Millions of boomers have resigned themselves to working longer – age 70 or later – so that they can eventually afford to retire from the work force. Is this wishful thinking? Recent research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute suggests that it may be. I don’t bring this up to make folks feel more depressed than they already are. Rather, it is better to face reality now than to be surprised then crushed by it later.
Archives for August 2012
Many retirees are turning to annuities to provide income and/or growth with no downside risk. Let’s forget for the moment the costs and other problems associated with variable annuities in particular. The question I want to briefly address is – assuming that an annuity is part of your retirement planning – whether you should wait to purchase one.
A common theme found in studies of retirees is the psychological struggle that many experience letting go of their job. Immediately after retirement there is a sort of “honeymoon” during which the retiree experiences the euphoria of not having to get up or be anywhere to meet the demands of an employer. Later, after the thrill of nothing mandatory to do wears off, a “what have I done” attitude or even depression can arise, caused by the retiree’s detachment from work.
I am in a state of transition in my political views about economic issues. For many years, most of what I wrote and said about national economic matters would have put me squarely in the “fiscal conservative” category. But some of that is changing. I wonder if it is changing for other baby boomers?
I am a recreational fresh water guy. I like looking at it, floating on it, and more recently, fishing in it. That is one reason that living on a lake (at least part-time) is so pleasurable for me. I have added another water activity to my list of favorite things to do: kayaking. Have you tried it? I will give you my take on why it is something that all baby boomers should consider for fun and for fitness.
If your mind often pulls you into daydreams about your retirement future, I have a suggestion. Pull your mind back to the present, then ask yourself some questions, as a reality check. I can make this recommendation because I am doing something similar. I am now reading a book called The Retirement Maze which presents challenging questions of its own, based on surveys of retirees.
As a follow-up to my recent posts on reading and learning for baby boomers, reader Paul has passed on a link to another learning resource. Coursera is a site that organizes links to 117 free online courses offered by sixteen universities. Three of the universities are in foreign countries which makes it even more intriguing for learning new things.
It occurred to me after my most recent post that I should have provided some links to the resources that I use to access free online reading and learning materials. I will do that – very quickly – now.
I am at the lake now, sitting on the deck, listening to music and drinking a glass of sangria. This morning I kayaked and fished. Later today I will sail. In between (after I finish this post) I will read. Reading has, over the past 6 months, become one of my favorite activities. I have averaged 1-2 books each week over that period. Prior to that I had not read a book for several years. All of my reading was work-related, not for pleasure.
Most of the stories we read about retirees is how they do not have enough saved and/or are over-spending. But there are retirees at the other end of the spectrum. They do not spend enough and it is needlessly hurting their lifestyle. Sometimes it even affects their health. Some of these people may need therapy. I’m serious.