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Is Retirement at 65 Still Relevant? A Modern Guide to Making the Right Choice

Are you on the brink of retirement, but feeling unsure about whether you’re truly prepared, both financially and mentally? The world of retirement has shifted from the traditional retirement age of 65, and today’s landscape calls for a more nuanced approach. If you’re pondering when, how, and if retirement is the right step for you, keep reading. We’ve got four essential questions to help you navigate this important life decision.

1. Nurturing Your Social Circle Beyond Work: How do you replace the relationships you have at work?

When you retire, the familiar faces you spent countless hours with at work might gradually fade from your life. It’s neither a positive nor negative development – it’s just a reality. Yet don’t underestimate the value of keeping your social connections strong during retirement.

Intriguingly, an eighty-five-year-old study initiated by Harvard researchers in 1938 revealed a surprising finding about happiness. Contrary to common assumptions, career success, wealth, exercise, and diet aren’t the keys to a fulfilling life. The study showed that the top ingredient for a joyful, healthier, and longer life is positive relationships.

So, as you contemplate retirement, consider how you can not only maintain but expand your social ties. Engaging in new activities and planning gatherings with existing friends can significantly contribute to your well-being.

2. Money Matters: Can Your Finances Handle Retirement?

The concept of retirement has evolved, and so has the financial aspect. Living longer and healthier lives means you might have 2-3 decades of retirement ahead of you. It’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your retirement expenses and the sources of income that will sustain you during this period. Download our free Retirement Planning Workbook.

It’s no secret that healthcare expenses tend to rise as we age, and unforeseen emergencies can strike at any time. Many individuals find themselves extending their working years past 65 due to financial realities. The increasing cost of living and healthcare, coupled with insufficient retirement savings, compel people to shore up their financial foundations.

If you’re concerned about making ends meet during retirement, consider the option of working part-time in a role that aligns with your interests. This can not only provide extra income, but also offer a sense of purpose and structure during your golden years.

3. Taking the Leap: To retire or not to retire?

Retirement might seem like the ultimate goal, but it’s crucial to reflect on whether it’s genuinely what you want. The modern work landscape has transformed, offering more flexibility and remote work opportunities. This means you have the option to explore part-time roles or consulting gigs instead of plunging into full retirement.

Before making any decisions, take time to weigh the pros and cons. Be wary of “seller’s remorse” – that feeling of regret after parting with something valuable. Retirement might not be as idyllic as you imagine, so be sure to carefully consider what aligns with your aspirations.

4. Embracing Your Post-Retirement Life: What will you do with all that free time?

For many, work provides a sense of purpose, social connections, and personal satisfaction. However, retirement can sometimes lead to feelings of boredom or a lack of direction. Fortunately, a growing trend among retirees is to seek meaning and fulfillment during their later years, focusing on more than just leisure and entertainment.

Think about those dreams and interests you’ve put on hold due to time constraints or financial limitations. Now could be the perfect time to embark on these pursuits. Whether it’s a new career, hobbies you’ve always wanted to explore, or giving back through volunteer work, the possibilities are limitless.

Remember, life doesn’t come with an expiration date. You might have not one, not two, but three distinct “careers” within your lifetime: a learning phase, an application phase, and a just-for-fun phase. Your retirement could mark the beginning of your third career, driven solely by your passions and interests.

Navigating Your Retirement Journey

In this modern era, retirement is about crafting a life that resonates with your aspirations and values. By carefully considering these questions and seeking expert advice, you’ll be better equipped to make the right choice for your unique journey.

While the age of 65 might no longer be the default retirement milestone, the right time for you to retire hinges on your individual circumstances, preferences, and financial readiness. It’s wise to seek guidance from professionals who specialize in retirement planning.

Are You on Track for a Successful Retirement?

Meeting with a Capital Advantage financial advisor can provide clarity and help you chart the course for a fulfilling retirement that aligns with your goals. If you want to make sure that you are on track for a successful retirement, schedule a no-cost, no-obligation meeting with one of our financial advisors.

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  • Florida Media Exchange, 2023, Five Questions to Ask as You Consider Retiring

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The Author: Capital Advantage, Inc.

Capital Advantage’s editorial team is dedicated to providing our clients with relevant and timely insight into key financial planning topics.