These days, most Americans are ill-prepared for retirement. According to a study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, only 22 percent of workers were confident they would have enough money in retirement.
Add to that the different feelings about retirement, and you have many opinions about how older adults will and should spend their later years.
Whether you’re already enjoying retirement, or planning ahead for it, here are a few things you might not know about retirement.
Retirement Doesn’t Mean Reduced Living
When many people think of retirement, the image that comes to mind is someone sitting in their home, growing old. But retirement now is much more than a stage in an older adult’s life.
Take Barbara Beskind. At the age of 91, Barbara isn’t spending time on the couch crocheting. Instead she’s working at her dream job designing technology for older adults.
She always dreamed of being an inventor or engineer, but couldn’t make her dream a reality because all the college courses she needed were reserved for men. After pursuing another occupation and twice trying to retire, Barbara was drawn to her current employer after watching an interview on 60 Minutes.
Now, she spends her Thursdays working with a design team at the Silicon Valley office of design firm IDEO.
Retirement Can Mean Big Discounts
Sure, there are the blue plate specials and early-bird discounts associated with retired adults. But joining organizations like AARP that cater to retirees can result in big discounts on much more than a meal.
Members of these groups often see discounts on airfare, cruise ship tickets and college courses. Taking advantage of your age can net you considerable discounts, which can help you to stretch your retirement savings.
Retirement Can Provide Endless Opportunities
One thing retirement isn’t short on is time. But it’s up to you how you make the most of it, says blogger Dave Bernard. Wondering what to do with your free time? Take these pointers from Bernard:
● Exercise. If your schedule was like most working adults’, you probably found yourself racing to fit in a daily workout. With the time retirement provides, now you can work out without having to battle the after- or before-work gym crowds. Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to try that spinning class in the afternoon, but your work commitments made it impossible. Now you can more effectively integrate exercise into your day, while reaping its long-term benefits.
● Unleash your creative side. Since you’re no longer exercising your mind on the job, Bernard suggests you find other ways to let your creative juices flow. These can include taking art courses, doing your favorite puzzles or games, or writing or drawing. The possibilities are endless.
With all the possibilities available to older adults, retirement can mean much more than just sitting around. Take advantage of all retirement has to offer and discover something new.