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The Retirement Revolution

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Are you beginning to notice that Baby Boomers are NOT retiring like our parents did? That is because of a recent retirement revolution that is going on!

For example, in the case of my Mother (who is now 90), one day she just simply announced that she was turning 65 that year and she was retiring from the family business.  Oh, and that she was leaving it to me to figure out how to get this business back on track.  And by the way, the business was not performing well, and the real kicker:  I lived in Miami and was fully employed in a large company in Miami!    Mom wanted out.  Out in order to get away from business stress.  Out to play golf, bowl and play bridge with her friends.

That’s the way it was for her…..a sudden decision that was also based on the current trend “in the day” (mid 80’s) that it was “the right age to retire and start to collect Social Security“.  The early cohort of Boomers born 1946-1949 are taking different routes now.  If they are still employed, more of them want to stay employed.  If they were laid off/downsized/re-sized in the recent recession, they could still be looking to and for work.  But this “work” likely pays much less than their former position and is likely to be part-time, or contract work, or self employment.  Our parents would probably have just simply gone into retirement under these circumstances.  But today many people can’t afford to retire, or they want to delay retirement and postpone taking Social Security until well after their full retirement age (mostly likely age 66).

Still, if you click on some of the links at the end of this post, you will find that many Boomers are retiring in large numbers, at 65.  The reasons could be:  they could not get re-employed, they have health issues, they need to care for their aging parents, or perhaps they need to secure their PERS or other defined benefit plan.

Here’s a point by point contrast I created to compare the “Old Retirement” with the “New Retirement” paradigm:

THE OLD RETIREMENT
  • Sun City, Leisure World
  • Retirement was an EVENT
  • Keep “busy” with stuff
  • Freedom FROM work
  • Phasing out: less engaged
  • 1935 Men: 65 + 11.5 yrs
  • 1935 Women: 65 + 15 yrs
  • Way station-endless leisure
  • “3-legged stool” for income

THE NEW RETIREMENT

  • Many possibilities
  • Retirement is a PROCESS
  • Stay connected, engaged
  • Freedom TO work
  • Focusing in: learning, growth
  • 2008 Men: 65 + 17.2 yrs
  • 2008 Women: 65 + 19.9 yrs
  • Passion, purpose, paycheck
  • Work/job as part of income
WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO DO?  WHICH KIND OF RETIREMENT DO YOU WANT?  THE OLD OR THE NEW?  USE THE COMMENT BOX TO GIVE YOUR OPINION.

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