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Why Suze Orman Doesn’t Think You Should Retire at 65

When financial guru Suze Orman recommends waiting to retire, you know it's time to listen. Here's why she thinks it's a smart idea.

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Waiting longer to retire isn’t a punishment

It may be your dream to retire early, but American as a whole are living longer. Remember, when social security started, the average life expectancy was 62—it’s now almost 79. To have the retirement that you want and to ensure that you’re as financially secure as possible, you may want to delay retirement. Noted financial expert Suze Orman, author of Women and Money, notes that delaying retirement allows you to have an opportunity to save more, which will allow you to be more financially comfortable and less stressed when you do retire. Her suggested age for retirement? 70 years old. Find out exactly how much you need to retire.

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Working will help you stay younger longer

“Work is what keeps you young and gives you purpose,” Orman says. “Worry is what causes you to get old.” Orman also explains that worrying about finances while you’re also dealing with the stress of getting older is difficult. If you’re financially stable, “the time you have left is thoroughly enjoyed.”

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Change your attitude about work

Though work may seem like something you don’t want to do until you’re 70, think positively about your experience and change your outlook. Orman explains that “work” is an opportunity to pay down debt, make money, and save money. Orman, 67, practices what she preaches: She still works and has no immediate plans to stop. She says that even if you don’t need to work, you may want to continue because “you love what you do and the effect that it has.” Orman loves what she does, and continuing isn’t a hardship: “In my head, I don’t work anymore.” Check out these stories of retirees who wish they’d done things differently.

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Set a work example for your children and grandchildren

Working shows your kids and their kids that in order to have what you want, you have to work for it. By working and paying down debt, you are setting an example for the younger generation that this is important.

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And set a savings example for the next generation

By continuing to save, you can again lead by example: As your kids see how you’re able to accrue savings and reap the benefits of compound interest, they’ll become more enthusiastic about tapping into this source of easy money. If at 18, young adults put $100 a month in a Roth IRA, they would have almost a million more dollars at retirement, Orman points out. Don’t miss the 13 retirement facts you need to take seriously.

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Account for the worst case scenario

In your retirement planning, ensure that you’ve thought of the worst case scenario and have the financial security for that. Consider medical issues, the possibility of needing to move into assisted living, getting a home health aide, or a change in the economy. Here are 9 more things that could sabotage your retirement budget.

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Consider giving back

Though you don’t have to stay in your current career field forever, your experience could help another. Orman has found another passion on top of her speaking engagements and other projects, and that is helping women who have faced financial abuse through Seniors have so much valuable experience to give back, and if you have the time, doing so can lead to rewards that are greater than financial ones.

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Not 70, but financially secure?

If you’ve planned accordingly and will be fine living off of interest and not touching your principle, all while living the lifestyle that you want and finding fulfillment outside of work, then Orman advises you to do what you feel is best. Just be sure to steer clear of these 15 financial mistakes that will ruin your retirement.

Julia K. Porter
Dr. Julia Porter has worked in Higher Education since 2008, following a career as a High School teacher in Brooklyn, NY. She holds a PhD in Global Leadership from Indiana Tech, an MA in English Literature from Brooklyn College, and a BS in English Education from Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI). She lives in Indiana with her husband, daughter, and rambunctious Australian Shepherd.