Boomers Next Step
Sharing Is Caring!

Category Archives for Designing Your Retirement

How To Travel Cheaply In Retirement – Six Golden Tips

When you retire from the employment or business that has kept you busy many people finally get the chance to do the things that they truly want to do. Work life, family life, mortgages, bills…It sometimes seems as if all these things have conspired over the years to stop you from enjoying the travel experience that you have always hoped for. For many, those golden years of retirement is their opportunity to spend some of the money that’s been saved up over all those years, and really get out to see the world. Travel is a wonderful way to enjoy your retirement. Sometimes it takes a little while to truly absorb that you’re going to be traveling without any income, which puts a different emphasis on your travel plans. Wifi Millionaire banner advertisement Traveling on the cheap can be very useful to older adventurers. If you’re on the go, there are a lot of ways that you can make sure you’re saving some serious money. We’ll talk about five of the best tips for traveling affordably once you’ve retired. Golden Tip No 1. Utilize the Off-Season. Try not to travel when everyone else is also traveling. If you can take advantage of the off-season, you’ll be able to take advantage of the natural ebb and flow that travel costs tend to experience. Go on your next trip during the colder months of the year and you will not only get to avoid fighting the crowds, but you’ll save money on just about everything in the process. Golden Tip No 2. Book Well in Advance. If you can make your airfare and hotel reservations way in advance of your actual trip, you’re going to see yourself saving money in a pretty serious way. Take the time to research your next vacation and make all your arrangements plenty ahead of time so you don’t have to deal with the costs that tend to come with last-minute bookings. Golden Tip No 3. Online Deals & Discounts. If you haven’t noticed, the Internet is positively bursting with sites and services dedicated to helping you save money on fun excursions and activities. For everything from Italy tours to couples massages, there are a ton of ways to find online deals through Groupon, LivingSocial, Google Offers, or any of the other services dedicated to helping you seriously save. Golden Tip No 4. Senior Discount. Don’t be afraid to use your older age to your advantage! Senior discounts are available just about anywhere you might care to look, so make sure you’re extra vigilant when it comes to asking about how much money you can save simply because you’ve been around for a while. Golden Tip No 5. Cut out Secondary Transportation. Many travelers don’t realize how much secondary transportation can add up. Try to see if you can find an airline that will give you a shuttle to your hotel, and avoid things like taxis that incur expensive costs. Stick with public transit and other cheap options when you’re not using your rental car to make sure you don’t overspend on secondary transportation. Golden Tip No. 6: An Enriched Retirement Lifestyle

Would you rather travel in style?

Are you are someone who isn’t yet ready to live a traditional retirement? Are you keen to maintain a financially free lifestyle? Do you enjoy the stimulation of learning new things, meeting new people, even breaking down out of date paradigms? Click on the banner below to find out how you can live a very different enriched retirement lifestyle. Unlimited Retirement Breakthrough banner - Chris and Susan Beesley  

