Starting tomorrow, more than 10,000 baby boomers a day will turn 65 or retirement age and since boomers are defined as those born between 1946 and 1964, this is a trend that will last for the next 19 years. But in tough economic times boomers are struggling to say afloat let alone think about retirement. Boomers now find themselves pulled between aging parents and adult children still living at home.
Will the boomers ever get to retire? Jim Bacon, author of "Boomergeddon", explains the situation with Christine Romans on American Morning.
As a 55 year old boomer, my grandfather was a sharecropper, my father worked 14 hours a day at age 7 for 10 cents a day during the Great Depression. I worked to pay over half my college expenses and made $600 a month on my first job out of college. Interest rates were over 20 percent . I took care of my invalid step grandmother in my late 20's and 30's while working 80 hours a week to provide for my wife and three children. I paid for my children's college educations without any loans and my wife and I have taken care of our parents when needed for the past twenty years and continue to do that with pleasure for the two we still have. I continue to provide health insurance and financial assistance to some of our children who are sometimes struggling in this economy. I am working diligently to achieve the funds we need for retirement. I just sold my 14 year old car and currently drive a fuel efficient car designed for Generation Y. I was greatly offended by comments made on CNN today by Christine Romans about judging baby boomers. I see the same lack of planning with many who are much younger than my generation. My administrative assistant drives a car that cost as much as all four of my family's vehicles combined.
My younger coworkers live in homes that cost three times what ours cost and think nothing of spending the cost of a week's groceries on a single meal out. Rather than pass judgment on them, I encourage them to live beneath their means and begin saving earlier than I was able to so perhaps they will be able to avoid such harsh judgment.
Thanks to a lovely husband who made sure we both were set for retirement, he at 50 myself at 46. I was always told to work to retire and due to this, both of us have done just that during our entire life.
While they should be able to (and most I believe will), those 'boomers' with brains probably won't because they know that contributing to the workforce can lead to genuine happiness, and, depending on the pay, a higher quality of life.
Somehow I can't feel too sorry for the ones who were born in the '40's who should be looking forward to retirement in the next few years. I'm only 6 years ahead of them. But, instead of maxing out my credit cards, taking luxurious vacations, buying all the new "toys", and catering to all my WANTS instead of only my needs, I was able to retire and comfortably at that. They were the "me for me and all for me" generation. What they wanted they got, whether they needed it or not. I often wondered about them as I used coupons at the grocery store and bought things mainly on sale. Yes, I would have wanted to do all of that, too. But, I knew we would want to retire someday; that my children would want to go to college; that they also would need help with their first car, et al. So, rather than be profligate with my spending, I tried to save first and then spend. The advent of the IRA was a blessing for all of us. I have a younger close relative who always earned more than we did. They spent it too. Big houses, car after car, RV, et al. Virtually nothing to an IRA or other type of pension plan. They didn't have enough money left after the spending to invest in such things. They are in a far more uncomfortable situation now>
None of this applies to me. I feel I am lucky that I had a Dad who taught me when I was young to keep your daily expenses low and avoid debt. I followed his example by paying off our mortgage in 15 years and putting more than enough away for our kid's education early in their lives. I never planned on retiring this early, however, my previous company started treating me badly and I could tell were on the verge of laying me off soon. Once I tabulated our assets and projected expenses, I realized I could take early retirement right then. One additional thing that should have been mentioned in this article was the importance of living healthy (eat well and exercise and get down your weight so there is no belly fat). Since we are all fairly healthy, I was able to buy an individual family health policy on the open market that is both cheaper and better than the expensive Cobra coverage my previous company was attempting to sell me. I feel even if the other boomers have not saved enough, by getting their family in shape, the health expenses may drop a lot during retirement.
"Re-engineer their lives?" How about "reinventing" ourselves. As a member of the baby boomer generation, I am reinventing myself so that I will be marketable at midlife and beyond. This means honing in on the skills that I do well and jumping into the boomerpreneur world with both feet–as opposed to relying on Corporate America to pay me what they think I'm worth.
One thing that fails to be mentioned when we talk about some of the reasons boomers are hurting financially is the corporate greed on Wall Street. Companies run, for the most part, by white male boomers, who raped retirements for their own financial gain.
They need to get rid of social security, the rest of us who work should not have to pay for these self entitled parasites.
Book this guy at a better hour! He's terrific, and this is a topic that millions crave to hear more about...
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