More and more often I see someone argue that we should stop using the word “retirement” and abandon the whole concept of retirement. Retire retirement, they say. They argue that people are living longer, healthier, more active lives. “Retired” people no longer have sedentary lifestyles that occasionally are interrupted by shuffleboard and card games. Surveys show a high percent-age of Baby Boomers want to work past age 65, and a substantial and growing minority say they don’t want to retire ever.
Those are good points. All they mean, though, is that retirement has changed from the stereotype made popular in the 1960s. But most people still retire from specific careers and from work altogether at some point. Many who continue working either volunteer or have substantially lower incomes than during their main careers. Also, though many people say they plan to work past 65 and perhaps never retire, reality often is different from their wishes. A majority of retirees say they retired earlier than they
initially planned, and their retirement dates were out of their control. Health issues, layoffs and needs of family members often determine retirement dates.
For most of us, there are indeed one or more phases of life after our primary careers when we’re still productive and active. But almost everyone wants to retire at some point.
More importantly, no matter what we are doing and what we label it, at some point all of us have to deal with many of the issues associated with retirement: Medicare, Social Security benefits, managing IRAs, estate planning and more. What we really mean by retirement these days is at some point we want to have established enough resources that we no longer need to work for compensation if we don’t want to. We need to recognize that retirement is a process and now there often are one or more periods between full-time middle-age careers and full-time retirement. So, while retirement has changed and will keep changing, it’s still here. There’s no reason to retire “retirement.”
P.S.: I always have more information to provide about your retirement finances. One way I deliver it is through the Retirement Watch Spotlight Series. This is a series of online seminars that you can view whenever you want from wherever you can access the internet. A recent edition explained how to establish a retirement paycheck with lifetime, guaranteed income, regardless of what’s happening in the markets. Soon, I’ll provide an-other of my semiannual investment and economic reviews in which I lay out where the economy and markets are heading.
To learn more about the Spotlight Series, go to the top of the RetirementWatch.com home page, and select the Spotlight link.