Why retirement is going out of style
Baby boomers are turning 65 at a rate of 10,000 a day, and the future of their retirement is plagued with doubt. 42% of these wannabe retirees have less than $100,000 in retirement savings, meaning that half of this ever-growing pool will be living off of their Social Security payments. With the already indebted US Government taking on 10,000 dependents every day, many worry that those payments will run out as well.
Proper asset management can allow you to stop working, but the decision to retire is more complex than ever. Consider all of your options before deciding your next step in life.
People are living longer and healthier lives, which is both good and bad for planning the golden years. The most important effect of living longer is that you are able to do more with your retirement. This means adventures that would have been impossible for retirees a few decades ago are now within your reach. The second most important affect is that living longer increases the cost of retirement. Coupled with rising healthcare costs, retirement is a pricey reward for a life’s work. In light of these changes, all retirees will need to budget differently, and often stay in the workforce longer to make sure their money lasts. This does not mean your retirement is forfeit. It is still possible to stop working at age 65, but it will take careful planning.
So how do we reconcile the good and the bad of having a longer retirement? We monetize our adventures. Whether that means staying in the workforce longer, working part time, founding a company, or seeking forms of passive income, there are many options for making money after 65.
As jobs become less rigid and more flexible, the idea of working beyond age 65 has become a much more attractive idea. Retirement age people are pursuing new careers, changing industries, founding companies, or staying on at their current firm in a different capacity.
Most retirees have earned respect within their firm, and have the leverage to ask for new positions or new expectations. Rather than retiring in full, consider reducing your hours in the office or telecommuting several days a week. This will allow more flexibility to check off items on your bucket list, while providing income and purpose on the days between adventures. This does not need to be your whole retirement, but using income to pay expenses will prolong your savings, protecting your older years where work would be inadvisable.
The latest style for retirees is, surprisingly, entrepreneurship! Retirees bring experience and wisdom to any startup, and can be an asset without the demands of a normal 9-5 job. Retirees also have more financial strength, self-awareness, and industry knowledge than younger business owners, which often makes them more successful. Whether it is filling a consulting position or being an owner, retirees have found both adventure and income in starting new companies.
Your new venture can be any size, ranging from small enterprise to full-time company, depending on your goals. Of all the business opportunities, the most popular choices for retirees have been consulting and service companies. Consulting allows you to use your hard-earned knowledge and business skills to generate income. Consulting provides a very flexible schedule, allowing you to dictate when you work and for how long. A service company, though more labor intensive to establish, is essentially capable of running itself once it gets going. This means you can spend your early retirement on a project that will continue to make money into your later years.
Regardless of your goals and aspirations, starting a small business is a great way to get more out of your retirement without jeopardizing your financial well-being.
If you’re worried about your savings, but can’t stand the idea of being in the office another day, an alternative to working is passive income. There is a plethora of ways to earn passive income, with some requiring more effort than others. The list below is ordered from most effort to least.
Ways to Earn Passive Income
- Write a book
Getting paid royalties every quarter for the rest of your life is a handsome reward for the effort required to write a book, and might be the perfect compliment to your retirement plans. Many retirees return to the work force out of sheer boredom, wishing they had something to fill the time. Writing a book may prove the perfect occupation.
- Rent out a room in your house
Companies like Airbnb and VRBO allow you to rent your spare rooms to guests for short periods of time. If you have a spare bedroom, basement, or second property, it is possible to earn consistent income with minimal effort of your end. Spare bedrooms can return more than $1,000 a month, while secondary properties can return upwards of $3,000 a month.
- Earn dividend and interest income
If you have a reasonably sized retirement account or savings account, investing in dividend paying stocks or bonds can add to your annual budget. Ask a financial planner what he/she thinks will best suit your circumstances and build an investment plan together.
- Passively invest
Regardless of who you are or how much money you have, most of your savings should be invested. Rather than keeping your money in a savings account (which pays at maximum 1% per year), consider investing in the stock market or in real estate. To reduce the effort on your end, consider buying index ETFs or mutual funds. Again, it is always best to discuss an investment plan with a financial professional, and having someone on your side executing the plan will reduce the strain on your retirement.
No matter what you decide to do with your retirement, remember that the most important element is your own happiness. You have worked hard your entire life. You deserve to do exactly what makes you happy. Use these strategies to keep yourself financially healthy, but don’t go doing something simply because you think it will make you the most money or make you the most comfortable. Own your retirement and have some fun!