5 tips for baby boomers retirement plans

The generation known as baby boomers has always charted an original course. Boomers have significantly impacted the western world in every conceivable way, and will continue to for many years to come. While baby boomers have grown to become leaders of industry, published scientists and scholars, brilliant artists and championship athletes, they are not exactly known for their financial conservatism. Baby boomers grew up in the prosperous years when the world had recovered from the second World War, and didn’t know a depression like the previous generation. A lifetime of spending big and saving small can be fun, eventful and adventurous, but doesn’t exactly set you up well for retirement. Whether you just started saving last year or have been putting money aside for decades, you must have a plan in place you can execute consistently. To determine if you are ready to retire you might like to use our Retirement Preparation Checklist. Here are five tips to help baby boomers keep those retirement plans on track. Budgeting Any realistic plan must start with a rock solid budget. You’ve got to take the time to estimate your expenses during retirement, as well as the income you expect to cover those expenses. Start off by tracking your expenses as they stand now, and do that for a couple of months so you can come up with a comfortable average. Make sure that you add in money that would cover at least six months of expenses as well, so you have an emergency fund you can draw from. This is your pre-retirement budget. To adjust it for your overall plan, remove the expenses that will change upon retirement (such as commuting costs) and trim down your income to what you expect during those years as well. Retirement expectations With that number in front of you in black and white you are either ready to celebrate your frugality or suffer a panic attack. You may need to adjust your retirement expectations at this point. Review your timing for when you would like to retire, and tweak it if necessary. You may need to work longer than you expected, but that’s not always a bad thing. If many of us are going to live to a ripe old age so you really want to face 30 years of not working Pay down expenses It is wise to cut out some of the long-term bills you face now, so you won’t have to include them in your retirement budget. Always pay off any credit card debt before you stop working, as it will only get harder when you are retired. More and more seniors are facing bankruptcy these days, and the primary culprit is credit card debt. And if you own a home, do your best to pay off your mortgage before you retire as well. With those two major expenses off the books you’ll have a much better chance of enjoying your retirement comfortably. Medical expenses The other big issue you should check off as early as possible is how you will handle medical expenses. This is one budget area that nearly always increases as you age, and you cannot control the outcome or the size of the bills. Many seniors have medical insurance, but even that isn’t always enough to cover all issues. Health problems can eat through your savings in a hurry, so learn everything you can about your options. And consider setting aside money specifically for healthcare costs. There are specific savings accounts for these issues, as well as separate insurance policies to cover the expenses of long-term care should you need it. Being prepared psychologically Finally, make sure you are emotionally prepared for what’s to come. Just as you may need an accountant to help you understand the financial implications of retirement, a few conversations with a retirement coach could help you determine if you are ready for retirement. You don’t want to take on such a big change too early, or without thinking it through. It’s a whole new life, and you don’t want to make decisions that impact your emotional health and your financial health in negative ways. Plan an income producing retirement Of course there are options to a traditional retirement, designing a retirement lifestyle that involves some income producing work while you also fulfil your lifestyle dreams. Click on the banner below if you’d like to know how you can do this. Unlimited Retirement Breakthrough banner - Chris and Susan Beesley

Do I Need Life Insurance In Retirement

Our lives change a great deal as we age. What’s most important at twenty-five could be meaningless at sixty-five and vice versa. But what does all of this transition mean for life insurance? While us boomers have accomplished a great deal at this point, I’m sure you’re not ready to hang it up, and you’re definitely not thinking about checking out just yet. But life insurance can definitely feel unnecessary as you head into the ‘twilight years’. And once you retire money gets tighter and that monthly payment can feel less and less worth it. But what’s the responsible move? Should you have life insurance in retirement? Wifi Millionaire banner advertisement The first question to ask concerns dependents. In other words, do you still have family members that would be greatly impacted by your passing? Chances are your children have moved out of the house at this point, and are now financially responsible for themselves. But it is often the case that grandparents raise chgildren for family members that are deployed in the armed forces or have passed away prematurely. In that case you should definitely hang on to your life insurance. And your spouse may also be considered a dependent. Even if you are no longer working your spouse could still lose income if you pass away, in the form of slimmed down social security checks and pension payments. In either situation, hang on to that life insurance. Life insurance can also offer value when it comes to estate planning. If you have money to leave to your family after you are gone, you’ve probably thought long and hard about how to keep that money intact. But estate taxes are a fact of life (and death) that you cannot get away from. And it seems that those taxes are poised to go up in the coming years. If you have a solid life insurance plan, it can actually be set up as a trust that can be used to help pay those hefty estate taxes. Another reason life insurance could remain useful after retirement is for charitable donations. This could be the case if you have enough income to maintain your life insurance payments without trouble. That insurance policy could be adjusted to benefit a specific charity or a group of non-profit organizations. That way you can still make a sizable donation to a charity without having to end your life with a lump sum of money. As long as you maintain that policy for a significant amount of time, those small monthly payments will add up. Now all of these issues are moot if you’ve waited until retirement to apply for life insurance. Chances are you will not be approved after a certain age, and you’ll definitely be turned away if you have health problems. Even if you are healthy you might find paying the premium for a policy after age fifty to be prohibitively expensive. The best bet is to get a policy during your peak earning years, and maintain it through retirement. But as you’ve read here, life insurance is only necessary at this point under some very specific conditions. If you have no dependents and aren’t worried about a significant estate or charitable donation you could probably use that money in much better ways.   Unlimited Retirement Breakthrough banner - Chris and Susan Beesley

