The Myths and Truths of Retirement

Comments (10)

Myths of retirement -
Here are the most common thoughts that we have heard as we have talked with people who are either looking at retirement or already retired. These misconceptions shape our thinking, and impact how we see ourselves living out this time of life called retirement. They create not the Golden Years, but the Grey Years.

1.) "True success is retiring to do nothing. Being successful means accumulating enough so you have to do nothing."

2.) "At 65 I'm no longer capable of working. I'm too old."

3.) "When I retire, I should start winding down. Take it easy"

4.) "I want to retire while I am still healthy so I can stay healthy."

Truths about retirement
1.) In the 1930's Roosevelt created Social Security to provide a pension workers 65 and older. This was to create openings for younger workers by removing seniors from the work force during the Depression when there were large numbers unemployed.

It was not created from the basis that 65 year olds and older were unable to work. We need the creativity of older people even more today, creativity creates jobs. Older people need to stay in the work world.

2.) Generally, we are healthier than ever have been before. A recent cover of AARP, a magazine for people over 50, announced: "Sixty is the new Thirty." Immunizations, medications, health knowledge and education, have made a huge difference.

3.) Our longevity has increased. A 65 yr old man can expect to live until age 82, while a 65 yr old woman can expect to live until age 85.) If you are in your 40s, and follow the traditional model of retirement, you will likely be retired a minimum of one quarter of your life.

Those living to a hundred have increased. The 1960 census listed about 3000 centenarians. Today, centenarians are estimated at 70,000 and some are predicting 4.) 2 million by the middle of the century. If you are 50, you could be one of the 4.) 2 million!

4.) Winding down leads to poor health. People who study aging describe the Use it or Lose it phenomenon. We keep our health by using it, we need to be active physically, mentally, emotionally or we will wind down. Studies have shown 90 year olds being capable of increasing muscle mass and tone moving from wheelchairs to being independent again.

And the good news is: It is never too late to start!! Physically, mentally, emotionally, we have the capacity to grow at any age.

George Bernard Shaw, an Irish dramatist, won the Nobel Prize for Literature at 69.) He wrote his last play at 93.)

Grandma Moses, renowned folk artist, started painting at 78 because her fingers were too stiff to continue with embroidery.

Pablo Picasso's 90th birthday was celebrated with an exhibition at the Louvre in 1971- the first time a living artist had ever shown there.

5.) AARP reports that 80% of boomers plan to work during retirement.
Hurray, people are recognizing that we have to be active with a degree of risk to be healthy and stay healthy.

People who have had a great deal of stress at work have a shock when they retire. It is like taking a fine sports car, like a Ferrari and sitting it in a parking lot, in park, with a weight on the gas pedal so that it revs without a load. Soon it self-destructs. So do we.

An example: This spring we met Don, a retired IBM executive who retired 4 years ago. Don handles his retirement by consulting part time and traveling in a motor coach with his wife, Sue. Don shared that 2/3 of his peers died within 2 years of their retirement.

Alan, another retiree described how three of them retired the same day, and his 2 colleagues cleaned out their desks and sat there by their phone hoping someone would call and cancel their retirement. Both had heart attacks within 6 months of retiring. Alan chose to part time consult and travel.

For many men, it was not the work that killed them but the emptiness of retirement. Golfing, fishing and visiting children are not enough.

6.) Many retirees are looking for personal growth, activity, purpose. In 2000, the University of Arizona conducted a study of what baby boomers wanted in housing.

Large numbers had moved away from the retirement community concept to integrated communities involving families, seniors together. They wanted an active lifestyle and a sense of community, where they could give to others, volunteering and sharing.

7.) Connecting to what makes you passionate and purposeful brings the greatest degree of joy, health and life satisfaction.

Don, when an airline pilot in his 50's was grounded. "I was lost, devastated. That
incident helped me to see that I needed a purpose in retirement too," he stated. He
loved people, and on his holidays often walked around looking at houses. He combined the two by selling real estate. He has been successful too, and enjoys mentoring new real estate agents.

