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Truck Driver Retirement Tips

December 15th, 2023

Samantha Dwyer

Samantha Dwyer

Samantha joined the Anderson Trucking Family in November of 2012 as a specialized driver manager and managed a fleet of mixed company and contractor drivers. In the spring of 2014, she transitioned to the driver administration department and began working in contractor services. While in contractor services, Samantha familiarized herself with all processes, procedures and information in regards to driver contracts, pay and settlements. She is currently the operations support manager and oversees both the contractor services department as well as the driver settlement department and leads both of her teams to ensure our drivers receive the highest level of service required to help navigate their accounts and settlements on a daily basis.

Do you want to know a frightening statistic? 

The average retirement age of a truck driver is 62. The average life expectancy for a truck driver is 61. You don’t need me to explain to you that these numbers suggest that drivers may be more likely to pass away before they have the chance to retire.

For a variety of reasons, many truck drivers don’t plan for retirement; they plan to drive until they pass away or they can’t drive anymore. But as a truck driver, you deserve to relax and enjoy your time off the road in retirement. 

You might feel like it’s too late, that you don’t have enough savings set aside or time to reach your retirement goals. Let me let you in on a little secret: A lot of us feel that way. And it’s okay. 

No matter where you are or aren’t in your retirement planning — whether you’ve never thought about retiring or you’ve slowly started saving — you can take action today and make a difference. 

I’m here to help. As the operations support manager and head of the settlements team here at Anderson Trucking Service (ATS), I talk weekly to drivers about retiring. I speak with both drivers who’ve made a plan to retire and those whose plans involve driving until they can’t anymore. 

I’m here to provide you with tips for getting your retirement funds on track and making the plan to retire. This includes setting a retirement goal, communicating your goal with your team and taking actionable steps to work toward your goal. 

Couple sitting together planning for retirement.

Step #1: Set a Retirement Goal

Your first step in retirement planning is to recognize you deserve the chance to retire and to decide that you will. And believe me, I know how hard you work — you deserve to retire. However, there are a few reasons drivers don’t plan to retire. 

Drivers are notorious for being compassionate caretakers. You’re selfless and you want to save your money for others. 

On the other end of the spectrum, you may feel like you have a hard time meeting any financial goals and can’t imagine the thought of ever retiring. Maybe you feel trapped in your financial obligations. 

Other drivers love trucking so much that they can’t imagine ever stopping. They’re comfortable with their decision to never retire and there’s a sense of relief in knowing they don’t need to set aside money for retirement. 

Retirement itself is also scary. New retirees can lose their sense of purpose; they have to find a new routine, which can be a lot to handle. As a driver, you’re accustomed to going from place to place every day. In retirement, you’re relatively still in comparison. It’s a hard concept to accept. 

While there’s no convincing some drivers, I’m here to convince you you should make a plan to retire. You can’t take care of your family and friends unless you also take care of yourself. And in some cases, you can’t keep driving if you develop a health condition as you get older. Having a backup plan is crucial. 

To set your financial goals, start by speaking with your partner or adult children — any person affected by your decision to retire — about your plans. Determine what type of lifestyle you want to maintain throughout retirement. That will help you figure out where you need to be financially to maintain that lifestyle.

Next, talk to a financial advisor, a tax preparer and the Social Security Administration. A financial advisor will help you work out how much money you need to save and they’ll talk to you about retirement accounts you can invest your money in. 

A tax preparer will ensure that, as a lease driver or independent contractor, you’re paying taxes properly so that you’re not penalized. They’ll make sure you’re paying enough in taxes and paying into programs that will benefit you down the line, like Social Security and Medicare. (You’ll be paying into these programs automatically as a company driver.) 

The Social Security Administration will help you understand what your benefit will be when you decide to retire (how much you can expect to receive). If you pay into Social Security throughout your career, you’ll have a greater chance of getting a bigger benefit when the time comes to retire. 

Related: Tips to stay healthy as a truck driver

Step #2: Communicate Your Goals to Your Driver Manager

When you start driving with a new company, tell them what your goals are. That goes for all your goals — retirement and otherwise. Let them know your wants and needs, your expectations, where you like to run and how much money you would like to make. 

Talk to your team about when you want to retire and the goals you have set to get you there. You might have an age you’d like to retire at or maybe you want a certain amount of money in the bank before you retire. 

Either way, talk about this with your driver manager so they can support your goals by helping you earn more and be more cost-efficient. 

General goals and retirement goals differ from person to person. Don’t assume your support team knows what your plan is. Don’t be afraid to ask them to help you get where you want to be.

