Class Discussion: When do you think you’ll retire?

It would great to retire at a young age, an age where you can still be active and look forward to a long, financially comfortable retirement. Although the standard age of retirement varies widely throughout the world, it generally falls between age 50 and 70.  In many European countries, workers retire at a younger age than they do in the United States.  For example, according to Wikipedia’s entry for retirement, while only 34% of Italy’s population is employed between ages 50 and 55, that percentage jumps to 66% still working in the United States.  Still, most young people expect to retire early – after all, young people tend to be optimistic about their financial future.

In Chapter 1, and again in Chapter 16 we discuss retirement planning.  But as the recent ABC News video “The New Normal: Delaying Retirement” points out, many of today’s baby boomers are having to put off retirement as a result of the recent difficult economic times.  One of the problems that many potential retirees run into is that they were planning on using the value of their home as a source of income for retirement.   That might have been a good plan until the recent downturn in the housing market resulting in the fact that houses simply haven’t grown in value and in some cases have even lost some of their value.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Look at your parents and grandparents, when do you think they will retire?  If they are retired, are they experiencing financial strains?  Be prepared to discuss these questions in class.
  2. At what age would you like to retire?  How do you realistically see your retirement?  How long do you expect to live?  Be prepared to discuss these questions in class.
  3. When do you expect to begin saving for retirement, and do you have a plan for that yet?  Be prepared to discuss these questions in class.
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