What do you fear about retirement?

Dec 26, 2008

Early Retirement May Not Be a Matter of Choice

Do you think that you will be able to work in a retirement job because you have to now that your net worth has declined due to your losing money in your stock investments. Think again!

In my book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free which I released in 2004, I stated, "Reasons for why people retire at any particular age will reflect both voluntary and involuntary circumstances and can be influenced by individual, family, and corporate factors. Some people retire early by choice; others are forced into it."

"Rising income levels, changes in government pensions, early retirement packages, corporate downsizing, and a declining retirement age are all contributors to early retirement. A person’s own health or that of a partner can also play a part."

Fast forward to 2008. According to a new survey this year from McKinsey and Co. of 3,000 retirees and pre-retirees, more than half of recent retirees retired early. The majority did not do this out of choice, however. Most did so due to adverse circumstances, such as job loss, caring for an ailing spouse, or their own health problems.

On average, these people are retiring in their mid-50s. With life expectancy for a healthy 65-year-old in the U.S. around 85 for men and 88 for women, that means some will need to fund their living expenses for 30 years or more.

In short, don't count on being able to work until you are 75 or 80. You may have to take early retirement whether you like it or not.

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