Working Forever

Bill Parrott |

I’m going to work forever, never retire. I love my job, I like my clients, my commute is less than four minutes, and my office is air-conditioned with high-speed internet. What could be better? When I tell people I’m going to work forever, they think I’m crazy. Likewise, when I meet someone who’s going to retire early, I think they’re crazy. There’s probably a happy medium in there somewhere.

My movement is going to be called FINR (Finer): Financial Independent Never Retire, the opposite of the FIRE movement, Financially Independent Retire Early. Individuals who adhere to the FIRE movement save an excessive amount of their income so they can retire early.  

Of course, if you’ve saved up enough money to retire early, go for it. If you want to work forever, knock yourself out. It’s your money. Someone once told me: “It’s my money; I can do whatever the hell I want with it.” If you have enough resources to cover your expenses for the rest of your life, then you can do whatever you want.

Several high-profile people are still working, or they never retired. Warren Buffett is 88 and his partner, Charlie Munger, is 95. Mother Teresa worked until the end. I’ve searched the Bible for the word retirement, and it doesn’t exist.

What are some advantages to working forever? Here are a few:

  • Live Longer. According to a Harvard Medical School study, they found that individuals who work longer also live longer and are in better health than those who retire early. They site physical activity, mental stimulation, and social engagements as key reasons.[1]
  • Delayed Social Security. Working longer will allow you to defer your Social Security benefits to age 70. You’re eligible to receive your benefits at age 62. For every year you defer your benefit, you’ll get an 8% raise. For example, at age 62, you may receive $21,475 per year, but if you wait until age 70, you’ll get $39,750.
  • No RMD’s. Working past age 70 will allow you to defer your required minimum distributions for the money in your 401(k). You’re still must take your RMD from your IRA if you work beyond age 70, however.
  • Save less. The longer you plan to work, the less money you need to save monthly. If your goal is to save $1 million in 10 years, you need to save $6,440 per month. Expanding your time horizon to 50 years means you only need to save $375 per month. Of course, you’ll never know when, where, or why you’ll need money, so save as much as possible today.
  • Give more. Working longer will allow you to give more money away through employee and employer contributions without dipping into your principal or savings.
  • Healthcare benefits. One obstacle to early retirement is paying for healthcare. Retiring before age 65 will force you to purchase private healthcare insurance — an expensive expense. Working beyond age 65 will allow you to use your employer’s health benefits.

Working longer doesn’t mean you have to forego living. I’ve seen most states and visited several countries. My family and I take vacations every year, and we enjoy hobbies. I still hike, bike, fish, run, read, and so on. Working hasn’t hindered our ability to enjoy life.

The end is inevitable Maverick; your kind is heading towards extension. Maybe so, sir, but not today. ~ Top Gun Maverick 2020 Movie Trailer.

July 20, 2019

Bill Parrott, CFP®, CKA® is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management located in Austin, Texas. Parrott Wealth Management is a fee-only, fiduciary, registered investment advisor firm. Our goal is to remove complexity, confusion, and worry from the investment and financial planning process so our clients can pursue a life of purpose.

Note: Investments are not guaranteed and do involve risk. Your returns may differ than those posted in this blog. PWM is not a tax advisor, nor do we give tax advice. Please consult your tax advisor for items that are specific to your situation. Options involve risk and aren’t suitable for every investor.