Welcome back! In my last post, I launched this year’s SageBroadview summer blog series, “Sheri’s Summer Retirement Summary.” When it comes to retiring, there is no one best way for everyone. That’s what makes the subject so fascinating.
That said, most people’s retirement planning falls into these five broad categories, depending on how you slice and dice the possibilities.
Beyond the (1) traditional model of working most of your adult life until you call it quits on your 65th birthday, here’s a summary of other possibilities:
(2) Working (or playing) straight through
Some people avoid retirement entirely. If you find meaning in your work – maybe you don’t even consider it “work” – you may prefer to keep at it as long as you’re able. There’s even some evidence that those who continue working into their 70s or 80s may live longer than those who kick up their feet at age 65. Maybe that’s due to related evidence that “unemployment is destructive to people’s wellbeing.”
(3) Taking partial retirement or “re-careering”
Rather than thinking of life as “work, work, work … stop working,” why not be more flexible with your time here on earth? Instead of flat-out retiring, you may prefer to climb down the corporate ladder to pursue that fun, but less lucrative dream job. Or you may stay where you’re at, but shift to shorter hours, less power, fewer demands. If that sounds good to you, consider converting your retirement cliff into a gentler slope or some rolling hills.
(4) Taking mini-retirements
In the academic world, these have been around for a while. They’re called sabbaticals. But why should professors have all the fun? With appropriate planning, you may benefit by taking a sabbatical or few during the course of your own career. On-the-job burn-out is a universal risk.
(5) Taking early retirement
As a society, we tend to take for granted that early retirement is everyone’s dream for anyone who can afford it. But as touched on above, it’s actually not for everyone. Even when the dollars add up, early retirement has its pros and cons. Then again, let’s face it, not having to work doesn’t suck. And anecdotal evidence suggests that those who do go this route with eyes wide open often find their biggest challenge is convincing others they really are retired.
Speaking of fun, for the rest of the summer, I’m going to offer some inspiring examples of people who have found these models ideal for themselves and their lifestyles.
So, instead of wedging yourself into an ill-fitting model, let’s find the model that suits your tastes. And then plan your finances accordingly. Michael Kitces of “Nerd’s Eye View” and others of my financial adviser colleagues have offered advice on how these variations might influence your personal finances. And of course we’re here at SageBroadview, to offer personalized retirement planning advice.
Until next week!
SAGE Serendipity: History Quiz time! Here’s a good one from Buzzfeed on WWII. But if you’re really interested in testing your history acumen try The History Channel’s Ultimate History Quiz. It’s multi leveled and can be multi-player, but warning, it can also be a major time suck.