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Fidelity’s 2024 State of Retirement Planning shows that TikToker @my_secrets_untold is part of the “new retirement,” wherein 57% of Americans plan to keep working after retirement — at least part-time.

Of those planning to delay retirement, two-thirds are in the same boat as @my_secrets_untold: they’re doing it out of financial necessity.

Working past 65 will give you a greater safety net because you’ll still have income coming in. You can’t just rely on Social Security, which currently doesn’t offer most retirees enough money to live on — particularly when paying for health care (a major concern for many Fidelity respondents).

Although working past retirement may not sound ideal, 68% of people surveyed by Fidelity said they’re looking forward to it. Many retirees end up feeling aimless and bored after they’ve left the workforce behind.

For instance, a 101-year-old Ohio woman continues to work to keep her mind stimulated and to socialize — not because she needs the extra income.

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Pay off your debt

In her video, @my_secrets_untold disclosed that she owes $14,000 in credit card debt and $110,000 in student loans, totalling $124,000.

Americans of all ages are carrying historic amounts of debt — and it doesn’t end in retirement.

The Center for Retirement Research discovered that 63% of U.S. households over the age of 65 carry some form of debt. This is a steep incline since the late 1980s, when only 38% of households over 65 carried debt.

Most of the current debt comes from people who are lower-income, like @my_secrets_untold. Their largest debt often comes from credit cards, which they rely on “just to get by.”

But @my_secrets_untold isn’t 65 yet. She still has 24 years until she gets there. She can actively start paying off her debt — and possibly even retire in the black.

A good way for her to get started is by using the “snowball method,” one of personal finance celebrity Dave Ramsey’s favorite debt reduction strategies.

Essentially, you take your smallest debt first and pay it off. Then, you pay off the next lowest debt. You keep doing this until you’ve repaid all your debts.

Start investing

Another personal finance celebrity, Suze Orman, encouraged people to take advantage of compound interest — especially while they’re young. She argued that, if you start saving in your 20s, the power of compound interest will grow your nest egg exponentially by the time you hit retirement.

However, the Federal Reserve discovered that 28% of Americans haven’t done this. Much like @my_secrets_untold, they have no retirement savings.

The Federal Reserve doesn’t explain why these people don’t have retirement savings, but it may be because they simply don’t have enough money to put aside for retirement.

If you’re in a similar situation, it doesn’t mean that you’ll never be able to stop working. You can start saving and investing for retirement today.

Even just putting a few dollars into a 401(k) or a Roth IRA is a great way to benefit from the power of saving and compound interest.

Figuring out when you want to retire and assessing your risk tolerance will help you better understand how to invest your money for your long-term comfort and security.


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Sabina Wex is a writer and podcast producer in Toronto. Her work has appeared in Business Insider, Fast Company, CBC and more.


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