What age would you like to retire? If you’re in a high pressure job with a long commute, you are probably thinking ‘as soon as possible’. However, when you really think about it – do you see retirement as a time in your life when you will have the time to do the things you really want to do or where you will step down from the demanding ‘rat race’ and do something that is more relaxing albeit still be in employment?
There was a time when the minority who were able to retire at 55 were looked upon with envy. Imagine having an extra decade (this was when most retired at 65) to play golf, enjoy lazy mornings, spend time with grandchildren, travel, take long holidays and enjoy all the other benefits of retirement. It does sound idyllic doesn’t it? Considering most of us live until our mid 80s now, that means thirty years of retirement for those who retire at 55.
We are living longer now though and with the recent frequency of redundancies and early retirements, many people see working in a job they enjoy as positive. The news that we will all have to stay working for longer as retirement age is being pushed back to 68 (this applies to everyone born after 1 January 1961), was greeted with some dismay but also stoic realism. We know that we need to work for longer now to fund our retirements but many people are also taking more steps to work in an industry they enjoy. In fact, many people would like the opportunity to be able to work part-time past retirement age. Those working in jobs that provide early retirement from 55 or insist on retirement at 60 (such as the Gardaí) often decide to work part-time at something else. Men who worked long hours outside the home can find it very difficult to adjust to having time on their hands. It seems to be more difficult for men to adjust to the leisure of retirement – would you agree?
My son asked me the other day what will I do when I retire – he was wondering if I would go to the beach more often! I then thought about what I would like to be doing when retirement age comes knocking on my door. I know I’d like to spend more time gardening, reading and writing. I think I would still try to make an income by writing for payment but I would also enjoy being able to take more holidays. I try to read a book each week at the moment, having the time to read three books a week would be heavenly!
Many people see retirement planning as being financial. Yes, it is important that a pension and insurance will be able to cover medical bills and other expenses. However, retirement planning should also be about how you will fill your days, how you will enjoy your time, how to get the most out of retirement be it working voluntarily or full-time leisure, if you will help out family members with childcare. Much depends on our health but it’s still worthwhile having a plan in mind.
What would you like to be doing in your sixties and seventies? Would you like to be working full-time until you are 68 and then enjoy full-time leisure after that? Do you think it is a difficult transition for some people? Would you like to be working part-time so that you enjoy the mental stimulation and companionship of employment and yet have sufficient time to pursue your leisure interests? Do share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment in the box below.