Baby Boomer Financial Planning Mistakes To Avoid

My how time flies, right? It seems like just yesterday you were planning for college and now, as a baby boomer, you are making some final plans to get your retirement in place. That definitely requires some solid financial planning. The best way to prepare is to learn from other people’s mistakes. If you’re curious about some of the financial planning faux pas that other people in your demographic have made, so that hopefully you can avoid them, we have summarised five for you. Making assumptions about life expectancy. There are a lot of articles that provide statistical data to support the fact that people are living longer now than they have in decades. This means that when you are doing your financial planning, there is a good chance that you may have as much as 30-40 more years after you retire. That’s three or four more decades of living off your “nest egg”, so definitely be aware of the possibility of that time frame in mind. Just in case! Wifi Millionaire banner advertisement Taking care of everyone but yourself. There is an overwhelming amount of parents (and grandparents) who, whether due to the economy or the poor financial planning of their adult children, are in a situation where they are using their retirement to take care of other people’s responsibilities. It’s one thing to help out when you can. It’s another matter entirely to be a crutch, especially if it ends up leaving you without adequate finances. You might want to consider opening an account that can be for “family emergencies”, but make sure that it’s kept totally separate from your retirement fund. Purchasing stuff you really don’t need. At some point, all of us are going to look back on our lives and realize that you bought a lot of “stuff” that you didn’t need and maybe don’t even like or use any more. There’s no time like the present to go through your house and get rid of what really has no lasting financial or sentimental value. You can then host a garage sale or sell the items on eBay or Craigslist. Moving forward, if you don’t need it and/or it won’t appreciate in value, it’s really something that you can go without. Spending more than you can afford on your home. Many people use retirement as a turning point to move to another home, and often to another area from where they have been living.  This can be a great way to free up some money, but only if you choose a new home that costs less and is not in need of a lot of renovation.  The temptation can be to buy your dream home at the very time of life when downsizing might be a wiser decision. Not enjoying life. It might sound like a bit of an odd financial planning point, but here’s why it’s on the list: Your retirement from your previous working life can be a wonderful time of life and should bring with it a lifestyle that you really enjoy.  If you take on the mindset of poverty and lack, then your retirement will be miserable.  Certainly there is much you can do that is free or doesn’t cost much.  But if you have a special interest, sport, hobby or passion which really matters to you  then you should follow your heart and engage in that activity as much as you are able to for as long as you can. Of course there are also many wonderful ways you can enrich your lifestyle by planning a retirement lifestyle that involves income earning activities as well as the activities you love to pursue. Unlimited Retirement Breakthrough banner - Chris and Susan Beesley

Moving when you retire to downsize and simplify

Pretty much everyone looks forward to the day when they can leave the long commutes, demanding bosses, and all the hassles of the working world behind. Retirement provides people with the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of their labor, allowing them the free time to travel the world, reconnect with family and friends, take up hobbies they’ve long since left by the wayside (or try out new ones), and perhaps even open their own small business, if they are so inclined. However, many retirees live on a fixed budget dictated by their retirement accounts, which means they may have to plan carefully in order to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. And since the annual income received after retirement is nearly always less than what the average person earned from a job, downsizing is a necessity. But it doesn’t have to be like pulling teeth; there are plenty of ways to simplify when you retire so that you can live within your means.


You can start by taking a look at your car. You might have had to keep a gas-guzzling vehicle during your working years because electric cars simply didn’t have the range to complete your daily commute. But if you’ve driven it into the ground and it’s on its last legs, perhaps now is the time to consider how you can do your part for the environment and save some dough in the meantime by choosing an automobile that has a shorter range, but eschews pricy petroleum products. Although these options can be expensive up front, there are still some government rebates in place pertaining to fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. And considering that the cost of “fueling” these vehicles is a fraction of the price of gasoline, the savings should rack up over time. Or if you’re still active and you enjoy temperate climes, you might hop on the old bicycle to get around town, as well.

