Chapter 4. The Great "Retiremyths"

Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together.

George Santayana (1863–1952)

This chapter introduces and deconstructs the myths that have led to both dissatisfied retirements and the anxiety-ridden pursuit of a retirement dream. When you've finished reading, I hope you will have a more realistic picture of what you want from your money and your life. You will be able to go to sleep at night knowing you no longer have to worry about being able to jump off an economic ledge at age 62, and you will be able to wake each morning with a continuing sense of purpose for each upcoming day. Here are the myths that have ruled the concept of retirement up to the present:

  • Age 65 is old.

  • Being retired means you're not working.

  • You have to be 62 to do what you really want to do.

  • Retirement is an economic event exclusively.

  • A life of ease is the ultimate retirement goal.

  • You're going to spend most of your retirement income on doctors and pills.

  • I can do this by myself.

Age 65 Is Old

Old ain't what it used to be! Remember when the age for retirement was set; a majority of people didn't even live until retirement age. Now we live 20 to 30 years past the retirement age. The age of 65 in this day and age has little resemblance to the age of 65 in, say, 1970. Most people are not old at 65 today. They may or may not have slowed down. Thirty years ago you didn't see many men in their 70s jumping ...

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