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What Does Your Dream Retirement Look Like?

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In previous posts, we’ve discussed Americans’ concerns about retirement security. Such fears may be tied to general fears, such as running out of money in retirement. But what about Americans’ aspirations for a dream retirement?


Of course retirement interests will vary from person to person. But some nationwide surveys give insights into what seniors desire on the whole. In a recent AARP survey, many people report wanting more than just full-time relaxation or leisure.

Having polled almost 5,000 individuals aged 50-64, the survey found over 33.3% of respondents desire to work for pay in retirement. Of all respondents, 44% wanted their future job to be in an area different from their current job.

Notably, not all of the respondents’ expectations for future employment were tied to financial concerns. AARP reported a widespread desire to have “a sense of purpose or role in society” as characterizing future job plans, too. The previous generation of Americans had seen time spent in volunteering, with family, or involvement in their place of worship as different ways to meet that drive for purpose. However, the survey shows generational expectations have shifted. Baby boomers see part-time work as yet another means of personal fulfillment.

Other Generational Difference in Retirement Expectations

In the generation before baby boomers, Americans were likely to define success as home ownership or having traction for upward financial mobility. But with increased overall standard of living, this definition has also changed.

According to a March 2015 poll conducted by Harris Poll for the American Institute of CPAs, 28% of Americans said a comfortable retirement was a leading indicator of financial success. Likewise, 23% said equipping their children with a debt-free education was another primary indicator. Only 11% said home ownership and 10% said having a better financial future than their parents were primary indicators of financial success.

Specific Career Objectives in Retirement

There were other highlights from the AARP survey showing boomers’ objectives. These included:

• 25% of workers expected to retire before 65, and likewise another 25% expected to retire at 70 or later
• Almost 60% of people wanting to work in retirement would prefer doing so as an employee – instead of being a contractor or entrepreneur
• The desire to be an employee was found to hold especially among respondents interested in going into a new field
• Part-time work was more preferable than full-time work
• Future dream jobs would include working in the fields of hospitality, education, hospitality, or creative arts such as writing or photography
• Workers desired for their dream job to be stress-free, fun, and flexible
• Workers also said their dream job would allow for telecommuting, travel, helping others, or enjoying a flexible schedule

Notably, these findings were confirmed in an early 2015 survey done for online job community CareerBuilder.com. In that survey, data showed among workers delaying retirement from their jobs:

• 33.3% of workers aged 60 years and more wouldn’t quite venture from their jobs because they enjoy their work
• 28% reported they enjoy “where they work”
• 26% said they “fear retirement may be boring”

In the CareerBuilder.com survey, overall customer service, consulting, and retail were three primary fields of interest for workers desiring employment in retirement.

What Does Your Dream Retirement Consist of?

We’ve covered a variety of goals aside from often-mentioned ends such as travel, time with family, or other leisurely activities. What are your goals in retirement? No matter what your desires are, it’s important to have a plan in place. The right retirement strategies will allow you to stay financially secure and maintain your desired lifestyle.

At SafeMoney.com, we understand retirement is more than a planning stage. It’s a period of life with strong implications for you, your family, and your friends. If you're ready for personal guidance, we invite you to request a no-obligation consultation with a financial professional.

Use our Find a Licensed Advisor section to connect directly with an independent financial professional, and to request a personal strategy session to discuss your needs and goals. And should you have any questions or concerns, call 877.476.9723.

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