Will you ever retire?

What it will mean to be an elderly millennial (Vice)

“Sometime before death, but after your useful phase, there’s supposed to be this in-between time called “retirement” that sounds pretty great—sorta like childhood, but without anyone trying to teach you anything, and with more drinking.”

And if your plan is to keep working…

“There’s no evidence that jobs for millennials in their 70s will exist. “In terms of their ability to work or keep up with their logical progress—the job requirements are changing a lot faster than human beings can be trained.”

Does Frugality Matter If You’re Rich?

“A 2015 study showed that one-third of American households with an income of $75,000 or more live paycheck-to-paycheck … and 44 percent of those households claimed that lifestyle purchases were to blame for their lack of financial progress.”

“According to a 2015 poll, which surveyed 1,044 investors, one in five respondents with investible assets of $100,000 to $1 million dollars agreed they carried too much debt and said they live paycheck to paycheck. Worse, 1 in 10 respondents with assets of $1 million to $10 million were in the same boat.”

“In the same poll, 45 percent of respondents with investible assets of more than $100,000 worried they wouldn’t have enough money to last through retirement.”

Personal Capital Blog

Taking Social Security benefits early

Many Americans Opting To Take Social Security Before Full Retirement Age

  • more than 4 in 10 Americans who are 50 and over say they’ll dip into the program before reaching full retirement age.
  • 44 percent report Social Security will be their biggest source of income during their retirement years.
  • The average age at which people expect to start or have started collecting Social Security benefits is 64. Just 9 percent said they would wait until after they turned 70.
  • the average American still retires relatively early, at age 64 for men and age 62 for women, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.
  • a quarter of workers over 50 say they never plan to retire, a sentiment more common among lower-income workers.

The average American life, in one chart

The kids at Vox have yet to disappoint with their graphics. Take a look at this chart.

  • The average American man lives to about 76, and the average woman until 81. In that lifespan, the average person will spend more than five decades going to school and working — with just two to three decades left over for being a toddler and retiree.
  • Americans are getting married later in life. The typical man got married at 28 in 2011, up from 22 in 1960. [I was 30 when I got married. A good decision]
  • The average length of a US marriage that ends in divorce is about seven years. [As in 7 Year Itch]
  • In 1991 and 1993, the average retirement age was 57. In 2014, that rose to 62.

Stop Paddling


I’ve been thinking of life as a float trip. The kind where everybody has a big tractor tire inner tube. Sometimes people lash several together but most folks drift along in their own tube, paddling with their hands if they want to change direction.

Friends and family might float nearby for a while, where we can see them and talk to them. Then someone gets a job in Boise or files for divorce and we don’t see them again. And some leave the river altogether. Correction, everyone leaves the river eventually.

When I reflect on my time on the river, I realize how much time I spent paddling. Paddling toward some people, away from others. Paddling toward the calm parts of the river… and frantically away from the rapids. When I found a “good” spot, I paddled hard to stay there.

My tube has some patches these days and my PSI is down a little but I’m still afloat. And I’ve just about stopped paddling. This first year of retirement gave me lots of time to think and I came to the conclusion the paddling didn’t make much difference. All it did was make some noise, get everyone around me wet, and made my arms tired. So I’ve stopped paddling.

“Sure, you retired guys can stop paddling but what about those of us still in the race?”

I won’t tell you not to paddle, I’m just saying I don’t think it makes much difference. When I found myself on a really good part of the river, I had gotten there because that’s where the current took me, not because I paddled hard or knew the river so well.

It won’t be easy to stop paddling because it happens mostly in my head and I can be in full Michael Phelps mode before I realize it. But when I do… it’s hands up, out of the water… relax and lean back… and enjoy the ride.

The Retirement Myth

“Only 58% of us are even saving for retirement in the first place. Of that group, 60% have less than $25,000 put away … a full 30% have less than $1,000.” According to Nielsen Claritas, Americans age 55 to 64 have a median net worth of $180,000 — less than they’ll likely need for health care spending alone during retirement. — According to ConvergEx Group

“The entire concept of retirement is unique to the late-20th century. Before World War II, most Americans worked until they died.”

“According to the Centers for Disease Control’s actuary tables, someone born in 1950 could expect to live to age 68.2, while someone born in 2010 could expect to live to 78.7.”

Full post at The Motley Fool

Dwight Schrute on how to “deal” with the elderly

“Unfortunately, humanity seems to lack the backbone to demand that the elderly continue to contribute until they terminate. Instead we both indulge their laziness and demean them, locking them away in retirement homes while they slowly rot in a medicated stupor. The thought seems to be, the elderly, like most minority groups, enjoy being grouped together in a designated living area. But what if we stripped them of their pills and deprived them of their Rascal scooters, perhaps the elderly would stand up and face death like a man: head on, in a battle royal. Win or lose, they’d be more alive than they are now, even if the exertion caused them to cease living.”

When my time comes, I want to fight it out on Elderly Island. [via Anamarie]

Retirement: Relic of the Industrial Age

“Funny thing about getting older. Time goes faster. When you’re young you do time on the bunny slope, easing along at a slow and careful pace. Then as you grow up and become an adult, you go over to the intermediate slope, making the most of time rushing by. Not quite finally, as your dotage approaches, you move over to the black diamond slope, and you carreen downward to Certain Death. … I’m enjoying work now more than ever, running life’s slalom like a wacko skier in a Warren Miller movie. The certainty of death doesn’t bother me. If anything, it motivates me. But the word “retirement” creeps me out. It’s a relic of the Industrial Age I’ve devoted my life to ending.” — Doc Searls

Every time the idea of “retirement” comes up, I’m the only one in the room who hopes to work until the day I die. It’s comforting to know there are others out there.