1 Retirement Myth No One Talks About
There is ample evidence that baby boomers are working longer than any generation before them. This pushes the “traditional” retirement age of 55 into the 60s. Many — for personal or financial reasons — work right up to Social Security’s full retirement age of 67 and beyond. So what is the one retirement myth that no one talks about?
People are living longer. Many older investors suffered losses when the stock market fell in the Great Recession. Today’s workplaces have been adjusting to accommodate for a growing number of older workers. This trend towards putting off retirement is considered a generally positive shift in boomers’ approach to their golden years.
There’s just one thing: A lot of them regret it afterwards.
New York Life conducted a survey of retirees between the ages of 62 and 70 with $100,000 or more in investable assets. It found that nearly half of respondents wished they had retired earlier. More than half who were 60 or older when they retired regretted waiting so long.
On average, respondents wished they’d retired a full four years earlier than they actually did.
3 out of 10 retirees who had accumulated between $100,000 and $249,999 wished they’d retired sooner. About a quarter of those with between $250,000 and $1 million said the same. Even 20% of millionaires regretted not bowing out of the corporate rat race sooner.
A lot of workers have been pushing themselves to work later in life. Hindsight makes them second-guess their decisions.
As people age, they realize that during the time right before they retired they still had as much energy as they did during their years in the professional world. Then as they age, it dawns on them that they were wasting the potentially best years of their retirement in the office. They realize that having flexibility during those earliest potential retirement years can be priceless.
This retirement myth brings up a classic case of not knowing what you’ve got until it’s gone. It’s something that’s conspicuously absent in most of the conversations we have today about what makes for a satisfying retirement.