Some people retire earlier than others, and some never retire at all. According to the Social Security Administration, the earliest you can begin receiving benefits is at age 62, but there is a catch. Retiring early means you will get only 70 percent of what you’d get if you wait until full retirement age (67 if you were born in the year 1960 or later). Check the SSA.gov website to see what retirement age bracket you fall under.
The age that you retire at is also a personal decision and depends upon many different factors. Here are a few things to take into consideration when it comes to figuring out your retirement age:
Are you the type of person who longs to have free time to spend time with family or to pursue your hobbies? Or are you an energetic, driven type who would get bored after a week of relaxation? Perhaps you want to keep working long after age 65, just to stay engaged and interested. Your personality will have a big part to play in deciding when to retire.
Another big factor is how much you have saved. If you’ve been saving aggressively, you could be one of the quarter of Americans who have $200,000 or more stashed away. However, 21 percent of us have nothing at all saved. So, the date of your retirement depends on how much you have set aside. You can use this handy calculator to help you set goals for your saving plan.
Even if you delay your retirement, the SSA recommends that you sign up for Medicare at age 65. No matter the age you retire, there will be a cost attached to your healthcare. According to Fidelity, the average cost of health care and medical bills through retirement after the age of 65 is now $280,000. Make sure you have this covered, or you may find yourself with massive bills you cannot cover and with no income to help. Long-term care insurance should be a part of your retirement planning.
One way to stave off those healthcare costs is to stay active and engaged.  Some studies show that retirement could be linked to depression and a decline in health. So finding a hobby, joining a community group or volunteering somewhere can make a difference. Retirement can be very stressful for some people, and it’s important to be aware that a significant change in your daily routine and lifestyle will be taking place.
When you decide to retire will be your own personal journey. Do the math, and work out when you will start to take benefits, add up the savings you’ll have stashed away, and then start getting everything in order to enjoy your golden years.
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