What to know about working after age 65

July 19 2018


Retiring at 65 is considered the norm by many, and Social Security benefits are available when you're as young as 62. You can even take withdrawals from your retirement savings accounts as early as age 59 1/2 without a penalty.

But just because you've hit a certain age milestone doesn't mean you have to retire. Continuing to work can benefit you financially and emotionally.

Work Benefits

Does your employer pay for or highly subsidize your life insurance and health insurance premiums? If so, continuing to work could mean better and less expensive benefits than you could buy on your own. 

Financial Benefits

Continuing to collect a paycheck is better for your bank account than only having money flowing out. But that's not the only way continuing to work can increase your net worth. Making annual catch-up contributions to your 401(k) on top of maxing out your regular contributions can provide a real boost to your account. 

If your employer matches a percentage of your contributions, that's even better. Earning income from work means you can make regular contributions to a Roth IRA, and if you're younger than 70 1/2, a traditional IRA. 

Pension and Social Security Benefits

Continuing to work could boost your benefit check if you're in the higher-earning years of your career. And delaying Social Security means you'll receive a bigger monthly payment when you start claiming.

Emotional Benefits 

Finally, many people enjoy the sense of purpose and productivity that working brings. Interacting with co-workers, especially those who have become true friends, can also provide meaningful social connections that retirees sometimes have a hard time establishing or maintaining.

Continuing to work isn't for everyone, but it might make sense under the right circumstances.

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