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Is the age of retirement gone?

Last post Sun, May 25 2014 6:22 PM by tracyinmn. 14 replies.
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  • Sun, Feb 22 2009 11:01 PM

    Is the age of retirement gone?

    I did a bit of searching through the forums, but couldn't find this question addressed anywhere.  I remember growing up and hearing my parents discuss retiring around age 55 or so.  And I know now that my mom is too much like her own mother to retire that young.  My grandmother is 80 and still works full time +.  Part of the reason my grandma has always worked is that she never wants the scare of not having money available to her.  She's set herself up now though that she could retire if she wanted to, but that fear is still there.  I think it's part of the era in which she lived -- Great Depression; on a farm with 18 older siblings; etc.  My dad though would love to retire.  A lot of the reasoning would be his health.  While his role in the business my parents own is quite reduced he still does a little bit of work each day.  My mom says it's good for him to work as it gives him a purpose.  I love him dearly, but she's right; he's the kind of person that would literally sit around and just waste away, so giving him something to do gives him a reason to wake up each day.  And then there's me.  And I'm even more like my mom and grandma!  LOL  My ponderings are not about those who cannot work b/c of whatever disability they may have, but about those who choose not to work or who would like to the choice in working or not working someday.  But I'm wondering if we've hit a point where "retirement" is a thing of the past.

    I've been reading other posts and news articles about how people are losing so much money in their retirement accounts and Social Security is drying up and so forth and I just wonder if we're the ones who won't know the ideal of retirement.  I think that retirement may be more of a reduced work system; an older surviving parent living with a child and their spouse and children and assisting in the house in whatever way they can.  Working until you simply can't work, even if it's just a part-time job.  Don't get me wrong.  I don't mean this in a negative way.  I, personally, love to work.  And I still think there are things that can be done in one's life despite the job that may be "in the way".  So those with dreams to travel the world in their retirement could still travel the world even if they didn't retire.  It would just be done differently.

    Retirement didn't even exist years and years and years ago, but then people didn't live as long either.

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in the General forum
  • Mon, Feb 23 2009 8:41 AM In reply to

    • Toni B.
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on Sat, Apr 5 2008
    • Seneca Falls NY
    • Posts 3,826

    Re: Is the age of retirement gone?

    This is a very interesting question. I've worked since I was 13 years old, babysitting and cleaning apartments. Went to work full time out of high school and just figured I'd work all my life. Stopped for a time in my early thirties to go to college full time and earn a bachelors degree. At one point, I felt I should stop working at "jobs" and "get a career" but that didn't turn out. I've worked most of my life, sometimes 2 jobs at once to get ahead of the bills. Finally found my way to the Dept of Corrections (civil service) with good pay and benefits but it wasn't a good fit for me. In May of 2007 (at age 50) I quit with DH's blessing. Our kids are grown, we have a small mortgage and one car payment. I tell people now that my full time job is Supervising my retired husband. For the longest time, I felt guilty for not working or doing something productive with my life BUT never dreamed I'd be in a position to NOT have to work. In the past year, I'm more comfortable with not working. This may sound odd, but with jobs being so scare and getting worse, it would be selfish for me to take a job (even part time) away from someone else who could really use the money. We've been truly blessed and all our needs are met. When I did work, I worked hard and was reliable and capable. Looking back, I was never meant to stay at any one place for very long. The longest stint was the Air Force and that was eleven years and that had enough variety to keep me from getting bored. The strangest part about being retired for me is how fast time flies even though we're less busy. I spend my days living a simple & frugal life, growing and canning food, needlework, reading etc. and have everything I ever needed or wanted right here in my home. In my case, I'd be a fool not to be grateful or satisfied. I've had some tough, scary times but faced them with faith and integrity. My reward is living and enjoying the moment.
    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Stages of Life
  • Mon, Feb 23 2009 8:47 AM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: Is the age of retirement gone?

     

    sunshinetreva:
    but then people didn't live as long either.

     My family is long lived as is my husband's. The men often work until they can't anymore. The women in our family often stop working to have children or only work if finances call for it so retirement hasn't big as big an issue among us.

    My husband never intended to really retire. He had hoped to get into a decent job with benefits to formally retire from it to take up self-employment with no real retirement from that. We don't hold much hope for finding or keeping good jobs with good benefits.

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Mon, Feb 23 2009 2:22 PM In reply to

    Re: Is the age of retirement gone?

