Today, my grandma turns 90 years old, so for her birthday I thought I'd give some advice for those of you who plan to live past 80 (yes, I think many of you do). My grandma still receives social security and a pension since she worked for the government for much of her life, but is still able to live in her own home and afford all necessities thanks to being a frugal saver.
She found a way to keep living as though she were making the same salary her
whole life: whenever she got a bonus, a raise, any extra money at all, she took the difference and put it in savings. It was always money meant to be used way in the future, and she never touched it. As a result, her kids lived (very) modestly and they didn't indulge much, but in the end that savings has helped her carry on the same lifestyle 25 years beyond retirement.
(I swear, once I make a salary where I'll finally break-even, I plan to do the same thing).
If this is something that you feel simply wouldn't be do-able now, here are 3 other helpful tips for planning to retire late and keep your lifestyle the same into your 80's and beyond:
1) You CAN Play "Catch-Up" at Age 50
Once you reach age 50, you're eligible for "catch-up" contributions to your 401(k) and IRA accounts. What this means, is that you can contribute and invest up to an extra $6,000 to your 401(k), or $1,000 to your IRA in 2015, above and beyond the limits allowed for younger people (which is around $5,000). Those limits allow you a total of $24,000 in your 401(k) and $6,500 in your IRA that you can sock away each year, and this should help you reach that goal of being ready to retire.
2) At Age 65, You Can Receive Social Security And Still Work
When you reach your full retirement age, you can start taking Social Security without being penalized for it -- even if you're still working. You'll still continue to get credit for your earned income during that time, but that check could help supplement your savings along the way. However, there is a trade-off. Your benefits will increase if you delay receiving payments past your full retirement age (65), up until age 70, so if you're not planning to invest that money that you make for extra income, it's probably better to wait.
3) Regardless of What You Actually, Plan as Though You Will Retire at 65 Even if You Plan To Keep Working for Years Beyond That Age
Perhaps the most important thing you can do is plan and save for your retirement as if you expect it to come well before you turn 80 -- and more like at a typical retirement age, or even a little before. If you want to work and are still able to work past then, the nest egg you've accumulated can continue to compound on your behalf. If health, job loss, or a change in your priorities keeps you from continuing to work, then you'll be incredibly glad you have the money when you need it.