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© 1994, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


Retirement preparation includes planning for financial security, health maintenance, a social network, and meaningful activities.

Retirement is defined as partial or complete withdrawal from career work accompanied by a change in the sources and amount of income. Most persons choose to retire today between the ages of 62 and 66 since eligibility for partial Social Security benefits begins at age 62 with full benefits available by age 65. Full benefits will begin later for Americans born after 1959 when they reach age 67 in 2027. For most occupations, there is no mandatory age at which people have to quit working. Self-employed persons, for example, may continue working for as long as they desire.

About 90 percent of all working adults live long enough to experience retirement. The estimated life expectancy in the U.S. for persons who turned age 65 in 1992 is for women to live to be 84 and for men to live until 80. With a third or more of one's life span devoted to retirement activities, it is important that adequate preparation be made for this last period of life.