Although many people hope and plan to retire from their jobs at age 65, or even earlier, certain financial issues can delay retirement and force people to work longer than they anticipated. Fortunately, people who make the effort to practice smart financial habits well in advance of retirement should be able to leave the workforce on schedule.
People who are not able to retire when they were hoping to may experience problems in regard to one or more of the following issues:
The economic recession, which has had a negative impact across the board on the cost of living and the availability of jobs. Individuals whose finances are in a dire situation as a result of the recession are at risk for delayed retirement.
The unexpected loss of employment due to company cutbacks, mergers, or closings. A middle-aged person who is suddenly unemployed may have to live on savings while looking for another job.
Divorce, which affects approximately one-half of married couples, is a factor in delayed retirement due to alimony expenses and the loss of a joint-income household.
Excessive debt from credit cards, loans or mortgages that has accumulated over many years can result in a person needing to earn money well into old age. Those in debt who wish to retire may find that they simply cannot afford to do so.
Stock market problems have become a reality for many people in the wake of the 2008 crash. The loss of investments, which is severe for some individuals, diminishes the financial cushion that many retirees rely on for living expenses.
Risky investments that do not pay off can easily prohibit a person from retiring at the age of eligibility. People who choose not to diversify their portfolios and invest wisely may need an income throughout their elderly years.
Supporting adult children, whether through paying for college tuition or taking in children who have financial problems, can put a strain on older adults who are close to retirement age.
Changes in health, particularly those that result in ongoing problems, often necessitate hospital visits, medical procedures and medication costs. People who have high insurance premiums and medical bills may need to adjust their retirement expectations.
Lifestyle factors, such as costly personal hobbies, a high entertainment budget or frequent vacations can do damage to retirement plans over time when people find themselves in debt or needing to live paycheck to paycheck.
Having a solid retirement plan in place and sticking to that plan can prevent many of the issues that negatively affect retirement. People are never too young to start preparing for the day when they can retire from work.