The majority of Americans have the expectation to retire at the age of 66, according to recent studies, however the average age of retirement seems to realistically be 62, although for decades this was nearer to 60.
There are two predominant reasons that Americans project a later retirement age, one being financial as they feel that they will have to work longer as there are fewer pensions and people also have a more psychologically positive view as far as work is concerned, however a plan to work longer is not the same as keeping a job into your late 60s.
From other studies that have been undertaken they have also reported a significant gap between the age workers anticipate their retirement to be and when they actually cease working in their job. Over 30% of people surveyed expected to retire after the age of 65, however only half reported staying on in their job for that long. About 10% said that they planned to retire before 60 however 35% ended up retiring early with the median retirement being 62.
The majority of those that took early retirement did so due to unforeseen and unexpected circumstances. Almost half of the retirees cited leaving the workplace early due to health problems or disabilities (over 60%) or to care for a family member (15%). Others reasons stated for early retirement were changes in the company such as closure or downsizing, changes in the skills required for their jobs and other work related reasons.
Whilst we would all like to retire early in order to make the most of our lives it is a physically impossibility for most as they rely on the wage that their jobs provide to pay for their homes and the lifestyles that they lead. However, there are those who are lucky enough to be able to take early retirement, but what would you do if you were fortunate enough to fall into this bracket? There is a big difference between knowing what you want to do in retirement and what factors outside of your control will actually let you do. There are those fortunate individuals that can retire early because they have the means and can afford to do so or want to do something else and thanks to an unexpected windfall, years of saving hard or inheritance they suddenly have the means.
If you find yourself in a situation where your retirement comes as a complete surprise, you will need to take time to regroup and look how you can make the best of the resources that you have available to you. An unplanned retirement generally means you need to regroup and make the best of the resources you have. The key here is to have a great degree of mental flexibility. You will have to look closely at your finances and if you have been laid off your ability to collect unemployment benefits, also if you are under the age of 65 and cannot sign up for Medicare there will be big decisions to make with regards to your health insurance.
It is easier said than done, but an emergency fund would be a great help to those who find they have to retire ahead of schedule, this way you have a buffer zone that will provide you with time to figure out your next move. This is why it is vital that you are not living from one pay check to the next and that you only have good debt, such as tuition, mortgage and maybe a low rate car loan.
In an ideal world you will retire in your mid to late 50s and be able to find an idyllic corner in your chosen country where you can possibly use a hobby to make enough money to pay for your everyday living expenses. With this in mind it could be why you keep working until the traditional retirement years to help finance an even better retirement lifestyle. However, it is vital that you understand that there is a reasonable possibility that you may not get to choose when you retire and this is why you should ensure that you have this factored into your retirement preparations and if you get to your chosen retirement age and also can continue working you really will have the best of both worlds and far more opportunities will be available to you.
As you can see there are a number of reasons why you are best to save and plan for your retirement and if you are looking to retire to another country be sure to factor in all of the expenses that you are likely to incur to make your retirement as comfortable and stress free as possible.