Delaying Retirement? Perhaps Reconsider

September 21, 2017 | Author: | Posted in Finance

Life has not been the same since the Great Recession. In the late 2000s, a recession swept across the nation and turned lives upside down. Corporate giants were brought to their knees, some closed their doors for good, and millions of people were left unemployed and without options.

The fight for jobs intensified as people from different generations competed for entry-level jobs. Families lost their homes and cars. Many people ended up using their savings to survive. While people were losing their financial security, their debts continued to soar. No one knew where or who to turn to for help. Banks were collapsing, insurance agencies were crashing, and the government had no plans. It was a time where one’s worst fears came true.

The effects of the recession weren’t just financial. The recession took a great psychological toll on the American population. Studies have shown that individuals who were personally affected by the economic decline have reported increased symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress-induced ailments.

Unemployment spiked from 5% in 2008 to 10% by the end of 2009 or 7 to 15 million unemployed during that same period. By 2013, the rate managed to decline to 7.3% or 12 million. In 2017, the unemployment rate is currently sitting at 4.3%.

On the surface, this sounds like a great thing. The country managed to recover from the slump. Unemployment was curbed. People managed to find jobs. The worst appeared to be over.

The recession was a traumatizing experience and many people did not get the chance to deal with their stress and their fears. Once things started looking up, people took advantage of the moment to find jobs in order to make up for their losses. However, things only got better on paper. There are millions of people across the nations who still carry that fear and trauma, and it is affecting the way they make decisions pertaining to their lives even today.

In 2014, the average retirement age rose from 60 to 62 and that was considered a significant increase at the time. Three years later, the corporate world has found that the average retirement age has spiked to 69. Many “Baby Boomers” (those who were born between 1946 and 1964) are looking to retire no earlier than 70 years old, some have even declared that they don’t intend on retiring until they are forced to.

The fear of losing everything plagues the minds of many people. After experiencing it once, they don’t want to go through it again. Those who might not have been directly affected by the recession witnessed their family members, friends, or colleagues suffer from it. What they saw was enough for them to decide that they never want such a thing to happen to them.

Many Baby Boomers, who should be looking forward to retirement, are trying to postpone it as much as they can in order to save as much money as possible. A number of them believe that if they retire and another economic disaster occurs, they will not be able to do anything to save their families or themselves.

Delaying your retirement is not the only option that you have. If anything, I’d argue it is not the wisest option. While it may look like you are making a good financial decision out of necessity, you are doing so potentially at the expense of your physical and mental wellbeing.

An analysis from the National Bureau of Economic Research showed that retirement can lead to a decline in mental health and mobility. Delaying retirement can also lead to poorer health outcomes such as heart disease, hypertension, and stroke. If you want to avoid these health risks, you need to ensure that you are maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Though taboo to discuss, oftentimes job security declines as one becomes older. Many corporations across the nation are replacing older members of the workforce with younger, more vibrant people. Choosing to work after your retirement age is a risky decision that can be avoided.

There is also the fact that once you do eventually retire, you might not have the chance to enjoy it. As you get older, your body presents you with more limitations. Your limbs become stiffer, your blood pressure becomes more sensitive, and the same goes for your blood sugar.

Delaying your retirement does not have to be your only choice. If you feel that you are unable to plan your retirement on your own, you should consider seeking advice from a third-party. Having another mind to bounce ideas off of will give you the insight and inspiration you need in order to see the value of retiring on time.

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