The 9 Avatars of retirement. Which of these is you?

By December 30, 2019 LifeStyle, Retirement & Work

kiplinger.com

Everyone’s experience in retirement is unique. But there are some characterizations we can draw from data collected in various surveys and studies of retirees. On that basis the author of the article below has put together 9 personas of retired people. You may find bits of yourself in many of these personas. Some lessons to be learnt too are articulated that will help you deal with the situation that you may be finding yourself in during retirement. Team RetyrSmart

The 9 Avatars of retirement. Which of these is you?

The Tireless Mover

This person is always on the go, with a really long bucket list. You can catch up with this person in between a yoga class and a 20-mile bike ride. Every day is filled with classes or appointments or friendly meetups.

Retirement lesson learned:

To remain active as you grow older, you need to live a healthy lifestyle. Studies have proved that exercise and a healthy diet increase energy levels and boost your immune system. Not to be overlooked is the fact that a healthy lifestyle will result in lower medical costs.

The Lost

Not everyone has a smooth transition into retirement. Research has found some people experience “anxiety, depression and debilitating feelings of loss” after retiring.

Retirement lesson learned:

Too often people can put too much focus on money when planning for retirement. It’s important to also plan for the social and psychological shifts, such as coping with the loss of your career identity, forming new relationships and finding things to do to pass the time.

This is why we recommend that people build a financial plan around their goals and what makes them truly happy in life.

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The Workhorse

A working retirement? Isn’t that an oxymoron? For many retirees, it’s not. And, they’re not working just for financial reasons.

Retirement lesson learned:

In fact, many people see retirement not as a time to rest and relax but to realize their dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. Though certainly not for everyone, work can provide meaning and a sense of purpose in retirement. In addition to the financial advantages, it may also offer physical and mental health benefits.

The Lonely

Retirement can be a period of serenity and fulfilment, but for some it can be quite lonely. Studies indicate that loneliness can harmfully impact older adults’ physical and mental health and shorten life expectancy.

Retirement lesson learned:

Fortunately, loneliness can be prevented and reversed. The solution depends on the root cause of a person’s loneliness, which can range from the death of a spouse to health issues that make it hard to socialize. Most people, though, will benefit from any kind of meaningful social contact, such as volunteering or regularly meeting with an old friend.

The Globetrotter

Your interactions with this person may be primarily in the form of either postcards sent from abroad or envious selfies in front of famous landmarks. Or, there is a good chance this person will be you.

Retirement lesson learned:

Survey after survey ranks travel as one of the top retirement activities. If you want to spend most of your retirement on the road, plan ahead for the special challenges that come along the way, especially when traveling overseas.

The Reluctant Spender

Although retirement is often portrayed as the time to live life to the fullest, the attitude of many retirees is quite different. After saving all their lives, they are reluctant to spend money, even on their retirement goals.

Half of retired survey respondents said they were afraid to use their savings. The reasons given for being fearful are likely pretty common. A big unknown among older adults is the need for medical care, coupled with rising health care costs. Then there are concerns over the inevitable rise and fall of the stock market.

Retirement lesson learned:

These fears highlight the importance of having a retirement plan you are confident in. That way, you’ll know what reasonable amount you can spend to live a comfortable retirement — guilt free. It’s perfectly OK to have concerns about spending, but it should not inhibit your ability to enjoy everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve.

The Superhero

Not all superheroes wear capes. In fact, most wear T-shirts emblazoned with the word “volunteer.” And, many of those real-world superheroes are retirees.

Retirement lesson learned:

Two-thirds of retirees say they’ve found retirement to be the best time in life to give back, according to a study. The study strongly shows volunteering can positively impact a retiree’s well-being.

Retirees were three times more likely to say “helping people in need” brings them happiness in retirement than “spending money on themselves.” Further, those who donate money or volunteer feel a stronger sense of purpose and self-esteem and are happier and healthier.

The moral of the story is that everyone should consider volunteering as a top retirement goal.

The Overly Generous

Some parents and grandparents can’t help themselves. They’ll generously help a child or grandchild, even under the constraints of a limited income in retirement. Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with helping a child. It becomes a problem though when children start to become a financial burden on their own retirement goals, which is increasingly common.

Retirement lesson learned:

Remember, your savings are earmarked for a specific purpose: to help support yourself for 20 to 30 years in retirement. It’s true adult children today face a bevy of financial challenges that previous generations didn’t (namely, student loan debt), but they still have the luxury of time and ability to work. You don’t have to completely financially cut off your offspring, but you should set some limits.

The Never Retired

We talked about those who work in retirement because they want to. Now, we must mention those who need to work for financial reasons. It’s a good bet you’ll meet people the same age as you who may never retire.

Retirement lesson learned:

However, to never stop working isn’t much of a retirement strategy, as health problems and limited job opportunities keep older adults out of the workforce. Ultimately, there is no easy solution other to start saving as much as you can, as early as you can.

The Bottom Line

You may find a little of yourself in all these characterizations. After all, you are human. But what you should take away from this list isn’t a sense of empathy. Instead, it should be the lesson that to have the best and avoid the worst parts of each one takes careful planning.

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Disclaimer: The content including advice on this website provides generic information only. Its not been customised for any particular individual or situation. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified and specific opinion whatever be the area viz. health, finances, retirement, lifestyle etc. Always consult a domain specialist for more information. The information is the viewpoint of the author/source and Retyrsmart does not claim responsibility for this information.
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