Most of the “retirement” stories we read these days in the mainstream media seem to fall into two categories: (1) how poorly prepared baby boomers are for retirement; or (2) success stories of those who retired with plenty. I have to acknowledge my part in this, as I pass on gloom and doom stories here regularly.
Archives for February 2014
A recent Federal Reserve report contains some disturbing news about personal debt trends in the U.S. First, total consumer debt is at its highest level since 2011. ($11.5 trillion if you like to read large numbers!) Even worse, the level of consumer debt (mortgages, car loans, student loans and credit card debt) increased by 2.1% during the last quarter of 2013. That’s the fastest rate of increase since the third quarter of 2007. Do you remember what happened shortly after that? I sure do, which is why I am so reluctant to trust the equity markets with my retirement money.
If you are a baby boomer like me, you are realistically in the last third of your life. The good news is that you are still young enough to make changes. Why make changes? To increase the probability that your final years will be good ones. I’m talking about some of the basics of a happy life: staying mobile and avoiding dementia. Lots of folks worry about running out of money when they hit that last decade. I’m more concerned about staying functional. What good is money if all of it is being spent on nursing home care?
I like free advice under two conditions: (1) If I ask for the advice; and (2) the advice comes from someone with experience and knowledge. If you are looking for some retirement or financial planning advice – free and from a financial planning professional, read on.
The Gallup organization has been polling baby boomers on a number of different topics and periodically releasing the results and drawing conclusions. A recent conclusion is this: When it comes to our retirement age, baby boomers are acting in accordance with our “live to work” reputation. I think that is kind of sad, don’t you?
Millions of baby boomers are like me – still in the accumulation phase of retirement planning. Being in the accumulation phase doesn’t necessarily mean you are actually “accumulating.” That requires being a “saver.” A saver has opportunities to save and sufficient discipline to exploit those opportunities. So what separates the successful savers from the not-so-successful retirement savers?