I have a feeling we will put our home office even after we reach retirement age since a working retirement will give us more financial flexibility. When it comes to retirement, most of my expectations are based on feelings and little facts. I became more acutely aware of that when reading a recent article by the Wall Street Journal about the 5 myths about retirement. As part of Generation X, I’m in my 40s. I still have time to get my act together before entering the years of grandchildren and golf. According to the author, the timing of retirement doesn’t always turn out as people expect.
Retiring on a whim
I think some people simply retire because they are tired of the 9-to-5 routine. When the economy was thriving, some people were in the position to retire on a whim. I expect to delay my retirement, but experts say it’s a myth that I can just keep putting off retirement. Twenty-two percent of people say they plan to wait until 70 to retire, according to Employee Benefit Research compared to 9 percent who actually do retire at 70. My husband says he plans to retire at age 75, which isn’t only unrealistic but unnecessary. I went to the Social Security Administration website to find out how long he has to work to maximize his 30 years of earnings at the highest amount. If he retired at age 70, he would be in the best position.
Getting back into the workplace
I never left the workplace since I was 16. I was scared to leave even to raise my children because I knew too many stay-at-home moms who were shut out of the workforce. According to the Wall Street Journal, two-thirds of people intend to work in retirement but only 27 percent stay on the daily work treadmill. I’m making my career as enjoyable as possible so I won’t be tempted to quit when I’m older. If I stay in the workforce, I won’t have to worry about getting back in.
Avoiding buyer’s remorse
Experts say many retirees regret buying a second home to live in part time because it becomes an expensive hassle. I moved to Florida in my 30s. I could easily retire in my current home since it’s a one-story home within walking distance to stores and restaurants. I’m more worried about whether I’ll be happy in my starter home for another 40 to 50 years. I am putting money aside so I can pay cash for a step-up retirement home since downsizing isn’t in my vision.
Having a realistic budget
In addition to the high cost of health care, retirees have to worry about funding their expensive hobbies and trips. I am more concerned about whether I’ll have enough money to keep up with food inflation and the high cost of vehicles. By having inexpensive hobbies such as gardening and cooking, I’ll be able to offset the higher costs of food.
Overall, I’m not as worried about retirement because I know I have options. I can choose to live in my starter home with a mortgage that will be paid off in my 50s. I can choose to forgo a vehicle and ride a bicycle to the grocery store. I’ve seen some people drive golf carts in my community. By knowing some of the retirement traps people fall into, I can better prepare for my future. Retirement may have been about leisure and entertainment for baby boomers and the older generations, but it may become more about economic survival in old age. At least Generation X has had the practice.
More from this contributor:
I’m Not Retiring to a College Town
I’m Not Gambling with my Retirement
My Slacker Path to Retirement