Thanks to the benefits of better nutrition, education and new technologies, today’s seniors are living longer and are more knowledgeable than any generation in history. A hardworking, dedicated and experienced pool of workers is an important key to national prosperity. Yet as a nation, we in the United States choose to squander this precious economic resource.
Consider the following. Most mature Americans have contributed to Social Security all their lives. But once your clients start collecting this government benefit, the tax code is structured to penalize them if they want to stay engaged in the workplace.
Any senior who has yet to reach their full retirement age as defined by Social Security and who wants to work can earn up to $13,560 without being penalized. After that, an individual loses a dollar in Social Security benefits for every two dollars earned. This insane “tax” discourages some of our most experienced and effective workplace contributors from remaining professionally engaged.
The non-partisan Employee Benefit Research Institute conducted a survey earlier this year. Nearly half of the workers participating in the survey reported having less than $50,000 in total savings and investments, excluding home equity and defined benefit pension assets.
Further, only 18 percent of respondents felt very confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement. That means that four out of five people have some level of insecurity about their level of retirement savings.
To address this, today’s seniors need – and often want – to work longer. According to government statistics, 30.7 percent of individuals 65-to-69 are working or looking for jobs. Many of them not only need the income, they need the medical and dental benefits that come with employment.