Retirement is a time when working is optional and retirement is affordable

Decisions, decisions!  I turn 62 this month and will be eligible for early Social Security.  I cannot believe it. I’m not alone with this question.  Right now, there are 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 62 every single day.  It’s important to look at all your options before you take your Social Security. These include reflecting on your health, your finances, and your lifestyle goals. 

I just updated the financial plan for my husband, Mark, and myself.  At first, I dreaded the idea of all the paperwork and data entry, but it ended up being so much fun.  I’m using a new software that allows me to look at retirement income projections, plus the ability to compare various situations side-by-side. This is very helpful when asking a question like, “Should I take Social Security at age 62, 65, or 70?”

Have you reviewed your Social Security statement lately?  Social Security statements are mailed to workers starting at age 60.  If you don’t have a copy or want to access your most recent benefits, you can create an account at my Social Security and access your most recent report.

The first thing you will notice is that your earnings history is printed out on page 3. This is also where you will see how much you paid in and how much your employer paid into the system. In addition, on the top of page 2, you can see what your monthly benefits will be at your full retirement age (mine for example is age 66 and 8 months), age 70, and age 62. 

Before deciding to take Social Security early at age 62, you will want to consider some important questions like:

  • Will you continue to work?  If so, be sure to look at the earning limits because if you are under your full retirement age and earn more than the earnings limit ($18,240 for 2020 for example), your Social Security may be reduced $1 for every $2 you earn above that limit. This is certainly not ideal.
  • What is your life expectancy?  Be sure to plan long term because when Social Security was first created in 1940, life expectancy for men who reached 65 was another 13 years or age 78.  Today, that number is 84. So, you will want to calculate the “breakeven” date for taking benefits early. Your health and family longevity should be taken into consideration here, too.
  • What is your health insurance status if you retire before you are eligible for Medicare at age 65?”
  • If you are married, what is your spouse’s situation?
  • What do you have available in pensions and other retirement plans?
  • Where will you live?  Will you keep your home, rent, or move abroad?

Consider this.  Taking Social Security at age 70 vs. 62 could increase your monthly benefit by almost 80%.  This could be as dramatic as taking $45,600 at age 70 vs. $26,000 at age 62, which is almost $20,000 difference per year. Continuing to work, even part-time, could allow your retirement portfolio to grow for a longer time. However, every single situation is different, and before deciding, you will want to look at your personal situation. When I compared taking Social Security at 62 vs. 68, for example, I found that I would need to live to 82 to reach my “breakeven point.”

This is why I say that it’s never too early to plan. You want to plan with options that are affordable and plentiful. The key is being able to compare your numbers on paper. Updating our plan was both eye-opening and comforting. It is also why I created my newest retirement guide:  How to Maximize Your Retirement Income. You can pick up a free copy at my new website  

Last month, we explored how COVID-19 has affected retirement plans with retirement expert, Denise Appleby.  This includes how you will access your retirement plans now, because of COVID-19, and at retirement as well as the rules around inheriting retirement plans. Click HERE to watch the show.

In addition, the co-founder of Age Wave, Maddy Dychtwald, shared the results of their recent report in co-operation with Edward Jones and The Harris Poll, called The Four Pillars of Retirement:  Health, Family, Purpose, Finances.   During that show, we discussed how retirement is now a time for reinvention, discovering new purpose, and the beginning of a whole new chapter in life!  Click HERE to listen.

What we know is that OUR retirement will be nothing like our parent’s version of retirement. This is just one reason that I’m so excited about our two guests for October’s Smart Women Talk Radio:

  • My first guest this month, Jeri Sadler, is the author of the book, Don’t Retire, Rewire!  5 Steps to fulfilling work that fuels your passion, suites your personality, or fills your pocket. She is a pioneer, having written this book nearly 20 years ago, and today, it is in its 3rd edition and is still one of the hottest topics for those looking towards “retirement.” 
  • Our second guest is best-selling author, Barbara Huson (previously known as Barbara Stanny), who will be talking about her upcoming new book, Rewire for Wealth.  Barbara is one of our favorite returning guests and a leading authority on women and wealth. 

We are in an incredibly unique time. The world is in the midst of a global pandemic, the west coast is burning, the south is flooding, our country has never been so divided economically and socially, and we are about a month away from a major presidential election. If you are uneasy about the future and want to explore your unique situation, including preparing for unexpected times, connect with me at You will be able to pick up my free retirement guide and see the kinds of things we can talk about together. No pressure. I make myself available for about five of these consultations a month. In uncertain times, we truly need a new retirement solution! 

Katana Abbott, CFP®, is a Retirement Coach, founder of the Smart Women Companies, and the host Smart Women Talk Radio with over a million subscribers.  For over 30 years, Katana has shown women how to take charge of their life and finances and believes it’s never too early to plan for expected and unexpected events like retirement, encore careers, moving abroad, or preparing for long-term care.  She has written several books, created a financial literacy course, and is a popular speaker. Katana has been honored by NAWBO as one of Detroit’s Top 10 Business Women, receiving the Breakthrough Award.

To download her new retirement guide, Three Smart Strategies to Maximize Your Retirement Income. visit