Baby boomers, people born between 1946 and 1964, are heading into retirement at an average about 10,000 per day. Many are poorly prepared as they lack sufficient financial resources without at least part-time employment. The baby boomer retirement crisis is real.
Although thirty-one (31%) per cent of people 65+ years old have $200,000 or more in their retirement accounts, thirty (30%) percent of people age fifty-five (55) and over have no savings, and twenty-six (26%) have less than $50,000 saved.
So What’s Going On?
There are many reasons for this including people losing a substantial part of their savings during the 2008 to 2009 financial crisis. After that many folks left the stock market never to return, so they were not able to benefit from any of the subsequent rebound.
Lack of good financial knowledge and advice is responsible for people being in a less than desirable financial position at retirement time. There was a lack of information on the importance of saving early and often.
Also several years of low interest rates has not helped the situation at all. Additionally with wages not rising very much it makes it difficult to save. With the average payment of social security being only $1317 as of 2017, it is not surprising people are struggling and finding it hard to retire.
What Is The Solution?
Moving to a lower cost part of the world may work for some people as there are several places that are very economical to live, and where a lower income is sufficient. But decisions need to be made as to the lifestyle which is affordable.
Owning your own home which is fully paid cuts down on expenses substantially, where the main expense will be maintenance and property taxes. Moving to a more affordable area, downsizing one’s home, using public transportation, and creating a workable budget are some options to consider as well.
Making a plan and some lifestyle adjustments before retirement certainly can make things easier, as you have more time to ingrain new spending habits. Having the right mindset about the type of lifestyle which is both desirable and realistic in retirement is important.
Lowering Your Costs
For people who are finding it difficult to live on their retirement income there are programs out there to assist. Some more well-known resources include Medicaid (for assistance with medical costs), food stamps, SSI (Supplemental Security Income), Extra Help, and the standard Medicare and Social Security benefits.
Check out BenefitsCheckUp for information on programs which are less well-known. There are assistance programs for legal services, housing, and education. These are both private and public assistance programs.
Another helpful website is ElderCare where you can locate local assistance programs which are available. A program similar to food stamps is The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) which is administered at the state level.
Housing vouchers are available through The Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP), and contact utility companies for utility discounts.
There are many ways to lower your costs and expenses; continue to research and network with people in your community such as at your local Senior Center.
There are people who are financially comfortable, but still dissatisfied with retirement because they are bored. Not having something to do which they truly enjoy can be a strain before and during retirement.
My philosophy through the years has been to enjoy what you do so much that you will never want to retire. Whether it’s running a business, doing volunteer work, promoting a cause close to your heart, or just traveling the world to meet interesting people and learn about different cultures, there are ways to accomplish all of this.
Personally, I enjoy working in human services assisting people with different challenges, as well as doing business development projects. That’s why I am the Un-Retired Entrepreneur as work and play go together, and there is no reason or desire to retire.
Determine what you most enjoy doing which benefits others by solving problems and being of service, and turn that into a profitable endeavor. With enough thought and research this is doable.
All the very Best,