Delaying retirement will enable you to stretch your savings

August 10, 2012

Thinking of when you'll be retiring? Find out why delaying your retirement by a few years can make a big difference.

Q: I am in my early 60s and plan to retire from private practice in a few years. I'd like to continue working in medicine for as long as I can, however. Should I reduce the amount I'm saving for retirement or continue to save as if I were to retire completely at age 65?

A: It depends on how much you've saved for retirement thus far, your future income needs, and your life expectancy (and that of your spouse, if applicable.) Talk to a financial planner and find out how much you still need to save to attain the income you'd like to have after you retire. I'd encourage you to plan for worst-case scenarios in terms of market returns, future taxes, and the possibility that you may not be able to work for as long as you plan to.

With that said, working longer obviously will put you in a better position financially. Even an extra 5 years can have a major impact on your savings. You'll have 5 additional years for your savings to grow, and 5 fewer retirement years to fund.

Answers to our readers' questions were provided by Charles Matt, CFS, a financial adviser with Sapient Financial Group in San Antonio, Texas.