I’m of retirement age but I’m neither retired from work nor retiring in outlook.I’m officially a Boomer, born in the first months of ’46 and now in the very first wave of folks that so much has been written about. I didn’t consider my 65th birthday to be any very special event. So far this year I’m just one of about 2.4 million Boomers in the U.S. that have turned that page and that number increases about 10,000 every day.
But I really like my vantage point. I’m old enough to have experienced lots of failures and a few successes and young enough to still be able to learn from the failures and enjoy the successes. I’m old enough to have lived through several ‘end of the world’ financial dramas and young enough to look forward to taking advantage of the next market surprise. I’m old enough to have slow-danced to “Love Me Tender” but young enough to be introduced to dance lessons by my sweetie. (Okay, I haven’t done that yet but I did promise once and maybe she’ll forget.)
I’ve already passed through all the years of work and seeing kids off to college and thinking about nest eggs that the youngest Boomers, now approaching their 50’s, are dealing with. And, if the pills work the way they’re supposed to, I could be around for another 20 to 30 years so I’ve given more than a little thought to how to survive and enjoy those next decades.
Those thoughts are often about money. How to gain it, how to keep it and how to grow it. I don’t completely agree with Oscar Wilde who said, “When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.” But, you have to admit there’s the glint of truth in his nugget.
Most of us spend lots of energy and many hours over many years to achieve a situation that allows us to have a reasonable and rewarding last couple of decades. Money – gaining it, keeping it and growing it - is important to that end. For reasons of pride and practicality, none of us want to outlive our own money.
So, from time to time I’m going to share some thoughts on money. It’s hoped those thoughts add a little value to those out there looking for it.
There are many things I wish I had done differently in my life. Some of those things most likely would not have greatly altered where I’m at now. But a few of them would have.
The most obvious ‘thing I wish I had done differently’ is to take a little time along the way to think about retirement financial planning. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t spend a whole heckuva lot of time on that. In my real early working years, like many I suspect, ‘retirement’ was always used in sentences involving my parents, and it certainly wasn’t something I needed to worry about then. A common sentiment at that age, I suppose, and not too awfully damaging. But I now realize that when I hit a certain age, say 45-55, that lack of common sense became increasingly a potentially serious failing.
For those of you of that age now, here’s a small idea that can make a big difference.