My mom retired at the young age of 63 from the State of Alabama. She had been single longer than she was married, so her decision to leave Montgomery, Alabama and move elsewhere was not a surprise. My sister and I tried to persuade her to move closer to us; I was in a Baltimore suburb and Susan was in the Atlanta area. Our small hometown, though familiar, was not offering our mother the peace and relaxation she wanted. She did not have any ties keeping her local, but she didn’t want to move to a city with big city problems, big city traffic and big city prices. She had always enjoyed visiting her sister, so she eventually opted to move 15 minutes from her sister’s home in the mountains of western North Carolina. My mom was familiar with this new town from her annual visits. Before she moved, though, she—and other retirees in similar circumstances– have to consider the following:
The National Institute on Retirement recently reported that females are “80% more likely than men to be impoverished at age 65 and older.” We’ve known for a long time that women make less money over a lifetime than men do and that battle is still being fought. But what can women of all generations do right now to ensure a more financially comfortable retirement?
Ann, a former middle school teacher, is an ideal example of a successful retiree. Ann always has a project she is working on around the house—her latest has been coordinating the repaving of her driveway. She regularly spends time with friends, making lunch dates or attending book club. Ann loves to lounge by the pool during the summer, reading the latest novel. She is passionate about her garden and likes cooking with the vegetables from her backyard. Some of her grandchildren live locally and she will often babysit them. Although she is financially secure, she sometimes enjoys taking the occasional part-time job. Most recently she worked during the local election at the polls.
People rely on routine to give life structure. The typical routine for a
working adult involves showering,drinking coffee, going to the office,
checking email, lunch and meetings. After work, most people have dinner and unwind in the evening with a cocktail, some television or reading. Regular exercise, hobbies, volunteer work and socializing are also fit into many working adult lives. Such habits and rituals that become part of our daily routine offer comfort when life throws us a curveball. As we age, there are frequently more significant disruptions to our routine, some caused by major health concerns.