Planning to Retire Later in Life? Why That Might Not Be the Right Strategy

Planning to Retire Later in Life? Why That Might Not Be the Right Strategy

December 10, 2022

Planning for retirement can be overwhelming. And with Americans living longer, many think about pushing their retirement out to age 70. (1) But is that a wise, or even realistic, strategy?

The fact is there is a considerable gap between when a person expects to retire and when they actually retire. (2) Most Americans end up retiring earlier than planned, and often it’s not by choice. 

Let’s look specifically at a few reasons why retiring later is not a reliable strategy.

Unexpected Health Problems

Even if you are the picture of health today, you never know what will happen in 5, 10, or 20 years. As you age, your health can suffer. Working longer is not a guarantee, as 34% of retirees in 2021 were forced to retire early due to a health problem or disability. (3)

Your Company Downsizes

It is incredibly disheartening if you are in the last few years of your career and your company downsizes, leaving you in the dust when you were counting on the income to provide for you in retirement. In fact, 25% of retirees were forced into early retirement due to changes at their company. (4) At this stage of life, it’s challenging to find another job when prospective employers know you will be retiring soon. While you can keep your skills sharp and take measures to prove your value to your current employer, you just never know what will happen to your company as the years go on. 

Your Family Needs Your Help

Your loved ones are aging right along with you. Even if your health is excellent and your company still needs you, you may need to step back from the workforce earlier than planned to take care of a spouse or other family member. Your family comes first, so you don’t want to feel the pressure of working just to have enough in retirement if the unexpected occurs. It’s not fun to plan for contingencies like this one, but having a proactive mindset can help you prepare for the worst-case scenarios leading up to retirement.

You Might Just Need a Change

When you’re in your 50s and still have years to go before you retire, it may seem simple enough to push out your retirement date from 65 to 70. But what happens when, at 63 or 64, you can’t imagine working for another six or seven years? If you were banking on working until 70, you might not have enough saved.

The younger you are when you retire, the more energy and health you’ll have to enjoy retirement. Many retirees regret spending their best retirement years grinding away at work. Sure, they had more money when they finally did retire, but they had less time to enjoy it.

Since you can’t predict the future, how should you plan? 

Start With a Plan

Sure, you might be able to retire when you want to. But wouldn’t you rather know now that you are doing everything you can to be successful and comfortable if you do need to retire earlier than planned? You’re never too young or old to start taking action and planning for your future, be it 5 or 20 years down the road.

At Stratos Wealth Partners, our mission is to create a personalized financial road map that supports you on your journey toward your desired destination. We can walk you through various retirement scenarios to see what your savings can handle and then review opportunities for maximizing your savings. To learn more, schedule a complimentary introductory call by reaching out to us at 330-576-3912 or

About Liam

Liam Guiney is partner, financial advisor, and client portfolio manager at Stratos Wealth Partners, an independent investment advisory firm providing personalized financial plans to help clients pursue their goals. With over 20 years of experience, Liam is dedicated to walking his clients through their financial opportunities and challenges, simplifying the complex so they can focus on what’s most important to them. Liam is known for building long-lasting relationships and focusing on individual needs to develop strategies that will help his clients prepare for their ideal retirements. 

Liam graduated from the University of North Carolina Greensboro with a bachelor’s degree and earned a Master of Science at Wake Forest University. He is also a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. When he’s not working, Liam spends his free time with his wife, Alice, and their son, Nicholas. You can often find him exercising, golfing, or supporting his favorite community organizations through fundraising and volunteering, such as Catholic Charities, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and cancer research organizations. To learn more about Liam, connect with him on LinkedIn. Or, watch his latest webinar: 5 Questions You Should Answer Before You Retire

This material was prepared for Liam Guiney’s use. Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. 


(1) Living longer: Historical and projected life expectancy in the United States, 1960 to 2060, current population reports, Feb 2020. United States Census Bureau

(2) 2021 RCS fact sheet#2 Expectations About Retirement, Retirement Confidence Survey

(3) 2021 RCS fact sheet#2 Expectations About Retirement, Retirement Confidence Survey

(4) 2021 RCS fact sheet#2 Expectations About Retirement, Retirement Confidence Survey