There is an uncomfortable reality living as a Baby Boomer right now. For the first time in their history Baby Boomers are facing retirement. Many are coming to grips with the reality that they might not be able to "have it all". Many experience an unspoken sense of insecurity, quite uncharacteristic for this generation.
Sandwiched between caring for their parents and adult children. They also needed to plan for retirement. Which means setting aside money for a time when they will not be "earning income". Yet few boomers ever saw themselves as retired. That was something their parents valued.
They now find themselves caught in an uncomfortable reality. Retirement age is looming. Yet they still feel the pressure of caring for aging parents. Their kids limited employment prospects find many boomers adult children returning home.
The reality of caring for family. Combined with a desire to experience one’s retirement wishes and dreams. They have no plan for retirement and it ends up looking like an overwhelming, gargantuan task best left for later. This clashes with the brutal realities of life and creates a very real quandary. A very real tension and expectation to "have it all."
In the movie A Few Good Men, there is a scene where Col. Jessep is on the stand. He is being cross examined by Kaffee, a young upstart lawyer:
LTJG Kaffee: Colonel Jessep! Did you order the "code red?!!"
Judge Randolph: You don't have to answer that question!
Col Jessep: I'll answer the question. You want answers?
LTJG Kaffee: I think I'm entitled to them.
Col Jessep: You want answers?!
LTJG Kaffee: I want the truth!
Col Jessep: You can't handle the truth!
This is the quandary many Baby Boomers feel. They feel entitled to answers and are also afraid of the truth.
Yet, Baby Boomers still want it all. With retirement age looming, the reality that they have no plan for retirement begins to set in.
Baby Boomers have been very successful in trying to have it all. They are smart, responsible and pretty prosperous. Yet, when one realizes they have no plan for retirement, it raises a lot of questions.
How can we help them prepare and plan for retirement? How can our team at Halter Ferguson Financial understand and support our clients?
Behaviors have to change. As independent and successful as you have been. You will need help navigating the retirement gap.
The uncomfortable truth is you will need to learn to work with a team of professionals. You can't have it all in retirement unless you plan for retirement. Halter Ferguson Financial can help manage your assets and develop a personal financial plan.
Despite our relative affluence, we boomers are short-term thinkers. We are survivors. We grew up with parents who were careful and cautious spenders.
Our parents would go without to give us what they thought we wanted. Our parents worked hard and we never went without. Not us Baby Boomers. We believed we could have it all and we made decisions to ensure we got it all. We traded our retirement security to ensure we met our immediate needs.
We heard all the admonishments and cliches "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." Which we ignored. It sounded trite to us. People in the financial business would attempt to guilt us into submission. We were much too independent and stubborn. We were not about to let other’s agendas overshadow our priorities. After all, we were smarter than the average bear.
So we ignored the admonishments and the retirement planning professionals. We were busy doing our best to get through each day or month. There was very little surplus energy, time or money available to plan for retirement.
Boomers have been witnesses to massive change. New technologies, economic upheavals, terrorism and shrinking employment opportunities. And a hundred other things. Add in having to think ahead and planning for retirement was too much to handle.
Since retirement seemed so far off, immediate needs took priority. Everything else would have to wait, including retirement. We would worry about it later. We lived for "now" and would worry about retirement sometime later. This left us with no plan for retirement.
Life expectancy is often overlooked when thinking about retirement planning. Did you know if you and a partner retire at 62, it’s likely that at least one of you will live to 92? You could spend as long in retirement without earnings as you spent working. With no plan for retirement, the risk of one of you running out of money is very real.
It is not too late. You can get in touch with your true north, get a plan for retirement.
We can help you plan for retirement and have it all.
Let's get together and discuss how to partner together to make your bucket list a reality. Let's work together to plan how you might "have it all" in retirement too.