After a lifetime of working, retirement is the reward for a job well done at a time when most people are ready to slow down and live life at their own pace. They no longer have to punch a time clock, so they are at the mercy of no one. All of a sudden, it's as if they have been given a whole new sense of freedom: one without a clock and one where they set the terms. It's typically a time for traveling, being with the grandchildren and pursuing interests that have long been on the back burner while working.
Many mature adults are working longer, so it seems as if some are putting their retirement plans on hold. That's what is happening, but not for the reasons you may think. Retirement is not going out of style, but rather it is now difficult for the average person to retire "in style" or at least in the way they would like to with their finances in good shape.
Politicians now warn those who are approaching retirement age that the old way of thinking that social security was a given is now something to be concerned about. Those in that age group aren't sure how long it will be around and if they will ever be able to cash in on it. That is a scary thought to many people who shouldn't have to worry about that as they near the age to retire. The reward for sticking it out that long is being able to collect the funds that the person has paid into the social security systems all these years. Can you imagine how it feels to work 40 or even 50 years, only to find out that the money you had counted on to last the rest of your life is now in jeopardy? So it's no wonder that seniors are a little ambivalent about retiring, and who can blame them?
It's not only the people who are close to retirement age that are worried. Young people should take the retirement issue very seriously because chances are there may not be such a thing in another 30 or 40 years. Now is the time they need to plan how they will fund their own retirement. With the instability of social security, it is imperative that they have a Plan B, because right now Plan A isn't looking all that good.
The other side of the coin is that some seniors enjoy working and want to continue. That's fine if they are in good health and can handle the necessity of having to punch a time clock. Seniors are vibrant, smart and have life experience that younger people should value. There are all types of examples where seniors are making valuable contributions to society in their later years.
Seniors have earned their right to retire and no one should tell them they must continue to work in their later years. Planning for retirement is complicated and it shouldn't have to be that way. Seniors should have certain protections by the government and the community at large and an easy slide into retirement should be one of them.
Being able to retire "in style" is the only thing that will make certain retirement doesn't go out of style.