Working senior

Photo courtesy of Metro Creative

Retirement is on the horizon for a significant number of people.

Around 10,000 people retire each day in the U.S., according to a study by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave, a consultancy studying the cultural and economic impacts of aging. But many soon-to-be retirees are not fully prepared for life after their work life ends. Shedding light on this next chapter can make retirement something to look forward to even more.

Retirement may no longer mean what it once did. Some retirees remove themselves entirely from the active employment market, while others prefer to keep at least one toe in the professional water. Some retirees change fields and do part-time work. Others may volunteer their time. Still, some choose to use retirement as an opportunity to spearhead a new business venture that may not have been possible beforehand. Retirees should reflect on their goals as well as their finances, and make plans accordingly.

Retiring may involve finding health insurance and preparing for other types of health care later in life.

The U.S. Census Bureau says employment-based insurance covered 55.4 percent of the population in 2015, the most recent years for figures, followed by Medicaid (19.5 percent) and Medicare (16 percent). It pays to know the rules of each plan to avoid unnecessary expenses that can eat into retirement dollars. For those who will be relying solely on Medicare, find a counselor who can spell out the intricacies of the plan or use the free tool on Medicare.gov.

Quite often, soon-to-be retirees focus on the end of a career or the end of a stage in life without putting enough focus on the possibilities ahead. This is a prime time to find a new social network, travel, join a ministry and much more.

Retirement can be an opportunity to shed an old skin and try on a new one – especially as it pertains to housing.

There are options to downsize for empty nesters or even to secure resources to age in place. According to United Income, a money-management service, retirees should try out particular scenarios and locations prior to jumping in. Rent in a particular neighborhood, or house sit and try things on for size. Airbnb and other types of services can make this trial easy.

A new outlook on retirement can open up a world of opportunities.

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