A curious thing happens with retirement in the United States: there is no middle ground. We tend to either romanticize it too much or forget that it’s an important part of people’s lives. The fact is that there are some things that no one says, and that you should keep in mind on the day of your retirement.
They are things that go beyond the typical ones related to saving or forecasting. They have more to do with everyday aspects that we sometimes forget.
We are living longer and longer, and retirements are getting longer.
One of the symptoms of social welfare is that life expectancy is increasing. Whereas half a century ago the average life expectancy after retirement was barely more than 14 years, today it is well over 20 years.
Moreover, the general state of health of retirees is getting better and better. So not only are we living longer, but we are also healthier.
As a result, retirement is a long period. Whereas in the past it might have been a third, or less, of a working life, today it can be more than the average length of a working life.
Dedicated resources are more expensive, but more effective
If you’ve ever worried about retirement, you’ve probably already noticed that there are more and more specialized services.
You might tend to think that this is true of healthcare, but in fact it applies to virtually everything: from care services, housing, leisure, culture, tourism, financial services, etc.
Specific products and services for the elderly are flooding the market. This is a growing trend that will increase even more in the coming years.
On average, these services can be more expensive. At the same time, however, they offer not only better benefits, but also more monitoring, control and options than generalist services.
The trend toward senior living communities is a reality that we can already see and experience in some states such as Florida.
Retirement is an increasingly active stage of life.
It is true that in the past there was a certain tendency to think of retirement as a kind of gray area in which to rest after a lifetime of work. Today, however, this rest is seen in an active way.
Retirement is becoming more and more expensive. One of the main reasons is that we are much more active. Culture, leisure, tourism, food and wellness are some of the expenses that have greatly increased in retirement compared to just 30 or 40 years ago.
It is worth bearing this in mind. One might think that when you retire you enter a cheaper period of your life. In reality, this is not necessarily the case; depending on your level of activity, it may even be a more expensive period.