Approaching retirement can sometimes be scary, and because of this, there are some things you should know before retirement that can bring you some comfort. Reaching the 65-year-old milestone is something that many of us are waiting for, but are you truly ready for it?
As soon as you turn 65, you become eligible for Medicare, but there are also many other changes that come into your life. These changes might affect your health, finances, and, above all, your general well-being. But there are also many perks you should know about.
Read on and find out about the most important things you should know before retirement!
1. Ageism is something real
Ageism can be easily explained as the discrimination of people based on their age. This is the main source of various biases and misconceptions about seniors, and it is a real thing that happened back in the day and keeps happening today.
It was outlawed nearly 60 years ago, but people are still discriminated against nowadays, and this is why we believe that this is one of the things you should know before retirement. For example, two out of every three employees between the ages of 45 and 74 report having encountered age discrimination at work.
Even more, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that found that more than 90% of those aged 50–80 were the subject of ageism at least once in their lives.
But how can ageism affect your day-to-day life? Well, right now, there are many people who, once they retire, still want to work, generally part-time. Many times, it is quite difficult for them to find a place that would hire them because most businesses avoid hiring older folks.
You can report incidents of age discrimination to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission if you think you’ve been the victim of it. But think about examining the grievance procedure in your organization first.
2. The new wave of retirees
Between 1920 and 2020, the senior population of the United States increased by approximately 1,000%! Today, one in six people is 65 or older, and the U.S. Census Bureau has decided that this phenomenon is called the “gray tsunami.”
This is a big thing that will affect the entire population of the country, not just the ones who are over 65. This is happening because more and more people are retiring, so they are living in the workplace, and this leads to some economic issues that the government has never encountered before.
For example, since there are so many retirees, it will become harder to maintain Social Security funding and all of the health and tax resources.
At the same time, new job opportunities will appear for those who want to be caregivers, nurses, and doctors. Besides this, in the future, additional funding will be needed for senior centers, better roads, and emergency services. All of them are linked, and they will evolve together. When a change happens, all of them will be affected.
At this time, the first consequences of the “gray tsunami” are already felt. The nursing homes have a staff shortage, and there are not many home caregivers available. For now, the statistics show that things will get worse, but there is still time to make it better in the near future.
Since this new wave of retirees has such a big impact on everyone who lives in America, we strongly believe that this is one of the things you should know before retirement.
3. Be aware of your time
This one might be a little bit dark for some people, but it is clearly one of the things you should know before retirement. It is important to know how much time you have left.
And we know that it is impossible to know exactly when this will happen, but statistics from the Social Security Administration say that on average, a 65-year-old man generally has another 17 years to live past that age. Women are more lucy, and they get 3 years more, so it makes 20 years more past 65.
These are things that everyone should be aware of, and even if most of us don’t want to think about them, contemplating death can be helpful. Studies show it has some major psychological benefits.
Knowing that you might be near the end of the race can help you adjust your goals and don’t chase things that you don’t really need. It can help you see everything more clearly and realize what is truly important to you.
Once you accept that death is something natural that will happen sooner or later, you will be able to live your life to the fullest.
4. Beware of scammers
There is the classical move when a con artist calls you and tells you that they are your grandchildren or granddaughters, and they ask for money. This fake grandchild scam is more popular than you might think, and people keep practicing it because it still works. But this is just one of them. There are plenty of such scams.
According to the FBI, more than 92,000 seniors (individuals over 60) were defrauded of around $1.7 billion through internet scams in 2021, which is more than every other age group.
One of the most common scams is when the con artist pretends they are working for the government. One example of this is when the scammer claims they are working for the IRS and you owe taxes. They try to intimidate you and convince you that you should give the money or something bad will happen and you will have to pay more.
Additionally, there are scams involving sweepstakes where a caller claims that you’ve won a prize but requires payment in the form of cash or gift cards before they can give away the rewards.
Being aware of these scams is one of the things you should know before retirement because it is better to not lose money that way.
5. When do you become a senior?
Have you ever wondered when the age of 65 transformed into the moment someone became a senior?
Part of the answer may be found in Social Security’s establishment in 1935, a time when the Great Depression was still affecting people and the median lifespan was just under sixty. Germany set the precedent when it became the first nation in the world to implement an old-age social insurance scheme in 1889, decreasing the retirement age from 70 to 65 in 1916.
When Social Security was designed in the 1930s, the Committee on Economic Security decided for the then-existing states that the retirement age should be somewhere between 65 and 70 years.
Following it, lawmakers decided that 65 should be the US retirement age. This was the case until Congress changed the laws in 1983, raising the age at which those born in 1960 or later could eventually retire to 67.
So in short, this is how the age of 65 became the age of retirement and also the age at which someone became a senior citizen. Knowing the history of this is among the things you should know before retirement because it can help you understand the context better.
If you want to learn more about enjoying retirement, you can check out this book: Retirement Your Way: The No Stress Roadmap for Designing Your Next Chapter and Loving Your Future
You should also read: 8 Things You Don’t Want to Experience During Retirement