About the Author

Joanne Wiley: co-owner of Full Life Seminars with her husband Hugh, also seminar leader and writer discussing how to find passion and purpose in your life at any stage, but especially at that unique time known as retirement. Find more information at their website


Nathan S 02.10.2007. 17:51

What kind of life insurance is better for me, term insurance or permanent insurance? Is there any advantage to permanent insurance over term insurance or vis versa? I mean, basically it looks like term is the better deal because I can buy more death benefit for a lot less money, but permanent insurance gives me money with a death benefit. I'm in my late 40's, have a wife and 2 kids, normal bills, mortgage, etc. Does anyone have any opinions about what is really the better deal long term?

Nathan S

Admin 02.10.2007. 17:51

I have seen this one asked so many times it's amazing. Usually, you have 2 camps: the cash value (permanent) insurance camp and the term life camp. Both think that they are right.

The truth is that it depends. Now, it's nearly impossible to say what is the *best* option for you because I would need to know more about your financial situation. It's amazing how many websites and "experts" can say, off the cuff that one is better than another *all the time*.

The biggest advantage that term life insurance has over permanent is that it is cheaper in terms of coverage per thousand dollars of insurance. You will almost certainly be getting more death benefit with term insurance than with permanent insurance for the same amount of premium you are willing to pay.

The downside to term lies in in the fact that it gets more expensive as time goes on. Also, there is a reason why term insurance is so cheap. Depending on who you believe, only 1-20% of term policies ever pay out a claim. Now even at 20% (which I think is high), thats still not all that great if you ask me. Some might argue that with term insurance you can invest the difference. Meaning that if a permanent insurance policy costs you $100 per month and you receive $50,000 in death benefit then, as the argument goes, you could just as easily buy a $250,000 term life insurance policy for say $35/month and invest the remaining $65. Or you could buy less term insurance and have more to invest. The point is, the theory is that that by the time you reach age 65 (or whenever you plan on retiring), that you won't need life insurance. If you are quote: "smart with your money", you won't need life insurance.

I think that this is a myth for most people (but again, it largely depends on your situation). One of the problems with investing is that it doesn' t matter how smart you are with your money. Most average joe investors put their money into mutual funds. If that fund tanks 5 years before you retire, it is very likely that it will be extremely difficult to retire on what you thought you would be retiring on.

The other issue I have with the permanent vs. term debate is that folks that advocate term insurance usually try to compare permanent cash value life insurance to an investment. It's not. It was never meant to be. They complain about how low the rates of return are after expenses. Many times the internal rates of return are only 3-5%. But do you know what the definition of "cash value life insurance" is? It's not "a type of investment". It's considered "a death benefit with a *savings* component". Look at any high yield savings account or CD. What is the rate of return? 3-5%. Look at cash value life insurance. What is the internal net rate of return: 3-5%.

The problem with permanent insurance is that it's not a be all end all for retirement savings. Some folks think that this is all anyone should ever buy and that they should never consider anything else. They even go so far as to defend life insurance as a "good investment". Bad move IMO.

My opinion is that BOTH sides are wrong. That's something of an answer for you. If you want more in depth details, read this article:


specialme9 21.09.2007. 19:31

I need to know a company that will help me consolidate my debts. I need to fix my credit and start over.? I have BAD credit. And now I am at a point in my life where I want to get on track and have decent credit. I want to be able to get a home and car in the near future and I need to get started. Does anybody know of a company that will sum up my debts and let me make payments to them to get back right?


Admin 21.09.2007. 19:31

check out dave ramsey's total money makeover.
The Truth About Debt Consolidation

Myth: Debt consolidation saves interest, and you have one smaller payment.
Truth: Debt consolidation is dangerous because you treat only the symptom.

Debt consolidation is nothing more than a "con" because you think you've done something about the debt problem. The debt is still there, as are the habits that caused it - you just moved it! You can't borrow your way out of debt. You can't get out of a hole by digging out the bottom. True debt help is not quick or easy.
Larry Burkett, noted financial author, says debt is not the problem; it is the symptom. I feel debt is the symptom of overspending and undersaving. Our certified counselors will not recommend debt consolidation for a client. Why? Because debt consolidation doesn't work.

