Retirement is a great reward for putting in literally decades in the workforce. That being said, preparing for retirement means ensuring that you can enjoy your golden years without any financial worries. It’s all too common to end up getting sucked into thinking the wrong way about retirement, so we’ve done our best to come up with the top nine myths people believe about retirement. Here’s what you need to know!
Myth #1: Retirement is Far in the Future
Do you think you’ve got plenty of time before you retire? You’re not alone. Lots of people misjudge the amount of time they’ll have to plan their retirement, often relying on ideas like being able to work longer before hanging up their hat. The truth is, though, that only half of those who say that actually end up doing so according to a recent survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. In other words, don’t put off your retirement planning if you think you’ve got time!
Myth #2: You Can Simply Choose a Figure to Save Up to For Retirement
Everyone’s needs in retirement are going to be different. You can’t just choose an arbitrary number and use it as a target; likewise, you can’t predict how much of your retirement income you’ll use from one year to another. Limiting your withdrawals to 4% of your savings every year might work one year, but not for another. Take a more nuanced approach to retirement savings and spending whenever you can!
Myth #3: You Can Rely on Medicare for All Your Medical Needs
Medicare is great. It’s definitely going to go far in addressing the medical needs of many retirees. Yet it doesn’t cover everything. If you end up needing long-term care, you could be paying out of pocket unless you invest in some supplemental insurance. Either way, you’ll need to ensure you save enough to support any additional medical costs that you anticipate having.
Thinking about potential future healthcare needs? Consider a continuing care retirement community, where any future healthcare needs are already covered. Click here to learn if a CCRC is right for you.
Myth #4: Social Security Will Be Gone by the Time You Retire
Good news: the sky is not falling, no matter what some politicians tell you. Social Security is likely to last you through the entirety of your retirement. It’s not all a bed of roses, though – it’s unlikely that Social Security alone will allow you to live as comfortably as you would like. Make sure you supplement it with some retirement savings activity as well!
Myth #5: Your Expected Lifespan is 75-85
Retiring with a firm number in mind for how many years you need to fund your lifestyle is a recipe for disaster. The truth is that life expectancies are growing longer and longer thanks to medical science, and we’re all living much more comfortably and with a more fulfilling quality of life these days. Many of us will live well into our 90s, so don’t cut yourself short on funds just because you’re betting you won’t be around to need it!
Myth #6: It’s Easier to Age in Place
Planning on settling down in that lovely family home of yours after retirement? Sounds like an attractive option, but it might not be. There are numerous complications that can make this trickier than you might realize. Upkeep on a home, even if you’ve paid off the mortgage, can be pretty high. Property taxes, maintenance fees, and monthly utilities add up as well. Not only that, but a big house can be hard to navigate as you age – especially if you’ve got to climb a flight of stairs every night before bed. And do you really want to be cleaning all that unused space (or paying someone to do it)?
Myth #7: Retirement Communities Are Too Expensive
Aging in place isn’t always the best idea, but what’s the alternative? Moving to a retirement community seems like an expensive option that will only tie up your retirement savings. This is a total mischaracterization, though. The cost of a unit in a retirement community, plus the monthly maintenance fees, can often be financed by the sale of your existing property. In fact, many retirees find that this is a great way to maximize their retirement savings, often experiencing a net gain when all is said and done! This is because all those extra expenses like utilities and maintenance are covered, as are additional expenses like a gym membership (hello on-site fitness center and trainers) and food (hello fine dining from professionally-trained chefs).
Myth #8: Independent Living Communities Have No Worthwhile Amenities
If there’s one really big myth, it’s this one. Somehow people end up thinking that the amenities these types of communities offer are bland and boring. This couldn’t be further from the truth. You’d be hard-pressed to find a community that doesn’t have amenities like fitness centers, restaurant-style dining venues, clubhouses, and swimming pools. Many even offer putting greens or golf courses as well. You may also find dedicated spaces for enjoying crafting, woodworking, and other hobbies; coordinated opportunities to socialize or travel to town for shopping; on-campus resident-run gardens; and so much more. There’s a lot more going on than weekly Bingo night!
Myth #9: Independent Living Communities are Isolating and Lonely
Let’s get one thing straight: the modern independent living community isn’t a locked-down care facility for the infirm. Retirement communities are built around the idea that you’ve got extra time for socializing now that you’re retired! Whether you’re looking for ways to spend time with your family or long-time friends, you’ll find all sorts of socialization opportunities thanks to the social events that these communities organize on a regular basis.
Considering Retiring in the Near Future?
In these uncertain times, Acts Retirement-Life Communities is here to help. There is hope on the horizon and it’s time to start planning your future. Don’t put your life on hold. There are plenty of ways to stay safe while working towards the next exciting chapter in your life. You can conduct research, plan for your financial future, explore virtual tours and community floor plans, and talk to retirement experts all from the comfort and safety of your home. For more information on retirement or how to plan your next chapter, read these articles by Acts Retirement-Life Communities:
- What is the Average Cost of a Senior Independent Living Community?
- How to Prepare for a Recession if You Are Retired
- Should I Sell My Home During a Recession?