Don’t count on working forever

And more of the week's best financial insight

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(Image credit: Catherine Falls Commercial / Getty Images)

Here are three of the week's top pieces of financial insight, gathered from around the web:

Don’t count on working forever

Don’t base your retirement savings strategy on a plan to work longer, said Greg Iacurci at CNBC. In 2022, the average expected retirement age was 66, meaning that’s when people thought they would retire. But, due most likely to unforeseen circumstances, "the average actual retirement age was 62." We’ve all heard that "delaying retirement by just a few years can have a 'dramatic' positive financial effect." But late retirement is not a certainty you can count on. Two-thirds of people who said they retired early in 2023 did so "because of a hardship like a health problem or disability," or because of changes at their company. Only about 35% said they "could afford to retire early." So it’s important to save as if retirement could come sooner rather than later.

Gen Z brings its politics to the office

Talking politics at the watercooler is no longer the taboo it once was, said Jo Constantz in Bloomberg. About 3 in 5 U.S. workers said they have discussed politics with co-workers over the past year, according to Glassdoor. Interestingly, this shift in workplace decorum is being driven not by older workers but by the younger generation, who appear to be "the most outspoken about their beliefs and are most likely to want to work with colleagues and leaders that share them." Younger workers are more likely to want their companies to "take a public stand on an issue they care about." Nearly half of Gen Z workers also say they wouldn’t apply to "a company where the CEO supports a political candidate they disagree with," compared with about 30% of older-generation workers.

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Maximizing your workplace benefits

Most employees spend 30 minutes or less reviewing their benefits during the open-enrollment period, said Alex Janin in The Wall Street Journal. "That’s a mistake, especially this year with costs for employer health coverage expected to jump" by about 6.5%. "The first mistake people make is assuming their health-care plan" will have the same coverage year-over-year, but a plan’s network of providers can shift. "Doctors aren’t required to tell patients in advance that they’re no longer accepting their insurance, so it’s a good idea to call them directly and ask." Elective benefits can also change and some newer additions like identity-theft protection, legal assistance, even pet insurance are growing popular — and usually they are “a better deal than you can get on the open market."

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