    I think Social Security will be gone by the time I'm 67 (full retirement age) if I'm still alive by then.  Women live into their 80's in my family, so by that I should still be around.  I don't see a way that I'll be able to retire and be comfortable with it.  I have savings, retirement and 401K. as does DH, so we should be okay, but I just don't see that being true. I just figure I'll work until I die or am physically and/or mental unable to keep working.  Then I just have to hope there's enough money left for placement in a decent nursing home.  Until a couple of generations ago, people had to either save money to retire or work until they died.  The governement didn't "take care of everything" for us then.

  • Sat, Apr 18 2009 6:59 AM In reply to

    • DigitalMat
    • Top 500 Contributor
      Male
    • Joined on Fri, Apr 3 2009
    • Red House, WV
    • Posts 55

    Re: Is the age of retirement gone?

    I've had the plan to retire around age 60. That leaves me about 15 years for the stock market to come back up. I am buying a lot now that the market seems to have stablized low.

    That being said, for the first time in my life I have real fear that I won't be able to retire. It doesn't matter if we believe in the stimulus and bailouts or not, in a few years, they are going to be so desperate for more money that once taxes and fees are raised to the max, they will probably raid the government thrift savings plan that my retirement is based on. I fully expect my personal 'wealth' to be redistributed. It probably will happen in the first year of Obama's second term.

    I sure hope this stuff they are doing works, but if it does or not, I will be considered 'rich' just as long as it takes to clean me out. Then if I qualify, I might get some type of handout. Hopefully I'm wrong about this. If I am, then I'll be the first to admit it, and retire in frugal style. I just always figured I could handle my own finances and retirement better than the government could. I never wanted to be controlled or babysat by a government who thinks I am too dumb to handle my own life.

    Health insurance is also a big issue. I pay a lot for insurance, but it pays really well. My wife has Lupus and associated health issues. I expect to be forced out of my good insurance into some seriously inferior government health plan. That could potentially destroy my financial future even if the other things I mentioned don't happen. Like I said earlier, for the first time in my life, I am really scared.

    I have worked hard to provide for my family all my married life. Now, through no fault of my own, I stand to lose it all. and there's nothing I can do about it.

     

    "Photography is not about what's there, it's about what you let them see!"

    http://www.digitalmat.com
  • Sat, Apr 18 2009 10:40 AM In reply to

    Re: Is the age of retirement gone?

    Like others, I am not relying on any one source of retirement income.  As a state government employee (teacher) I, like other state government employees (including, but not limited to, police, fire, etc.) I am not eligible for Social Security - instead, I am enrolled in Colorado's state program (PERA - Public Employees Retirement Association), which is mandated by law to stay solvent.  Nonetheless, I am also saving in other ways for my future, including a Roth IRA and some investments; another part of my retirement plan is to pay off all of my debt, including my mortgage, before I retire - I'm eligible for full retirement in 12-15 years, and the house (barring unforeseen major expenses) should be paid off in full well before that time - at the rate I'm going, I will have paid off my 30 year mortgage in about 15 years total.  Once the house is paid off, my retirement expenses will drop considerably.  

    As far as mandatory retirement age - well, that's gone by the wayside in many ways.  The only jobs which really have mandatory retirement are government jobs, or those which have physical requirements which people eventually fail as they age.  I know plenty of people who qualify for retirement who continue to work, as others have said, to avoid being bored silly as much as for financial need - many work in fields where they have some interest, rather than in whatever field they retired from.  One of my friends, for example, who will be 70 next month, retired after a lifetime of retail management, and currently works at a golf course - something he enjoys, which gives an added benefit of free golfing when he's not working. But if he quit working entirely, he'd quickly go nuts or drive his wife crazy - or both!

  • Mon, Apr 20 2009 2:29 PM In reply to

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Mar 6 2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,463

    Re: Is the age of retirement gone?

     I keep saying I'm going to retire, but things keep changing. Part of me working is not financial, but mental stability, much as I hate to admit it. I'd love to do a lot of other things, but find that when I have time on my hands, it's hard to stay focused. 

    A news story today (don't remember where I read it) stated that Social Security has, for the first time, payed out more than was paid in. That doesn't mean that funds were there before, because they've used it for everything imaginable and left it broke, but now, it really is bankrupt. 

    I can't help but wonder about those who depend on it for their retirement right now. If they start cutting payments, there are going to be a lot of people hurting. 

