For many people, 65 seems like a magic number. It represents the year when many people decide to retire. Yet it is just that, an age that works for some people.
If you are planning for your retirement, give yourself the means to retire when it suits you, whether at age 65 or earlier. You may be wondering if you can retire early or if you have to wait longer. The answer depends on your situation.
Here are some of the best reasons why you don’t have to wait until age 65 to retire.
Do you dream of retiring early?
Retiring early is a goal for many, but few of us have a plan to achieve it.
Instead, we have questions like… How much money do we need? Where should we keep this money?
A financial advisor can help you sort through your options and come up with a solid plan. Get started today by taking this quiz from SmartAsset to be connected with a licensed financial advisor in your area.
1. You have reached your savings goal
For some people, early retirement is an option because they’ve saved for retirement, worked toward their financial goals, and are prepared to not see their boss every day.
If you’ve worked hard and have what you need to save for your retirement, don’t feel like you have to stay longer. Remember that you worked so hard to fund your retirement, not to leave money for others.
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2. You need economic stability
Many people reach 65 and believe that Social Security will be enough to meet their financial needs for the rest of their lives. While that was the promise long ago, it’s not enough for most people today.
Many people have to continue working beyond age 65 because they need the economic stability it gives them. Funding a 30-year retirement isn’t exactly easy, and living to 95 isn’t so unrealistic anymore.
3. Working longer is good for your health
While that’s not true for everyone, those who work at least part-time in retirement tend to be healthier.
They have fewer serious illnesses, probably thanks to their physical and cognitive activity later in life. Social interaction is good for you too.
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4. Your full retirement age could be later
In 1983, Congress enacted legislation to extend the retirement age past 65, pushing full retirement back to 67 for those born in 1960 and later.
At this age, you are entitled to social security benefits which are not reduced. You may receive the highest amount of your Social Security payments if you wait until age 70.
5. A small check is all you need
If you’re saving for retirement now and working to build up your nest egg, you might not have to worry about when you’ll reach full retirement, but rather be willing to retire early.
You can retire as early as 62, but you won’t receive as much money as if you waited until full retirement age. Still, if you’ve hidden enough, why wait?
6. Your work adds value to your life
Some people don’t see 65 as “old enough” to hang up their hats because there’s still work to be done. You may find value in working longer, and for some, the work they do is of direct benefit to the community or other people.
If you’re healthy and don’t want to stop doing what you love, there’s no rule that says you should. Many people find that being able to stay committed to what they have worked hard for throughout their lives is a wise decision well into their 65s.
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7. You are 59 and a half years old
If you have a traditional 401(k) or an IRA that you plan to use for retirement funds, your magic number is 59½. That’s when you can start withdrawing money from these tax-advantaged retirement accounts without paying a penalty for doing so.
If you’re ready to retire then, or any time after, and you have enough savings to do so, there’s no reason to delay your early retirement.
8. You can wait and want to cash out
If you have reached full retirement age and are not yet ready to retire, you could continue to work and earn more while doing so.
For example, if you delay your Social Security benefits until age 70, you will receive more money each month. In effect, your check increases by 8% each year you delay retirement until age 70.
9. You plan to travel now, not later
Some people have big travel plans for their retirement, which means they will need to have a significant amount of money on hand to achieve those goals.
However, other people prefer to travel now, when they are empty nests or simply more able financially to afford it.
Traveling now can mean using potential retirement savings for your travels. But if you’re okay with working longer and want to see the world while you’re young and fit, delaying retirement makes sense.
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10. You hate your job and want something more
For some people, working until retirement age is enough because they don’t like the work they do. Work can be emotionally or physically damaging.
In this situation, you may want to start taking Social Security benefits and find another way to stay engaged in your life that is more fulfilling, interesting, or otherwise beneficial to you.
This could be socializing more with friends or taking up a part-time job.
11. You can continue to receive health insurance through your spouse
Another reason 65 is such a magical number for so many people is that this is when you can first qualify for Medicare.
If you reach that age, however, and your spouse’s health care coverage with an employer is sufficient to meet your needs, you could retire earlier and not have to worry about access. to Medicare.
12. At 65, you’re still building your business.
Whether you’re still building your business or haven’t reached your goals yet, don’t consider turning 65 the last year you can work.
Many people are still quite capable and want to work longer to achieve the goals they have set for themselves. If working longer helps you reach your growth goals, go for it.
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13. Your mortgage is not paid off yet
One of the turning points for many people considering retirement is paying off their mortgage. At age 65, you may have paid for it years ago, or you may have a little more time to do so.
A mortgage payment is such an important financial component of your monthly expenses that you may want to carefully consider your retirement based on mortgage repayment.
14. Your investments are solid
Investments can sometimes go very wrong, leaving you with a depleted retirement account and a limited portfolio.
Other times they are just fine. If your investments more than meet your retirement needs, don’t feel obligated to keep working.
On the other hand, if that bet you took was the wrong risk, you’ll have to consider working a bit longer.
15. You are in the right emotional state.
While most people focus on the financial aspects of early retirement, it’s also important to be in the right space emotionally and mentally.
Time becomes a much more precious commodity once you hit your 50s and 60s, and how you spend your time can mean more to you. When you are financially well and emotionally ready, make the decision to retire.
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At the end of the line
There are many ways seniors waste money. It could be eating out too often or funding too much of their children’s financial needs.
Yet you don’t waste money when you decide it’s the right time to retire. Do not use 65 as a number to guide you in this decision. Instead, follow a path that makes sense to you personally.
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This article 15 reasons why 65 is no longer the ideal retirement age originally appeared on FinanceBuzz.