Earlier this year when Tessa, the newest and youngest member of the One Wealth Team, wrote February’s theme of retirement planning it made me think of how we are all on different mile markers of a marathon (which as a matter of fact, a few folks at One Wealth have run a marathon or are in the process of training for one!). As a 25-year-old, Tessa is just starting her journey, and she wrote that, “If the average age of retirement for women in the U.S. is 62, I am staring down the barrel of at least another 37 years of work, or 81,770 hours.” As for me, I’m on mile marker 21, getting closer to the finish line.
In my view, it is vitally important to put yourself into position to have a choice about when to retire. Planning earlier in life (or as soon as possible) can help ensure your goals become reality. Everybody is on a different path, but having the option to retire is crucial. Like anything in life, planning and envisioning what you want and how to get there is important to making your goals a reality!
As a young adult, I was under the impression that you work until age 62 (now it is more frequently 67) and then you start retirement. So why would I think differently now that I am later in life? I’m older now than my father was when he retired, and strangely enough, my perspective has changed to some degree. I have learned that there are pros and cons to retirement. Throughout my life, I have heard countless stories and points of view about retirement. The growing concern is not being able to retire comfortably, or losing touch with one’s identity. There are many warranted fears; however, there are also countless positive stories about life in retirement. My dad retired at 52, and I can say with certainty that he has enjoyed retired life for over 30 years! He has an active lifestyle, goes to the gym on most days and if he’s not in the gym, you will find him bike riding or walking in San Francisco or Petaluma. He chose a path that was best for him and ultimately that is what everyone should strive towards.
I have certainly gained a new perspective on retirement and with this perspective, I realized that I can have the best of both worlds with regards to work and retirement. I find that I can have a fulfilling and healthy work and retirement life balance, and it doesn’t have to be one or the other! Only time will tell how my retirement will look, but my new perspective allows me to go into the last miles of the marathon with a new found level of excitement and energy.