Of course, for most people the major expenses of living are wrapped up in a home. By the age of retirement many homeowners have paid off their mortgage, leaving them without a large monthly payment. But if you still live in your family home even though the kids have long since left to start their own lives, you could be overpaying for utilities, property tax, insurance, and all manner of expenses that would be lowered by living in a smaller home. Plus, you’re stuck cleaning rooms that only get used when the kids and grandkids come to visit (which is to say, rarely). While there is a certain amount of nostalgia wrapped up in a home, you need to consider the benefits of this opportunity to downsize.

By selling your home you could purchase a smaller place that better suits your needs and end up with some money to spare. Now, you might be worried about the taxes you will have to pay on capital gains from a home sale, but in many cases this money is not taxable (although some exclusions do apply). This is why it poses such an attractive option for many homeowners heading into retirement. But before you start perusing my online estate agent advertise your house on Rightmove, and prepare to move to Belize you might want to consider what you stand to gain or lose by such a strategy. If selling your home entails taking a loss, as is often the case in the current economy, the flipside of the coin is that you cannot deduct it on your taxes. So consider long and hard before you sell off the furniture and put a sign in the yard.


Tips on buying a car for retirement

Retirement is a good opportunity to make fresh changes to mark the start of a new era in your life. These will sometimes come down to practicalities or otherwise as a celebration of entering this new phase. You may consider downsizing your property to something more manageable, for example, and you may also be looking to purchase a new car. Whether simply as a treat or for swapping your current wheels for something better suited to your lifestyle, there are some factors when car-buying that are important to take in to account at this age.

Preparing For A Traditional Retirement

Comfort and reliability The days for showing off status and wealth have (probably) now gone and instead your focus is going to be on how practical a car is and how well it matches your needs. This means you will be looking for a model that provides a good level of comfort, reliability and that will last you for the rest of your retirement. When test driving potential new cars make sure that you spend plenty of time seeing how you feel in the car as well as what the car is like for driving; make sure that you use all the gadgets to see how simple they are to use. The Audi A8 is a great option in this respect – it has largely buttons which are useful for those with arthritis or decreasing mobility, and it also has massaging chairs which are a great added touch for extra comfort. Purpose Consider the purpose of your new wheels when you buy, as the purpose may be quite different from before. You may need something smaller. Alternatively you may plan to travel with it in which a strong 4×4 or Winnebago might be your choice, or a car with lots of luggage space. Where you may have been used to the practicalities of a family car, a smaller car might now serve your needs adequately. Consider running costs too if you are being careful to reduce your living expenses. Insurance When you do buy your car upgrade your insurance too. Drivers of retirement age and above are statistically less likely to be involved in a car accident than any other demographic, so make sure that you make the most of this by getting an insurance policy that caters specifically for your age group as it will save you money.

Preparing For An Income Producing Retirement

If your plan is to create a 21st Century Retirement, combining retirement lifestyle and producing an income, then your automobile choices might be quite different.  We are working towards getting a car given to us through the part-time business that we are enjoying.

Healthcare for minority ethnic groups

Healthcare giant Bupa has announced the opening of its first ethnicity-specific retail store, catering to the Chinese market. The new store has opened its doors on the edge of inner-city Chinatown in Sydney and has been staffed with Cantonese and Mandarin-speaking employees. The store also provides translated material to complement the health and wellness sessions and workshops that address the needs of the local community.

The news is in keeping with Bupa’s strategy to expand its membership in a time of uncertainty over the future of health care. The expansion decision comes at a time when coverage rates have stagnated and the effect of the means-testing system is still unclear. A Bupa spokesperson commented that 60% of the Australian population expansion was expected to come from migrant families over the next 40 years and that the company had taken advantage of the opportunity by catering to the Chinese-Australian community.

