A curious thing happens with retirement in the United States: there is no middle term. We either tend to over-idealize it or we forget that it is an important part of people’s lives. The fact is, that there are some things that nobody says, and you should keep in mind on the day you retire.
These are things that go beyond the typical ones related to savings or forecasting. They have more to do with everyday aspects that we sometimes forget.
We live more and more, and retirements are getting longer
One of the symptoms of social welfare is that life expectancy is longer. Whereas just half a century ago the average life expectancy after retirement was barely more than 14 years, today it is well over 20 years.
In addition, the general state of health of retired people is getting better and better. So not only do we live longer, but we are also healthier.
As a result, retirement is a long period. While in the past it might have been about a third, or less, of working life, today it may well be more than the average length of entire working life.
Dedicated resources are more expensive but more effective
If you’ve ever worried about retirement, you’ve probably already noticed that there are more and more specialized services available.
One might tend to think that this is true in the area of healthcare, but it applies to practically everything: from welfare services, housing, leisure, culture, tourism, financial services, and so on…
Products and services specifically for older people are flooding the market. It is a growing trend that will increase even more in the coming years.
On average these services may be more expensive. However, at the same time, they offer not only better performance, but also more monitoring, control, and choice than generalist services.
The trend toward senior living communities is a reality that we can already see and experience in some states such as Florida.
Retirement is an increasingly active time of life
It is true that in the past there was a certain tendency to think of retirement as a kind of grey zone in which to rest after a lifetime of work. Nowadays, however, this rest is seen actively.
Retirement is becoming more and more expensive. One of the main reasons for this is that we are much more active. Culture, leisure, tourism, food, and wellbeing are some of the expenses that have increased a lot in retirement compared to only 30 or 40 years ago.
It is worth bearing this in mind. You might think that when you retire you are entering a cheaper period in your life. This is not necessarily the case; depending on your level of activity, it may even be a more expensive period.