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“For today’s retirees, being busy means self-actualizing, not merely ‘winding down’ or relying on their others for fulfillment,” says Christine Russell, senior manager of retirement and annuities at TD Ameritrade.
What else has changed when it comes to retirement today? Here is what is in, and what is out.
Out: Aging in place
In: Living in place
Much more active than previous generations, today’s retirees are not sitting back and aging in place, says Russell. Rather, they’re living in place.
For some, that means at their home that they’ve renovated or upgraded to suit their changing needs. Think: curbless showers, higher toilets and other enhancements and safety products that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are functional. Or in a designated retirement community, “they’re involved in a variety of activities - for their mental and physical well-being,” says Russell.
Out: Full retirement
It’s no secret that many of today’s retirees are taking on gigs. In fact, more than 400,000 seniors are now doing gig work online, according to a study from JPMorgan Chase Institute. What you may not know, however, is that it’s not necessarily about the money.
“Many seniors are participating in the gig economy for the social component, to stay engaged, and to keep their brains sharp,” says personal finance expert Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, founder of AskTheMoneyCoach.com.
Out: Being mortgage free
In: Having manageable debts
Afraid you will still owe money on a mortgage when you retire? Join the club.
“Being mortgage free in retirement is pretty much out the window as a reality,” says Keith Gumbinger, vice president of hsh.com, a mortgage information website. “It’s just not attainable for many, so more retirees are ‘recasting debt’ to make it more manageable.”
“They’re using equity in their homes to pay off debt, they’re taking out reverse mortgages, or they’re refinancing,” says Gumbinger.
And it’s an excellent time to do this, he says. With the average rate on a 30-year fixed loan now hovering around 4 percent, nearly 5 million borrowers could likely qualify for a refinance, reducing their interest rate by at least three-quarters of a percentage point.
Out: Retirement as isolation
In: Retirement as freedom and purpose
For many new and soon-to-be retirees, life is just beginning ... again.
“Americans know that combatting disconnection can be as easy as moving outside your comfort zone by going to new places and trying new experiences,” says Russell.
Vera Gibbons is the founder of nonpoliticalnews.com which produces “NoPo” - a free daily newsletter that covers and curates non-political news only within Consumer/Personal Finance; Health & Wellness; Fashion/Beauty; Fitness/Diet.