Retiring to make more money

With the economy sputtering, many employees are retiring to make more money.

Many, like my husband, worry that retirement benefits will change in the future and he wants to be "grandfathered" in for the higher benefits. He is planning to retire in June from Milwaukee Public Schools after 16 years at an inner city school. He will receive lifetime health benefits, a pension with a sweetener and severance pay.

The years of being spit and sworn at are paying off. And he is right -- these kinds of packages will become a thing of the past.

Like many retirees, my husband plans to get a low stress, part-time job to keep busy and make more money. After doing the math, we will be better off with him working less. This is a "no-brainer."

He is not alone. More and more retirees plan to work full- or part-time after leaving their career job.

AARP asked 2,001 individuals between 50 and 70 years old who work full- or part-time why they do it and the need for money was the primary response.

And people plan to work longer. In 1997, AARP started asking people at what age they planned to retire, and the response was mid to late 60s. In the latest survey, almost half the respondents said they plan to work into their 70s or beyond.

That is true for us. We plan to work as long as we are physically able. While we want to go south for part of the winter and have time for golf, our idea of retirement is not sitting in a fishing boat or a gated community. We want to stay involved in the community and go to concerts, baseball games and plays.

Our plan is to have him take Social Security at age 62 and me at age 66. We are simply playing the odds that I will probably outlive him. Either way, the survivor will get the higher benefit from my Social Security.

Since there are mandatory withdrawals from IRAs at 70-1/2, we are taking some of the money now as an annuity so we don't kick into a higher tax bracket in the future.

After doing the math, it looks like we will make more money after the hubby retires.

Barbara Bartlein is the People Pro. For her FREE e-mail newsletter, please visit: The People Pro.
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