This is what it said on the cover of Time Magazine in their promo for an article about the future of work.
The article points out some troubling information. Most corporate pension plans no longer exist so the money needed for retirement must be saved on an individual basis. However, most Americans are not saving enough for retirement. On average most 50 year olds have only $97,000 saved for retirement. This means most baby boomers will need to continue working.
For people who are younger, we have a chance to grow old in an environment where we know we have to save for our own retirements. The days of working at one job for our entire lives and retiring on the compnay pension plan is almost gone.
The earlier we start saving and investing, the better we will do because of compounding interest.
If you don't thik about saving for retirement until you are older, or if you only save a small amount each month, you may never be able to retire.
I like the idea of everyone being in charge of their own retirement planning, but it scares the heck out of me because most people in this country do not have the information or motivation to accept the responsibility for preparing for their own retirement.
I think the transition from a job based retirement system to an individual based retirement system will take deades for the new responsibilities and saving habits to sink in. Right now, there is no habit of parents teaching children about saving for retirement because the parents were used to having companies do it for them. Now, we need to educate people that they need to start saving for retirement as early as possible.
When I was in college, I realized how much of an advantage some people had if they came from a family who knew about investing and compounding interest. I had never heard much about investing and why it was important to start as early as possible, but I went to college with kids from families where their parents had taught them about investing. I learned through my friends, but I feel bad for other kids who don't meet people from wealthier backgrounds or learn about investing in other ways. It is such a disadvantage to not know about investing and the need to save for retirement. I guess that is one reason why I spend time on sites like this one. I want to help educate people about investing and saving for retirement.
People always act like retirement is a God-given right, or even healthy. Why is everyone in such a hurry to stop doing productive things with their lives? People often forget that "retirement" as we know it is largely an invention of the Great Depression. FDR wanted to get older workers out of the workforce to make room for the younger ones so he created Social Security and the idea that the goal of life is to retire. Scaling back is fine and changing what you do with your time is fine, but I think many people's goal of "retirement" tends to turn into TV watching.
So true, I think retirement can be a bad thing for many people because they lose their daily schedule and purpose in life. I'm happy for the people who take on part time jobs to stay active and scially connected. It is a bad thing to retire and then just sit around and wait to die. People need to stay active and of course there are many ways to stay active that don't include being productive in an economic sense.
Many people are in jobs for most of their lives that they do for a paycheck. Being financially sound enough to get out of these jobs is a great reason to reitre. I agree that after this stage in life, people need to stay active and try new things. A different job is sometimes the best way to achieve this. If the finances are all taken care of, then being active in non profit organizations is another way to remain active. Of course, just playing bridge and other games with friends has also been shown to keep people sharp and connected.
When I think of retirement, I think of the day when I can do what I want based on my interests and personal motivations instead of doing something based on what my financial needs are. I hope to do this as soon as possible.