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  • Mon, Apr 20 2009 2:55 PM In reply to

    Re: Is the age of retirement gone?

    karenteacher:
    As a state government employee (teacher) I, like other state government employees (including, but not limited to, police, fire, etc.) I am not eligible for Social Security - instead, I am enrolled in Colorado's state program (PERA - Public Employees Retirement Association), which is mandated by law to stay solvent.  Nonetheless, I am also saving in other ways for my future, including a Roth IRA and some investments; another part of my retirement plan is to pay off all of my debt, including my mortgage, before I retire - I'm eligible for full retirement in 12-15 years, and the house (barring unforeseen major expenses) should be paid off in full well before that time - at the rate I'm going, I will have paid off my 30 year mortgage in about 15 years total.  Once the house is paid off, my retirement expenses will drop considerably.  

    Karenteacher, it depends on your state's laws. Both DH and I are state employees (he is a teacher, I'm a govt atty) and we both pay into Social Security so if it is solvent, we will get SS benefits when we retire. Nebraska does not have a PERA like some states (Illinois is another that comes to mind) but we both have State retirement plans and social security. We also both have Roth IRAs and I have a deferred compensation plan offered to me as a state employee.

    When I play the "when can I retire" game, I don't count on social security as I'm not sure it will be there. At least my state retirement is mandated by statute to stay solvent, much like other states. Which means based on my life expectancy (RealAge has it at close to 100 based on a life expectancy quiz), So I will have to work until I am 74 to be able to have enough money to live until I am 100.  But my mother and both grandmothers died before 75 (one grandmother at age 57) so maybe I won't live as long as I think.

    MSN.com has some good planning tools on their Money page, FYI. As long as you know a potential life expectancy and what you have saved right now in retirement savings (and your annual salary if paying into Social Security), it will tell you how much you need to retire when you want to retire. I hope the link works below. Once on the main page, there is a Planning section on the left side. The retirement link can take you to a retirement planner.

    http://moneycentral.msn.com/home.asp

    Erika
  • Mon, Apr 20 2009 7:18 PM In reply to

    Re: Is the age of retirement gone?

    mamasjob:

    karenteacher:
    As a state government employee (teacher) I, like other state government employees (including, but not limited to, police, fire, etc.) I am not eligible for Social Security - instead, I am enrolled in Colorado's state program (PERA - Public Employees Retirement Association), which is mandated by law to stay solvent.  Nonetheless, I am also saving in other ways for my future, including a Roth IRA and some investments; another part of my retirement plan is to pay off all of my debt, including my mortgage, before I retire - I'm eligible for full retirement in 12-15 years, and the house (barring unforeseen major expenses) should be paid off in full well before that time - at the rate I'm going, I will have paid off my 30 year mortgage in about 15 years total.  Once the house is paid off, my retirement expenses will drop considerably.  

    Karenteacher, it depends on your state's laws. Both DH and I are state employees (he is a teacher, I'm a govt atty) and we both pay into Social Security so if it is solvent, we will get SS benefits when we retire. Nebraska does not have a PERA like some states (Illinois is another that comes to mind) but we both have State retirement plans and social security. We also both have Roth IRAs and I have a deferred compensation plan offered to me as a state employee.

    When I play the "when can I retire" game, I don't count on social security as I'm not sure it will be there. At least my state retirement is mandated by statute to stay solvent, much like other states. Which means based on my life expectancy (RealAge has it at close to 100 based on a life expectancy quiz), So I will have to work until I am 74 to be able to have enough money to live until I am 100.  But my mother and both grandmothers died before 75 (one grandmother at age 57) so maybe I won't live as long as I think.

    MSN.com has some good planning tools on their Money page, FYI. As long as you know a potential life expectancy and what you have saved right now in retirement savings (and your annual salary if paying into Social Security), it will tell you how much you need to retire when you want to retire. I hope the link works below. Once on the main page, there is a Planning section on the left side. The retirement link can take you to a retirement planner.

    http://moneycentral.msn.com/home.asp

    Erika, I did not mean to imply that all state employees in all states were ineligible for SS - just to state that I am, and that it doesn't upset me in the slightest - but neither am I going to rely solely on PERA; as the state's budget woes continue, I expect someone will try, yet again, to raid the PERA fund for money for the budget - it's been prevented in the past, but I'm sure that won't stop people from trying again.

    Thanks for the link.

  • Tue, Apr 21 2009 2:56 PM In reply to

    Re: Is the age of retirement gone?

    You're welcome! And I understand that PERA could be raided and that is really scary if that is your retirement. And you have nothing else to fall back on.

    Erika
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