55+ Adults: The Golden Years - Word&Way

55+ Adults: The Golden Years

“But at age fifty years they shall retire from service in the work and not work any more.” (Numbers 8:25)


Frank FainMany Christians quote this biblical verse and then say, “See, God says we are to retire at age fifty.”  But full retirement age will soon be age 67 in America. Yet age 50 is a good time for us to start seriously evaluating and planning our retirement income from these five sources:

Social Security — Social Security is a major source of retirement income. It was never designed to be our ONLY income source, but a supplemental source. Benefit payments are based on your career earnings and the age you begin to draw them. For example, if you retire and draw SS benefits at age 62 the payments will be 25 to 30% less than your full retirement age income. Social Security Administration will assist you, at age 55, in estimating what your retirement benefits may be. They will also help you understand how post retirement employment may affect your benefits. Understanding the various SS benefits is crucial in developing your retirement plans.

Employer Retirement Plans — The second major source of retirement income is your employer’s retirement plans, be it a traditional pension or 401(k) plan. Your employer’s retirement plans administrator should be able to help you determine the estimated income you can expect from this retirement plan. 

Personal Retirement Plans — IRAs, Roth IRAs, Keogh and other individual retirement programs are your third retirement income source. There are rules and regulations on when and how much you can draw as income from these retirement plans. Your retirement plan manager should be able to clarify these rules and give you an estimated retirement income plan.

Personal Savings and Investments — Your savings and investment accounts will yield the fourth source of your retirement income. You should be able to formulate the amount you can earn from them.

Employment — The fifth retirement income source is retirement employment. To maintain your standard of living you may need to work when you retire. You may also work to provide extra income for things you cannot afford on standard retirement income. There are other benefits of retirement employment so in your retirement planning working may be a viable option.

Your good evaluating and planning will result in retirement being your ‘Golden Years’.

Frank Fain is director of educational services at The Baptist Home in Arcadia Valley, Mo. The 55+ Adults column is a regular feature of Word&Way.