First Person: I’m Not Content With the 'Standard' Retirement Plan

Yahoo Contributor Network

Personally, I don't feel we have to conform to the norm anymore when it comes to retirement planning, and many of us aren't…or can't. I'm fine with this in a way, since I've been content to forge my own path in life since I was a child. I have no problem going against the grain when it comes to most things in life, and personal finances and retirement planning is no different.

Therefore, I'm not content to stick with what many have considered the "standard" retirement plan, choosing instead to form my own plan in my own way. I'm content to work longer and make certain sacrifices early in life in an effort to create my personalized retirement plan. This works out for me for a number of reasons.

Faltering Social Security and Pension System

I don't have a pension plan and likely never will. I am (currently) counting on some sort of benefits from Social Security down the road, but I'm being realistic in my expectations. Due to the current Social Security systems funding shortfalls, I'm not planning on getting the full benefits my parents and grandparents did. At this point, I'm just planning on receiving 75 percent of my current estimated benefits, and prepared to possibly accept even less depending upon what is done (or not done) with the existing plan in its current state.

Enjoying My Youth

In the process of creating my personalized retirement plan, I'm expecting to work later in life -- possibly until I die. In the process, this takes some of the weight off my shoulders that many people feel to scramble toward saving greater amounts for retirement earlier in life.

The reduction -- although not elimination -- of such pressure, kind of frees me up to enjoy my life more while I'm still young. Rather than commuting to an office each day, sitting in a cubicle for eight hours or more, and not being able to see my kids until dinner, I can have more control over my life. By being willing to accept lesser pay and a later retirement date, I'm freed from the constraints of a higher paying job in which I'm not master of my own time. I can work for myself as a self-employed individual, care for the kids at home, and work how and when I want.

Having Goals in Retirement

As I mentioned, I'm planning to work later in life, which serves me just fine. Personally, I like having goals and being productive. As a writer/blogger/entrepreneur, I can continue doing this work later in life, and I'm actually looking forward to doing so. As they say, "A rolling stone gathers no moss" and I'm hoping that having work-related goals during what otherwise might be unproductive retirement years will give me not only something to do but provide that sense of accomplishment that I enjoy so much.

Increased Security Later in Life

This working later in life might not only relieve some of the financial pressure on me now, but it could also act as increased financial security later in life. Having extra income that I can rely upon -- without benefit of a "regular" employer who might lay me off -- means that I have an additional income stream during a time that most people must rely solely upon retirement benefits and savings. This means that I might not need as much in retirement savings as those relying upon a more standard retirement, or if I do have such funds, might not have to rely upon them as heavily.

*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.

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The author is not a licensed financial professional. The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader's discretion.


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