What is the right retirement age?
The suddenly retired worker will have a different vision of retirement age.
Different from the person who worked for 35 years. Especially if this worker had a job they did not enjoy, and are now 66 years old. This will probably produce different ideas of the right retirement age.
Are you a sudden retiree?
What is your idea of the right retirement age?
What are your concerns? Are they different from mine?
What can you tell me about retirement for you?
How to get a good idea of what retirement might feel like? Let’s take a look at someone who has been suddenly retired.
At an early age.
Consider where they find themselves.
- One who ended up retired because of unexpected events.
- Such as the merger or sale of a business.
- An injury.
- Sickness or caregiving for a family member.
- The death of a spouse.
The experiences of these “Sudden Retirees” might give a better guide for previewing some of your concerns in the starting phases of retirement. This is when you are making your adjustments to retirement.
Many of the people who have found themselves unexpectedly retired often still think young.
They are energetic. Have dreams for their future. (this can also true for more traditional retirees as well)
Sudden retirees often have to make life decisions before they are prepared.
Ideally, you want to learn how to live within your financial limits. Before you reach retirement time.
You hear and read about the financial aspects. Not as much on the other parts of your life.
One study of retirees, both sudden and traditional found that many people say that they are “resigned to their retirement.” They will not profess to being satisfied with retirement.
Several years ago I first became concerned with retirement. I began to realize that the full story wasn’t being told about retirement.
I have not been surprised what some of the research has found. As I have stated earlier, I have, for years been an observer of people.
What I had realized were the 5 big stumbling blocks of retirement:
Death. Divorce. Disability. Drunkenness. and Boredom. Research today confirms these same old problems.
Research done a generation ago from IBM reported some disturbing facts. Their average retiree didn’t make it to his or her 24th pension check. Not even 2 full years.
Longevity rates have increased. However, there are far too many reports of people who die within a year’s time of retirement.
There seems to be two specific for reasons this.
One is that the individual actually worked himself to death. Burning the candle at both ends. Upon reaching retirement age or retiring early, slides into his final decline.
Most often, however, the person wakes up on day 32 of retirement.
Realizes he/she has no specific purpose.
No plan. Nothing that has meaning for their days of retirement.
These are the individuals who will find 1 or more of the stumbling blocks mentioned earlier in their lives.
They will be the ones who die of aimlessness.
A study of employees who worked at Shell Oil was done a few years ago.
Researchers found that starting retirement at age 55 doubled the risk of early death.
Death before reaching age 65.
This was when compared with those who worked beyond age 60.
“Failing health may have been a factor in the younger retirees’ higher mortality,” reported Shan P. Tsai, Ph.D., an epidemiologist with Shell Health Services.
However, in the British Medical Journal. Dr. Tsai and his colleagues challenged the ideas that early retirement means less stress with a more relaxed lifestyle.
The idea being investigated was that retiring early would increase the life span of retirees.
Results indicated just the opposite.
Mortality rates declined with an older retirement age.
This trend of working longer because of economic necessity?
This may not seem a positive idea to you at the moment.
It’s important to consider the upside of this situation. Economist Josef Zweimuller from the University of Zurich reported on a study of this early retirement age idea.
The results state that even though many think they want early retirement. This may not be a good idea. Early retirement seems bad for our health.
“Among blue-collar workers, we see that workers who retire earlier have a higher mortality rates.
These effects are pretty large.”
The study also concluded that for every extra year of early retirement taken, workers lost about two months of life expectancy.
Other researchers, including University of Florida psychologist Mo Wang, who studies retirement, and Steve Levitt, author of the bestseller Freakonomics, have found the same phenomena around earlier retirement age.
Levitt has personallychosen a plan to retire. Yet keep working part time at the same time. He is preparing for the right retirement age.
So this is the real world of retirement?
In an article for CBS Money Watch, Steve Vernon reported in a commentary on the RP-2000 Mortality Study. This study included a table that compared the annual death rates among two groups of men aged 50 to 70.
The first group consisted of men who were working.
The second group included men who were fully retired.
The death rates of those who were still working were almost half that of the death rates of men the same age who were fully retired.
“What’s going on here?” Vernon wrote, “I thought retirement was supposed to be good for you!”
Does working actually enable you to live longe? Or is it simply correlative? With no direct cause from work? An explanation that was offered for how working or not working affects the outcome?
Could it be that people who are in poor health and disabled would fall into the retired group?
Only healthy people can continue to work. This argument doesn’t hold water. Those on disability benefits as well as those in failing health were not included in the study. Retirement age alone was not the only factor.
There are many studies and evidence appearing about work being a factor in longevity. Aging Well a book written by George Mallant summarized this evidence in detail.
A vital engagement with life is a primary factor in prolonging life.
You can get engagement with life from working.
You can also get this engagement from taking up causes.
By volunteering. Or you can pursue hobbies. Helping your family. Your community can furnish the engagement needed. Reguardless of retirement age.
Vernon’s conclusion: “Here’s the takeaway: Finding powerful reasons for getting up in the morning in my retirement years is as important as my financial planning. We may need to work a little in our retirement years to make ends meet. In this case, I won’t be bitter–working may be keeping me alive!”
This is what I saw around me in my communities, as I observed people.
I had planned to work till I no longer could.
That is still my plan. I did not retire till I was nearly 71. Then after a bit of retirement, things had to change.
That is when I knew I still had things to do. There are still people to help.
What is the right retirement age for you?
While everyone has their own definition of happy, I know that my mind depends on being active and helping those I can.
How can I help? By helping retirees find their happy as well.
Sudden retirees, normal path retirees, wannabe retirees.
This a call to action. You can plan a happy retirement. It can start here with some help from this article.
Just listen, watch. People will share what is happening with them.