Steve Pybrum is the author of Money and Marriage: Making It Work Together—A Guide To Smart Money Management and Harmonious Communications, a series of books designed for couples to handle money matters.
Retirement, unfortunately, continues to be one of those things that married couples put off planning for, only to realize in the end that they may not be retiring as comfortably as they initially thought. Each day married couples let pass without a comprehensive retirement plan is another day they are setting themselves up for trouble. When Money and Marriage: Making It Work Together by Steven Pybrum was first published in 1996, the retirement age was hovering around more or less around the 60-year mark. Today, that number has increased at least five years, to 65 years old. For young couples, this means that they can expect to work far longer compared to their parents and elders before they can settle in and enjoy their senior years. However, with great financial planning and discipline, the future does not have to look so bleak.
It’s a common question, “How old should I be when I retire?” and in a way, its popularity suggests that people are indeed concerned about how their retirement pans out. As with any type of financial planning, there is no one answer to this question, because there are a number of things to consider, such one’s goals, needs, and risks. Generally, one should caution not to isolate one factor from the rest as this can skew and adversely affect the entire picture. One’s quality of living and immediate goals should also not be undermined.
For example, many people are enticed by early retirement packages offered by employers. These retirement benefits are normally doled out much earlier than retirement age, like around 55 years old. While the common argument is that such retirement packages are too good to pass up, one should caution and think about how he or she plans to pay for his or her healthcare moving forward or where he or she will derive his or her personal satisfaction or meaning. As one gets older, his or her job becomes more than just a source of income but becomes part of his or her identity. With that said, it would be prudent if one lays out a comprehensive retirement plan first before giving in to such buyouts.
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