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Re-thinking Retirement

Are you thinking about retirement? When it comes to the topic of retirement, the old rules no longer apply. In fact, when the Social Security act was passed in 1935, the age of retirement was set at 65, and the average life expectancy was 61. Today, the average life expectancy is just under 80. That fact alone should cause you to begin re-thinking retirement.

Re-thinking Retirement

The percentage of the workforce representing workers over 65 has doubled since 1992. And that trend is expected to continue unabated. If you plot the increase in life expectancy along with the increase in work-life expectancy (that’s the average age at which people stop working), the two actually merge in 2100.

Turning 65 is a magic number for many Americans. That’s the age at which people expect to retire and stop working. For some, retirement can come even sooner, maybe at 60 or even 55.

For many, retirement means it’s now time to play endless rounds of golf, sail around the world, and travel to your hearts content.  All of those are good, fun, and things you should do, however, one can only play so many rounds of golf before doing so gets ‘old’.

While it may not seem so, ending your working career may not be the best thing for your health. Some studies show the precise opposite. One in particular, funded by the National Institute on Aging in America “found that healthy retirees who worked a year longer (over the age of 65) had an 11 percent lower all-cause mortality risk. Even the unhealthy group reduced their likelihood of dying by 9 percent if they delayed retirement.”

Instead of considering it retirement, perhaps looking at it as your third act will help. Certainly, you’ve reached the age where you can take time off, the kids have moved out, life is at a slower pace, and enjoying your hard-earned money and vacation is appropriate.

Certainly, there are those things in your life that you love to do that can continue to add value while still participating in activities like golfing or sailing.  Invest your time on both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Do you have a particular skill that can be taught in a classroom? You’d be surprised how much fulfillment you receive out of helping others. The best thing about shifting gears is that it can all be done on your own time schedule.

As you think about your own retirement, think of it more as a shift than an ending. Think about what kinds of changes you can make today to help you map out the kind of life you want to lead for the rest of your career rather than waiting until the end to figure it all out.

No matter which way you re-think retirement, at LifeFone your safety is our number one priority. We have medical alert devices for your home, and for when you are on the go. Our team can help you choose the right one to fit your lifestyle.

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