SENIORS LIVING WELL Embracing Change
The “Golden Years”
It used to be a bright, shiny object, something everyone looked forward to in their later years. But “Golden” isn’t so bright and shiny anymore.
What keeps you up at night…makes you frown…wrinkles your brow…or causes a pain in your stomach?
If you are one of the 10,000 baby boomers who turned 65 in the recent past, it could be retirement grip.
This malady may occur before or shortly after retiring from your job. It’s a reality check that takes you by surprise, and drops a bomb in the middle of your plans.
Once upon a time, the “golden years” were filled with relaxing leisure activities. Grandma and grandpa stopped working. Period. They traveled a little, spent time with family, stayed in their homes and pursued fulfilling hobbies. True, life expectancy was shorter a few generations ago, and savings seemed to cover the expenses quite well. The idea of retirees needing to work after 65 was unheard of.
That has all changed. The majority of people approaching retirement know full-well that their golden years won’t look anything like that of previous generations. In fact, 72% of older people expect to work at least a few years, and maybe indefinitely.
Today, retirement means you quit one job and start another. Often, job options are researched while still working, and perhaps the next job is already in place on the internet. Living a relaxing life filled with satisfying activities just got harder.
So who took the “gold” out of “golden years”? How and when did the changes take place? Did people spend too much and not save enough for their retirement?
Previous generations had a savings account with a passbook at their local bank. The conscientious and thrifty folks deposited money regularly. They spent according to their budget and thought borrowing was disgraceful.
Today we have investment portfolios, 401k’s, IRA’s and pensions. Any and all of these items offer choices for retirement planning. We also have credit cards. Carrying debt doesn’t have the stigma it once did.
Everyone who’s ever worked has at least thought about savings. Maybe it’s only putting your quarters in a jar, but something for a rainy day seems a wise decision. Actually doing it, figuring how much is enough, and calculating your own retirement is difficult.
Financial planners are happy to sit down and discuss your situation. But when you ask them if your savings will last, they invariably say, “It depends on how many years you have left”. Really!
So what are the burning questions you need to consider? What does it take to really embrace the changes we’re facing?
Some practical ideas:
1. Assess the situation. What are your fondest dreams for your “golden
years”? How can you make that happen?
2. Factor in your financial situation and consider inflation, downturns and
3. Talk it over with someone whose judgement you trust.
4. Consider what the options are and what you are willing to do.
Seeing the flecks of gold at any time in life can lead to a good night’s sleep, relax you and put a smile on your face.
Sound too simple? Of course there’ll be snafu’s.The “golden years” of our generation won’t be like those of our parents or grandparents. But theirs wasn’t perfect either.
Write your goals or make a wish list. Then go for it.