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Not Yet Ready to Retire?  Here’s How You Can Prepare

Drew Harper, CFP®, CFA - Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Retirement Planning Beyond Age 65 | M.J. Smith & AssociatesWe all tend to focus on the traditional age of 65 to retire, and your financial portfolio becomes a critical part of your well-being and stability in order to do so.   But, what if you are simply not yet ready for retirement at this age? 

There are many reasons that may cause someone to not want to, or be able to, retire at 65.  According to ConsumerCredit.com, this may include having debt, not knowing what to do with the extra time, the need to care for family members, or other personal reasons.  However, with the evolving and changing work landscape—including advanced technology capabilities, mobile workforces, working out of the home, and other reasons—many people are choosing to work longer than the traditional age of 65 simply because they are not yet ready to quite give it up. These individuals may still have the drive and energy to achieve various goals, want the intellectual stimulation to keep them going, or simply just want to work longer to find success after their traditional career ends.

Whether it is changing career paths, wanting to be part of a board of directors, opting to start doing various freelance or a mix of contract work, start a new business, or just finding a different purpose, there are so many opportunities to opt-out of the traditional retirement age to find longevity and success in a second career.   

The decision to non-retire is certainly a personal one based on individual preferences.  Because of that, traditional financial retirement planning can change and evolve. A recent article published in Enterprise Investor gives examples of how individuals can help plan financially for their “second acts”  in their careers.  This includes:

  • Carefully think through your personal choice to start a second career. This should include thinking through what you value the most and what success looks like from a personal, professional and financial perspective.
  • Begin with a blank slate. Instead of just reassessing your portfolio, start fresh. Avoid making stereotypical assumptions about retirement. This is your chance to re-evaluate and begin with a new perspective on your financial planning.
  • Review the basics again. It’s important to evaluate all the basic financial guidelines and needs in the new context of the second career path. This includes income requirements, expected rate of return, liquidity needs, tax restrictions and liabilities, as well as unique preferences.
  • Plan for uncertainty. Finding your second career choice is exciting. However, it’s always important to have a “Plan B” just in case the money isn’t coming in right away – especially if you are freelancing or doing contract work.  Think through what savings and/or contingencies you have in place to adequately get you by for a period of time to ensure that you are prepared for possible uncertainty.


A non-retirement lifestyle can be an emotional and exciting experience.  It’s something that should balance both professional and personal goals, which should in-turn align with the right financial plan that helps meet these goals. The most important thing to note is to not feel obligated to do your financial planning the same way as you’ve always done up to this point, and find an advisor that can help you navigate through this next career path. 

At M.J. Smith & Associates, we have the experience and knowledge to help determine what ongoing financial planning should look like and what the optimal portfolio asset ratio mix should be – for those that are ready to retire at 65 and for those that want a little more time to keep working. 

If have questions about next steps and what you should do to help with your non-retirement needs, please feel free to contact us today to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation appointment.




This information does not purport to be a complete description of the developments referred to in this material. Links are being provided for informational purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website's users and/or members.

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