Bupa has motivated the decision by an early recognition of changing market trends, in an effort to meet, and monopolise on, the changing needs of the evolving Australian public. The company says they had considered different groups such as people of Indian, Vietnamese and Arabic descent before settling on the Chinese market. The motivating factor for the decision has been the size of the group and the fact that Bupa had global parent operations in Hong Kong and China. Bupa has ensured that it will be the provider of choice if local Chinese people conduct a health insurance comparison, and testing out the statement is simple at

The group has appointed a multicultural team to expand its vision and manage its strategy to ensure that the needs of the local people are met. The largest Chinese community in Australia is to be found in New South Wales and Bupa has considered its first footprint in Sydney to be an essential part of its global expansion strategy. The Chinese community will now have access to more targeted healthcare and health information in their mother tongue as well as healthcare that is specific to their ethnic needs. Private health insurance is a relatively new concept in China but is becoming widely adopted and memberships are growing rapidly.

Bupa currently has 3-million members and seeks to expand its membership base. Health insurance sign ups have increased by less than one per cent over the last year and 2% over the last three years.

Parents of Australian citizens can now have their visas extended and spend more time with their families when visiting them from overseas. The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship has explained that government has wanted to be more generous to tourists and extend family visits. The new laws mean that government will award a five year tourist visa, with a 12-month period applicable to each entry for those who are already in the queue for parent visas from outside the country. For those who are not yet in the queue government may extend a three year visa, depending on the individual application, also with a 12-month stay for each entry into the country. The Minister further explained that family visits had a positive social impact for relatives.

In order to be eligible visitors need to meet specific qualifying criteria such as having enough funds in their bank account, having the relevant health insurance to cover any medical costs during their stay and meet health and character requirements stipulated by the government.

The changes are expected to take effect by the end of 2012. Tourist visa holders are limited in their applications for their visit while they are visiting relatives in Australia. As part of the protocol they will also be required to spend time outside of the country in between each entry.

Vacation Home Tips for Boomers

Sometimes the stresses and strains of ordinary living can take a toll on our mental and physical well being. When this happens, sometimes the best solution is to move to a different environment for a period of time to relax and reconnect with our families. Some families choose to do this by taking yearly trips requiring a stay in a hotel.

An even better option for boomers with savings might be to purchase a vacation home or a timeshare. Whether your dream destination is at a sun-drenched beach villa or a cool mountain cabin surrounded by ancient hardwoods, you should be able to find the perfect vacation property with just a bit of research. The following tips may make that process easier:

Agree on the Details

All members of the family will probably have preferences about the location and appearance of any vacation venue under consideration, so some compromise will be in order. During the planning stages, it is helpful to answer these questions:

• Do family members enjoy the water?

• Does the location need to be convenient to food and recreational activities?

• What style of home suits the family the best?

• How long will the family be able to stay at the vacation destination when visiting?

• Will the community allow for renting the home out as a way to help with payments if you need this option?

Check on the Practicalities

Once these issues have been discussed, it is time to work on the practical aspects of a vacation home or timeshare purchase. A good place to begin is by researching the real estate agents in the chosen area. Some actually specialize in vacation home sales and will be extremely helpful during the process. They will be sure to guide a potential client through the following procedures:

• Getting preapproval for a vacation home mortgage or arranging financing for a timeshare.

• Negotiating the right price for the area and size and condition of the property.

• Explaining future maintenance costs or timeshare fees.

• Detailing any restrictions on the property imposed by a Home Owner’s Association.

A good real estate agent will also make sure that potential buyers understand some of the more difficult terminology associated with buying a timeshare. These include deeded and non-deeded properties, fixed and floating weeks, and fractional ownership agreements.

In reality, a vacation home will probably work best for families who like to get away on the spur of the moment, while a timeshare will suit those who always plan well in advance. A vacation home may be the better investment because it has the potential to rise in value. No matter which of these purchases is more suitable for your particular family, either will make it more likely that the family will spend quality time together at least once a year.

