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Don’t Stop Thinkin’ About Tomorrow

Retiring Boomers must plan for a life, not just a 401K

Evidently, boomers aren’t giving enough thought to how they want to live their lives if and when they’re no longer working full time.

We all remember stories from our parents’ generation. The stay-at-home wife made her peace with the idea of her husband being “under her feet” (that’s the expression my grandmother used) all day, well before her man got the gold watch and the glass of punch.

But then, way too often, the retiring man would spend his last day at the office, wake up the next morning, and not have a single idea of what he might want to do with his time. Or maybe he’d decided that a life of golf would suit him, and found out within a couple of weeks that he needed something…else. Something…more.

Sometimes, these gentlemen would find their minds and bodies in a rather rapid decline, if they didn’t find worthy and fulfilling occupations. Now it’s the Boomers’ turn.

ABCNews is reporting that unless our generation of retirees has interests in place, depression can easily set in. And in the absence of the social network provided by work mates, we’d better have some great friends.

Social worker Sherry Parrish says:

People who stop working tend to lose that sense of being part of a team. For example, if you don’t show up for work, someone calls looking for you. But when you’re retired, nobody comes looking for you if you stay in bed all day. So whether you volunteer, get a part time job, or you work in your garden — it doesn’t matter what you do, it’s just important that you do something.

So. Maybe you’ve got a so-called retirement plan in place. But if it’s just about the money, it’s not gonna’ cut it. Do you have a plan for your time and for your mind? Do you have friends and interests and maybe even a cause?

Something to think about, eh?


Posted by Katy on 06/17/08}
in Personal FinanceRetirement

  1. Katy, I have to share with you my husband’s retirement plan. He calls it his three KIDS plan. We are going to spend 4 months each year with each of our three daughters, making memories. We will take long showers and leave wet towels on the floor, spend hours talking on the phone to our friends trying to decide what what we are going to do that weekend (you know, saying things like “I don’t know, what do you want to do?”), We will borrow the car, stay out all night and bring it home in time for them to leave for work. Of course it won’t have any gas in the tank!!

    On a more serious note, we are looking at Rob retiring at 67. We have Rob’s military retirement, and will have his corporate retirement and our 401K money, some IRA funds and my Social Security - if it still exists then. I have dozens of hobbies, and grandchildren are high on the list. Rob plays golf, and will probably work as a consultant as long as they let him. We are planning on downsizing and moving to a less expensive part of the country. Maybe snowbirding if we can manage. I just hope we will be able to put away enough to get across the pond every couple years. Of course, all the best planning in the world may not account for life as it happens. Or the Lord could come and it would be moot.

    Posted by Sandi Thompson  on  06/18/08  at  08:42 AM

  2. Sandi—I LOVE your husband’s plan—Payback Time! Ha. I had a great-aunt who did just what you’re describing. She was scared to stay even one night alone after her husband died, and she never knew how to drive a car. So her children transported her all over the country for the next stay with one of them.

    My kids are talking about moving to spots in the US more thought of as vacation spots. I think they will want us to stay with them for months on end! I am SURE they will….  :)

    We, sadly, have no pensions or matching funds or anything but ourselves and good old SS to fall back on. I like your situation MUCH better, but Doug has loved working for himself, even if “himself” doesn’t provide the best retirement plan! It’s a little scary….

    Posted by Katy McKenna  on  06/18/08  at  09:07 AM

  3. Katy,

    Nice to know that someone else has tried our plan!! I think it will be great fun. Our youngest is currently living in FL, so that should be beachy.

    I know there are a lot of people who work for themselves, and don’t have the opportunity to put away the kind of funds we do. We will probably house several retired missionaries and friends. So they will be making memories with us!!

    Keep up the good work. I love both of your sites.Yesterday, I did Brain Teasers for an hour.

    Did you see BJ’s new list of books? She’s amazing!!

    When are we going to Ireland did you say?...

    Posted by Sandi Thompson  on  06/20/08  at  09:47 AM

  4. Sandi—When you say house retired missionaries, do you mean for a long term? What an amazing thing to do! We have two bedrooms, a bath, and a loft upstairs—-empty. If we stay in this house, we will need to decide how to best use those rooms.

    I love BJ’s recommendations! She’s the best.

    Is your passport up-to-date???  :)

    Posted by Katy McKenna  on  06/22/08  at  05:44 PM

  5. Katy,

    I imagine if we buy something big enough, we will always have extra people living with us through the years. When God blesses you like he has blessed us, sharing it with other people is the best “Thanks you” you can give. I have a friend in KY where I am pretty sure we will retire who will probably need long term care and help in the near future. I intend to be available to help her as much as I can. She will have social security, I am sure, but even at this point she in subsudized housing. Her condition makes it difficult for her to get a regular job, so mostly she does stuff like sitting at night with an elderly person.
    You never know what the Lord will ask you to do. We just try to be ready and available, like when we homeschooled our girls. The scripture is very true - whether you give money, time or talents - Give and it shall be given to you, good measure, pressed down, running over, pouring into your lap.  You may not get it in money, but you get it in friends and love and help, too. We have friends all over the world, and you can’t put a price tag on that. Whatever we can do to make their life easier, we want to do it.
    We are probably better able than most to do this kind of thing because of my husband’s jobs and retirement planning. He’s a genius.

    My passport is always up to date…just in case

    Posted by Sandi Thompson  on  06/23/08  at  07:38 AM

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Are You a Late Boomer?

If looming retirement is catching you off-guard between an aging parent and a revolving-door kid, you might be. If you've delayed travel only to discover they've changed the names of all the countries, you are. And if you're a member of the Baby Boomer Generation who's ready to give back but you've forgotten where you put it, stay tuned. From healthcare to personal finance, from career changes to volunteerism, it's time to boom where you are planted.