I remember when I first started hearing about retirement, it was around 45 years ago. I was in the third or fourth grade and my grandfather was talking about his upcoming retirement from the mills in Lawrence.His retirement was an event that should have made me happy; he lived next door to us, he would be around more, I could spend more time with him hanging out and watching cowboy movies but I wasn't happy - I was sad.
I was sad because everyone that I knew that had retired at that time died within a few years; for me my grandfathers retirements signaled his death.Retirement planning for many of his generation covered a five to ten year time period, a fraction of the twenty,or thirty plus years the baby boomer generation may expect to live past traditional retirement age (65).
He received a pension and social security, my grandmother continued to work,and they continued to live a simple life following the same day-to-day routines. My grandfather would head out in the morning do the daily shopping and errands, come home for lunch then meet with his friends; play some cards, a glass or two of wine, then back home to get dinner ready.
This lifestyle lasted three or four years into his retirement, until his health began to fail him, he was seventy when he died, life expectancy was around seventy two at the time.
Today an average life expectancy for an individual at sixty five is in the eighties, many will make it to the ninties and beyond. Longevity carries good and bad news: I will longer longer but am I prepared for it. Money, health and lifestyle all have to be considered, it's not as simple but there is so much more time to do so much more.