Is retirement becoming a thing of the past?
Retirement was once considered part of life, idealized as a time when a person spends his days and nights fulfilling lifelong dreams.
Retirement is quickly becoming a thing of the past, though, and older generations are already feeling it slip away.
The current group hoping for retirement – about 78 million “baby boomers” born between 1946-1964 – is unsure how to move into retirement with financial security. According to a report in the Associated Press, most boomers expect to work the rest of their lives because they have no cash put away and worry – rightly so – that Social Security won’t cover their bills.
Of course, most cannot stay in the same field forever, so they retire from a longtime job simply to move to one that is less physically demanding. It is not uncommon for an American worker to retire only to immediately move to another type of work in order to have adequate income.
People can receive full retirement benefits from Social Security between 65 and 67, depending on when they were born, and Medicare coverage at 65. But, ask anyone receiving either or both of those benefits, and most will tell you it barely covers their needs.
According to “The Oxford Handbook of Retirement 2013,” the number of older workers, 55 or older, in this country will only grow. In 1998, that age group made up 12.4 percent of the workforce. By 2008, the group made up 18. 1 percent of workers. By 2018, 25 percent of the workforce is expected to be made up of those 55 and older.
Jeff Davis Parish’s older workers are not spared from such concerns, either. Many of our workers have retired after years of service in one field only to start working somewhere else. Most of these people receive government and/or personal benefits but the money now coming in is not the same as with their longtime job. In fact, recently, in an interview with the Jennings Daily News, local Council on Aging Executive Director Helen Langley said each year, more and more senior citizens join the agency in order to find help in acquiring or paying for utilities, medication, medical devices and more.
We would like to hear from some of our local workers 55 or older who might be facing any of the above scenarios. Are you approaching or at retirement age yet unsure how you will survive financially? Have you retired yet taken a new job for income purposes? Share your experiences on this topic in a Letter to the Editor. Letters can be sent to P.O. Box 910, Jennings, LA, 70546; emailed to jdne...@bellsouth.net; or dropped at our office at 238 North Market Street in Jennings.
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