Debt Consolidation Statistics
A friend of mine works for a debt consolidation firm whose internal statistics estimate that 78% of the time, after someone consolidates his credit card debt, the debt grows back. Why? He still doesn't have a game plan to either pay cash or not buy at all. He also hasn't saved for "unexpected events" which will also become debt.

Debt consolidation seems appealing because there is a lower interest rate on some of the debt and a lower payment. However, in almost every case we review, we find that the lower payment exists not because the rate is actually lower but because the term is extended. If you stay in debt longer, you get a lower payment, BUT if you stay in debt longer, you pay the lender more, which is why they are in the debt consolidation business.

Debt Consolidation Example
For example, let's say you have $30,000 in unsecured debt, including a 2-year loan for $10,000 at 12%, and a 4-year loan for $20,000 at 10%. Your monthly payment on the $10,000 loan is $517 and $583 on the $20,000 loan, for a total payment of $1,100 per month. The debt consolidation company tells you they have been able to lower your payment to $640 per month and your interest rate to 9% by negotiating with your creditors and rolling the loans together into one. Sounds great, doesn't it? Who wouldn't want to pay $460 less per month in payments?

But they don't tell you that it will now take you 6 years to pay off the loan. This may not sound that bad to you at first unless you realize how much more you will actually pay in additional payments. You will now pay $46,080 to pay off the new loan vs. $40,392 for the original loans, even with the lower interest rate of 9%. This means you paid $5,688 more for the "lower payment". Not such a good deal after all. This example shows you why they are in the business - because they make money off of you.

The Real Way to Get Out of Debt
The answer is not the interest rate; the answer is a Total Money Makeover. The way you get out of debt is by changing your habits. You need to commit to getting on a written game plan and sticking to it. Get an extra job and start paying off the debt. Live on less than you make. It is not rocket science, but it is emotional, which is why most people need help getting through it from someone like Dave Ramsey. Don't try debt consolidation!

best thing is to eliminate spending and using credit.
look at the baby steps.

Get "current with debts"

$1,000 to start an Emergency Fund
Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
3 to 6 months of expenses in savings
Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement
College funding for children
Pay off home early
Build wealth and give!
Invest in mutual funds and real estate

Don't pay some jackazz to help you "consolidate" debt. Statistics have shown "debt consolidation" leads to deeper debt.

I'm 49 years old and have been playing the credit card shuffle for a long time. I am midway through my debt snowball. I refuse to ever use credit again after having been a credit junkie for 30 years.
We've paid off nearly 50,000 in the last three years. I still have about 20000 in unsecured credit to pay off then on to the mortgage.

Check out FPU (financial peace university), and I borrowed the DVD's from our church and bought the book on Amazon for about $15


Jon Moose 16.09.2009. 20:05

Is the following true of theism, particularly monotheism, why or why not? Theism.
1) Hates and despises women.
2) Hates and despises homosexuality
3) Hates and despises learning and knowledge
4) Hates and despises our ability to live our lives as we want to, through strict rules and regulations.
5) Causes good people to do evil things.
Just curious.

Jon Moose

Admin 16.09.2009. 20:05

Wow, I think you have an unrealistic view of western religion.

1) Compair the pagan Greek and Roman view of woman, to that of the Christian view. I recall the Greek myth of Pandora which states that the first woman was created by Zeus as punishment for men regaining fire. I recall Hesiod writting that it would be easier if men could just buy children. And I recall, Thucydides writing that the best reputation a woman could have is none at all. The Romans took it a step further, if the family father or paterfamilias wanted, he could kill his wife without any legal punishment. Furthermore, after a child was born, he/she was placed on the floor. The child was only considered alive AFTER the paterfamilias picked him up. If the paterfamilias didn't, the child was thrown out in the woods. Lastly, in Rome, women weren't given names. Women were simply given the feminizes name of the father. Hence, Claudius' daughter was always named Claudia. If poor Claudius had two daughters, one was Claudia the Elder and Claudia the Younger.

