Myths of retirement – Here are most common thoughts that we have heard as we have talked with people who are either looking at retirement or already retired. These misconceptions shape our thinking, and impact how we see ourselves living out this time of life called retirement. They create not Golden Years, but Grey Years.
1.“True success is retiring to do nothing. Being successful means accumulating enough so you have to do nothing.”
2.“At 65 I’m no longer capable of working. I’m too old.”
3.“When I retire, I should start winding down. Take it easy”
4.“I want to retire while I am still healthy so I can stay healthy.”
Truths about retirement 1.In 1930’s Roosevelt created Social Security to provide a pension workers 65 and older. This was to create openings for younger workers by removing seniors from work force during Depression when there were large numbers unemployed.
It was not created from basis that 65 year olds and older were unable to work. We need creativity of older people even more today, creativity creates jobs. Older people need to stay in work world.
2.Generally, we are healthier than ever have been before. A recent cover of AARP, a magazine for people over 50, announced: “Sixty is new Thirty.” Immunizations, medications, health knowledge and education, have made a huge difference.
3.Our longevity has increased. A 65 yr old man can expect to live until age 82, while a 65 yr old woman can expect to live until age 85. If you are in your 40s, and follow traditional model of retirement, you will likely be retired a minimum of one quarter of your life.
Those living to a hundred have increased. The 1960 census listed about 3000 centenarians. Today, centenarians are estimated at 70,000 and some are predicting 4.2 million by middle of century. If you are 50, you could be one of 4.2 million!
4.Winding down leads to poor health. People who study aging describe Use it or Lose it phenomenon. We keep our health by using it, we need to be active physically, mentally, emotionally or we will wind down. Studies have shown 90 year olds being capable of increasing muscle mass and tone moving from wheelchairs to being independent again.
And good news is: It is never too late to start!! Physically, mentally, emotionally, we have capacity to grow at any age.
George Bernard Shaw, an Irish dramatist, won Nobel Prize for Literature at 69. He wrote his last play at 93.