What People Fear Most about Retirement
Many of the soon-to-be retired fear retirement due to the decline in property values,
pensions, and personal savings.
Apparently, retirement is not near as difficult as some soon-to-be retired fear.
A September 2010 study found that:
• Although 25 percent of still-working soon-to-be retired fear they won't generate
enough retirement income, 57 percent of people actually retired say they are.
• About 60 percent of the soon-to-be retired believe they will need some sort of work in
retirement, only 23 percent of retirees still have some sort of retirement job.
• Whereas fewer than half — 44 percent — of the soon-to-be retired believe that they can
retire in their current primary residence, in fact, eighty-three percent of retirees still live in their
Retirement does present problems or challenges for some retirees, however.
• Twenty percent of retirees said "just making ends meet" is a challenge.
• Almost 30 percent of retirees have had to downsize their lifestyle.
• About 10 percent of retirees said they no longer can afford do keep their primary
Recently a newspaper columnist wrote about peoples' fears of retirement and how easily people
can overcome these fears.
I think that columnists and writers are being too reasonable and intellectual when presenting
their ways for people to get rid of their worries and fears about retirement.
Here is part of an e-mail that I received from a gentleman who read my books How to Retire
Happy, Wild, and Free and The Joy of Not
(I have withheld his name due to the nature of the e-mail.)
"I have read your books on retirement and I thank you for those.
But I am stuck. I have worked steadily since college. I have achieved the
"At 52 I have an executive position in a fortune 500 company, make a crazy salary and
own my own home outright . . . I am terrified of retiring, I have established no friends outside of
work and am not sure I could make new ones.I am terrified of retiring, I have
established no friends outside of work and am not sure I could make new ones.
My wife and I have "a couple million" in financial assets but I worry constantly that no one would
leave a job like mine in this economy or that we might run out of money.
My wife has nailed your philosophy [presented in How to
Retire Happy, Wild, and Free].
She retired at 50, six years ago and has created her own life.
I want to step out of the race and enjoy the best years of my life but I am completely
caught up in the daily grind of big business. To the point where I fear I have become addicted to
all it entails.
I want out — is there any hope? Can I really figure out what to do
with these extra 65+ hours a week when I am not working? Can I make friends not related to my
Thanks again for you books and philosophy.
As you can see, this guy and his wife own their house outright and have $2 million in his
retirement account and he is still has financial fears about retirement as well as non-financial fears. In other
words, he has attained his retirement number.
My point is that some people will have fears about retiring regardless of how well newspaper
columnists present their reasons why people shouldn't have these fears. I can recall Dr. John Sarno in his book
The Mind-Body Connection mentioning that even multi-millionaires have irrational fears of winding up
broke and destitute in retirement.
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The Many Fears People Have Before Retiring and in Retirement
These are the most common fears that people have about Retirement:
• Have I saved enough for retirement?
• Will my retirement
savings and investments last me until I die?
• Is my pension safe?
• Will I get bored in retirement?
• Will I miss my job and my colleagues?
• Will I still have my health in
• Will I retire in my life time?
• Will I have to downsize my present comfortable home and live in a cardboard
box under a bridge??
• Will my spouse in
retirement drive me crazy all day long?
• Am I the only person who is so afraid of retirement that I get physically sick
thinking about it?
• How am I going to pay for food, housing, and health costs if I stop
• Will I be able to afford to go to my favorite restaurants and take vacations
when I retire?
• Will I be able to get retirement
jobs of any type once I reach the age of 60 or 65?
• Where Should I
• Will I lose my sense of freedom and independence if I am forced to spend twice
as much time with my spouse as I used to before retirement?
• What am I going to do in those 60+ hours a week that I presently spend at my
• Will I be able to make new friends outside of the workplace once I
• Will I run out of retirement
income even though I have saved more for retirement than 90 percent of
• What if I run out of money and can’t go back to work?
• What if I am bored stiff?
#1 Prescription for Overcoming Fears
I was scared stiff of
I found the secret to a happy
Quotes about People's Fears about Retirement
Here are some retirement quotes about fears about
Before deciding to take early retirement from
your job, stay home a week and watch daytime television.
— Author Unknown
My retirement plan is to find a shopping cart with good snow
— Patty Doyle
I have now the gloomy prospect of retiring from
office loaded with serious debts, which will materially affect the tranquility of my retirement.
— Thomas Jefferson
What will I do with myself when I retire? When I
quit my job, I do not want to quit living. Can I possibly be of use when retirement day comes, or will
I just be taking up space?
— J. A. West
Retirement: Statutory senility.
— Emmett O'Donnell
Preparation for old
age should begin not later than one's teens. A life
which is empty of purpose until 65 will not suddenly become filled on retirement.
— Arthur E. Morgan
The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.
— Vince Lombardi
Retirement may be looked upon either as a prolonged holiday or as a
rejection, a being thrown on to the scrap-heap.
— Simone de Beauvoir
As to that leisure evening of life, I must say that I do not want it. I
can conceive of no contentment of which toil is not to be the immediate parent.
— Anthony Trollope
I'm at the age where food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact, I've
just had a mirror put over my kitchen table.
— Rodney Dangerfield
Never ask old people how they are if you have anything to do that day.
— Joe Restivo
Retired: Just have to do what the voices in my wife's head tell me.
— Writing on a Retirement T-Shirt
Men and women approaching retirement age should be recycled for public
service work, and their companies should foot the bill. We can no longer afford to scrap-pile
— Maggie Kuhn (1905-1995), U.S. civil rights activist
I have retired, un retired, and retired again all in the past 10 years. I find
the biggest trouble with having NOTHING to do is . . . you can't tell when you are done.
— Unknown wise person
Retirement: When you have given so
much of yourself to the company that you don't have anything left that the company can use.
— Author Unknown
The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off.
— Abe Lemons
People who refuse to rest honorably on their laurels when they reach “retirement”
age seem very admirable to me.
— Helen Hayes
Never retire. Michelangelo was carving the Rondanini just before he died at
eighty-nine. Verdi finished his opera Falstaff at eighty.
— W. Gifford-Jones
We've put more effort into helping folks reach retirement age than
into helping them enjoy it.
— Unknown wise person
A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell.
— George Bernard Shaw
To retire is the beginning of death.
— Pablo Casals
Retirement takes all the meaning out of weekends.
— Unknown wise person
Sooner or later I'm going to die, but I'm not going to retire.
— Margaret Mead
ARE YOU AFRAID OF
Are you afraid that you won't be able to maintain a
hotdogs-for-dinner standard of living?
Are you afraid that you won't even be able to afford playing bingo like a lot of retirees can no
Are you afraid that the only people you will see are the people who bring you meals on
to ensure that you have a happy retirement is to have a copy of The World's Best Retirement Book by Ernie Zelinski available at your fingertips.
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