He contends that investments haven't grown. Private and public pension plans are underfunded or simply being abandoned. Real estate has lost almost an entire decade of growth, making the American Dream of owning your own home a fond memory for many. All these developments mean the traditional "retire at 65 and relax" lifestyle is gone.
How about a bit of calm amid this inflammatory premise?
|This isn't us|
There have been two massive economic upheavals in the last 12 years, separated by a recession and a silly season when people suddenly believed everything always goes up.....until it doesn't. No one in their right mind believes the old model for retirement works. No one thinks their company loves them and will treat them well until they die. No one believes that Social Security isn't going to undergo modifications. No one believes the health care mess will politely resolve itself, prices will start to drop, and everyone will get great care without any hassles.
Retirement today doesn't mean we have lost the ability to be rational, logical, or are blind to reality. Just the opposite: a satisfying retirement requires each of us to take personal responsibility for our future happiness. Whether that means strengthening family and spousal relationships, taking charge of our own health maintenance, living beneath our means and still being satisfied, or finding a new passion to fill our time with happiness, we are quite capable of a positive next phase of our life. If it means taking on part time work or another full time job, we can handle it. If it means starting our own buisness....what a kick!
Are there serious problems? Of course. Is it possible our lifestyle will be downsized from what it was? Probably. Are we facing some serious financial and health challenges? Absolutely. But, retirement isn't on life support.
Retirement is no longer seen as a time to sit and wait to die. With several decades of life left after we stop working at our primary job, almost 25% of our life is yet to be lived. One quarter of the time allocated to us on this glorious planet is waiting to be explored, impacted, changed for the better, and enjoyed to the fullest.
Is the old model of retirement dead? Maybe. But, I say good riddance. The satisfying retirement lifestyle we are living is so much more stimulating and engaging that it might just be the best phase of your life!