Money in the Middle

Sandwich Generation Talking About Money Up, Down and Across Generations

Retirement Plan Heading South…And I don’t mean Florida.

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Are baby boomers angry about the state of their retirement funds?  Absolutely.  But it’s more than that.  It’s that V8 juice moment that says life is going to be different than you thought.

 

Smack across the forehead–  “I could have had a retirement!”

 

So retirement plans are changing – delay a few years, return to work (if you can find it), cutback on life style, eat out less, discover stay-at-home vacations– to reflect the new state of your retirement assets.  It’s probably a silver lining for all those employers who have been wringing their hands about the baby boomer brain drain.  Guess what? You won’t be able to pry them out of their chairs until they refill those dwindling 401(k) coffers.

 

So if you are a baby boomer, facing changing expectations about retirement, what do you do now?  It depends a lot on the attitude you’ve had about spending and saving.  Are you a saver/planner or a spender/debtor?

 

If you have planned and saved conscientiously, living within your means, investing wisely, contributing regularly – you probably feel angry.  Rightfully so.  The good news is that if you can keep those patterns, you have a chance to be where you thought you would be – just maybe a few years later. 

 

If you’re a spender/debtor, it’s time for a reality check.  Because you really were not going to retire when and in the manner you thought.  You bought what you wanted, used your house as a piggy-bank and thought retirement savings would somehow take care of itself.  Now, it’s time to change your ways.

 

Sp here are three tips: (1)  Start being realistic about retirement —  the sooner you begin to adjust your expectation, the easier it will be to figure out a way to get there. (2) Learn to love simplicity and a more frugal lifestyle (3) talk to the people you know who are good with planning and money and see if some of their “secrets” will help you get on the path to rebuilding retirement expectations.

 

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Written by Laura Rossman

February 22, 2009 at 5:58 pm

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