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Perhaps we should work longer?
Old 02-16-2008, 08:57 AM   #1
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Perhaps we should work longer?

Working one extra year increases retirement income by 9% per year, and working five extra years increases retirement income by 56% per year.

Working longer may also reduce the federal deficit, and improve emotional well being and physical health.

Should People Work Longer, and Will They?
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:02 AM   #2
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Working longer may also ... and improve emotional well being and physical health.
Or it may cause you to go insane and suffer a fatal heart attack.

I chose to work 'shorter' and not take the chance.
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:30 AM   #3
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Thanks for posting the article, JC.

I read it over, as well as the 2006 paper on which the numbers are based. It's difficult to tell, but it appears that the projected income increase is based on a repackaging of the fact that delaying social security payments increases the annual payout...not exactly cutting edge research.

This quote from one of the author's opinion pieces indicates where he is coming from:

"We often read statistics about when Social Security funds will become inadequate to pay promised benefits. But the current system's obligations aren't confined to giving bigger benefits to more people. Besides that tall order, policymakers will have to deal with the projected decline in revenue growth rates as close to one third of the adult population moves onto Social Security.

We can hold off on the hand-wringing only if we believe that demand for older workers will swell and that many boomers will stay in the workforce. I, for one, think that can happen and that many of the doomsday scenarios for this new labor market are wrong. Yet, the supply of older workers will be crimped as long as public and private employment policies stay rooted in the 1970sor even the 1990s. How fast and well employers and government officials adjust will determine whether demographic changes poised to unfold starting in 2008 bolster or drag down the economy. Among the tallest of orders is to move away from private and public policies that now encourage retirement in middle agea subject for another time."
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:58 AM   #4
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I chose to work 'shorter' and not take the chance.
"Hard work never hurt anybody, but why take chances?"

I'm going back to work to have something to do and buy some toys like a travel trailer. Definitely in the "want" category, not need.

Waiting on a security clearance so this could take a while....
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Old 02-16-2008, 10:18 AM   #5
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* Working an additional five years boosts annual retirement income about 56 percent.
* The impact is even larger for people at the lower end of the income distribution.
For people with meager retirement savings, OF COURSE working longer will help considerably!

And, IMO, for MOST PEOPLE - their financial situation will be pretty shaky for retirement. Achieving financial independence is not easy. I predict that many, many people will be working longer in the future as a) they won't have the financial resources not to and b) there will be a strong demand for older workers.

But once you are financially independent with a nice cushy nest egg, exactly WHAT IS THE POINT? The only reason then to continue working is because you really enjoy what you are doing.

I totally do not buy the improve emotional well being and physical health argument. Working was severely detrimental to both in my experience.

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Old 02-16-2008, 11:33 AM   #6
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But once you are financially independent with a nice cushy nest egg, exactly WHAT IS THE POINT? The only reason then to continue working is because you really enjoy what you are doing.
Reading the pdf strongly suggests that for men anyway, the ability to work and availability of jobs for them is the key variable, rather than eagerness to retire.

Highest work rates are for white men, with 4+ years of college, and in good health. Makes sense, not many could be piano movers at age 67, but dermatologist or lawyer should be a piece of cake.

Ha
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Old 02-16-2008, 12:36 PM   #7
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If the stock markey goes to pot in the next 6 years my backup plan is to just keep working. Other than that, I'm out of here. However, I must confess there is a small part of me that doesn't want to leave any money on the table. Nor, do I want to die working.
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Old 02-16-2008, 01:21 PM   #8
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I totally do not buy the improve emotional well being and physical health argument. Working was severely detrimental to both in my experience.

Audrey
I have worked with several folks that tried to have their emotional needs met at work....ironically, that might be why so many here are so interested in FIRE
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Old 02-16-2008, 01:30 PM   #9
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Going forward, we will see many of these "vital seniors who want to continue w*rking" articles. However, for every one pathetic soul that lives a life so barren that they must fill their time up with empl*yment, there coexist dozens of enlightened citizens the folly of such a philosophy.

These articles are part of an evil cabal, including the government, business and the press. They are conspiring to force people to continue slaving until they drop. Geezers are a source of somewhat enfebled, but cheap and reliable labor. Thier exploytation is like unto low hangiging fruits to be harvested by greedy commerce.

Society is being softened up to the concept of perpetual lab*r. Learn to kiss the boot that will soon be kicking you.
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Old 02-16-2008, 01:34 PM   #10
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And I've got to stop trusting the ERF spell checker as well and type more carefully.
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Old 02-16-2008, 01:39 PM   #11
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This subject always comes up for early retirees. When someone asks 'what do you do all day or do you really enjoy early retirement?'..... I just say I'm doing what I do best. Nothing. Some laugh and some don't know how to respond.

