When my generation of baby boomers, the ones born from the 1940s to the 1950s, wanted to retire in our mid-60s, we were faced with some very unexpected challenges. We grew up during the prosperous post-WWII years, which saw the greatest population growth in the history of the United States. We expected the state to care for us in our golden years, with aids such as social security and healthcare that they contributed to by way of taxes. Sadly, as we got closer to retirement, financial and health concerns were starting to cause a great deal of anxiety to a majority. This makes retirement planning for baby boomers so important.
For one thing, we are living longer and so are our parents; the nest egg we thought would take care of us and our elderly was falling short. Americans long viewed 65 as the age to stop working. It was considered full retirement age by Social Security for many, Medicare benefits kick in then and historical practice had established it as the goal. Me and my friends thought it wiser to keep working into our 70s. We figured working a few more years or drawing our Social Security benefits later would boost our retirement income, particularly since some didn’t even receive pensions. We had to take on the responsibility for saving for retirement but often failing to do so adequately. Naturally, those of us with money worries are more likely to keep working past normal retirement age to help sustain our income.
“We keep adding years of life and it all got tacked on to the retirement period and it never changed the retirement age. “In essence, 70 is the new 65,” says the Vernon report. A recent Willis Towers Watson survey of nearly 5,000 employees found that 37 percent of employees expect to work past age 70, up from 30 percent two years ago.
When I started to worry about meeting the cost of care for my parents, I began to wonder how my children will cope when it is their turn. Everyone wants to leave an income for their partners when they pass as well as a legacy for their children. But working into one’s 70s is easier said than done. Folks retire earlier than planned because of health problems, layoffs or care-giving demands. Older employees are also forced out sometimes.
However, the good news is that good solid advice took care of my concerns. I figured that I had probably 10 or 15 years to fill the gap between my savings and the ideal amount. It is in fact the best time to decide what we want our remaining decades to look like, and put in place a plan to get there. In other words, I got help to determine clear goals and objectives.
I learned that financial planning experts are equipped to identify sources of income and balancing those against expenses. They help draw up the retirement budget and formulate a long-term personal plan to follow. This took care of the fears and anxieties of my friends, of outliving our savings. We got all the guidance we needed on protecting wealth for the next generation, estate planning and growing the nest egg to provide for our loved ones in the years to come.