The Challenges of the New “Golden Age” – the “New Age of Retirement”

The “Doom Loop” can affect you during the Golden Chapter or your life. Here are some facts:

  • Each year 12,000-15,000 people in the United States turn 65 – the fastest growing segment in the population of the United States;
  • The average American can anticipate living 30 or more years past the “traditional” retirement age of 65
  • This has created a new challenge – a “new age of retirement” – the Golden Chapter of one’s life – one in which individuals must recalculate their life’s purpose;
  • While many have prepared for financial security during this new age, most do not anticipate the fact that everything else won’t necessarily fall into place.

What has been known as “retirement” can actually be one of the various “career crises” that you will need to face during your post-career life.

It’s a crisis that can get ugly over time because most people who have been actively engaged in work and have been active during a career are not good at doing nothing and they generally don’t like being idle. 

This is “Q4,” of the Doom Loop and it’s no surprise that their feelings might lean toward being unhappy and even miserable.

Track of the Skills
The Doom Loop

Significant evidence points to the fact that retirement – particularly early retirement – can lead to premature death, or, at best, a significant decline in personal health.

In 2005, a study of Shell Oil employees showed that individuals who retire at age 55 and live to be at least 65 die sooner than people who retire at age 65.  After age 65, the early retirees have a 37% higher risk of death than their counterparts who retired at 65.  Moreover, the study showed that people who retire at age 55 are 89% more likely to die in the 10 years after retirement than those who retire at 65.

When it comes to happiness and satisfaction in retirement, the key is to keep busy by doing things you enjoy.  The real measure of your success in retirement may not be your cozy feelings of financial security, but the quality of life that you build for yourself when you spend your time in retirement.

Many successful people spend more than forty years in their careers.  Their lives have been their work – it’s been a habit, a part of life, and a daily expectation.  Seeing that come to an abrupt end on the day after they retire can be more shocking than a cold shower.

We will be posting more about the challenges of the “new age of retirement.”