Pad Your Income by Capitalizing on Your Career Skills and Strengths

Steve McDonald By Steve McDonald, Bond Strategist, The Oxford Club

Two-Minute Retirement Solution

In addition to winning yet another Super Bowl, Tom Brady may have added a whole new dimension to the question of whether to work in retirement.

Following his most recent miraculous comeback and win (it’s getting monotonous, isn’t it?), he was asked if he was ready to retire.

His response was perfect…“This is the time to capitalize. I’ve worked too hard to get to this point.”

“Capitalize” is an interesting word choice for someone who made $44 million last year.

“Printing money” may be more accurate.

But he’s right! For most baby boomers, “capitalizing” late in their careers is a great thing because most have to work in retirement.

  • Boomers ages 55 to 64 have an average of $71,500 in retirement savings. At 5% per year, the income you realize from that amount is $3,575 per year, or $297 per month.
  • Retirement experts say total savings should be in the $300,000 area.
  • A monthly income of $297 plus a monthly Social Security check of $1,300 (the average) is only $3,000 per year above poverty level.

Even if we made only a few good choices in our professional lives, most of us reach peak earnings in our 60s. At this point, our expenses are at their lowest without college or child-rearing costs.

So we should also be able to save more.

And saving more is the only solution to the “life at poverty level” scenario.

We have decades of experience, and we’re worth more to our employers now than ever before.

And, maybe most importantly, our self-concepts and sense of worth are tied to our jobs. Our jobs give us a reason to get out of bed, and we stay sharper mentally if we remain active and challenge ourselves.

We can finally cash in on all those years of learning and preparation so, I have to ask, why walk away now?

Most people don’t figure out that sitting at home all day or even golfing constantly gets old. (I know the golf thing is hard for many to believe, but it’s true.)

It isn’t until after they’ve given up their jobs and their career options that they realize 20 to 30 years of leisure is not a good or healthy thing.

Of course, there are many who long to get out of the rut. They hate their jobs, and they’re counting the minutes until they can kiss them goodbye. No amount of money can make that situation work.

In that case, think about going back to school or training yourself for a new career.

Even if you never go back to work, you’ll be learning new things, meeting new people and getting out of the house. And those are the things the experts tell us will make our golden years really shine.

Pull the throttle back, transition to part time, and set up a consulting business or even a training program to share what you have learned.

Think long and hard about how much money you will have to retire on and what it’ll be like to sit at home for 20-plus years near the poverty level.

And then, think about how you can capitalize!

Good investing,