As an insurance agent for many years, I met with thousands of seniors living in retirement. As a Gen X, one of my personal goals was to learn how to retire successfully. Meeting with the post-depression era population I realized that retirement planning varied as much as income levels vary for the younger population. I met with millionaires and everything in between to the most severe poverty level. There are seniors living off of $600 a month in Social Security in subsidized housing. I am determined not to end up in retirement living in that manner.
One of my first observations was that couples with long term marriages were better prepared for retirement. As a divorcee, this was the first obstacle to overcome. It was clear that restarting a life through death, divorce or other life event had a direct impact on the overall funds available in retirement. Couples who had been in the same house and long tenure with the same employer fared much better than couples with significant changes in their lives. Our society promotes constant change and movement in jobs; and the divorce rates continue to climb. How can someone makes drastic changes in their life and still have a comfortable retirement?
The Gen X generation will not make the profits from 8-15% interest rates of the 1980s like post depression era couples did. So placing money in a savings account is not an option as it was previously. Nor did this generation have the luxury items draining their paychecks like cable, cell phones and costly electronics. The money wasters are so prevalent in our instant gratification society now. Ultimately our society and lifestyle choices have the greatest impact on our preparation for retirement.
So if you are not one of the lucky ones who had the million dollar idea or business, how is it possible to change your retirement destiny? So for those of us who are so behind the eight ball that planning for retirement seems insurmountable major decisions must be made to implement a modified retirement plan. There are numerous articles and resources available to guide individuals on retirement planning. The most important step is to make it a priority.
A series of articles will be devoted to the possible steps one can take to modify or begin their retirement planning.