survey results released this month revealed some fascinating findings about
retirement prospects for my generation.
Sixty percent of the nearly 400 Baby Boomers interviewed thought it was
realistic they could retire within the next ten years. A quarter of those
surveyed, however, expressed doubts about their immanent retirement
prospects. In a recent New York Times
article entitled, Goodbye Golden Years, Harvard economist, Edward Glaeser cited statistics
sure to elicit fear in those of us hoping to retire at some point during the
next ten years. He suggested that, “Retirement
seems out of the question for increasing numbers of Americans who are saddled
with debt and whose savings evaporated during the recent bust.”
parent’s generation, the so-called “Silent Generation” (those born during the great depression and
WWII) enjoyed a retirement scenario unprecedented in our history, and one that,
as this data indicates, may not be available to all of us. But, don’t despair,
did we ever really envision playing golf four days a week? (OK, so maybe one or two days a week.)
imagine not being productive, not contributing, not making my own money. Participants in the BoomerOpinion poll were
asked the following question:
“If you had the opportunity to
change your occupation at this point in your life, how likely would you be to
do so?” Forty-six percent (virtually half of all
those surveyed) responded positively, saying they were quite likely to do so. I found this data amazing and affirming. I’m one of those Lady Boomers
trying her hand at various creative entrepreneurial endeavors so it was nice to
know my aspirations had company.
Glaeser went on to argue that America needs more entrepreneurship. Baby Boomer can be the leaders in this
entrepreneurship as they seek to reinvent themselves, as this data suggests
they are willing to do.
Beach, a retiree haven, has the highest self-employment rate of any metropolitan
area in the nation, consistent with other areas in the country attracting older
Americans. Self-employment makes sense because it allows for more control over
working hours and conditions. And our
generation loves control.
us have spent years waking up at 6:00 am to be at a job we found
depleting. If we are not going to be
able to kick back, drive a golf cart and play bridge all day, lets envision a
different kind of retirement for ourselves.
Here are a few suggestions:
an exercise plan; join a YMCA or other gym; walk or ride a bike. We are going to need to stay healthy for this
next phase, and exercise is a critical component. Make sure your employment endeavors can
accommodate your exercise schedule, so you don’t have to be going to the gym at
5:30 in the morning.
an enterprise that fits your circadian rhythm (internal clock) one that allows
you to arise and go to bed at a time best suited for you
into your psyche through journaling or quiet reflections; explore what you have
a passion for. You may want to undergo a
personality assessment to discover a field that suits you.
fun. We are the generation who invented
rock and roll. We like to have fun. Now is your chance…Here’s to meeting the new you.