Are You REALLY Ready to Retire?

Steve McDonald By Steve McDonald
Bond Strategist


Oh, boy, the men out there are going to have a few comments about this one…

Let’s start with a couple of little-known facts about Social Security.

One-third of people who qualify for benefits from Social Security claim them at age 62. That’s a higher percentage than I thought. One-third take the lowest possible payout. From a cash flow standpoint, it makes no sense to me.

And according to a study done by Cornell University, the probability of men dying within one year if they retire at 62 skyrockets by 20%. The increase is concentrated among those who retire early.

Thirteen checks on average, a 20% increase in men’s mortality, the lowest possible payout from the Social Security Administration and early retirement at 62… because?

For many, retirement means slowly disengaging from the world, losing their reason to get up every day – even losing their identity. What’s so golden about that? I’m beginning to wonder.

I tried the do-nothing routine a few weeks ago. I mentioned this in an article in January about doing a dry run of retired life: sleeping late, having no reason to get up and effectively doing nothing for a few weeks.

By 3:30 in the afternoon, I was walking in circles looking for something to do. I didn’t even make it one whole day.

Boredom, loss of meaning and now a 20% increase in mortality within one year of early retirement? No thanks. I’m sticking around at work for a long time. That is, if they’ll keep me. (Some days I’m not sure!)

I know there are people out there who can retire – and have – and do little to nothing, but I’m not one of them. Make sure you find out before you pull the plug if you’re really able to step down and out. Your life may depend on it.

Good investing,