does not have to mean stopping income. Retiring from a job that you have hated for a long time should of course be your top priority. If you can think of something that you can do for an income in addition to your currant income (and eventually social security) then you will put early retirement within your grasp and your control.
I'm not suggesting that you open a lemonade stand or write for InfoBarrel to solve all of your financial woes, but on the other hand there is certainly a hobby, a skill or something that you do not have to do at the work place that you can make an additional income with. Putting that money in your savings or (better yet) putting that money back into your new revenue source could be the most impressive addition to your retirement fund yet.
The retirement system will get uglier and uglier as time goes on. In fact I know that traditional retirement will certainly not be an option for me by the time I am old enough to retire. The only way to beat the game is to make your own rules. Despite having a great job, reliable income an investments I am always looking for new ways to create revenue for me and my family. Becoming independent from a game that you cannot win only puts you in a better position to win at retirement. Retirement is not an age, it is an idea. An idea of working less and experiencing more. Don't wait until it's too late to enjoy your retirement. Start retirement in your own way as soon as possible and don't wait for someone else to tell you when to begin.