Some people work hard and save hard to be able to retire early. If you've been contributing steadily to a savings plan for many years, then you may be in a position to retire early without risking a financial crunch.
But just because you can retire on the earlier side doesn't mean you shouldn't delay your workforce exit. Here are a few reasons to work longer, even if you're sitting on a nice pile of cash in your 401(k) or IRA.
1. You're worried about healthcare costs in retirement
Fidelity estimates that the average retired couple aged 65 will spend $315,000 on healthcare expenses during retirement. Granted, this figure was released in 2022, but if anything, it likely will increase this year, since healthcare costs tend to rise from one year to the next.
If you're worried about paying for healthcare when you retire, then working longer could allow you to pad your savings and have that much more of a cushion. It might also allow you to stay on a workplace health plan longer, ensuring that you get access to solid, cost-effective coverage for a few more years.
2. You're eager to get more out of Social Security
If you've been working for many years, it means you've been paying Social Security taxes on your income for many years. In return, you may want to snag as much money from the program as you can.
Delaying your Social Security filing past full retirement age will allow you to grow your benefits. But to do that, you may need to extend your time in the workforce.
The good news is that any boost to your monthly benefits that you score will be yours to enjoy for the rest of your retirement. And that could give you a lot more financial freedom.
3. You love your job
If your job is boring, demanding, or stressful, then it's easy to see why you might be eager to stop doing it as soon as you can. But if you love your job, you may actually find that leaving it is difficult emotionally.
Many retirees struggle with feelings of isolation. If your workplace provides you with company and camaraderie, that's all the more reason to stay at your job a few more years, as long as you're physically able to handle the work.
Continuing to work might actually be a good thing for your health. Some people inadvertently adopt more sedentary lifestyles once they retire. If your job gets you up and moving, that, too, is a good reason to do it longer, even if you don't need to from a financial standpoint.
There are plenty of benefits to retiring early, like traveling when you might have a bit more energy. But you could also benefit from a delayed retirement in multiple ways. It might allow you to spend your money more freely, worry less about unavoidable expenses like healthcare, and truly appreciate a new phase of life.
The $21,756 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook
If you're like most Americans, you're a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known “Social Security secrets” could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. For example: one easy trick could pay you as much as $21,756 more… each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we're all after. Simply click here to discover how to learn more about these strategies.
The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.