80 is the new 65? A New Retirement Paradigm

80 is the new 65? That is what this Christian Monitor post seems to say. The article makes a few points concerning retirement, Social Security and extended life spans.

Consider these points that they make about Social Security:
  • In 1935, when the Social Security Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Roosevelt, the new law established a national retirement age of 65.
  • In 1935, the average American lifespan was 61.7.
  • The “retirement age” set by Social Security is still 65. However, today the average American lifespan is 78 years and continuing to rise.
  • The national “retirement age” of 65 has remained unchanged for 75 years, but the lifespan of the average American has gone up by 16 years.
  • This is an easy explanation for why Social Security is seeing financial problems.
They also make these points about what retirement looks like today:
  • If you’re under 50 or so, you’re probably not going to be able to retire when you’re 65.
  • Most people between the ages of 65 and, say, 80 are quite valuable and have a ton to offer in the workplace and in the marketplace.
  • Don’t view retirement planning as saving for true retirement. Look at retirement planning as building a backbone for a second career.
  • Retirement savings aren’t just for retirement; instead, they create possibilities for a second career or other opportunities later on during my healthy adult life.
Now that is certainly a different perspective on retirement than the one that my parents had - and it is different than mine as well. It reminds me of a friend who says that he will work until he dies. Also reminds me of the many times that I have seen a senior citizen busing tables at a fast food joint. So I do wonder what these new second careers will look like.

So I have to ask you: What does retirement mean to you? Does having a second career when you hit 65 sound like a good idea? When you are 65 do you think that you will feel like you are 45 like the article says? I'd give you my answers but don't want to depress you.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely! At 61 now, I feel like I have 2 more decades of contribution to society left in my tank, god willing. Would not be thrilled about the prospect of busing tables; that would not be an effective utilization of my skills and energy. As a matter of fact, I actually started my 2nd career at the age of 56 and loving it!


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