Thursday, August 18, 2011

Retirement and Family Life

Are you or is someone in your family approaching retirement age? Many experts define retirement as stopping work at some prescribed age. The age that many Americans define as retirement age is 65, the same age that individuals who were born in or before 1937 are eligible to receive full Social Security benefits from the U.S. government.

However, the eligibility age to receive full social security benefits for individuals born in or after 1960 is age 67. Persons born between the years of 1937 and 1960 are eligible to receive benefits that are reduced a fraction of a percent for each month before their full retirement age. Whether a person chooses to retire at 65 or 55, this is a major life change. You may start receiving benefits as early as 62 or as late as 70.

As a general rule, early or late retirement will give you about the same total Social Security benefits over your lifetime. If you retire early, the monthly benefit amounts will be smaller to take into account the longer period you will receive them. If you retire late, you will get benefits for a shorter period of time but the monthly amounts will be larger to make up for the months when you did not receive anything.

Adjusting to retirement comes naturally to some people, while others find it more difficult. A persons’ health, mobility, financial resources, social ties, and the reason why a person retired all affect how a person handles retirement.

Some people go through an identity crisis, because work no longer provides a source of self-esteem and self-respect. Other retirees delve deeper into different aspects of their life, such as leisure activities, and continue or redefine their family roles of parent, grandparent, spouse or sibling.

Some retirees develop new interests or have more time to spend on lifelong hobbies. It may be time to go on the overdue family vacation, to take time to pass down family recipes, or to teach a grandchild a new skill. Many retirees develop their time to volunteering in their communities; maybe in their grandchild’s classroom at school, or by adopting a foster grandchild in the community.

Families can support a new retiree in so many ways. By incorporating them into daily family life, the whole family can benefit from retirement at any age!

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