Every few years we begin to see headlines proclaiming the latest “New Retirement.”  I have to admit there have been so many versions over the past 20 years that I sometimes get confused as whether they’re talking about the “new retirement,” the “new, new retirement,” or the “newest, new retirement.”  In fact, it’s become so confusing that I’ve begun to label the various versions of retirement numerically, like software releases.    From a practical standpoint, knowing which version of retirement your clients are in can be very helpful in managing their expectations.

Retirement 1.0 – The “Original” version of retirement was created when FDR signed the Social Security Act in 1935 and extended into mid-1950’s.  During this time retirement wasn’t viewed as something to celebrate, but rather as the somewhat public recognition that as a worker, one had very little left to contribute to society.  With the full retirement age set at 65 but life expectancies (at birth) averaging 62, retirement was viewed as having one foot already in the grave.

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