Saturday, 5 January 2019

Retirement: Does Retiring Earlier Mean A Longer Life?

Now, here in my sixtieth year, I've been mulling over the big "R" question … Retirement. When is the right time to pull the plug? Can I afford to pull the plug? What kind of lifestyle do I really need and/or want here in my later years, and what is it going to cost to maintain that lifestyle?

The other day at work, two people shared with me that they had read an article that suggests that lifespan, and more specifically, the number of retirement years that one enjoys, may be related to the question of when one retires.

Intrigued, at home later that day I looked up the article and found it. It would seem that there was a study conducted of pensioners from several large US-based businesses that compared the retirement lifespans of people who retired at age 55 versus those who waited to retire at the more traditional age of 65. Those who retired at 55 years of age collected their pensions for an average of 25-years, while those who retired at 65 years of age only collected their pension for an average of 18-months. Wow!

"Retire at 55 and live to 80; work till you're 65 and die at 67 … Ten working years could cost you twenty years of your Retirement!"

Obviously there are always exceptions and extenuating circumstances, however, the study seems to show that the typical busy stress-filled workplace is harder on older bodies. I think there is some truth to that. Looking at my own situation, lately I am starting to find it harder and harder to get through the work week than I once did when I was younger. Sure, I can still do a quality job as well as the next person, but maybe it is time to look a little more seriously at the big "R" sooner rather than later.

Choosing to retire earlier doesn't mean the rocking chair in a nursing home; not by a long shot! Like many other retirees, I can see myself still working part time, two to three days per week, at something much more low key, less stressful, and in line with hobbies or other interests. I guess the point is, why kill yourself at the daily grind any longer than absolutely necessary? Besides, Lord willing, I'd like to enjoy a little more than only 18-months of retirement before family and friends gather for my funeral.

I guess if I have one piece of advice for younger generations, it would be this: Plan early for your big "R" while you still can. You'll blink one day and suddenly forty years ago will seem like yesterday. In the words of an elderly lady I once knew, "I ain't never seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul." Her point was, we're not taking all those trappings of the world with us anyways, so maybe we would be wise to re-evaluate the "Keeping up with the Jones'" materialism mantra in favour of an earlier and healthier retirement. Just a thought.

Read the source article here

First Photo Credit: Mike Lawrence, Flickr Creative Commons
Second Photo Credit: Marco Verch, Flickr Creative Commons

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