Early retirement handwritten in a note

I’ve shared before that my dad is disabled, and retired early in his 40s as a result of that.

Though the actual average retirement age remains right around 62, most people nearing retirement say that they plan to work much longer than that. For those who actually have the option to do that – that is, they aren’t too sick or forced to retire to care for a loved one – you might find yourself in the position of retiring before a parent if you retire early enough.

Currently, 65 percent of retirees rely on Social Security for more than half of their income, and given that the average monthly benefit is in the neighborhood of $1500, we’re talking about a lot of seniors who are scraping by or doing only slightly better. And that’s before you talk about the figure that keeps creeping up: the cost of medical expenses that the average retiree can expect to pay for from the time they get on Medicare until the end of life, currently at $280,000 or so. That’s why Kaiser Family Foundation projects that Medicare beneficiaries will spend half of their Social Security benefits on out-of-pocket Medicare costs by 2030, a figure that already stands at 41 percent currently. It’s even more for those 85 and over, those in poor health and those with modest or low incomes.

Read more on Our Next Life.

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