The Great Recession has many older Americans considering the prospects of staying in the workforce past their normal retirement age. However, working past your normal retirement age is not a new necessity. According to the Social Security Administration, nearly 31% of individuals between the ages of 70 and 74 reported income from earnings in 2008, the latest year data are available. Among a younger age group, those between 65 and 69, approximately 48% had income from a job. Some remain employed for personal reasons, such as a desire for stimulation and social contact; others still want and need a regular paycheck. Whatever the reason, the decision to continue working into your senior may permit you to continue adding to your retirement savings and delay making withdrawals. For example, if you earn enough to forgo Social Security benefits until after your full retirement age, your eventual benefit will increase by between 5.5% and 8% per year for each year that you wait, depending on the year of your birth. You can determine your full retirement age at the Social Security Web site (www.ssa.gov) or by calling the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213. Adding to Your Nest Egg Depending on the circumstances of your career, working could also enable you to continue adding to your retirement nest egg. If you have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, you may be able to contribute and continue building retirement assets. If not, consider whether you can fund an IRA. Just remember after age 70 1/2, you will be required to make withdrawals, known as required minimum distributions (RMDs), from traditional 401(k)s and traditional IRAs. However, RMDs are not required from Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k)s. Even if you do not have access to a retirement account, continuing to earn income may help you to delay tapping your personal assets for living expenses, which could help your portfolio last longer in the years to come. Whatever your decision, be sure to apply for Medicare at age 65. In certain circumstances, medical insurance might cost more if you delay your application. Work does not have to be a chore. You may find opportunities to work part-time, on a seasonal basis, or capitalize on a personal interest that you did not have time to pursue earlier in life. Source: Income of the Population 55 or Older, 2008, Social Security Administration (most current data available). Ruth Cameron, founder of New World Wealth Concepts- Financial Blog, has over 22 years’ experience in Corporate America; managing technical projects; designing processes; and developing and implementing business strategies. Working past retirement age image from Shutterstock
Want to be more productive but not sure how? Whether you are working or job seeking or both, using the following tips will help you bridge the gap between where you are right now and where you want to be in the future.
1. Time Management
Choose the best part of your day and use it wisely. Time management is a catch-all phrase for planning but without it very little gets done. I believe we must create our life and that goes with how and what we spend our time on.
For example, when I'm writing, I choose morning because that's when I feel most creative and can seem to channel my thoughts onto paper. When I was job searching, I would only accept an interview in the morning because I wanted to show up at my personal best and my energy is lower in the afternoon.
Not only will you look and feel better, but you'll also have a sense of accomplishment, which will create momentum in other areas. There are so many benefits to exercise and I'm a huge fan. Knowing yourself will help you engage in the right activity at the right time of day.
For example, I work out in the middle of the day because that's when I need a lift. I go to the gym because instructor-led group exercise is more motivating to me. Consider hiring a personal trainer or trying one of these activities: cardio, weight training, running, playing sports, yoga, Pilates, walking.
There are no excuses for not exercising. It is the single most important thing you can do for your health. It will also propel you forward in your work life and job search activities because you will feel good about yourself.
3. Being Reactive
Living in a non-stop world these days can wreak havoc on your health, relationships, and productivity. If you are someone who does whatever comes up and jumps from activity to activity, then chances are you aren't being very productive.
Multitasking is necessary at times, but I wonder if people actually accomplish more or less. I have seen incredibly people pull off multitasking and I'm in awe of their talent. Sadly, I'm not one of them. I'm someone who takes charge by starting and completing tasks before moving on to the next thing. Knowing which one of these people you are can work to your advantage and increase your productivity.
4. Priority List
It's a game changer. Either you run the day or the day runs you. Writing out a priority list on things that are most important to you right now will help you to stay focused on what you want and off of what you don't want. You've developed the criteria for making decisions and your life flows better because you're connected to what you want.
5. Setting Boundaries
I find it necessary to set boundaries with people because, when I do, it helps protect my energy and mood and I'm honoring my time. For example, I won't take phone calls in the morning. I have also stopped listening to victim stories because I find them very draining. I also choose to work from inspiration—not obligation—and this helps me eliminate time spent doing things I don't want to do and opens up time for activities that fill me up and move me forward.
6. Commuting And Traffic
Commuting can be such a huge productivity killer. People spend hours every week stuck in traffic. Do the research and see if there are ways that you can obtain the same results through an online meeting or phone call. Can you work from home? Plan what you will do to make your time in the car productive? These are valuable ways to reduce your time held hostage in traffic.
If you want to be more productive in life and in your career, focus on these six things first. Chances are at least one of these tips will work for you!
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.