“Are you preparing for retirement?”, She Asked
“Are you preparing for retirement?” asked the women as she stared at me and the others from across her big mahogany desk, with a tone of boredom in her voice. I was in the human resources department in a mandatory orientation, just as thrilled to be there as this women assigned to lead the orientation. I was packed into her large office with half a dozen other new employees simply looking to satisfy the required attendance on our company health insurance policy. “All new employees must attend benefits orientation in order to receive their insurance package…” the memo read and the meeting was going exactly how I imagined it would.
No one answered her question. Was it rhetorical? Judging by the long pause, she was hoping someone would step up and share something to convince her that the current workforce wasn’t an unprepared, lost cause. I didn’t answer her as the question didn’t make much sense to me. I was in my early 20s then, why would I be preparing for retirement some 40 years away?
That was five years ago. I’m still not prepared for retirement but I know what retirement will look like for me. I’ve scoured resource sites like Genworth.com, Time, Forbes and the like to get information on the current state of retirement, what most people do and what I should be doing now. That’s where I found this article on making retirement cheaper, published on Fox Business.
The article is interesting because it shows a different perspective on retirement, a realistic one that most people don’t understand until they are there, in retirement and in trouble. Specifically, the article details the kind of expenses you can expect when you retire and what you can do to reduce those expenses.
Retirement isn’t what it used to be. It’s not a guaranteed thing like it was years ago when you worked for one company your whole life, got a pension or company fully-funded retirement plan and were able to just kick back living on Social Security, having Medicare take care of your prescriptions and health care costs. Most of that can’t be counted on anymore in the current economy.
For me, retirement will be filled with hobby jobs. I may not be able to save enough to just take it easy and my health, while good now *knock on wood* may not be great later in life due to family hereditary illnesses, but at least I know what makes me happy and that is keeping busy doing the things I love.