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When Can I Retire?

By Christopher Coble, Esq. | Last updated on

It's less a practical question nowadays and more of an existential angst: "Will I have enough for retirement?" And depending on your age, your job, and your marital and family status, figuring out your retirement plan can seem like an impossible bit of calculus.

The key word there is "seem" -- with a little information and some careful planning, figure out when you can retire can get a lot simpler.

Solving Social Security

A large chunk of your retirement funds will be your Social Security benefits. There is no specific age at which everyone must retire, and the amount of your benefit payments could depend on how old you are when you choose to retire.

While 65 used to be the standard retirement age, a person can start receiving Social Security benefits as early as 62. But there are tradeoffs: the longer you wait, the more your payments will be.

Figuring out when you should start claiming your social security benefits will depend on your health, employment status, and financial situation. And the Social Security Administration has handy calculators to figure out your full retirement age and your estimated retirement benefits in order for you to make a more informed decision.

IRAs, 401ks, and Travel Days

Calculating your retirement age will also depend on your other post-employment sources of income. Steady contributions to an IRA or 401k retirement plan can make you less dependent on Social Security benefits, and give you more flexibility in deciding when you can retire.

Your decision will also come down to how you want to spend your retirement. International travel, a relaxing move to a warmer climate, or dedication to your golf game will all have different financial impacts as well as require greater and lesser degrees of physical fitness.

A few retirement planning tips may be great, but sorting out income, savings, and benefits might require a little help from an experience retirement planning attorney.

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