Whether or not you have remained true to the New Year’s resolutions you set at the beginning of the year, there’s something to be said for taking the time to reflect, regroup, and make some plans to move yourself forward in the new year. As a boomer, now is a good time to take a more in-depth look at things you’ve probably been putting off until some magical date in the future that you never seem to get to. I know because I’m a 66-year-old boomer myself and I still tend to act as though I have plenty of time to prepare for retirement. The fact is that even though I feel 25 years old in my head, my body and energy level is telling me something quite different.
As a boomer, you are all too well aware of the fact that “retirement” has been redefined. Whether you are already retired or working toward retirement, you are facing challenges related to longevity, finances, and the best use of your time. Here are three areas to focus on this year to help improve your retirement years:
#1 - Health
I read an article recently in Forbes having to do with longevity. The article talks about scientific and medical breakthroughs that will extend life expectancy.
The doctor interviewed in the article, Aubry de Gray, even speculates that the first person who will live past age 150 has already been born.
That was all very interesting, but what really caught my eye was his view on the “myth of aging,” and that we do not have to accept it as part of getting old. “It’s always been a mystery to me why this isn’t totally obvious to everyone. Do we let cars fall apart when they get old? – Yes, in general, but not if we really want them not to – that’s why we have 50-year-old VW Beetles driving around, and even vintage cars,” he says in the article. “It’s bizarre that people don’t see that the exact same thing is true of the machine we call the human body, just that that machine is a lot more complicated, so the development of sufficiently comprehensive preventative maintenance is a lot more challenging.” Here’s a fellow boomers advice about health:
Listen to your body, much like you do to new
noises your car makes, and don’t put off
the tests and remedies that are available to you that
will keep you running for many years to come.
#2 - Time
We all have heard the old adage that goes something like this: You never see the words on a tombstone that say, “I wish I had spent more time at the office.”
Boomers have spent their entire lives protecting their families and striving to keep everything secure. This period of your life should be when you cut yourself some slack and begin to sit back and admire the fruits of your labor. It’s a good time to shift into a different gear and manage your time in a way that feeds your soul and allows your love and talents to shine through in unique and different ways. My advice on the use of your time moving forward is to……..
Sit down with your loved ones and brainstorm
about what’s really important to you in
your boomer years. Then adjust how you use
your time to reflect those priorities.
#3 - Finances
Depending on your current age, you may be still active in the work force, throttling back, or already in retirement.
No matter what stage you’re in, concerns about your financial security and that of your loved ones are always on your mind. Many of you may have planned exceptionally well and have everything in order. However, statistics indicate that most boomers are not where they expected to be financially and still have work to do. (This is a link to a great AARP article). Recently, I’ve come to realize that it’s time for me to readjust my expectations of retirement to reflect current realities. If you have also reached this point, then it may be time to …
Schedule an appointment with your spouse/family,
CPA, financial advisor, attorney, or a trusted friend
to re-examine your financial goals to reflect your
current retirement realities.
There are lots of new financial solutions available today to help you live a more comfortable retirement. I’m fortunate to work in an area of financial services that helps seniors who either no longer need their life insurance, can no longer afford to keep paying premiums, or just have a desire to reallocate those premiums to more appropriate retirement investments.
If this is your situation, then you may be able to uncover hidden value in your life insurance that can pay you cash today. It’s called a life settlement and could be just the solution you are looking for.
One thing is certain: if you face the tough issues of health, use of time, and finances head-on today, then you stand a much better chance of fulfillment in your retirement years. Good luck!
Bill Clark – Ashar Group