Many of us see retirement as endless holidays and free time to do whatever we want. However, although you may have the free time, retirement is not as rosy as it is built up to be unless you have proper retirement plans in place and you hit retirement fully prepared for the challenges it brings.
When it comes to actually living in retirement, some of what we thought to be true can turn out to be more of fiction than reality. A number of reports from various financial organizations caution people about the difference between retirement expectations and retirement reality – all with a view to bust myths about retirement.
Here are the 5 most common retirement myths busted:
Myth 1: I can’t wait to retire!
Many people believe the moment they head out of their workplace the final time will be the happiest day of their lives. After all, the idea of not going to office anymore after working for nearly 40 years seems new and exciting.
But in reality, majority of people end up wishing they could work longer. A recent report from HSBC found that nearly two-thirds of people in 15 countries wished they had stayed in full time work for longer. “They miss the world of employment more than they thought they would before they retired,” the report said. The most apparent reason for this being lack of preparation for retirement.
Myth 2: I’ll have fewer expenses during retirement
We tend to think that our savings and pension will be sufficient to provide for our retirement in the absence of full-time income, especially since our expenses during retirement will be less. In reality, retirement is turning out to be far more expensive for retirees than thought previously. The HSBC survey reported 52% of retirees saying their expenses have stayed the same after retiring from work. Overall, 38% retirees said their retirement income is lower than they had anticipated.
Myth 3: I’ll never be able to fully prepare for retirement
While there are many studies and reports deploring the unpreparedness of pre-retirees around the world, there are also some others, such as the ICI report by Reuters that found the retirement scene in US to be “not as bad as it seems”, with a majority of pre-retirees having more than $360,000 in their retirement accounts and financially fit enough to retain their existing standard of living during retirement. Lesson: if we plan our retirement well, we are more likely to achieve our retirement goals.
Myth 4: Retirement life is amazing!
No rush hour commute, no Monday morning blues – and plenty of time for oneself and family, and a life of leisure and enjoyment – just some things we associate with retirement. But is the reality different for retirees?
A recent report by Skipton Building Society in the UK found more than half of the 787 surveyed retirees saying that they got bored of the retirement life within 10 months of retiring. Experts believe semi-retirement can help solve this problem, and retirees should involve themselves in some form of passive work for a few years after retiring.
Myth 5: I’ll become unfit and out of shape after retirement
A lot of people worry about the absence of routine “things to do” and less activity taking a toll on their fitness and making them feel out of shape. However, the reality seems to be different. A recent Skipton report has found that more than 50% of the surveyed 623 older adults in UK exercise more than they ever did in their twenties. About 76% of those polled said they “try their best to remain active and busy so that they are healthy for as long as possible.” Goes to show that your retirement lifestyle totally depends on how you want it to be.