This is a guest article contributed by Maria Robins, who believes it’s important to make time for family vacations and to escape from the daily grind every once in a while. She likes the flexibility that the Destination Club offers and is looking forward to her next getaway.

Advice for Boomers Wanting to Downsize

Are your children now adults with homes of their own? If you are experiencing empty nest syndrome, you may find that your home has become too big for you. You are no longer raising a family and do not need all of the extra room that you find you now have. You also do not need all of the extra work that is involved in taking care of a larger house. Now may be the time to downsize to a smaller home that will be easier to maintain and much nicer to enjoy.

If you’re tempted by the idea of de-cluttering your life and downsizing to a smaller home for your golden years, there are a number of factors to take into account before you make your move.

Consider Purchasing a Ranch Home

If you have mobility problems due to arthritis or other afflictions, you will definitely want a home that is all on one floor, eliminating stairs and the accidents that can happen on them. Even if you presently do not have problems with mobility, you may decide a home on one level may be a wise decision for the future.

A Small Bungalow May Be Perfect

If you do not require a great deal of room now that the kids are grown up, you might want to consider investing in a home that is small and cozy. The rooms will be easier to clean, and you will also save money on heating bills in the winter and air conditioning bills in the summer.

Choose a Small Backyard

If your new home has a small lawn and backyard, you will have less to maintain on the outside of the house. Lawn care can be exhausting work, especially for older individuals. Plus, you will want to free up your time to do activities that you really enjoy. You will want to make your smaller residence easy to care for, and that will include less maintenance to the outer property and landscaping.

Location, Location, Location

It will also be convenient for you to have a residence in a good location, where you will be close to stores, doctor’s offices, friends and family. If you are within walking distance from various amenities, this will be a way for you to get exercise that will help to keep you healthy and fit.

To Sell Your Existing Home, Give It Curb Appeal

Before you can move into your new home, you must first sell your present residence. To speed up the process, it’s a good idea to make improvements to the exterior so that it looks as enticing as possible. The lawn should be well maintained, and it would not hurt to have attractive flowers planted in locations that will be visible to prospective home buyers. Also, there should be no visible peeling paint, and the roof should be in good repair.

Do Not Forget The Inside

The inside of the house should be welcoming, and it is very important to remove all clutter from the premises. Prospective home buyers are not going to be able to get an idea of room sizes if each area is full of items lying around and taking up space. To enhance the appearance of your living room, attractive loveseat slipcovers can be used to revitalize aging furniture. Windows should be clean and free of streaks, and each room should have a clear purpose. When showing your home to others, turn on all of the lights in order to help the house appear bright and cheerful.

When you set up residence in a smaller home, you can look forward to peaceful, relaxing times in an environment that will not require a great deal of work and will provide you with many years of contentment. By downsizing you can free up time and money to spend doing all those things you’ve always wanted to do.

This is a guest article contributed by Caroline Smith of Caroline has written a number of articles for boomers and believes we should all live life to the full whatever our age!

Is Reinvention In Your Plans For 2011?

For a Baby Boomer, asking the age-old, rhetorical question – Who am I? – might at first blush seem a trifle counter-intuitive. You’d think that if you’re a Boomer, that question was answered a long, long time ago.

But was it?

And if it was, is the answer still accurate, or better yet, relevant?

For a growing number of us, it’s neither. Even if we knew who we were at some point in our lives – truth be told, any of us never really figured it out – for most of us, that’s changed. In some cases, it’s changed many times.

The other critical point here is that even if we know precisely and accurately who we are, at this stage of our lives, we should really be asking – Who should I be? I think today, that is an extremely important question to ask.

The reason of course is – or at least should be – abundantly apparent. Everything has changed. The world as we envisioned it at the beginning of our careers, a long time ago, is nothing at all like the world in which we live today.

Many of us started out thinking that we’d find a job for life, just like our parents did. For most of us, that notion didn’t last for more than a couple of years, before we were forced – or decided – to change jobs.

When we were starting out, the plan was to work hard until we were in our sixties, and then blissfully retire to our Golden Years.

