Thinking About Retirement

 Photo Credit: Brian Kline  By Dr. Monique M. Chouraeshkenazi 

Photo Credit: Brian Kline

By Dr. Monique M. Chouraeshkenazi 

         Retirement is such a complex undertaking, especially for individuals within the United States. Most individuals will work more than half their lives to receive benefits for their dedication and service to a company, charity organization, government, and/or military. According to the United States Government, the average individual lives approximately 20 years beyond his or her retirement (n.d.). Eagers, Franklin, Yau, and Broome (2018) concluded there are concerns with the transition from work to retirement and it would be suitable for occupational therapists to assist and understand the needs of projected retirees to ensure they are prepared. With an extended life expectancy beyond supporting oneself, there is uncertainty on whether there is sufficient medical benefits, pension, savings, and other financial resources to support for a specific period.

         I do not expect to retire at a certain age because my dream job (in government that I have not obtained yet—fingers crossed) and other goals will have me working beyond retirement age- God’s will. Those who work for an employer for a specific amount time will receive a pension and benefits after retirement. When an individual has given a portion of his or her pay to the federal government, he or she will receive what is called Social Security Benefits, which is not received until 62 years of age (“Benefits by Year of Birth,” n.d.). NOTE: There are additional stipulations for early retirement and special circumstances. When I finish my government service and are eligible for Social Security, it will not be enough for me to sustain my current lifestyle beyond retirement age.

         I have been planning for my retirement ever since I joined the United States Air Force in 2002. I had a portion of my paycheck go towards my Thrift Savings Plan. Once I transitioned from the military, I cashed out my retirement and put it towards my house I had built. Nearly three years ago, I started over and realized that no matter how much I try to save for retirement, I need multiple sources of income to sustain my lifestyle into older adulthood. I take into consideration that employment and preparation do play a critical role in retirement and determines when one can do so. Settersten (2018) emphasized retirement can be determined by technological and organizational pressures, and as a result, dictates how long individuals needs to prepare. Understanding that retirement requires considerable analysis and planning, I will continuously prepare for the time whether I do so or not.

         I do not expect to live a life of leisure. More than likely, I will “retire” after my civil service to the federal government, but I will continue to work. I have a consulting/self-brand business that I am looking to expand and I will work on that in some capacity (if it still exists by then)! Also, I will continue to write books, book motivational speaking engagements, and teach beyond “retirement” age. I plan to live in the Greater Washington, D.C. area beyond retirement, in the house I had built. If I can afford it, I will have a couple of vacation homes in California and possibly another country (somewhere warm, near the beach, where I can reflect and take a little breather). I work as hard as I do to provide the lifestyle I envision in the future. By no means do I want to be wealthy, but I want to be comfortable enough that I can do whatever I want without restrictions. That takes hard, continuous work. My daughter will be an adult in five years and I will still be under 40. I will continue my healthy habits I have possessed my entire life to ensure I live long enough to see my daughter married with children and grandchildren of her own. However, I have been working since I was 16 years old and would like to have some time alone and I will be selfish with such time.

         My overall impression of retirement is impartial and I believe it is because I do not really see myself retiring. In some aspect, I will always work to provide for my family, and make sure they are set, even when I die. Plus, I am not one who can sit still. I feel the need to constantly work (just like school) and I do not know if retirement is a vocabulary word that will be used in my future. Finally, with negative aspects of retirement, I believe I would rather work and continue to build my financial portfolio. Verkhivker (2018) believes saving for retirement can increase debt and does not find it to be conducive to sustenance and financial freedom. Debt is not something I want to focus on in the future. With many rumors of retirement and lack of benefits for me by the time I am of retirement age, if I am willing and able, I will work. I will continue until I feel physically and mentally, it is time for me to stop.

References

“Benefits by Birth of Age.” (n.d.). United States Social Security Administration. Retrieved from https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/agereduction.html (accessed on 24 March 2018).

Eagers, J. MPH, BOccThy, Franklin, R. C., MSocSC, BSc, PhD, Yau, M. K., PhD, OTR, CST, & Broome, K. PhD, GradCertResearchCommercialisation, BOccThy (Honsl). (2018).

Pre-retirement job and the work-to-retirement occupational transition process in Australia: A review. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal. Wiley Online Library. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1111/1440-1630.12452 (accessed 24 March 2018).

“Retirement.” (n.d.). United States Government. Retrieved from https://www.usa.gov/retirement(accessed on 24 March 2018).

Settersten, R. (2018). Lives in Time and Place and Invitation to the Life Course: The Problems and Promises of Development Science. New York, NY: Routledge.

Verkhivker, A. (2018). How saving for retirement can increase your debt burden. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexverkhivker/2018/03/20/how-saving-for-retirement-can-increase-your-debt-burden/?ss=retirement#aec62b6277a1 (accessed on 24 March 2018).