The looming retirement crisis (and it’s not the one you think)

There’s been a lot of emphasis put on financial planning for retirement. Apparently my generation (baby boomers) have not put enough aside to live our twilight years in comfort. Since the financial crisis of 2008 many personal retirement nest eggs have taken a real hit. Now, economists and financial planners are warning that we face a crisis. And this may be true. Because I have a limited knowledge of things financial I have had a number of friends ask if they are going to be financially set for retirement.

I always suggest they talk to a certified financial planner or use one of the handy income calculators online. However, my personal view is that things are not as dire as the experts would have you believe. We need to question the source of these pronouncements and look closely for an agenda.

The truth be told, I think you will find that you are not doomed to be a Walmart greeter until you are 90 and that you probably have enough for a comfortable retirement.

Perhaps I am whistling past the graveyard here. Perhaps we will be eating cat food three times a day. Though I doubt it. And if your situation is that bad I doubt very much that you will be able to afford Whiskers anyway.

There is, however, a larger retirement crisis looming and it is one that you need to start thinking about and planning for today. It is the question of just what the hell you are going to do when you finally leave the office for the last time.

Now I know what you’re thinking¬† you will sleep in a lot and travel the world the rest of the time. Or you will spend six months a year somewhere warm and sunny, or grow prize winning roses, or learn to bake bread, or go back to school, or learn to design box girder bridges.

Remember the time and effort you put into planning for your education and the plans you made for your career? And all that planning and education prepared you for the first half of your life that approximately 40 year stretch between ages 25 to 65.

But how about what follows? What are you going to do from the time you retire to the time you slough off mortality and join the invisible choir? With advances in modern medicine and technology it could be another 40 year stretch that most of us have only a vague thought about how we are going to spend.

Do I have an answer about just how you should spend your retirement?

Well, no…

But I do have some ideas about how you might prepare yourself psychologically for the day, in the not too distant future when your career door closes and the retirement one opens.

Stay tuned.

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