We diligently saved a good portion of our “disposable” income – some of us did, some of tried, and some of us never even bothered -and carefully put it into “investment vehicles.”

Then guys like Bernie Madoff came along and stole it, or the global conspiracy against our money simply squandered it.

We were told that real estate was always a safe investment, and we plodded merrily along, finding comfort and solace in the fact that even if everything else failed, our homes would continue to appreciate in value, and would provide a nice retirement nest egg for us in the process.

And then of course the real estate market melted down, along with everything else.

All of these plans fueled our dreams of those long-awaited Golden Years. Well, here we are, and not much about our existence is golden.

In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite. The sad truth is that even if we managed to follow our plans and prepared dutifully for retirement, many of us are no closer to a comfortable retirement today than we were twenty years ago. And in some cases, we’re a lot worse off.

So here is some advice. Instead of thinking about retirement, start thinking about reinvention.

Don’t worry about what has already happened. Don’t struggle with trying to scrape together what has already been lost. Move forward.

Reinvent yourself into a career that suits your lifestyle and your age. Don’t try to survive by flipping burgers or selling suits. Become something that you want to become and do something that you want to do.

It’s time to enjoy your life. After all, you deserve it.

Joyce Becker is a successful marketing entrepreneur living in New Jersey with her husband of over 30 years. Joyce is also a trailblazer. As a woman and a Baby Boomer, she has broken molds, working in a variety of careers and providing inspiration to countless women whose lives have been touched by her spirit and energy through

Reinventing Yourself, Planning for Retirement

There are 76 million or more of us Baby Boomers who will be retiring between this year and 2030. Most of us aren’t a whole lot older than our Social Security system which we begun in 1935. An interesting fact is that Germany set up their old age pension in the late 1800’s. They were the ones that determined that 65 was the magic age because at that time only 1% of the population lived beyond age 65. If we wanted to only pay Social Security to the oldest 1% today we would be waiting until age 86 to retire.

Retirement is not an event but instead is a life process and a life developmental stage. Multiple authors have proposed stages (identified through numerous scientific studies) that attempt to explain our passage through the years of retirement. (Atchley, R.C. 2000) proposes the stages as 1) Pre-retirement, 2) Retirement, 3) Disenchantment, 4) Reorientation, 5) Retirement Routine and 6) Termination of Retirement.

Many of us Baby Boomers still cannot fathom how we got to be old enough to need to start thinking about retirement. It is easy to stay in denial to the bitter end and not do much planning regarding retirement. Many people of all ages tend to go through life on autopilot. They follow the path of least resistance and don’t really plan ahead to create a specific kind of life. At any point in their life they are not sure how they got there and they are not sure where their life is going next. They may have some dreams “for someday” but if they don’t have a specific plan then that all they will have is dreams.

Pre-retirement is the best time to get your thoughts organized regarding your future retirement. You can get your imagination involved as you consider what your ideal life in retirement would look like. You may be looking forward to retiring and have a plan to retire at 62. Or maybe you will wait until 65 for health insurance reasons. Or maybe you do not plan to retire at all. You love your job or you love the money it brings and you never want to retire. Whatever is your dream retirement or dream no retirement, make plans now.

Notice the last paragraph talked about what you “want” regarding retirement. You may have a specific time that you WANT to retire or maybe you do not WANT to retire at all. But be aware that close to half of retirees do retire earlier than they had planned. Some of the reasons for early retirement include a gradual or sudden deterioration in health, the occurrence of disability, getting laid off from your job and not being able to find another, or needing to take care of ill family members. Retiring earlier than planned often has a negative effect on the retiree’s financial situation and income issues may be paramount. Not to mention the psychological stress from being forced to retire. Retirement in general takes some emotional adjustment, but just the idea that one has to retire rather than wants to retire can cause severe emotional issues.

Some suggestions should fate throw something at you out of left field and you find that you are retiring a lot sooner than you expected:

1-Don’t make an impulsive or sudden decisions, especially financial or relocation decisions.

