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Retirement: Seniors & Persons with Disability

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  • Synopsis: Last Updated: 2015-08-11 - Information regarding retirement including benefits and pensions for seniors and couples including people with disabilities

Definition: Retirement

Retirement is the point where a person stops employment completely. A person may also semi-retire by reducing work hours. Many people choose to retire when they are eligible for private or public pension benefits, although some are forced to retire when physical conditions no longer allow the person to work any longer (by illness or accident) or as a result of legislation concerning their position.

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Retirement is the point where a person stops employment completely. A person may also semi-retire by reducing work hours. Many people choose to retire when they are eligible for private or public pension benefits, although some are forced to retire when physical conditions don't allow the person to work any more (by illness or accident) or as a result of legislation concerning their position.

A person may retire at whatever age they please.

However, a country's tax laws and/or state old-age pension rules usually mean that in a given country a certain age is thought of as the "standard" retirement age. Many factors affect people's retirement decisions. Social Security clearly plays an important role. In countries around the world, people are much more likely to retire at the early and normal retirement ages of the public pension system. Greater wealth tends to lead to earlier retirement, since wealthier individuals can essentially "purchase" additional leisure. Generally the effect of wealth on retirement is difficult to estimate empirically since observing greater wealth at older ages may be the result of increased saving over the working life in anticipation of earlier retirement.

The "standard" retirement age varies from country to country but it is generally between 55 and 70. In some countries this age is different for males and females.

In the United States, while the normal retirement age for Social Security, or Old Age Survivors Insurance (OASI), historically has been age 65 to receive unreduced benefits, it is gradually increasing to age 67. For those turning 65 in 2008, full benefits will be payable beginning at age 66.

The three major elements of your retirement portfolio are benefits from pensions, savings and investments, and Social Security benefits.

According to Recent Research:

  • One third (31%) of U.S. adults believe there is greater than a 50% chance they will outlive their savings;
  • More than one in ten (12%) think there is a 100% chance their savings will run out someday;
  • One in four (24%) Americans are unsure if their savings will last;
  • More than half (52%) say they have not taken any steps to address the risk of outliving their savings;
  • Nearly a third (30%) say it is not at all likely that Social Security will be there for them when they need it.

As you approach retirement, you'll need to check your personal, company and State pensions.

You must make sure you have enough income to provide for your needs in the future. Find out when you can retire and where to get help with checking your pensions, savings and investments. You should check your personal or company pension, as you approach retirement, to make sure you have enough income for your future retirement. How much your personal or company pension is worth depends on how much has been put in and how well it has been invested.

Retirement often coincides with important life changes; a retired worker might move to a new location, for example a retirement community, thereby having less frequent contact with their previous social context and adopting a new lifestyle. Often retirees volunteer for charities and other community organizations. Tourism is a common marker of retirement and for some becomes a way of life, such as for so called grey nomads.

As well as considering your finances as you approach retirement, you also need to think about taking care of your health. By taking some small steps to keep healthy and active now you can increase your chances of enjoying a healthy, independent life in the future.

Quick Facts: Retirement Factors &

Many factors affect people's retirement decisions. Social Security clearly plays an important role. In countries around the world, people are much more likely to retire at the early and normal retirement ages of the public pension system (e.g., ages 62 and 65 in the U.S.). This pattern cannot be explained by different financial incentives to retire at these ages since typically retirement benefits at these ages are approximately actuarially fair; that is, the present value of lifetime pension benefits (pension wealth) conditional on retiring at age a is approximately the same as pension wealth conditional on retiring one year later at age a+1. Nevertheless a large literature has found that individuals respond significantly to financial incentives relating to retirement (e.g., to discontinuities stemming from the Social Security earnings test or the tax system).

  • In the United States, the standard retirement age is currently 65 (gradually increasing to 67).
  • The AARP allows couples in which one spouse has reached the age of 50 to join, regardless of the age of the other spouse.
  • In Canada, the OASP (Old Age Security Pension) is available at 65 (gradually increasing to 67, starting in the period 2023-2029), and the CPP (Canada Pension Plan) as early as age 60.

Statistics: U.S. Retirement

  • 55% of people 65 or older rely on Social Security for half or more of their income.
  • Approximately 75% of Americans start claiming Social Security benefits the moment they are eligible at age 62.
  • In 1980, some 39 percent of private-sector workers had a pension that guaranteed a steady payout during retirement. Today that number stands closer to 15 percent, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute in Washington, D.C.
  • According to the 2015 CareerBuilder's annual retirement survey, "54% of senior workers (age 60+) say they'll work after retiring from their current career - up from 45% last year. Of this group, 81% say they'll most likely work part-time, while 19% plan to continue working full-time.
  • According to a 2012 report from the Center for Retirement Research, "at Social Security's earliest retirement age of 62, only about 30 percent of households are prepared for retirement...By age 66, Social Security's current Full Retirement Age, about 55 percent of house-holds are projected to be prepared.


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