The old notion that you should withdraw from life and sit in a rocking chair during retirement has been completely overturned as today’s older population demonstrates on a daily basis. Here are some recent facts and new ideas about retirement that you should consider before you take that last paycheck.
People are living—and working—longer.1
According to the Bureau for Labor Statistics, the labor force participation rate is expected to increase faster for the oldest segments of the population than for any other segment during the 2014–2024 decade. Since the turn of the century, older workers age 55+ have grown as a percentage of the workforce and are no longer the smallest segment.
Improvements in health care and life expectancy and changes to Social Security benefits all play a role in the trend. A Gallup poll also attributes the increase, at least in part, to Baby Boomers’ reluctance to retire for any number of reasons ranging from financial to a “hard-work” ethic and an inability to shift down to a slower pace of life.
Think of retirement as “Starting Older.”2
Psychiatrist Prudy Gourguechon says that the whole idea of retirement is destructive. Psychologically, we all need to have a purpose and a role—we need to move toward something, not away. Pursuing facile leisure activities 24/7 until we keel over just doesn’t cut it for most of us.
The fact that we’re now living 20+ years in retirement, often in good health, leads to the desire to be useful and engaged. She counsels people to “start older” to find new work or a volunteer role that brings a sense of creativity, vitality and contentment.
- Human beings are meant to be productive.
- Leisure and relaxation cannot provide meaning and fulfillment throughout an expectable 20 years of reasonably good health.
- A person who has spent four decades engaged in highly stimulating, intense work with great responsibility and some power is not going to want to give up stimulation, responsibility or the power to affect the world.
- It’s much easier to let go of something vital to you if you see something equally engaging ahead.
How much money will you need?
The answer to the question “how much money will you need” in retirement depends on many factors, like, your lifestyle and corresponding budget needs, whether or not your house is paid off, whether or not you are on expensive medications or expect to spend a lot on health care…to name just a few.
But one danger that can blow up a retirement is when excess free time breeds rampant consumerism. If you’re sitting at home immersed in screen-based activities (watching television, surfing the web, etc.), the temptation to shop can be hard to resist. Be sure to maintain an active life and busy social calendar. Volunteer, join exercise classes and attend community events to prevent yourself from aimlessly acquiring things. In other words, be careful not to spend your free time spending.3
At ABG Wealth Management, we recognize that retirement is not a “one-size-fits-all” occurrence. That’s why we work with each client to create a customized retirement plan which considers both your personal desires, as well as your financial requirements for reliable income.
Please call us at (866) 837-0999 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
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