Why Money Isn't the Biggest Retirement Factor

Why Money Isn't the Biggest Retirement Factor

According to new research, deciding when to retire isn't all about the money.

A study from the University of Michigan Retirement Research Center found that while financial preparedness does play a role (no surprise there), a bank account balance may actually be eclipsed by other job-related factors as a determinant of when you'll leave the workforce.

For example, you may stay choose to work longer if you have positive relationships with co-workers and supervisors or need the employer-provided health insurance. On the flip side, you may leave sooner if your job requires physical labor; your company doesn't offer flexible work hours; or if you perceive there is age discrimination in the office.

Of course, the study's findings won't apply to every worker in every workplace in every economic situation, but they bring up an interesting question: While LearnVest research has shown that 40% of Americans expect to work part time after retiring in order to make ends meet, how many of them will stay employed because they want to?

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If you don't have enough savings to pay the bills, cover surprise expenses or have enough stashed away to maintain a certain post-retirement lifestyle, your desire for a better retirement might trump your disdain of that co-worker in the next cubicle.

In fact, saving enough for retirement is one of the biggest financial worries many of us have—except, maybe, for those of us who have managed to set aside over $1 million already. And remember, there's no such thing as saving too much: Thinking you'll need significantly less money in retirement than you actually do is a common miscalculation.

That's why starting to save for retirement today, even just a little, is one of the best things you can do for your money ... because unfortunately, you can't make up for lost time.

RELATED: I Started Saving for Retirement—When It Was Almost Too Late

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