How To Make White Collar Retirement Enjoyable and Rewarding

Convenient as is may appear, you can’t keep on postponing white collar retirement forever.

Wikipedia defines;  a white-collar worker as a person who performs professional, managerial, or administrative work, in contrast with a blue-collar worker, whose job requires manual labor.

Typically white-collar work is performed in an office or cubicle.” My definition is a person who is employed by someone else to do work other than manual labor.

Think you can continue to work as you age? The answer may depend on your profession.

People in so-called blue-collar occupations are significantly more likely to retire early than those with office jobs that require less physical strength.

That reality informs debates over how to shore up finances of the Social Security system. Some experts argue that raising the retirement age would save money, yet critics counter that it would hurt lower-income workers more than higher-income employees who are better able to afford to wait to collect benefits.

Maybe so. However, a recent study from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found a more nuanced reality: A surprising number of office jobs also requires skills that are highly susceptible to age-related decline.

The researchers' ranking of different jobs' susceptibility was a loose predictor of when people were likely to be pushed into early white collar retirement.

If you are going to worry about one group of workers, blue collar workers are the ones to worry about, but there are some white collar workers who are going to have more difficulty, too," said Geoffrey Sanzenbacher, a research economist at the center and an author of the study.

In fact, dancers have the greatest difficulty working later in life, more than farmers, roofers and iron workers, the researchers found.

Be honest: How sufficient is your white collar retirement plan?

Early retirement is the norm rather than the exception, according to research by JP Morgan Asset Management. While two-thirds of current workers want to continue working until at least age 65, fewer than 1 in 4 in current white collar retirement actually managed to do so, the researchers found.

The biggest reason people retired early was a health problem or disability.

However, the disappearance of traditional pensions may have amplified workers' desire to stay employed, because for many the biggest determinant of financial security in retirement is the amount in their 401(k) plan accounts.

"It's getting more and more important for workers to work longer," Sanzenbacher said.

Not only that, early retirees may feel compelled to claim Social Security benefits earlier, and lose out on the increase in benefits that occurs every year from ages 62 to 70.

Clearly, a physically demanding job can become harder to perform with age. But certain skills that are important for some highly skilled jobs may also fade over time, and those are what the center's researchers identified and weighed into a measure of susceptibility to early white collar retirement

One way to prepare for retirement is to save or invest. Another way: Don’t retire.

It’s surprisingly common to put very little aside and hope you never need to hang up your cleats for good. Among investors under age 35, more than four-fifths (83 percent) say they plan to work during retirement, according to a survey released by Merrill Edge.

It’s not just millennials: 79 percent of Generation X and 64 percent of baby boomers who are still working agree.

And how many retirees surveyed actually have some sort of job?

That would be 17 percent.

Not all the news about aging is bleak. While the health of one segment of the U.S. population has recently gotten worse, Americans on the whole are living longer, healthier lives than ever.

record number are working past age 65, and the share of seniors with dementia has plunged, from 11.6 percent in 2000 to 8.8 percent in 2012. 

Still, even as some talk about raising the Social Security retirement age, we can’t all work as long as we’d like.

Over the course of your career, you might want to move away from jobs requiring physical strength and quick thinking, and toward positions that use the knowledge and wisdom you’ve accumulated.

Exercise and good nutrition can help you stay productive longer. And you might want to try saving more, if at all possible.

The IRS allows people 50 and older to save an extra $1,000 in individual retirement accounts and an extra $6,000 in 401(k)-style plans. These “catch-up” contributions may come in handy later on.

Non the less, Robert Kiyosaki author of Rich Dad Poor Dad says that non of the above white collar retirement plans will reward you any where close to when you invested alittle bit of your savings in an entrepreneur project.  

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