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How to Retire at 70: Step-by-Step Plan


While many people dream of retiring as soon as possible, others love their jobs and want to work as long as possible. Older workers who want to retire at 70 have multiple advantages over others who retire earlier. If you’re still working past the traditional retirement age or are considering it, there are a handful of steps you can follow to ensure things go as successfully as possible. You may even want to consider working with a financial advisor as you create or modify your retirement plans.

Maximize Your Social Security Benefits

For every year that you delay claiming Social Security benefits, your monthly benefits increase by 8%. By waiting until you are age 70 to retire, you’re setting yourself up to maximize your Social Security income with checks that are 124% of what they would have been if you had started collecting at your full retirement age. This delay not only benefits you but also your spouse who may elect to use your benefit amount when you pass away.

Consistently Contribute to Your Retirement Accounts

Working until age 70 not only provides income from your employment, it also provides an opportunity to continue contributing to your retirement accounts. Since you’re not withdrawing from your accounts, you’re benefiting twice. These benefits include the growth of your investments and the additional contributions you’re making. The money already in your accounts continues to grow based on market performance. And your additional contributions build upon that solid foundation for later years in life.

Sign Up for Medicare at Age 65

Even if you continue working past that age, you should sign up for Medicare at 65 anyway. Medicare penalizes people who don’t sign up at age 65, even if they plan to retire at 70 or later. If you wait until later to sign up, your coverage may see a delay when you finally decide to enroll. Additionally, your Medicare Plan B monthly premiums increase 10% for every 12-month period that you were eligible for coverage but didn’t sign up.

Open a Brokerage Account

If you don’t already have a brokerage account, now is the time to open one up. You’ll soon need to start taking required minimum distributions from your retirement plans. A brokerage account is an excellent place to keep that money invested if those distributions are not needed to cover your daily living expenses. Plus, any money in these accounts will receive a step-up in basis for your beneficiaries. This means that they won’t have to pay any income taxes on the gains.

Diversify Your Portfolio Based on Your Risk Tolerance and Time Horizon

Retire at 70

Normal fluctuations in the stock and bond market can tilt your portfolio out of whack. You can quickly become over-concentrated in one type of investment. Visit with your advisor once a year to review your investment mix to ensure that it still fits your goals and timeframe. Then, rebalance your portfolio to match the plan for diversification that you and your advisor have created.

Consider an Annuity for Lifetime Income

One fear that retirees have is that they’ll outlive their income. This can be one of the reasons why they delay retiring at an earlier age. Many types of annuities can address those concerns because you cannot outlive its monthly payments. When you deposit a set amount of money, you’ll be guaranteed monthly payments for as long as you live. You can even buy a joint-and-survivor annuity that continues to pay until both you and your spouse pass away.

Evaluate Alternative Investment Opportunities

Traditional investments of stocks and bonds are the foundation of any good financial plan. But many investors are looking into alternative investments to diversify their assets and provide additional growth and income opportunities. Alternative investments range from the common (real estate, commodities, private equity) to exotic (cryptocurrency, NFTs, collectibles).

Put Together a Strong Estate Plan

No matter what your age is, it’s critical to have a solid estate plan for yourself. Whether you’re 40, 70 or 100 years old, if you don’t have a valid will or even a living trust, your beneficiaries may struggle to handle your estate. In some cases, probate will even need to occur, which can be extremely stressful. Not only does this complicate matters, but it can cost a lot of money. Especially because probate fees are based on the value of your assets, not your net worth.

Distribute Assets Before Passing Away

If you can afford it, consider distributing some of your assets while you are alive. This serves to reduce the value of your estate to avoid or minimize estate taxes. Plus, you get to see the joy in your heirs’ faces when they receive the gifts versus waiting until you pass away. Some investors change their estate plans based on watching how beneficiaries handle monetary gifts made while alive.

Bottom Line

Retire at 70

More and more people are working later in life. Better health and longer lifespans allow more seniors to retire at 70 or even later. The financial benefits of this decision can be significant, especially when it comes to Social Security. If you follow the strategies above, you’ll hopefully find yourself well-situated financially to retire comfortably and enjoy your post-working life.

Tips for Retirement 

  • While many of the steps above seem simple to some investors, many of us could use a helping hand. A financial advisor can offer guidance to set up these accounts and strategies to secure your retirement. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • When planning to retire at a later age, your investments have more time to grow and ride out fluctuations in the market. SmartAsset’s investment calculator shows how your portfolio will grow based on several variables. You can adjust the starting amount, annual contributions, timeframe and annual returns to create numerous scenarios.

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