2-Anger, denial, anxiety, shock, grief are all normal initial emotions in a situation of this kind. Talk with family members, spouse, colleagues, friends, your family health care provider or even a therapist if needed to help sort through everything you are feeling and thinking.

2-Retirement doesn’t need to be forever if you don’t want it to be. Brainstorm possible options for review. If returning to the workforce full-time is out of the question, how about part-time? Or maybe a volunteer position?

3-It is imperative that you are covered by some type of major medical insurance, even if it comes with a $10,000 deductible. $10,000 in medical bills can be eventually paid off but several hundred thousand dollars of medical bills are all too common and can destroy your financial situation permanently.

5-See what benefits you may be entitled to such as unemployment, Medicaid, Social Security disability, SSI, etc.

Common planning errors related to retirement in general include:

1-Lack of pre-retirement planning in general, either financial or otherwise.

2- Living through retirement on autopilot without any specific plans or goals.

3-Reaching retirement age without developing any hobbies or interests outside of work.

4-Expecting your family members (spouse and children) to devote all their time to you and your needs.

When planning for retirement, the best overall strategy is to “Hope of the best, but plan for the worst.”

©2010 Sharon Ball, Life and Wellness Coach. Get your free report Begin Reinventing Yourself Today at:

Boomer Retirement – Unconventional Solutions for Unconventional Times

Boomer retirement is definitely going to be different than our parents’ and grandparents’ retirement was. For one thing, we haven’t had job security for something like 30 years-and we don’t have pensions, either. What we do have are falling property values, struggling portfolios, and retirement savings that aren’t quite what we want them to be.

The fact is that most of us Boomers are going to live longer after our retirements than previous generations did. Instead of just living to 75, we’re going to be around in our 80s, our 90s… and quite a few of us are going to hit 100 or more.

This means that we need to make sure that we don’t run out of retirement money before we run out of retirement, so to speak.

With that in mind, the first thing I always advise my Boomer sisters to do is to be willing to be creative when we think about our retirements. After all, we’re not just going to live longer-if we take good care of ourselves we’re going to be healthier, too, and be able to stay active well after age 65.

And it just so happens that there are tools available that will allow us to create a retirement income without having to sacrifice our retirement years to corporate jobs.

Now, you already know about the Internet or you wouldn’t be reading this article. What I’d like you to start thinking about is the fact that the Internet isn’t just a place to find information and communicate with other people.

The Internet makes it possible for you to own and operate your own business that will generate a retirement income for you.

There are a lot of ways you can go with an Internet business. You can turn an existing hobby into a business, for example. Are you a musician and an expert on classic guitars? You can create a website where you sell music instruction CDs and e-books about why Gibson is better than Fender (or the other way around).

If you’ve got an old collection of MatchBox cars or some other collectible, you can set up an Internet business trading in that collectible. If you’re a potter or jewelery-maker and your friends and family love your work, you can set up a store on Etsy to sell it.

And those are just a few of the ways you can have an Internet-based retirement business focused entirely on yourself. But you can also own an Internet business where you represent other businesses. If you’re passionate about a particular product or service, you can become an affiliate marketer for that product or service.

The Internet can be used for direct sales (seriously-look up Avon online!), too.

An Internet-based retirement business has a lot of advantages. For one thing, you can start an Internet business for anywhere from no money at all to just a few thousand dollars! For another, you can work your Internet business at any time, and from anywhere, you want. Finally, with an Internet business you’re not trading your time directly for money anymore. Your business website is open, and funding your retirement, 24/7.

We Boomers have never been all that conventional. So why should Boomer retirement be “conventional” in the sense of our collecting our (now fictional) gold watches and turning on the tube for the rest of our lives? Instead, we can continue to be contributing, helpful members of our society-only now, in our retirement, we can do it on our terms.

Joyce Becker is a successful marketing entrepreneur living in New Jersey with her husband of over 30 years. Joyce is also a trailblazer. As a woman and a Baby Boomer, she has broken molds, working in a variety of careers and providing inspiration to countless women whose lives have been touched by her spirit and energy through