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Mark Miller: Remaking Retirement

Treat Your Work as a Retirement Asset

Contributor Mark Miller offers concrete steps to take to protect your human capital as retirement nears.

Income from work is one of the most critical parts of your retirement plan, especially in the last decade of your career. It's a time when most people enjoy career-high earnings and sometimes have the opportunity to play catch-up on savings. And extending your number of years at work helps make it possible to boost monthly Social Security income down the road through delayed filing credits.

But wages can be a risky income source at this time of life, and that can play havoc with your retirement plan. Just under 40% of workers retire earlier than expected, usually owing to job loss or health problems. Those who lose jobs unexpectedly and then secure new positions often do so at far lower levels of pay.