65 Ain't What It Used To Be

65 is retirement age.

Malarkey, said most 65 year old Americans. One third of people who hit the golden milestone are still in the workforce, and that number is expected to grow with each year.

To look forward sensibly, let’s look back. The 65-year-old retirement age in the U.S. was set by the Social Security Act in 1935. We took it from the Germans. At the time life expectancy for a man was 58 and 62 for a woman, so providing income after 65 was a pretty safe bet for most nations.

Things have changed.

Life expectancy today is 78.69 years, and removing yourself from what may have been your passion might not be the best option, says life coach, author and retirement expert Beau Henderson . He says what he hears those approaching their golden years say paints a different picture. “I’ve done something 20, 30 or 40 years, and I stop all of a sudden, I’ve lost a lot of my identity, I’ve lost a lot of relationships. If I’m not doing some work to transition those things it can be a bad deal.” Henderson says it as important to prepare for the social and psychological changes that come with retirement as much as it is for the financial aspect.

Some people are just not ready to pack it in and sit on the couch watching television for the next 20 years, and a little added change to the retirement income can be frosting on a cake. “What I’m seeing more and more is people saying I might not need that $60,000 a year salary any more, but maybe I just need $30,000. And it’s really fun to see people do something they enjoy that’s really exciting to them,” he says.

As people live longer, the logical extension is that people are going to work longer.

By the way, Bruce Springsteen is 69. Just sayin'.


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