55...62...66...Those used to be common ages to retire, but lately, those milestones are just numbers.
A see-saw economy, coupled with folks living longer, is changing the way we view "the golden years."
Seniors have had to put their retirement plans on hold because of the recession, but there is also a group of Mainers that just want to keep working.
Financial experts say there are certainly pluses to that, but there can negatives as well.
Joy Hollowell brings us part two of a special report on Delaying Retirement.
"I started with the bank and opened the Hogan Road office," says Jane Irving.
33 years later, the Senior Vice President at Bangor Savings Bank says she still loves her job.
"I think part of it is because it has always been a challenging position," explains Irving. "And there's always been the blend between raising a child and family responsibilities, and working with an aggressive career."
Asked if she'd be surprised 20 years ago if someone said she'd still be working today, Irving doesn't hesitate before answering, "Absolutely."
Irving admits she had a retirement plan, but life circumstances forced that to change. Like many other seniors, the recession meant tweaking those plans to develop what she calls a peace of mind spot.
"Well, I think one would be foolish not to," says Irving. "I mean, it took such a dip for awhile and everyone or almost everyone must have done some re-adjusting on how they invest their money and what their plans are and what we might or might not do."
"I think a lot of people have seen their retirement plans get hit by the market that we've had the last couple of years," says Scott Edwards, a managing partner at Edwards, Faust and Smith in Bangor.
Edwards says in addition to the unstable market, some Mainers are conservative when it comes to spending.
"So they tend to think no matter how much money I have, I've got to have even more," explains Edwards. "And so there's a tendancy for people to say, 'I've got to keep working so I can keep piling up my retirement funds.'"
There is some validity to that, particularly when it comes to social security benefits.
"If you think, well I'll take social security at 62 and supplement my income, well yes, you'll supplement your income but you're going to take a 25% hit in benefits by doing that and until you reach your normal retirement age of 66 or 67. You're going to be getting back a significant amount with what you can earn while working and collecting social security," explains Senior Tax Partner Al Faust.
Work past your retirement age and those SSI benefits increase by about 8%. However, there are disadvantages to this model.
"You have to continue all of the cost of going to work," says Edwards. "You have to commute every day, you have to buy clothes, you have to pay for lunches."
Most importantly, is your health. medical costs go up the older you get. While planning for retirement may seem out of the realm for younger generations living pay check to pay check, quite the opposite is true.
"The best time is when you're young," explains Edwards. "The power of compounding those investments over the years is huge. And if you can get people started in IRA or 401K's in their 20's, that money is worth a huge amount in retirement. And when they get to be 55 or 60, the game is over so to speak."
Goodwill Industries of Northern New England and Bangor Savings Bank were among those honored with a Silver Collar award last year.
They're given out annually by the Maine Jobs Council to recognize employers who understand the value of mature workers.
The Social Security Administration has a website to help folks in determining if they're ready to retire.
Log onto www.ssa.gov for more information.
Delaying Retirement- Part One