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The Average Retirement Age Is Out
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The Average Retirement Age Is Out

For many years Baby Boomers went to work with their eyes on the number 65…the age when they could retire. Put your bifocals back on because the average retirement age is out or, at the very least, an ever-changing target.

For whatever reason, 65 is no longer the age that we are retiring. For some of us, that’s good news because of our health and bright minds we see no reason to stop working. We have much to offer today’s workforce, whether through experience and wisdom, or because we've just been doing something for so long that nobody does it better.

But for many Baby Boomers that moving number is because they know they will not have the savings or the retirement plan in place that will allow them to live in the manner in which they want. So they are already recognizing they will need to continue to work where they’re at or get a part time job to go with their pension.

It’s interesting because some of us don’t even realize this until we are in our 50’s. We've spent all of our time up until then still thinking that we were going to live forever or that, somehow, we have made the right decisions early that will ensure our retirement is taken care of.

And then the news hits us…or at least we finally catch it on the 6:00 news…many of us won’t have enough to retire and that might just be a problem. This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “midlife crisis”. But better to recognize it now than wake up on our 65th birthday with a “surprise…you’re broke and can’t retire” bank statement. Sigh; better go see if that local superstore is hiring greeters.

But here’s something to ponder: if the average retirement age is no longer 65 then what is it? Putting aside any mandatory retirement laws or other requirements, isn't it actually a good thing that the age has changed?

• Set your own retirement year: based on your health, resources, and income wouldn't it be nice to actually control when you retire…when you are ready!

• Keep your “self-proclaimed” retirement year flexible. Whether you can eventually retire earlier than you at first thought or have to continue working even longer, keep control but don’t create your own mandatory retirement age that is written in stone.

• Think of the challenge this in itself will give you to stay current, stay sharp, stay fit, and stay needed at work. Our bodies may show our age but they don’t have to incapacitate us. We may work and move slower but we’re steady…like the tortoise.

• Our minds need exercise and use and by so doing will keep us believing we are actually still in our 20's. This is likely our strongest muscle at this age (this is said somewhat tongue in cheek) but, truly, an agile mind is a marketable mind.

Look for different opportunities, now and when you are actually retired and you will be invigorated and challenged to continue to learn and grow. Your brain doesn't retire at 65 so why should you!

Thanks for reading.

Street Talk

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