Traditional Retirement Yields to the New, Flexible Retirement

New, Flexible Retirement

Their more traditional view was that if you are retired, you don’t work, period. A few even quoted dictionary definitions to support their case. But an increasing body of evidence points to an overwhelming trend in the opposite direction – that retirement is often going to be anything but traditional or predictable. It is more likely to be a transition than it is stopping work. Instead of just cashing pension and Social Security checks and having morning coffee or golf with the guys, it might mean a change of career or a part time or volunteer job. The trend is toward more of a highly personal, very customizableretirement experience, one that will be a little bit different for just about everyone.
Here is a summary of some of what we are seeing in 3 recent studies and/or articles:

The Pew Institute asked about Americans about their retirement plans and work. They found that 1 in 5 (21 percent) said they are not planning to retire, while more than half (53 percent) anticipate doing something else, including working at a different job. Just 26 percent have a traditional notion of retirement in which they stop working altogether. Source: Pew Study Shows Americans’ Financial Worries Clouds Optimism. Note that this was a study among Americans of all ages. Its bottom line was that many of those polled are barely breaking even or spending more than they make each month, and more than half said they feel unprepared for a financial emergency.

Housing trends are changing
Meanwhile a Merrill Lynch/New Wave retirement study reported on new housing trends among Americans of retirement age.  Here are some of their findings that support that freedom in housing choices also helps bring about more flexible and interesting retirements:

– Two-thirds (65%) of the retired Americans in the study say they are living in the best home of their lives.
– Compared to people who have not yet retired, retirees are more likely to say their homes are comfortable, in a safe community, and a great place to connect with family. They also are more likely to say that they are now living in a part of the country with pleasant climate and weather
– Many don’t have to work, family obligations are lower than ever, many of their homes are paid for, and they can live where ever they would like.
– Retirees are generally thrilled about their new found freedom. In fact the study authors even have a name for this, the “Freedom Threshold”. It generally seems to happen at age 61, and signifies that retiree age folks are free to live wherever they would like
– 4 out of 5 Americans 65+ own their own home, and 7 out of 10 have no mortgage
– An estimated 4.2 million retirees moved into a new home last year alone. 83% of those folks did not move out of state.
– Sixty-four percent of retirees say they are likely to move at least once during retirement, with 37% having already done so and 27% anticipating doing so. Reasons for doing so are widowhood, empty nesting, health changes – as well as desire for a new environment or climate.
– Seniors do face serious challenges, and one of the biggest is that they have to be prepared to live for 20 to 40 years of retirement on what they have saved.
– The downsize surprise. Most people expect that retirees will downsize at some point in retirement. But this study found that almost half of them did not downsize, in fact 3 out of 10 moved to a larger house.
– According to this study, just 7% of retirees have moved into age-restricted retirement communities. Although this seems quite surprising and low, Topretirements would like to note that perhaps an even large percentage of retirees move to communities that although are not officially 55+, are in fact very highly defacto 55+.

Easing into retirement
The third leg of the ‘new retirement’ concerns what people will do in retirement. A New York Times article, “Easing Into Leisure, One Step at a Time“, has the examples of many baby boomers as they struggle to redefine what retirement means to them. The first example in the article is of Jack Guttentag, a Wharton professor who as an empty nester at age 54 decided to downsize to a place in the country, even though he was still working. That was 37 years ago, but now he and his wife have just downsized again, this time back to the City of Philadelphia.

The village of Southampton, a place where you can live a fun-filled, maintenance-free lifestyle. New Custom Built Condominium Homes – Luxury, 55+ Active Adult Community ideally located in Upper Southampton Township, Bucks County.

The First Steps for Mesothelioma Patients

Malignant mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer without a definitive cure, but recent advances in treatment have provided hope for those being diagnosed today.

The typical gloom-and-doom prognosis of yesterday is no longer valid.  Patients are living longer than ever before.

Finding a specialty center and a mesothelioma specialist who truly understands this disease is critical to survival. This should be step No. 1 for patients and their families.

“There are new therapies available today that can help a patient at every stage,” said mesothelioma specialist Dr. Abraham Lebenthal, thoracic surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “But you need someone with experience, a center that handles a lot of these cases, to help guide you through.”

An estimated 3,000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed annually in the United States – compared to 200,000 cases of lung cancer – and many oncologists rarely treat it. Don’t be part of their learning curve. Mesothelioma often is caused by a long-ago exposure to asbestos, meaning many of the people currently suffering from it are actually seniors.

Don’t delay if you’ve been diagnosed or even suspect you have an asbestos-related disease. Patient advocates at The Mesothelioma Center can put you in touch with a specialty center in whichever part of the country you live. They can set up an initial consultation and make travel arrangements if necessary.

The next step is deciding on treatment options. They may include either minimally invasive or aggressive surgery, chemotherapy or radiation, or any combination of the three. Treatment at a specialty center will be individualized, depending upon a number of factors. No two cases are the same.

A specialty center will explain your type of mesothelioma (pleural or peritoneal), the cell type of your disease (epithelial, sarcomatoid or biphasic) and its stage (I, II, III or IV). All are among the many factors when considering treatment options.

Many of the specialty centers will work with your local oncologist, tailoring treatment that will help limit any traveling you may need to do. A specialty center also can direct you to possible clinical trials, where the latest therapies are being tested, often with impressive results.

If you are a military veteran and part of the VA Healthcare System, you will need a referral to see Lebenthal, who is part of VA Boston Healthcare, or Dr. Robert Cameron at the West Los Angeles VA. They are two of finest and also part of the VA System.

Important steps to take:

  • Find a specialist who can give you hope, and the best treatment available.
  • Ask questions to make sure you understand all your options.
  • Include your family and friends to help you.
  • Surround yourself with positive people.
  • Take an integrative approach, which includes treating your mind and body beyond traditional medicine.
  • Find a support group where you can talk with others with the same diagnosis.



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