There are plenty of articles out there about how to prepare for retirement, what to expect in your retirement, how difficult it may be, how easy it may be, what to tell your kids, what to tell your parents, and on, and on, and on. What we don’t often find is the first hand perspective of current retirees who are living through it right now. This recent article in the Huffington Post attempts to remedy that.
The author of the article cites a poll of current retirees as well as current workers, and states that what they found “may surprise you: When it comes to key ‘markers’ of an enjoyable retirement, their real-life experience soundly beats the expectations of today’s workers… As revealed by our poll, today’s retirement reality is that many retirees, at all wealth levels, feel financially secure, have preserved the choice not to work anymore, can readily buy things they want, and have filled their lives with family time and favorite leisure activities.”
Unfortunately, their studies also found that because of the national financial crisis of the past few years, current workers may not find it so easy to achieve this retirement bliss. What current retirees often say is that while every worker needs to take responsibility for their own retirement, many retirees feel that they could not have achieved their level of comfort without the support of their employers. “More than 90 percent of retirees believe that employers should educate workers about the realities of longevity in retirement. An equal number agree that employers must offer workplace plans that can deliver a steady stream of retirement income.”
Pensions are quickly becoming a thing of the past, but many employers still offer basic retirement contribution plans such as 401(k)s, and the longer workers remain enrolled in such a plan the better off they’ll be. Asset managers and financial advisors can help as well, by offering more educational opportunities, as well as “better workplace savings products that provide true lifetime income streams throughout retirement.”
The bottom line seems to be that the biggest factors in having a healthy population of retirees are education and responsibility; not only on an individual level, but for employers as well.