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If you are in your late 50's or older you should consider having an exit strategy in place. The median age to retire in America is still 62, which hasn’t changed in more than 20 years.

I read an article earlier today regarding preparing for retirement.  The article was entitled “8 Things You Need to Do to Get Ready for Retirement”  by Beth Braverman.   One of the facts that she presented is that “more than a quarter of workers now say that they’re going to work past age 70, and 10 percent say that they don’t ever want to retire, according to an April study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.” If you are in your late 50’s or older you should consider having an exit strategy in place. The median age to retire in America is still 62, which hasn’t changed in more than 20 years.

I will list only four of the tips that she referenced.   1) Consider putting off your retirement a little bit longer.  Interesting suggestion, given that she identifies that nearly half of all retiree’s are forced to leave the workforce before they’re ready.  Some will be able to delay retirement, but nearly 50% will be forced to leave earlier than planned. The biggest culprit is health problems or layoffs.  I experienced both scenarios.  2) Cut off your kids.  The financial pressure on millennials, especially with the rising student loan debt, has forced them to seek assistance from their parents. And yet the implication for the parent is highly risky.  We all want to help our children. But, at the risk of your own financial health, you may have to do so.  That is a very sad, difficult predicament.

3) Health care costs.  We have all seen the recent headlines about the increase costs of health care premiums. If you are forced to retire early because of health issues, then how do you factor in cost increases to health care?  It is going to be increasingly difficult.  And, lastly, 4) Think about how you will spend your days.  Most of us want to travel, volunteer or return to/develop a new passion.  We will have the time. It also takes money and planning.  Most new retirees have difficulty finding meaningful activities.  The problem is compounded if you are forced to leave your career prematurely, don’t have enough money saved, and/or face increased health care expenses.

I believe that there is a solution.  We must plan, look ahead, and see that alternatives exist.  Fortunately I had an exit strategy.  It wasn’t fully operational but I at least had already taken steps.  I am a big fan of entrepreneurism.  Find a passion and pursue it.  There are interesting ways to use IRA’s to self-fund or leverage a business start up.  The internet is exploding with online business opportunities.  Working at home is a viable solution and both internet/home based opportunities have very low start up costs and potentially very high rewards.  There are many good people out there who are not prepared.  Be a forward thinker and doer.  It is possible to thrive, after 55.

 

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