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What If I Knew I Was Going To Live This Long?

Written By: Jim Long on March 15, 2011 No Comment

Have you noticed that most of us are living longer these days? It’s been in all the papers. Even government studies show our aging society. I have a friend whose father died at age 51. When my friend turned 51 and was still kicking, he decided to plan for a longer life.

Have you had an experience that is similar? Do we put off planning for our later years because we don’t know whether we will get there. I’m afraid we are all guilty of this on some level. For just a few moments let’s reflect on what our life will be like if we live to a ripe old age.

But first we need to pose some questions. We are not a one size fits all society. Our answers may be very different but our questions are pretty much the same.

Let’s start with a very basic questions. What about retirement? Well that’s pretty broad isn’t it? Yes and it should be. For some, retirement is not an option. There just are not enough resources. Others look at age 65 as the socially acceptable time to leave the workforce. Many in our aging population now consider semi-retirement as the answer. They are working but probably not full time. For many this means an encore career. Not one at which they worked previously.

Once we determine what this retirement or semi-retirement looks like, we have only begun our journey. Next we must ask: When does this begin? Many begin a semi-retirement career early. It depends on finances and life situations. The point is not that an answer is provided but that you ask the question. Your answer needs to be what works for you in your own situation.

Can you afford it? You have already decided in your mind whether you will retire.. You now have to look at the financial implications. It is easy to say you will retire and play golf everyday. But very many of us have planned financially to live on less than we made in the workforce. Then we plan additional activities to consume our time. If you plan to travel in retirement, you better put that in your budget. I recently read an article on retirement planning that said you waited too long to begin saving for retirement if you did not start at age 20.

Did I mention the need to know where you will retire? We see beautiful ads for luxury retirement communities. For some that is the answer. For most, you will stay where you are or where the grandkids are. But you have to ask the question.

Whatever your age, you probably will live longer. Ask the appropriate questions that will lead you to best answers for you. Be prepared for the rest of your life because it will be lived as you decided.

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