Retirement & Life-Term Strategies

Retirement & Life-Term Strategies

Retirement is the withdrawal from one's position or occupation or from one's active working life.[1] A person may also semi-retire by reducing work hours.

Many people choose to retire when they are eligible for private or public pension benefits, although some are forced to retire when bodily conditions no longer allow the person to work any longer (by illness or accident) or as a result of legislation concerning their position.[2] In most countries, the idea of retirement is of recent origin, being introduced during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Previously, low life expectancy and the absence of pension arrangements meant that most workers continued to work until death. Germany was the first country to introduce retirement benefits in 1889.[3]

Nowadays, most developed countries have systems to provide pensions on retirement in old age, funded by employers or the state. In many poorer countries there is no support for the old beyond that provided through the family. Today, retirement with a pension is considered a right of the worker in many societies; hard ideological, social, cultural and political battles have been fought over whether this is a right. In many western countries, this is a right embodied in national constitutions.

An increasing number of individuals are choosing to put off this point of total retirement, by selecting to exist in the emerging state of pre-tirement.[4]

A person may retire at whatever age they please. However, a country's tax laws or state old-age pension rules usually mean that in a given country a certain age is thought of as the standard retirement age. As life expectancy increases and more and more people live to an advanced age, in many countries the age at which a pension is awarded has been increased in the 21st century, often progressively.[12]

The standard retirement age varies from country to country but it is generally between 50 and 70 (according to latest statistics, 2011). In some countries this age is different for men and women, although this has recently been challenged in some countries (e.g., Austria), and in some countries the ages are being brought into line.[13] The table below shows the variation in eligibility ages for public old-age benefits in the United States and many European countries, according to the OECD.


Term life insurance or term assurance is life insurance that provides coverage at a fixed rate of payments for a limited period of time, the relevant term. After that period expires, coverage at the previous rate of premiums is no longer guaranteed and the client must either forgo coverage or potentially obtain further coverage with different payments or conditions. If the life insured dies during the term, the death benefit will be paid to the beneficiary. Term insurance is typically the least expensive way to purchase a substantial death benefit on a coverage amount per premium dollar basis over a specific period of time.

Term life insurance can be contrasted to permanent life insurance such as whole life, universal life, and variable universal life, which guarantee coverage at fixed premiums for the lifetime of the covered individual unless the policy is allowed to lapse. Term insurance is not generally used for estate planning needs or charitable giving strategies but is used for pure income replacement needs for an individual. Term insurance functions in a manner similar to most other types of insurance in that it satisfies claims against what is insured if the premiums are up to date and the contract has not expired and does not provide for a return of premium dollars if no claims are filed. As an example, auto insurance will satisfy claims against the insured in the event of an accident and a homeowner policy will satisfy claims against the home if it is damaged or destroyed, for example, by fire. Whether or not these events will occur is uncertain. If the policyholder discontinues coverage because he or she has sold the insured car or home, the insurance company will not refund the full premium.


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