The retirement myth for our generation has been explained elsewhere but I found this article particularly compelling. Forty and fiftysomething clients of Career Counseling Connecticut were programmed with the same number that formed my thinking about retirement: 65. That magic number stemmed from the original age that Social Security benefits were scheduled to be doled out. The number has been modified to provide different pay outs based on age. But 65 seems branded in the consciousness of most people over 40.
More numbers are important: 65 was created in 1935 when 61 was the average life span. 80 is about the average life span in 2018. My guess is that for adults who live in a healthy way – as most of Career Counseling Connecticut’s clients do – 85-90 will be the average life span in 2040-2050 when our 40-50 something clients retire.
Still more numbers are important: “Among older workers between 50 and 55, the median savings is $8,000. And this is total savings, including retirement accounts.” (from the cited Inc. article) $1,000,000 will generate $40,000 a year safely. While most of our Connecticut clients have saved far more than the median, most have not saved anywhere enough to retire for 20 plus years.
What to do? If you find work you like, such work is healthy. Those who retire earlier, die earlier. That’s a fact. From my anecdotal perspective, early retirees end up unhappy earlier as well. Work provides purpose, even if just to pay bills. Usually, it provides interaction with people and, if happy work, generates creativity and other positive life affirming traits. Those who retire at 65 often get blue. Work, it turns out, leads to greater happiness than not working
We can help you figure out what work that you like to do that could lead to a legacy career. If you can spend 5-10 years cultivating a way to make income that you can do into your early 70s, you will not only be able to fund retirement but you will also live a happier and healthier life.