There are several contributing factors that have been dramatically changing the way people think about retirement the past few decades. Maybe the most important factor is longevity and improved health at older ages.
Back in 1935 the United States picked age 65 as the retirement age. It made sense from a sustainability standpoint. At that time, life expectancy in the country was roughly 58 for men and 62 for women.
If you made it to age 65 and qualified for social security benefits, you would receive payments from a system being paid into by all the healthy, contributing workers. Despite the economic hardships of the time, there were still far more people paying in than drawing out of the fund.
Fast forward 80 plus years later and things are markedly different. Life expectancies have drastically increased to more than 78 years. In 1940, there were 159.4 workers for every retiree. In 2013 there were only 2.8 workers per retiree, and that trend is not reversing.
Today’s retirees – and especially future generations – need to make alternative plans for retirement savings, especially considering the income they receive from Social Security may not be enough to allow them to maintain their pre-retirement lifestyle.
With many people staying healthier longer, they may want their retirement to include traveling or the pursuit of hobbies. Some people may not want to wait until age 66 (if they were born after 1955) or 67 (if they were born after 1960) to retire.
Whether you want to retire early or just want to enjoy a comfortable quality of life in retirement, it’s never too early to start saving so you can make your retirement dreams a reality.
Preparing and Saving Is Key to Retirement Planning
It’s never too early to start saving for retirement. Most retirement planners will encourage you to begin contributing to your employer’s matching 401(k) as soon as it’s available, even for people who are 18 or in their early 20s and just entering the workforce.
People who may be freelancing or don’t work at a company with a 401(k) should consider setting up a Roth IRA. They can contribute up to $6,000 of after-tax income every year, and any interest that money earns, as well as the initial money contributed, can be withdrawn tax-free during retirement.
In most cases you must begin making withdrawals from a Roth IRA after the age of 59 and a half. Withdrawing money before the allowed age may result in additional taxes and penalties, except for certain situations, like a first-time home purchase.
There’s a Lot to Do in Retirement
Some people nearing retirement age feel anxious about no longer working. You may be wondering what you will do to fill your days. The options are endless, and the choice you make should be a personal one. Some common recommendations include:
- Take trips to foreign countries if you’re able
- Travel to different states in the U.S.
- Take day trips or book cruises
- Take classes to learn a new language or skills
- Take up a new hobby, whether that’s painting, playing an instrument, gardening, photography or any kind of crafting
- Volunteer with organizations that interest you
- Join book clubs, chess clubs, astronomy clubs or subscribe to dating sites if you’re looking for companionship
- Spend more time with your children or grand children
- Pick up a new sport that’s in line with your active lifestyle, whether that’s hiking and kayaking or fishing and swimming
Start thinking about what you want to do in your retirement before you get there. Knowing what you want to do gives you things to look forward to rather than dreading the day when you’re no longer heading in to work.
Finding a place where you can pursue your passions or develop new ones while you meet like-minded people is another important step during retirement.
Managing a House on Your Own Is No Picnic
The stigma surrounding independent living facilities is often unwarranted, especially when you consider the downsides of trying to live on your own during retirement. Maintaining a house that’s too big for you, keeping up with landscaping and bills and having to go through all that on your own can significantly reduce your quality of life.
At Ovation by Avamere, every day should be like a vacation. Our residents in independent living are strongly encouraged to travel and stay active with services tailored around their needs. At our new Ovation Sienna Hills location in St. George, Utah, residents have access to all types of opportunities and activities, including:
- Several restaurant choices
- Movie theater
- Social club
- Proximity to Zion National Park, Red Rock Golf Trail, Sand Hollow State Park and Las Vegas
- Miles of walking trails
- Fitness and wellness classes
- Senior-friendly fitness equipment
- All types of cultural and entertainment experiences
- Special outings
Many independent living communities brag about their dining options, but few boast several separate restaurants, like Ovation Sienna Hills’ onsite Miller’s @ Washington, Bees Knees Bistro, 1861, Cassidy’s, Emma’s and Lorraine’s Kitchen. Our team truly does go above and beyond to meet the needs of each resident by helping facilitate an active retirement that’s best for them.
Learn More About Ovation by Avamere and How Retirement Should Be
If you’d like to learn more about Ovation and the type of lifestyle we strive to offer residents in our independent living, assisted living and memory care facilities, please give us a call at 435.429.0000 for Ovation Sienna Hills in St. George, Utah or call 402.999.7900 for Ovation Heartwood Preserve in Omaha, Nebraska.