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April 18, 2020

Is an “encore job” right for you?

If you’re a baby boomer nearing retirement age, and have been fortunate enough to be able to put aside a substantial nest egg, you may be in an “in between” place: ready, willing, and able to leave your job and try something else, but not ready to give up working entirely.

In the past, people in this position often did volunteer work, and that’s still a viable option. But more and more baby boomers are pursuing a different option: a new job that often involves public service, and usually doesn’t pay as well as one’s career job did, but that provides a deeper level of satisfaction. Marc Freedman, author of Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life, calls these occupations “encore jobs.” Richard Leider and David Shapiro go even further, and talk about “putting your whole self into the second half of life.”

A recent article at TwinCities.com gives several examples. You can find thousands more real-life stories of people who have created meaningful encore careers at encorecareers.org.

April 11, 2020

When should you start taking Social Security benefits?

It’s a perennial question. When you reach age 62, you can apply for Social Security benefits, but they’ll be significantly reduced for life. Or, you can wait until you’re old enough for full benefits (a sliding scale between ages 65 and 67, depending on when you were born). Which is best?

The question isn’t easy to answer, since it depends, among other things, on the age of your future demise. If you die at age 64, you’ll get nothing if you wait. But if you last to age 100, you’ll suffer 35 years of reduced benefits for the sake of a few years of payments early on. Where’s the break-even point?

You can spend hours poring over Excel spreadsheets if you want. But according to The Center For Retirement Research at Boston College, there’s a way you can have your cake and eat it too
[Read more]

April 2, 2020

Upper middle-class retirees aren’t immune from inflation woes

Having owned an employment agency for twenty years, Linda Miller thought she was well-off enough to retire four years ago, and she did.

Now, she’s back at work selling Avon cosmetics. Why? “All the money is going for gas and groceries,” she laments.
[Read more]

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