Step #3: Save and Invest Your Money

Unfortunately, most people won’t be able to rely on Social Security benefits alone in retirement. They need some sort of supplemental income to cover their basic needs. This is where savings and retirement accounts come in. You can slowly withdraw money out of these accounts in retirement to support yourself. 

Retirement accounts are all about making your money work for you. Time is key here. The sooner you start putting your money away, the more time it has to grow. 

Types of Retirement Accounts

As an independent contractor or owner-operator, you have to be a little more mindful about retirement planning. Because you’re working for yourself, you won’t have access to employer-sponsored benefits like a 401k (a tax-advantaged retirement account). 

Thankfully, there are plenty of programs and accounts that allow you to save and invest your money. I’ll talk about some of the popular ones. 

Piggy bank with IRA written in red. 401k written on a green sticky note.


An IRA (an individual retirement arrangement) is a tax-advantaged savings plan. An IRA helps you build your retirement savings with tax-free growth or on a tax-deferred basis. Your money is invested in whatever individual stocks or mutual funds you choose. Regular contributions and good investments can allow this account to grow significantly for you. 

There are several types of IRAs you can open, including a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA or a SIMPLE IRA.

Much like a 401k, however, your yearly contributions are limited and you can be penalized if you remove the funds before you hit retirement age. Because of this, it’s a good idea to have your money saved away in additional accounts too. 


Some people decide to purchase bonds to partially fund their retirement. When you buy a bond, you’re essentially funding a company or government’s operation. They act as the borrower and you’re the investor. In return, they agree to pay you back the total cost of the loan at a set date along with periodic interest payments.

Curious about the difference between a stock and a bond? A stock is an investment in a company and your investment will grow based on the company’s success. A bond is an investment in a company’s debt. Stocks can provide higher returns, but they’re often more volatile. Bonds can be a less risky investment.

High-Yield Savings Account 

With a traditional bank account, you earn very little interest — often under one percent. With a high-yield savings account, on the other hand, you can earn upwards of around six percent annual interest. 

It’s both a safe and accessible place to put your money. You can access it if you need it and it’ll sit there gaining interest. It also makes for a good emergency fund and you don’t have to worry about the stock market affecting it.

There are stipulations with these accounts — you might have to start with a certain amount of money or keep a specific amount in the bank — but it’s a great way to make your money work for you. If liquidity (your easy access to funds) is your top priority, this is the way to go. 

Check out the best high-yield online savings accounts this year

Certificate of Deposit

A certificate of deposit (CD) is another type of savings account with benefits. You make an agreement with a bank to set aside a lump sum that you won’t touch for a set number of years. In turn, the bank will hold that money and you’ll gain a set amount of interest. If you withdraw the money early, you’ll pay a penalty. 


Similar to a CD is an annuity. However, instead of putting money into a savings account, you purchase a contract from a financial provider. 

You either make one large lump sum payment or a series of payments (the accumulation phase) and then the financial provider makes payments to you or someone you choose (the distribution phase). Oftentimes, people decide to start the distribution phase in retirement. 

Retirement Tools

Your financial advisor should be your number one tool for retirement advice. For starters, they can help you set your goals depending on how much money you earn, when you want to retire and at what age you want to retire. Then, they can help you manage your savings and investments. Overall, you’ll pay them a fee to help you make sound financial decisions that will keep you on track to retirement. 

There are a slew of other tools you can use for financial help too, like phone applications. From apps that help you set and stick to a budget to apps that’ll round up your total and invest it for you, there are tons of resources to help you. 

Invest written in black letters.

Make More Money, Save More Money

The path to retirement might seem daunting, especially with statistics indicating a mismatch between the average retirement age and life expectancy. However, it's never too late to start planning and taking steps towards a fulfilling retirement. 

Drivers like you, driven by a sense of duty or a passion for their work, often overlook planning for retirement. Yet, considering the uncertainties of health and the need for financial security, creating a retirement plan becomes essential.

Setting clear retirement goals, understanding the financial landscape and seeking guidance from professionals are pivotal. These steps help map out a financial strategy tailored to your individual needs. 

Saving and investing wisely through various avenues like IRAs, bonds, high-yield savings accounts, CDs and annuities offer diverse options to secure your financial future. Time is a significant asset in these investments.

Regardless of where you stand in your retirement planning journey, taking action today can significantly impact the quality of life in retirement. While the road might appear challenging, with determination and strategic planning, you can pave the way to a fulfilling and well-deserved retirement.

Check out how you can make more money with these tips.