According to Pew Research Center, approximately 26 percent of the U.S. population is made up of the generation nicknamed the “Baby Boomers.” Born between the years 1946 and 1964, the oldest Boomers are turning 66 this year, while the youngest Boomers are expected to turn 66 by the year 2030. A growing concern for this unique cohort is how to prepare for retirement. Currently, the average 65-year-old Boomer woman has a life expectancy of just past 87.5 years, while the life expectancy for a 65-year-old Boomer man is 86. Boomers need to plan not only for their finances directly following retirement, but also for how manage their financial, emotional and physical health.
It’s never too soon to explore how to extend your income and begin to plan for a comfortable retirement, which not only means fiscal health, but emotional well-being as well. Some tips include:
Before you step out of the workforce, and potentially away from your employer-mandated health insurance, make sure you are in good health. Get checked up and signed off by your doctor on any issues you may have and get the ‘a-okay” before embarking on your retirement travel or activities.
Hobbies, Interests and Passions
Working full-time doesn’t leave much time to pursue what might else really interest you. But when you are retired or semi-retired, the extra time and energy may allow you to pursue your other dreams. Now is the time to travel, learn a foreign language or musical instrument, sign up for volunteer work or launch the teaching career by offering courses at the local community center.
Easy Does It
Speaking of ‘semi-retired” don’t think you have to stop all work, all at once. Many almost-ready-to-retire workers start by negotiating a downgrade in work time, from full-time to half-days, or a three-day week. Approach the new scheduling options as a way to make things work best for you and your employer. Transition the new employee into your old role, stay on as a consultant – just be sure to work out the details of your proposal before you approach your employer.
Plan to feel a little lost when you are no longer seeing coworkers on a regular basis. Now is the time to become more active in your community and find ways to connect with others. Chances are, there are numerous organizations and groups where you can make a contribution.
Thomas D. Begley, III, CELA is a New Jersey elder law attorney with The Begley Law Group. To contact a New Jersey estate planning, special needs planning, or elder law attorney, call 1.800.533.7227 or visit http://www.begleylawyer.com.