The Bottom Line: Retirement, What’s your plan?

Reubin BW new titleBy Reuben Turner
City Editor

You probably haven’t noticed, but the retirement terrain is changing. And the baby boomers continue to remind us that we will likely have to work longer to receive fewer benefits.

Because the average life expectancy is at an all-time high of 79 years, you now have to be 67 years old to receive full benefits if you were born after 1960.

New reports from USA Today suggest that long-term care for senior citizens is becoming increasingly expensive and effectively working to increase the costs of healthcare for the elderly.

According to an article published by CNN, 16 percent of men and 14 percent of women who retired in 2008 re-entered the workforce, one of the highest rates it’s ever been.

This is a problem because according to Edward Siedle, a contributor for Forbes, “too frail to work, too poor to retire” will soon become the new normal.

The issue is that in a growing economy, inflation and a fixed income don’t mix.

Several senior citizens have retired early on social security alone, not factoring in inflation. Not to mention that those who retire early before the retirement age are penalized. These factors, coupled with the unexpected rising costs of healthcare (which for senior citizens is a major issue), has created the impending retirement crisis the country faces.

Now, if you are like me, you would retire now if you could.

I envy my grandparents who spend their days watching “30 for 30” and other documentaries, all while finding time to fly across country to see Aretha Franklin and Bob Dylan. They have been doing  this since the age of about 60.

I can only hope to be so lucky.

At this pivotal point in our lives, many things weigh on our minds. Finding a job and an apartment are usually at the top.

However, one thing many students neglect to put on their priority list is retirement.

Even at a relatively young age, retirement is a topic that should weigh on the minds of college graduates. Those who plan early, will have a stronger voice in their retirement plans. Unlike our predecessors, we may not be able to rely on social security.

On your job search, be sure to research the company’s retirement plans and their matching programs. Do you know if those companies offer early retirements? These are all things to seriously consider when  deciding to enter the workforce.