Armed Forces Day: A Time to Reflect on Retirement Planning

Saturday, May 17 marked the annual Armed Forces Day in the United States. Perhaps it came and went without you realizing it. Established in 1949, Armed Forces Day was one of President Harry Truman’s priorities. This day is designated to appreciate the efforts of our citizens who have and are currently serving our country.

Armed Forces Day was founded at the very beginning of the U.S. Baby Boom. Of course, over the years millions of Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) have served in our military.

Some Boomers, from every career background, have begun their retirement over the past six years. But, unfortunately, many of them seem to be working longer. Roughly half (49%) of Boomers still working say they don’t expect to retire until they are 66 or older, including one in 10 who predict they will never retire, according to Gallup. No doubt, many Boomers see themselves working longer due to concerns about money, at least in part.

Regardless of their reasons and reluctance where retirement plans are concerned, more than a quarter-million Americans turn 65 every month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Despite best-laid plans, the outlook for retirement for workers generally, and for Boomers in particular, remains deeply altered in the aftermath of the global financial crisis and ensuing recession.

Maximizing retirement income, always a post-career objective, has taken on critical urgency. As a result, it is more important than ever for Boomers to be sure they understand how to implement their Social Security benefits. This includes:

  • Understanding when it is best to delay benefits — and when it is not
  • The importance of checking your earnings record for accuracy
  • How to accurately estimate your benefits
  • How to coordinate benefits with your spouse
  • How to minimize taxes on Social Security benefits
  • How to coordinate Social Security with your other sources of retirement income.

The outlook is even more complicated for retirement-age Boomers who are also veterans. The good news is that Boomers who are veterans have a wealth of resources available at their disposal to help them make the transition from the working force into the next phase of their lives. Programs addressing retirement-related financial literacy abound.

By 2030, about one in five Americans will be older than 65. By reaching out for help and focusing on what your options are, Boomers – both veterans and civilians alike – can formulate a better retirement.