We speak often of the generations and how groups of people born during a short period of time are influenced profoundly by common events and often by the observations of one’s own parents. As a baby boomer, I have seen a tremendous change in how we perceive retirement versus my parents and my children’s perspective. It seems logical that many of our parents had longer periods of employment with singular employers and many achieved pensions. Today, if you are in the private sector, the pension was replaced by a 401k plan or you just missed the cut-off date as you have had 4 or 5 jobs these past 3 decades.
Observing our parents behavior showed a tradition of savings due to their experience living through the great depression. Most were prudent savers and shoppers far different from our children who have easy access to credit and only our frequent caution not to overspend.
Individual responsibility for planning for retirement is a reality and as the poor returns over the last 10 years from stocks only places more pressure on us in our 50’s and early 60’s to save aggressively.
I do not coach financial planning, but this is one area that we all should take a moment to consider if we have a plan and not wait or procrastinate. Too often people gamble to recoup dollars lost or let their emotions take hold of their investment decisions. One fact is that we should take stock of our current saving strategies and most likely increase it. Those that live in beautiful California know that it is very expensive and taxes are due to increase. Our future quality of life will depend on us planning now.