You Finally Reached Retirement Age, But Now What?

&l;p&g;Reaching retirement age is supposed to be a good thing, right?&a;nbsp; After all, turning 59 &a;frac12; gives you access to your 401(k), age 62 allows you to start collecting Social Security, and 65 entitles you to Medicare coverage.

These are all things we are taught to look forward to.&a;nbsp; Benefits we have worked our lifetimes to achieve and use to our benefit.&a;nbsp; However, this new era of retirement has more and more people getting there and not knowing what to do with these things, their career, family, and more.

&l;img class=&q;dam-image shutterstock size-large wp-image-1078201895&q; src=&q;×0.jpg?fit=scale&q; data-height=&q;640&q; data-width=&q;960&q;&g; Wondering if you should retire or keep working?&a;nbsp; (Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

It turns out that a growing group of Boomers are turning retirement age and struggling with their decision to retire.&a;nbsp; They are being ripped and torn from two very different ends and have no idea which direction to go.&a;nbsp; You see, this whole idea of 60 being the new 40 and 70 being the new 50 is really happening and it&s;s confusing people.

For example, take Jim who just turned 64.&a;nbsp; He&s;s at the top of his game as a respected manager for his division and mentally feels like he&s;s 40.&a;nbsp; He enjoys his work, likes the company he&s;s at, and is in no rush to leave.&a;nbsp; Frankly, he wouldn&s;t mind moving up another position or two in the company and having a bigger impact.

But he is 64 and feels like one of the old-timers at work. Over the last few years, he has seen several co-workers and friends opt into retirement.&a;nbsp; And at times, his mind wanders and begins to wonder what other people might think of him since he&s;s retirement age and still working:

&l;/p&g;&l;ul&g;&l;li&g;Doesn&s;t he have a life outside of work?&l;/li&g;

&l;li&g;Is he afraid of spending more time with his wife?&l;/li&g;

&l;li&g;Doesn&s;t he want to watch the grand kids play sports and music?&l;/li&g;

&l;li&g;Didn&s;t he save enough money to retire by now?&l;/li&g;


These varying thoughts play out in different ways and at different times, leaving him unsure of what to do.&a;nbsp; So, he waffles back and forth with his retirement date, frustrating his wife, who wants to downsize and move closer to the kids.

In a slightly different situation, Janet is turning 62 and is bored with her job. She&s;s been doing the same thing for 10 years and has said, once she hits that 10-year mark, &q;I&s;m outta here!&q;&a;nbsp; However, now that it&s;s here, she isn&s;t really ready to leave, but would like a change. But she is also 62 and could start collecting Social Security, and combined with her other assets, not have to work at all.

She likes the idea of spending more time with friends and family but worries she could end up alone and out of touch like her mom was after just a few years into retirement. She can afford to retire, doesn&s;t love her job, but isn&s;t sure she can go to HR, or if she should try to go back to school.&a;nbsp; To top it off, the people she does ask, tell her to &q;just retire.&q;

Neither staying in her current role or retiring is what she wants and she doesn&s;t know what to do, so she flip-flops on the topic of retirement and feels stressed by her situation.


People who are struggling with reaching retirement age, have one thing in common.&a;nbsp; They aren&s;t done yet and need to embrace that fact.&a;nbsp; They need to put a big fat red &q;x&q; through the word retirement and acknowledge that they are not traditionalists.&a;nbsp; They are the ones redefining what retirement means based on a desire to still be more and do more.

But accepting the fact that you&s;re different isn&s;t enough.&a;nbsp; You have to commit to it by redefining what retirement means to you. You have to broaden your definition and develop one that works for you, your stage of life and aspirations for what&s;s next.

I encourage you to be extravagant in your thinking and to not only physically write it down, but to share it with others, particularly with your spouse.&a;nbsp; Understand that this definition of what the new retirement means to you will play a big role in setting your mindset and attitude about it and serve as a catalyst to start moving towards it.&a;nbsp; Whether that&s;s still working, working part-time, volnteering, switching careers, etc.&a;nbsp; The more positive spin you can put on it, the better.

Finally, the other thing that people in this exclusive group need to do is find each other.&a;nbsp; You&s;ve got to surround yourself with other non-traditionalists who share your views and support your future direction.&a;nbsp; Otherwise, you just get traditional advice and input which will sound a lot like &q;Just retire.&q;

In this new era of retirement, turning a traditional retirement age can be overwhelming for some people, but it doesn&s;t have to be as long as you accept that you&s;re different, commit to following your heart, and surround yourself with like-minded people.

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