There’s an emerging trend among self-employed Americans of planning to work beyond retirement – for some, until the virtual tools literally drop from their fingertips.
The reasons are many and sometimes pleasing: stimulating work that freshens the mind, continuing labors as part of a team, providing common cause and companionship, and the bonus of a few handy bucks to throw on the pile. In theory, it’s a good alternative retirement plan.
Let’s examine the last consideration more closely: it’s a good thing the self-employed want to continue working, because a worrisome proportion of them will have no choice. They simply haven’t saved and invested enough to retire in safety, let alone in comfort.
Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies has released a study that examines the matter. CEO Catherine Collinson commented: “The whole idea of retirement seems to be a lot less relevant” to the self-employed. While they enjoy the variety and flexible structure of their work, they may be hemmed into prolonged labor by the lack of a formalized company retirement plan and shortcomings in their own savings and investments.
TCRS’s study revealed that 68% of self-employed workers plan to continue at their work after age 65. Curiously, this includes people who say they plan to retire (40%) – we assume their intention is to reduce their traditional workload – and others who say they’ll never retire – 28%.
Working past formal retirement offers apparent benefits, but Collision worries that some self-employed professionals may be kidding themselves. Declining health is a reality for everyone: sooner or later, we’re forced to put down our tools. Sound retirement planning, no matter the profession, should not be seen as optional.
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Many Self-Employed Americans Aren’t Saving Enough for Retirement: Transamerica | ThinkAdvisor