No doubt, working longer will increase one's retirement income. But as far as emotional well being is concerned, that certainly is not the case for all. I was totally burned out with my job. Enjoyed many I worked with, but did not enjoy the work. I do enjoy my life now. Chasing the old golf ball around.
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Old 02-16-2008, 01:41 PM   #12
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we're going to have to build some more wal-marts for all of those greeters.
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Old 02-16-2008, 02:52 PM   #13
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I fully support the basic premise of the report. I'm in full agreement that all suckers workers should stay on the job till they drop.

Just put in a good hard day and pay those taxes and help keep SS afloat.
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Old 02-16-2008, 02:54 PM   #14
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I fully support the basic premise of the report. I'm in full agreement that all suckers workers should stay on the job till they drop.

Just put in a good hard day and pay those taxes and help keep SS afloat.

Couldn't have wrote it better
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Old 02-16-2008, 03:21 PM   #15
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But once you are financially independent with a nice cushy nest egg, exactly WHAT IS THE POINT? The only reason then to continue working is because you really enjoy what you are doing.
Despite reaching FI, some of us need a purpose and some structure. Chasing around a golf ball, watching 8 hours of TV and/or drinking excessively will get old pretty quickly for some of us. But I will go from a good paying job that I'm tired of to a job that makes me want to jump out of bed in the morning and pays whatever one day. And if/when that job becomes a drag, I'll go on to whatever appeals to me then. At least one person's view of FI, that I suspect works for a portion of the ER crowd FWIW. More power to anyone who wants 100% leisure when they reach FI, but it's not appealing to everyone...
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Old 02-16-2008, 03:30 PM   #16
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I think this article (and most others) miss nuances that are critically important. I like the kind of work I do. I like (most of) the people I work with. In some companies, the corporate environment has been acceptable or even positive, but in most the day to day corporate bs is hugely negative. As a cooperative social endeavor, work can be competitive in a positive or negative way and as a hierarchy, those with power can wield it in a positive or negative way. Lumping all these factors together to make generaiizations about work for seniors or worker satisfaction with jobs misses most of the real story.

Personally, I would happily continue to do the work I do for many years, yet I am antsy to escape a stifling corporate environment in which I do it as soon as possible. Do I count as wanting to work well into retirement years (I do) or do I count as wanting to retire early (I do). If we cannot separate and understand these different aspects of the issue, then I think any conclusions are suspect and could be misleading for any policy makers trying to address the issues.

I also note in the study that a very large percentage of older workers still working were in fact self-employed. When the study makes generalizations about the social aspect of work for older folks, this fact doesn't seem to have been considered at all.
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Old 02-16-2008, 03:40 PM   #17
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Despite reaching FI, some of us need a purpose and some structure. Chasing around a golf ball, watching 8 hours of TV and/or drinking excessively will get old pretty quickly for some of us.
Retirement is what you make it.

Many people assume that retirement is the completely brain-dead passive frittering away of personal time as described above. But there is no reason that retirement has to be that way at all. Just because you aren't working doesn't mean you have to waste your life (although that is everyone's personal choice).

You don't need a job to create purpose and structure in your life. For some reason many, many people swallow that premise hook line and sinker. It's just part of our cultural brainwashing and has no logical basis whatsoever.

For many of us, retirement gives us a chance to finally do all the fun, rewarding, exciting, purposeful and intellectually stimulating things that we couldn't do when our precious time and creative energies were shackled to earning a living.

Audrey
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Old 02-16-2008, 04:01 PM   #18
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Working longer may also improve emotional well-being and physical health.
  • Because work is crucial to many workers’ personal identities, retirement can lead to a partial loss of identity, especially for those who retire abruptly.
I feel sorry for those who identify themselves by occupation (or work).
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Work promotes social integration and social support.
I am not sure if I can depend on emotional support from co-workers.
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Staying active may promote physical health.
I do not equate sitting in a conference room discussing non-valued issues and starring at a monitor is active and good for my health.
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Old 02-16-2008, 04:17 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
For people with meager retirement savings, OF COURSE working longer will help considerably!

And, IMO, for MOST PEOPLE - their financial situation will be pretty shaky for retirement. Achieving financial independence is not easy. I predict that many, many people will be working longer in the future as a) they won't have the financial resources not to and b) there will be a strong demand for older workers.

But once you are financially independent with a nice cushy nest egg, exactly WHAT IS THE POINT? The only reason then to continue working is because you really enjoy what you are doing.

I totally do not buy the improve emotional well being and physical health argument. Working was severely detrimental to both in my experience.

Audrey
Definitely!
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Old 02-16-2008, 04:25 PM   #20
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Staying active may promote physical health.
I do not equate sitting in a conference room discussing non-valued issues and starring at a monitor is active and good for my health.
Since retiring, I have lost much weight (fat) and my blood pressure is down to human.

The computer is on all day, but I leave it to exercise/walk/garden/cook...
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