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Simple Fixes for Common Retirement Concerns

Sep 05, 2019 3 min read

Key Takeaways

  • Find time to exercise.
  • Start an emergency fund.
  • If you need to work in retirement, find a job you love.

 

 

At first glance, the prospect of living longer sounds great. If you lead a full and happy life, why wouldn’t you want more of it? And even if you’re only just mildly content with the status quo, you might want additional time on Earth to set things right and find your bliss.

The question then becomes: How can I afford and enjoy my bliss? The answer may lie in several key behaviors, such as strategic financial practices, good diet and regular exercise. But, if you are or have been less than physically and financially well in life, you might have anxiety about whether you have the fitness to proceed into retirement.

Following are three indications that Americans are worried about retirement readiness, and three ways to feel better about retirement prospects fast, at any age.

 

Worry 1: Living longer

According to a recent Pew Research Center study regarding how we view artificial life enhancements Opens in new window, 69% of respondents specified that the ideal human lifespan is 79 to 100 years. Respondents also reported skepticism about artificial life extension (such as synthetic blood and brain chip inserts for enhanced cognitive function, etc.) on the grounds that these advances may only be available to the wealthy, or that there might be unknown harmful side effects incurred by these medical options. Ergo, even though science may enable us to live longer, we might not be ready to do so. 

With living longer also comes the fear of being unprepared for all the health challenges that come with aging, such as diseases, falls and other injuries.

 

Fix 1: Get moving

It is likely that human beings will live longer, and we can only do our best to make that reality less frightening by staying in good shape for as long as we possibly can. 

Mayo Clinic reports the seven benefits of exercise Opens in new window to include controlling weight, and combatting health conditions and diseases. This might stave off your need for medical care. And the benefit of mood elevation might help with any residual anxiety you have over outliving your natural optimum.

New to exercise? Remember to check with your physician for guidance, especially if you have a physical challenge or disability. You might be able to start small and build. You might also be able to choose low impact activities such as swimming, chair yoga, or walking with a group. If it intimidates you, think of exercise as ‘movement’ or ‘activity’ rather than labor.

 

Worry 2: Not having enough money

A recent Gallup poll suggests that 64% of Americans worry about not having enough money  Opens in new windowsaved for retirement, with just over half of those polled citing not being able to keep their standard of living as a factor deterring them from retirement. About 60% of respondents are also concerned about not being able to pay for medical services in the event of serious accident or illness.

 

Fix 2: Start a fund that might save the day

Whatever stage of life you’re in – right out of college or settled into a cozy retirement, it’s never too late to start an emergency or medical preparedness fund. You can take anything extra, after you’ve paid your bills and contributed to your retirement savings plan – even as little as $1, and sock it away for a rainy day. Use our Retirement Calculator to find out if you can afford the lifestyle you envision in retirement.

Additional medical cost-saving remedies can include:

These measures can check and recheck your security against the financial burdens of medical expenses.

 

Worry 3: Being unhappy at a post-retirement job

Some people want to work throughout life. They love the sense of purpose and structure they derive from their jobs. In fact, only 21.6% of Americans plan to stop working entirely after retirement PDF opens in new window. But not all retirees will continue working because they want to. Many will work because they feel like they have to. If you continue working, you might be afraid to find yourself in a tedious, demeaning or otherwise unsatisfying post-retirement job…just to pay your bills.

Take heart: according to a study by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, nine in 10 Americans 50 or older are “somewhat satisfied” with their jobs Opens in new window.

 

Fix 3: Find your bliss at work

If you’re going to be working instead of retiring, try not to work just for the money. At every stage of life, consider what you’re doing and whether doing it makes you happy. LinkedIn recently found that people are changing jobs with high frequency Opens in new window; the average number of jobs we have by age 32 has climbed to four! In other words, people aren’t necessarily afraid to switch things up if they’re unhappy.

If you are committed to working in retirement for financial stability, check out our article on this subject. You might also want to look into whether or not earning a wage during retirement years disentitles you to government benefits. Social Security benefits in particular may be compromised PDF opens in new window if you cash a paycheck during your retirement years.

 

What you can do next

You can claim you don’t aspire to a long, wealthy, healthy life because you’re afraid you haven’t prepared for it. But, as young as age 21, you can participate in a company’s retirement savings plan; and it’s never too early to adopt an active lifestyle. Start with a deep breath and a commitment to your own happiness.

 

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