Establishing a supplemental retirement income is a good start at preparation for retirement, but there are other retirement issues which need to be considered when preparing for retirement.
For example do we plan on retiring, and if so, to what extent do we plan to retire. When we retire our life styles may be turned upside down. Hence we are hit with emotional issues, which need to be solved. Also, how are our bodies holding up. Are we prepared financially for extravagant health care expenses. And what do we plan on doing to enjoy our retire as we should.
These are retirement issues which I intend to discuss over the course of this post.
Seventy replaces sixty five.
At one time 62 was the standard retirement age. Then, as the first boomers were nearing retirement, the retirement age advanced to 65. Now it sure looks like the new standard retirement age is going to be 70. That makes sense because age 70 is when the social security benefit matures.
Even with the standard retirement age increasing, boomers are still choosing to delay their retirement, past the standard retirement age. So why is that;
- People reach retirement age and see no need to retire. Their health is good, and the actually enjoy their work.
- People can’t afford to retire. Unfortunately this group is far to large. Many boomers are not financially prepared to retire. We need to understand that this unpreparedness is not totally the fault of we boomers. The retirement playing field has changed during our lifetimes. Our parents had it made when it came to retirement. They were members of structured pension plains, which were administered by their employers. All they had to do was to continue working and their fat retirement checks was waiting for them. We boomers lost all that when most of our employers got out of the pension fund business. And put the retirement funding responsibility on our shoulders. Then there was that thing called the Great Recession, which began in Dec 2007 and ended in June 2009. Many boomers who were preparing properly for retirement, lost at least a substantial portion of their retirement savings during The Great Recession.
- People continue working after retirement age because they need to stay active, and are not sure as to how to secure an active retirement.
- It has become popular for retirement age people to phase their way into total retirement by working part-time. They also seek part-time employment to supplement their retirement income.
- Boomers may be delaying their retirement because when they retire they will lose the good health care insurance, and have to depend on the less adequate Medicare.
There is nothing wrong with not wanting to retire when most people normally do. We do need to remember that sooner or later we will all have to retire.
Being emotionally prepared for retirement.
The emotional issue of retirement cannot be ignored. According to psychologist Kris Ludwigsen, Martinez, Calif., Work is the primary source of identity for many of us and absorbs our best energies and creativity. Most of us work at some profession, or a combination of professions, for maybe 50 years. This work becomes part of our lives. This work defines us. Needless to say, it can be difficult to just stop doing something which has become such an important part of us.
There is an expression, “We should work to live, not live to work”. Nevertheless work, over the years becomes part of us. We feel a sense of accomplishment because of our efforts on the job. We form relationships in the workplace. If we are one of the lucky people who truly enjoy our jobs, we are reluctant to retire because we fear we will not find the same joy, and sense of accomplishment away from our job.
If, think about it. Do you recall having to change schools when you were a child? We were comfortable in our old schools. That old school was where our closest friendships developed. Now we have to become comfortable in a new school. We have to develop new friendships in the new school. And we are afraid that this change is not going to work out well for us. Of course, after a while things did work well for us. We just had to realize that, the situation at the new school will never be just like the way it was in the old school. But we can be just as happy in the new school, with new friends.
See what I’m getting at here. That same emotion may exist when we retire and leave the people who we spent so much time with over the years. Chances are, with time life after retirement can be just as gratifying as life before retirement.
It is probably likely that when we retire, we will not be able to participate in the same activities as on the job. Activities which were so meaningful for us. We may be afraid that we don’t have the energy to develop new interests. The kind of interests which make us want to get out of bed in the morning.
The key to enjoying retirement is to not let any grass grow under our feet. We have to stay busy. Our beginning retirement may be like the beginning years for the typical college student. Most college students usually change their majors a couple of times before they settle on a course of study which they feel is the right fit for them.
We boomers are starting on a new stage of our lives, and we may likely develop interests, which really turns us on, through tire and error. And that’s okay. It’s not like there’s anyone bugging us to hurry up and make up our minds as to how we plan on spending the rest of our lives.
By knowing the negative issues involved in retirement, we can be able to minimize the effects of those issues. We can not shy away from making new acquaintances. We can open our minds to new and fulfilling interests. Who knows, new acquaintances, and interest can lead to new exciting opportunities.
Very likely, one of the biggest reasons people are reluctant to retire is because we don’t want to lose our healthcare insurance coverage. And we realize that the older we get the more likely we are going to need healthcare insurance.
I’ll use myself as a example. I am 70 years old. Up until two years ago, I have never been in need of any kind of surgery. In the last two years I have been under the knife twice. No life saving surgery mind you, but I have to wonder what healthcare issues lie around the corner for me. I have to realize that I am no longer bullet proof.
As we age our bodies won’t allow us to do what we used to do, and by the same token, our bodies do things they didn’t used to do either.
Here’s the hard truth of the matter. It is estimated that a healthy 65-year-old couple can spend $266,600 over the length of their retirement on Medicare premiums.
It is a good idea that we need to be putting money into a retirement healthcare plan, and we need to start as soon as possible. Nothing can screw up a happy retirement faster than incurring an out of control healthcare debt.
Make a plan to enjoy our retirement years.
Probably our plans for our retirement years has changed over the past, I don’t know, maybe the 40 years. I know that my plans have definitely changed. At one time I had the notion that when my wife and I retired we would be able to travel wherever we wanted to, whenever we wanted to. Needless to say, that is not going to happen.
We have to learn to stay in one place most of the time, and figure out a way to enjoy ourselves while we do that. And that’s alright, because we are in the same boat as are many boomers these days.
My wife is still working, and although I am retired, I am busier that I was when I was working.
We need to keep our head in the retirement game. Retirement is a golden opportunity to meet new and interesting people. Develop new interest. Even get involved in some volunteer work.
While we’re exercising our brain, we need to exercise our body as well. There is no reason why we cannot be the smartest, the healthiest, and the happiest generation that ever retired.
That’s all I got for now. Game 3 of the NBA finals just started, and my TV is calling me to watch it. I do want to hear from you if you have any thoughts to add, or if you disagree with my thoughts. You can leave your comments below.