It's not going to be your parents' retirement - rewarded at 65 with a gold watch, a guaranteed pension, and health insurance for life. For many Americans, retiring in this new century is a mystery. Earlier generations of workers could rely on employer-provided pensions, but now many workers will need to rely on their own work-related and personal savings plus Social Security benefits. These retirement savings have to last longer because Americans are living longer, often into their eighties and nineties.
Today's (and tomorrow's) retirees may well have a new kind of retirement. With a longer and healthier life span, bikes, boats, planes, and RVs may be part of your life, because you are more likely than previous generations to be an active older American.
Opportunities to take courses, start a new career, and become a volunteer can make your retirement future an adventure. A longer life, however, will also mean more medical care, some of which will not be covered by the federal Medicare program.
The whole retirement scene has changed and many American workers find it a mystery. In fact, a 2009 survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) suggests that only 44 percent of Americans have tried to calculate how much they need to save for retirement.
Planning for retirement and learning about personal budgeting as early as possible helps you learn how to take control of your finances so that when you retire, you have the time and money to do what you've always wanted. For some, it's simply being with friends and family. For others, it's starting a new hobby or craft. And for some it's starting a new life.
For more planning for retirement articles, view some of my other blog posts.