It's one of the dirtiest looks I get as a financial adviser.
Why would anyone give me the evil eye, you ask?
I've completed a financial plan for an individual or a couple, and we are reviewing the results. I just told them that working longer could be an option instead of retiring when they want to. You would think I just told them their retirement went terminal!
Some people just can't or won't put it off. After the credit crisis in 2008 many would-be retirees had to put off retirement a little longer. That's because portfolios declined by up to 50 percent! Retirement wasn't an option.
So what are the alternatives to putting off retirement? What can you do now that will allow you to retire when you want to?
Save more. Sorry, there aren't too many options that will impact your situation quite as much. You have to kick in more to your retirement plan at work or that IRA. Once you max out you could save in a taxable account such as a brokerage account.
Reduce retirement lifestyle. Another option could be spending less in retirement. You could move where the cost of living is less, or just reduce your debts and expenditures in retirement. Work on paying off your mortgage or find a cheaper place to live.
Get more aggressive. This is probably my least favorite option. As you get closer to retirement, your investments should be more conservative. That's because you have less time to recoup any losses incurred by our beloved stock market. To be honest, saving more will impact your situation more than hiking your stock allocation.
Delay Social Security. Why take Social Security early if you are putting off retirement? Every year you delay taking Social Security, your benefit increases. This could really close the gap. Plus by working longer your benefit will increase. That's because you are likely in your peak earning years.
Bottom Line Delaying retirement by just a few years can really make a huge difference. Work just a few more years, earn more and save more. It really is a viable option. Oh, and no dirty looks please.
If you liked my article, why not take 60 seconds and subscribe here for FREE! I'll email you my articles every Friday morning.
Vibe: Old West; urban flair Mingle with the natives: By sharing a bike. The city's new bike share program lets you pedal all over town for just dollars a day. Sunny days per year: 227 Best daytime lark: El Mercado (which the city claims is the biggest Mexican marketplace outside Mexico) in Old Market Square. Median home price: $135,000 Local flavor: Brunch at the Mad Hatter's Tea House and Café, with a $10 fishbowl mimosa Impress friends and family with: The endless selection of restaurants and patio dining on the famous River Walk
Vibe: Midwestern cozy with a high-tech spark Secret affordability sauce: Millionaires with a conscience. Thanks to civic-minded executives, private donations fund parks, arts, and sports Mingle with the natives: Hoist a local beer at Mr. Toad's, in the heart of the Old Market area Sunny days per year: 220 Best daytime lark: Seniors pay $12.50 at the world-class Henry Doorly Zoo; don't miss walking the rope bridge in the Rain Forest exhibit Median home price: $123,500 Local flavor: Wheatfields' baked goods rock; so does its senior menu, where a Grandmere Scramble or a Dusseldorf casserole goes for $8.50 Impress friends and family with: The area's numerous start-up companies, earning it the "Silicon Prairie" nickname
Vibe: Contemporary arts meet Western charm Secret affordability sauce: Two-thirds of the county land is public, making recreation a bargain; a recent 20 percent drop in housing prices Mingle with the natives at: The Rockslide Brewery downtown Sunny days per year: 260 Best daytime lark: Wander among the extensive (and quirky) outdoor sculptures Median home price: $159,800 Local flavor: Local vineyards get plenty of press, but make sure you snack on the region's impressive strawberries, sweet cherries, and peaches. (An outlying town is even named Fruita.) Impress friends and family with: The views of the Grand Valley
Vibe: Green not grimy, the city's 88 distinct neighborhoods create a European atmosphere Secret affordability sauce: Stable, diverse economy--since 2008, only Austin and Houston have added jobs faster Mingle with the natives at: Frick Park, in the city. In the summer, check out the Bowling Green (lessons are free for beginners) and in the winter, sled down the hill near Beechwood Boulevard Sunny days per year: 161 Best daytime lark: PNC Park, home of the Pirates, ranked as the No. 1 baseball field in the country by ESPN. Bleacher seats from $14 Median home price: $106,500 Local flavor: Eggs and kielbasa for breakfast at DeLuca's in the Strip district Impress your friends and family with: The view as you emerge from the Fort Pitt Tunnel. The New York Times once pronounced Pittsburgh "the only city with an entrance."
Vibe: Funky hippie meets world traveler. Secret affordability sauce: The country's sixth largest college--The University of Florida--fuels an economy more durable than most Southern cities. Mingle with the natives at: The Swamp, aka UF's Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Tim Tebow isn't the only person to get fit running up and down the stairs here. Walk or run all you want--for free. Sunny days per year: 242 Best daytime lark: At the Florida Museum of Natural History, seniors pay $9 to watch butterflies released into the Butterfly Rain Forest Exhibit Median home price: $125,500 Local flavor: A Cuban sandwich ($8.95) at Emiliano's Café, a pioneer in the pan-Latin food movement. Impress friends and family with: The dense urban canopy, where Northern hardwoods meet Southern tropics.
Follow David A. Dedman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DavidADedman