Sunday, February 3, 2008

30-year retirement? Here’s a better idea

One of the big insurance companies ran a full page ad in today’s newspapers with the headline, “How long a retirement should you plan for?”

The headline continued: “Consider this: Hallmark sold 85,000 ‘Happy 100th Birthday!’ cards last year.”

The ad said workers today should plan for a 30-year retirement, citing life expectancy projections that a 65-year-old woman can expect to live until 87 and a 65-year-old man until 84. The insurance company recommends reforming Social Security, boosting retirement plan enrollment and passing (or keeping) tax laws that help reward people for saving.

“Let’s save retirement by saving for retirement,” the ad concludes.

We have a better idea: let’s retire the notion of a “30-year retirement” and instead use a big part of those years for continued productive activity – such as working, starting a business, teaching or volunteering.

By rebooting yourself instead of settling down for a 30-year Rip Van Winkle retirement, you can improve your mental and physical health and, if you so choose, continue to make an income.

By all means, do save for those later years. But don’t ignore the multiple benefits of continuing to stay active. Don’t “retire” right now. Reboot, extend your active involvement with a worthy idea, and “retire” later – way later!

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