There was a time when more than 90% of American men older than age 65 worked. To be precise, that time was 1870. Back then, retirement was unheard of; in an economy that was still labor-intensive and largely agricultural, anyone capable of working at that age kept at it.

Today, Americans typically retire in their early sixties. While some may work much longer, a retirement lasting 20 to 30 years may turn out to be the more-common experience. What does this mean for retirees, financially? Baby boomers leaving work might have to accept the level of investment risk they do now once retired. Many retirees may be challenged to live merely off Social Security benefits and dividends, with interest rates still not far from historic lows, and even 2% inflation will reduce the purchasing power of an uninvested dollar by almost 50% over 30 years. Moreover, some boomers need to build greater retirement savings. Though we could see more Americans working past age 65 in the near future, many people may still want or need to retire before that age, and if you are among them, you may need to take short-term income needs and long-term investing objectives into account.2

Mike Moffitt may be reached at ph# 641-782-5577 or email:


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