comparedThere are currently over 3 million Registered Nurses in the United States who are actively working. Within the next 3-5 years, almost 1 million nurses will be retiring. In fact, a recent AARP survey states that roughly 73% of RNs are “baby boomers,” born between 1946 and 1964. On average, most Registered Nurses work until they are between the age of 65 and 69. In contrast, 46% of Medical Doctors are considered “baby boomers.” Their average age of retirement is similar to their medical counterparts at age 65. You most likely are reading this article because you are part of, or soon will be part of, the proceeding statistics. Consulting a professional about retirement is one thing, but to have the perspective of a retiree who has been in your “scrubs” can be quite beneficial. Meet “Jean,” a retired Healthcare Professional who is currently a client of mine. I was fortunate enough to sit down with her and ask her a few questions about her retirement. Here is what she said:
- Why did you decide to retire when you did?
“We found out my husband had a terminal illness and I took an early retirement to spend more time with him, but if this didn’t happen, I would have retired at age 66 or 67.” Nearly 34% of the workforce will retire when they turn 65 or before, and many people make this decision because of an unforeseen circumstance. The other 66% will work until they are between the ages of 66 and 70. It is never too early to start the discussion about your retirement. A conversation can better educate you as to what your retirement would like at different ages and scenarios. Are you on the right track to retire at your discretion?
- How much planning did you undertake prior to your retirement?
“We Looked into life and health insurance, investigated our financial retirement accounts, investigated pensions and investigated Cobra. (We) looked at what would be sustainable. Could I have sustained myself with the budget that we had in place? I knew I had to back off on some things. We had to make sure that all debts were paid off. (I knew I needed) to get rid of any monthly bills that I didn’t need such as any subscriptions, cable, etc. Anything that wasn’t a necessity.” In retirement, it will be your responsibility to find healthcare on your own whether you are Medicare eligible or not. Cobra is offered, but it tends to be very expensive and other private insurance options can oftentimes give you better coverage for a much lower premium. Along with health insurance, it is important to review the life insurance policy available to you in retirement. Just as the healthcare benefit disappeared, so could your life insurance. Finding a policy on your own may be a better option. When looking into health and life insurance, it is important to talk to an independent senior insurance advisor who can show you a variety of options to fit these needs.
- Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently going into retirement in the planning phase?
“I should have started imagining what my ideal retirement would look like at age 55 instead of delaying the process. I could have cut back on my spending a little earlier. I should have gone to financial planners and retirement professionals to help me along with this process. I was a coordinator at the hospital, and I had to be able to think on the fly. I feel like I didn’t have the time to sit down and investigate my retirement.” Upon retirement, retiring Healthcare Professionals do what most retirees do: they roll the funds over into an IRA. However, I have sat down with many Healthcare Professionals who think they have to stay with this plan until they are separated from service. This is simply not true. If you are a vested employee and over the age of 59 ½, you may be eligible to move a portion of your retirement account into an IRA that matches more closely to the retirement goals you have. Why would you want to? Staying in your employers plan gives you less control over your investments. For most people, they review their accounts periodically and possibly move funds into more “conservative” investments. The reality is that there are generally limited funds to choose from compared to what you could find through an independent advisor, and these accounts usually are not actively managed on a continual basis. Your account will continue to be at the mercy of the market. It is possible to sit with an independent financial advisor who can assess your goals for retirement and help roll a portion of your retirement account into something that could help you reduce your market risk or prepare for an additional income stream in retirement. Folks who have done this have gained more control over their investments. Americans will spend more time planning a single vacation (about 20 hours) than they will planning for their retirement. That statistic is worrisome but true. Success always favors the prepared. Taking the proper steps before your retirement will lead to happy retirement as well as a retirement with less financial burdens.
Going into retirement can be one of the most daunting times in your life. With the proper guidance, you can lessen that stress, knowing you did everything you could to make sure that your retirement is a well-oiled machine. For those Healthcare Professionals who think they have nowhere to turn, you no longer need to feel this way. The Hudson agency is committed to providing you with professionalized expert advice tailored to your unique needs. Many of my clients are thankful for the insight and planning into their retirement. If you were to retire early would you have the proper knowledge to have a happy retirement?