The Social Services Administration estimates that every day for the next 20 years 10,000 Baby Boomers will turn 62, “retire”, and start collecting benefits. Studies also show that 75% are not confident they can afford retirement. Most don’t have a pension and are not sure how much retirement income they can generate from money saved and invested.
The Employee Benefit Research Institute (ebri.org) estimates that those nearing retirement should expect to work for another 4 years (the typical length of a stock market cycle) to recoup recent investment losses.
But, what if you can’t continue at the current job and you need to work? With the loss of 12,000,000 jobs in our economy (many of which are not coming back), and unemployment expected to hover near 10% nationally for another 2 years (Florida is expected to reach 11.2%, the highest in 33 years), are we headed for a train wreck for retirement expectations?
Retiring boomers today are the healthiest, wealthiest, best educated and more skilled than any generation in our history. With a potential 30 years of post-retirement life expectancy, most Boomers will want more than a life of leisure. The challenge for our society and for Boomers themselves is how to harness this potential talent in order to solve some of the cultural problems in our society today. There are no lack of problems that could use the skills, problem-solving abilities, wisdom and focused energy of this group of citizens.
Planning for retirement needs to begin with a realistic assessment of one’s financial situation and health, and thinking about how you can “course-correct”, if necessary. There have been worse times in our history, but this is also a time of opportunity. Creating something new requires an assessment and sharpening of skills and an openness to change. For some with fewer family responsibilities, the ability to make changes may be greater than ever before.
Creating an “encore” or new career in retirement may require the skills of an entrepreneur.
Rather than chasing after scarce or non-existent jobs,
we need to identify needs in our communities and “create” work to meet them.
Is the generation that re-invented almost everything in our society up to the challenge?