A 2012 AARP study found that 72% of baby boomers approaching retirement will have to delay it for financial reasons. Half of boomers said they would likely have to work indefinitely.
Retirement no longer means working for 40 years, then automatically relaxing and reflecting on life as you approach age 60. The average age of retirement in 2013 was 61, compared to 57 in 1993, according to a Gallup poll.
The sooner you start the process of planning and preparation for retirement changes, the more you’ll see the grand kids and sunny beaches once you punch the time-clock that final time.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 35% of American workers were participating in a pension plan in 1990. That number dropped to 18% in 2011. Congress passed a transportation bill called the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) in June 2013. Part of the legislation allows employers to contribute less to pension plans due to a change in how interest rates are calculated.
Greg McBride, Bankrate.com’s chief economist, told CNBC that the bill essentially guarantees a continuation of the downward trend when it comes to Americans with a pension. Individual savings accounts (ISAs) have become viable alternatives for those who do not have an employer pension plan. For those with an iPhone or iPad, download the ING STRUCT app. It’s actually a video game for soon-to-be retirees that teaches risk and diversification strategies in an entertaining way.
The median annual Social Security payment to retirees in 2010 was $15,701, according to US News. This number represented 65% of the total income individual retirees earned that year. The reality of these retirement changes is that you’ll likely have to work during those years in order to live comfortably.
A 2013 MetLife survey found that only 52% of the oldest boomers are fully retired, meaning they do not work at all. The same survey found that 21% of the oldest boomers are still working full-time. Workers should start thinking about this reality in their late 40s and early 50s to prepare themselves for what’s to come. Many people may choose to work in their current careers for longer. Others may need a part-time job supplement such as at a local store or if you are a teacher maybe you become a substitute teacher or a tutor during your retirement years. And still others may choose to learn a new trade or work in a job that focuses on their talents and interests.
Planning for retirement changes
If you prepare ahead of time, and you have to work in your later years, why not do the things you enjoy. You can take classes for a degree or a certification. For example, if you like tinkering with cars, you can take an online auto mechanics course through Penn Foster. You could then either work part-time at a local shop or even go into business for yourself. Another example that would enable you to supplement income is to take tax preparation courses. This not only guarantees you employment during tax season, but could possibly set you up to only work that seasonal job every year to supplement your income. Blogging and freelance writing can also be a profitable endeavor if you’re committed to it.
Retirement is supposed to be a time to reflect and relax. However, the reality we all face is that we may need to supplement that retirement. A little preparation can go a long way in making your retirement dream a reality.