When can I retire?
Today's retirees can't simply look at the calendar
In past years, the answer was easy. The typical scenario: You turned 65, you left the workforce with a company pension and Social Security, and you set off to enjoy your golden years.
Now, the ranks of pre-retirees and retirees are swelling with baby boomers, who face new challenges and opportunities in making their decision.
Retirement is no longer a "one-size-fits-all" proposition. Your financial situation, job satisfaction, lifestyle preferences, general health, and feelings about retirement are important factors to consider.
You might not be able to imagine yourself without the day-to-day routine of a job and want to keep working as long as you can. On the other hand, maybe your neighbor can't wait to retire and start a long-anticipated cross-country car trip.
Whatever your feelings about how you'll spend your time or where you'll live, the first step is to evaluate your financial situation and some of the factors that may influence it. These include:
- Longer life expectancies. You may have to fund a retirement of 30 years or more.
- Health care costs. The financial burden of health care keeps rising for retirees even with Medicare.
- Money management. With 401(k) plans more prevalent as retirement savings vehicles, you'll most likely manage your own retirement assets, unlike the days when company pension funds did the work for you.
You can begin to get an idea of where you stand financially by using our retirement income calculator.