Retirement — The New Face on Retirement

Retirement — The New Face on Retirement

Retirement is something all of us know something about. If we aren’t retired, we are looking to the day when we retire. However, the new face on retirement may not be what you thought it would be when you get there.

I say that because of people’s adjusting view of retirement and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). You may have heard it called ACA or Obamacare. Regardless of what it is called, it is having an impact on retirement.

Nobody is talking about PPACA forcing a higher cost of labor on employers. The discussion, at least from the politicians, is that the fees, costs and taxes imposed will just be another cost of doing business.

What they don’t bother to mention is this “another cost of doing business” is forcing some employers to cut employee hours to 30 or less per week as well as employee positions. It is also forcing employers to curtail hiring.

When they do hire, they will opt for high-skill people over low-skill people, part-time over full-time, machinery for people and stop short of employee number 50 because that is the threshold at which the penalties and legislated costs kick in.

It doesn’t take an Albert Einstein to figure out that if you don’t have a job you don’t have a retirement program. If you work only 30 hours or less, you effectively don’t have a retirement program. There simply is no money to put into a retirement program and by default becomes the new face on retirement.

What will be the impact? The most obvious is those people who have a job will work until they can’t work any longer. Those people without a job will use every bit of government and charity assistance they can until they find a job. Once they find a job, they will keep it until they can’t work any longer. This is the new face on retirement.

The current working person is undergoing a change in their notion of what constitutes retirement. They are waiting longer to retire. The old days of retiring at age 62, or even earlier, seem to have evaporated from their heads in one collective swoosh.

Gallup recently did a survey of U.S. retirees and found that the average age people had retired was 61, up from 57 in the early 1990s. Today the workers say they now plan to retire at 66. MetLife also did a survey and found approximately one-half of people born in 1946 are still working. That makes them 67 years old at this writing.

As more and more surveys are commissioned, the answers to the question at what age do you plan to retire are late 60’s or early 70’s. This is the new face on retirement.

The new face on retirement may be telling us that the people who can retire don’t feel financially secure enough to retire. That may be due to a lack of planning but probably is really centered in the current fear mindset.

People are afraid of leaving the safety of a secure paycheck for a retirement check that may be unsecure. This is the new face on retirement.

The new face on retirement tells us the retirement age is moving upward. It also tells us the traditional concept of retirement is changing. The new face on retirement also tells us there are implications for our society at large as well.

What they will eventually be is anyone’s guess given the technology advancements and the spirit of the people to make do no matter what the conditions. That is the new face on retirement.

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