Infact, women's conditions improved under Christianity, hence, many of Christianity's first converts were women. I will admit, this improvement was only slight. The truth is, the role of women in preindustrial society was largly defined by child rearing. About 50% of pregnancies had problems, and about 20% of all pregnancies ended in the death of the mother or child. Once the child was born, the father couldn't feed the infant, there was not baby forumula to pop in the microwave.

Nevertheless, the status of women did improve. The most obvious way was that women were given a role in the Church as Nuns. Now, nuns in the modern era are not taken seriously by secular society, but in the middle ages they provided women with an impressive education, really the only education available to women, and it gave them a way out of a loveless or even violent marriage and the possibility of death via childbirth. Truly, if I were a women in western history, I would first want to be an Egyptian, or second a nun.

2) Homosexuality is actually a very modern concept. Not to say that people didn't have sexual relationships with people of the same gender, they did, but gay marriage would have been rejected by EVERY major civilization from Babylon and Egypt, to the Greeks, Romans, and Christians. Simply put, no matter who you were, your future depended on your children. They were your 401K and social security, and retirement rolled up into one. This is no different in the Christian era. However, christianity called for a more restrained sexual life rather it was with another man or woman.

3) Actually, Christianity held together Greek and Roman knowledge and Education after the fall of the Roman Empire. The Germaninc invaders really had no interest in learning latin, the seven liberal arts, or Roman law, they simply were the warrior class. Thanks to Catholic monks, the seven liberal arts, mathematics, and literature of the Greeks and Romans was kept alive. We can read people like Plato, Ovid, and Virgil today simply because of Christianity's love of knowledge and education. In fact, I could easily argue that Catholicism and Islam have done more for the advancement of education, knowledge, and science than any other institution in human history. As a grad student of Medieval history, I can back that up too.

4) If you were to consider the rights and privledges of modern workers and medieval christian peasants, you will find that there was a less intrusive government in the middle ages than in modern western democracies. To pay there rent and taxes, a peasant would work one week on his lords land. I takes me at least 2 weeks wages a month to pay my months rent and taxes. Furthermore, in the Middle Ages, a pesant enjoyed 80 religious holidays a year in which he was not expected to work. In modern america, we have 8 national holidays a year. And finally, a medieval pesant worked only about 1500 hours a year, a modern american worker works at least 2000 hours a year.

5) Lastly, Good people do good things, bad people do bad things. It doesn;t matter if you are religious or not because you are defined by your actions. If you do bad things, people will consider you a bad person. If you do good things, they wont consider you a bad person.

If you have any questions, email me:


Connor 10.01.2013. 16:04

Do you think one person can change the world? Philosophical thought here, do you think the world can be changed by one person? I mean like will there be another Martin Luther King, Hitler, Nelson Mandella, Theadore Roosavelt, Julius Caesar etc. Not necessarily for what they did but how they did it, they were all in my opinion great for the things they did (all though many would disagree). So do you think the ignorant world of today could be, mass inspired, manipulated or compelled to revolutionize the way something is once more?

All opinions appreciated,



Admin 10.01.2013. 16:04

Yes, if there was such a thing as an honest and courageous preacher that couldn't be bought. Only if the authorities didn't kill him as they did Jesus.

Something to think about: America has been destroyed because its citizens have been trained to be too cowardly to face certain facts. Many of these facts are revealed in the Bible but unfortunately the clergy has buried them behind myths and fairy tales that defy common sense, reason, and logic.
The Bible actually curses all human authority. First Corinthians 15:24-26 being one example. Another is found in the 8th chapter of 1st Samuel; if mankind chooses a leader other than God that leader will take the fruits of the people?s labor and give it to those who serve the leader instead of the people; and God will no longer hear the pleas of the people when they realize how badly they have screwed up.

The Bible is a handbook of freedom from those false gods we create to control us. Our conception, birth, life, and death are all controlled by the laws of nature. That is God whether it is supernatural or simply natural. There are no opinions in nature; there is only cause and effect which are facts. Action A will result in effect B every time with no exceptions. Laws of men are their various opinions of good and evil.

