In January 2011, the Employee Benefits Research Institute (http://www.ebri.org/) noted that almost half of the 76 million baby boomers will run out of money within 10-20 years of their retirement. This is not expendable income – they won’t have enough money for rent, food, transportation or medication.
It may become the ultimate revenge for Boomer parents: unable to afford to live on their own, many Boomers will be forced to return to live with their own now middle-aged children. Some parents may find themselves “repaying” the goodwill the parents bestowed to children living at home after college or when saving money for a down payment, etc. Unfortunately, EBRI studies also indicate that Gen Xers are facing similar issues when planning for retirement. The question is, how does one prepare for this significant shift in lifestyle?
In The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security, author Mark Miller outlines options for Boomers currently planning for retirement. Miller claims the scary truth is that “it will be very difficult for most people to set aside enough money to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living in old age.” Remaining at one’s job a few years longer is recommended by Miller. It allows for additional income and equally important, access to healthcare insurance.
Sounds like good advice as long as that is an option with your employer. It may not be enough if you plan to remain independent. Revising your expectations of retirement, restructuring your “American Dream” lifestyle now and aligning your goals with your personal values are all techniques for creating sustainable success, i.e., avoid moving back in with the kids!
With a career spanning two decades, Allison Blankenship is the go-to person for developing and implementing new ideas, strategies and start ups. After being both downsized and laid off, overcoming cancer and qualifying for food stamps, Allison has developed survival skills that have allowed her to adapt and thrive. She uses her vast experience as well as her award-winning communication skills to teach people how to perform under pressure. She has co-authored three books on leadership, productivity and communications, plus multiple audio series.
Allison’s message of “The not-known is the new normal” is hitting a nerve. Individuals and organizations are seeking innovative ideas and flexible tools to excel in a rapidly changing, uncertain and often unstable future. What worked last year or even last month is no longer valid. People need new critical thinking skills to navigate unexpected change and create sustainable success. Her latest book is Upside: How to Zig When Life Zags (Collage Books, 2010) co-authored with Bonnie Michaels, and it’s creating a buzz both in the boardroom and on the bus.