Retirement in the 21st century looks a lot different than retirement at the turn of the 20th century. First and foremost, the concept of stepping away from a career or life on the farm was relatively unheard of at the turn of the 20th century. Another major shift has been in the average life expectancy of Americans. White men born in 1900 had a life expectancy of 47 years, while white women had a life expectancy of 49 years.
Retirement looks different to different people. Some envision a time of relaxation and travel. Others view this time in life as an opportunity to connect deeper with a partner or pursue those hobbies that were always difficult to find time for while amid a career. For others, retirement is just the second act of life. This is a time when some opt to start a new career as their own boss. It is possible to use your retirement savings to start a business, but there is an upside and a downside to everything.
As you approach retirement age, there are a lot of decisions to make. Should you retire ahead of or after the standard age of 65 years old? What about withdrawing from your private investment accounts? How much should you take out and how often? There are a lot of decisions to make, and many of those will involve adjusting your lifestyle to meet your new income streams. While some retirees opt to change little, it never hurts to take a closer look at things you could change and things you could stand to live without.
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