The first story in the Bible tells of man and his downfall. The metaphorical tree from which a society receives its ? knowledge of good and evil,? which was forbidden by God and defined in law, is government/human authority/false gods. Crime and authority are the identical acts of taking control of a person?s life, freedom, or property, the only difference being; authority is approved by law, the ?forbidden? knowledge of good and evil. Where there is no law to define them, there are no transgressors.

People typically blame their loss of freedoms on government as if it were some disembodied spook. Most people think that nations are destroyed by the rich and the politicians they control. That is only partially true. The cancer that destroyed America was having more people getting government handouts than people who had honest jobs. What no one has the courage to admit is the fact that in every nation in history, as 1st Samuel 8th chapter points out, the greatest welfare program of all is a government job. It provides a taste of authority with its right to judge and punish other people which creates psychotic sense of importance, job security, fat paychecks, great benefits, and retirement that those forced to pay for those benefits, can?t begin to dream of. The only requirement is to betray your own family and friends to serve the tree of knowledge of good and evil, instead of humanity, freedom, and God. Too bad the authority of the clergy is more important than the truth and the souls of agents of the forbidden fruit.


Josh 04.05.2009. 01:19

Would most Obama supporters sell their soul to him if they could?
I have addressed this a thousand times, i am for a FACT on account 27, why would I lie about that? I have been using this crappy site ever since it started sometime in 2006.


Admin 04.05.2009. 01:19

They already did sell their soul to him. They just don't know it.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. In order to give people money, they have to steal it from others. These people cut back spending and more poverty, misery and immorality is created. Liberals have so much envy of the rich, they can't see the outcomes of their policies. Poverty has a side benefit for liberals, the more poverty they cause, the more power they have. If you take away hope of a better future, these "impoverished" people vote to steal more money from the rich out of envy. They shoot themselves in the foot to punish the gun.

All liberal thought, philosophy, values, beliefs and policies are rooted in specific fundamental lies or logical fallacies. The liberal agenda is driven by envy and the desire to commit evil, immoral, acts.

Taxing the rich does not help the poor. It creates more poverty. A CEO does not pay the corporations taxes. taxes are a cost of business. Employees work harder for less. Customers pay more for less. Shareholders are able to save less for retirement.

Murdering premature babies has absolutely nothing to do with a woman's right to choose what happens to her own body. Another small, innocent, body is affected far more.

Paying women to have children out of wedlock only results in more women having children out of wedlock. The children earn immorality from their mothers. Men are made irreverent because at that age, the government takes care of kids far better than the man who impregnated the mother.

Since all liberal thought is based on such lies. All liberal rhetoric is simply justification of the lies.

If you are debating any liberal, you have to know, the very first sentence will be a lie and he must be stopped at that point before he goes on. If you let him assume a lie, he will win the debate.

Taxing gasoline corporations would only result in higher gas prices, but envy of the rich drives liberals to tax and punish achievers.

Liberals don't care if their taxes go up. It's crazy but it's true. They are so deeply intrenched in their envy of the rich, they can't see past the initial lie.

They believe the global warming myth. It's simply impossible for them to see all their "research" is based on fundamental lies" Mankind is no more able to change the weather than he is able to sit on the sun. It's part of their culture to devalue God and religion. They are totally incapable of understanding the truth about climate change. Their lack of faith makes them more dependent on man and they ignore the miracles of life and nature.

Fighting evil is not evil, Indeed, if we don't fight evil, it grows stronger and more invasive into culture. They wish to lose the war on terror. They protect the guilty and leave the innocent They seek to destroy freedom of religion and fight to commit immoral acts. They have such good intentions. They wish to help the poor. They wish to help unwed mothers. They wish to stop a war and save the lives of those who would fight it. We both know they travel the road paved with good intentions and we both know where it leads.

I'm more and more convinced, the leader of the liberal philosophy is the father of all lies. I am also convinced, if you wish to predict the next turn in liberal policy formation, ask yourself the question, "which way will cause the most poverty, misery and immorality?" You will never go wrong.


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