Baby Boomers Increasingly Anxious about Retirement

Category: General Retirement Issues

March 11 –  They’ve dreamed about it, and they have talked about it. Many have actually planned for it. But the one thing they have in common is this – just about everybody is worried about it. The “it” being retirement, which is drawing nearer and nearer for tens of millions of U.S. baby boomers.

Conversations on various discussion retirement forums on this site and at other baby boomer communities such as www.city-data.com reveal another side to the current retirement community diaspora that it is about to happen. That side of retirement and retirement communities is an anxious one, showing a depth of concern that is somewhat surprising.

The categories of concerns fit into fairly obvious categories: will I have enough money, where will I move, should I move, what I will do to keep busy, and issues concerning family and friends. Many thought they had everything figured out – then discovered their carefully laid plans didn’t work out the way they had intended. Some people are deeply pessimistic, while others, who clearly feel like they took the hard road of preparation vs. indulgence, tend to lecture their less fortunate brethren.

Below are some of the titles of posts (in bold) gleaned from various online discussion forums, followed in most cases by selected snippets (after each “-“) to give you a real world flavor for their concerns. Topretirements visitors are urged to get their retirement retirement worries off their chest in this site’s Forum. After all, we all know by now that talking about our problems is the first step in doing something about them!

Why are Americans in such bad shape financially?
– You haven’t seen Nothing yet! The retirees of the last 20 years will be the last ones to have an employee sponsored retirement. The next 30 years are going to be a “Bloodbath” unfortunately. And when SS runs dry it won’t be pretty.

– Hmm, let’s see…most people spend more than they earn and therefore can’t or don’t save much, raising a family is extremely expensive even when you live frugally and many are in denial – thinking they have lots and lots of time left to get it together, or like one points out, they believe someone or something will take care of them – it will all work out. Another reason: People underestimate how much money they will actually need once they are retired.

– Since most people haven’t saved enough for retirement, many of us fall into the category of not being fully prepared financially for our older years. This problem isn’t unique – actually the odd man/woman out here it is the prepared individual who has been planning and saving for retirement for years.

Women retiring alone to a new city or state
– I am very torn about where to go. I love the sunshine and dry weather — factors in my choices. I also want a social network, and am an east coaster, originally, and am wondering if I should reconsider the east coast because it seems more social. It will also just be my retirement income (it’s just me!), and so lower costs, rather than higher, are important.

Is Retirement going to become impossible?
– We considered commuting when we bought our house 5 blocks from my office and one mile from husbands. We are talking about retirement and have found an area with sidewalks to all shopping for five miles and most of what we need like food, coffee shop, drug store are within 3 blocks. This was a big deal for us.

– We don’t want to have to get in a car and drive to everything and most of the housing areas require that.

– I don’t care what anyone does; just don’t be a whining preachy hypocrite.

– At what point do you take responsibility for yourself and your future? It can be done, but if you don’t know how, then now is a real good time to find out and make the a plan

– I began investing in earnest in 1985. I was working full-time flipping burgers and attending college full-time, scraping what money we could to invest with. In 2001 I retired, took out some capital and bought a farm out in a forest. Today we are able to live largely off the remainder of our portfolio.

– If people chose not to see reality and take control of their own lives and are instead content to shop at the company store, then they must accept whatever The Company gives them.

Why do people feel the need to move when they retire?
– I cannot afford to stay in my own condo – too expensive once I no longer have a job. I moved a lot in my youth, and ended up in the Boston area about 30 years ago. I left NYS because I disliked it so much.

– It’s nice if you can stay where you want to stay, assuming you don’t want to move, but many people have to move for financial reasons because their income is going to become lower and fixed.

– I live in Orange County, CA, when I retire, I cannot afford to pay the house payment and the HOA, food, transportation and medical costs all at once! I didn’t mention clothing because I haven’t bought any in a long time.

– We will not be fully retired for at least 10 years, but we moved to the state that we will stay put in. I do miss my friends, a lot and we have not been successful in making friends as good as the ones we left behind. Food for thought.

– The town I am living in now offers the kind of activities I enjoy in retirement. I’m never bored.

– I look forward to finding some nice looking area with lots to do and lots of other grown-ups to meet. Lectures, classes, museums… I hope I don’t find my perfect retirement city too soon or I might want to quit and move right now!

– We have to move away from the family some, both kids live very close by with in a mile or two and that is wonderful but it is very costly too (for us). Once we move away they will have to fend for themselves and I’m hoping that they will finally get a handle on it.

– Retirement has always scared me. I did not have good role models for it. That’s why we support our parents financially. They were all self-employed too!!

– My prediction is that the USA will be segregated between ‘young’ and ‘old’. ‘Young’ will be families in high-tax areas who need good schools. ‘Old’ will be retirees who can’t afford the high taxes, even with local tax breaks.

– It is a shame that some places people lived and worked for many years are no longer affordable for them to retire in… If it is not housing costs, it is taxes and if it is not one of those the health care will get you or be unavailable. Such a shame families are being split up so much. Good luck

– We relocated after retirement because of expenses. Our kids are in California and our sibs, etc. are in NY. Some choice of places for us to live, huh? We just couldn’t make ends meet if we moved to either place. It’s nice here in Oregon and I don’t regret being here but when the holidays roll around and traveling is a hassle, I do wonder what the heck we’re doing up here.

Other topics of interest include:

I married you for life not for lunch

How close is too close (to your children)

When to start taking social security

Housing Bubble and Real Estate Prices

Working in retirement

Posted by Boomer1 on March 11th, 2008

1 Comment »

  1. I wrote my 8th grade “theme paper” on retirement, have planned all my life since I was 14, and I’m 7 working days away from retirement now at age 64. We still have the “mustering out money” ($800)from the USAF I received in 1965. Our kids live on different continents now but grew up all over Europe and the USA. That’s what airplanes are for. We like relative warm and dry climates with nice 4 season weather in an inexpensive area with low property taxes (or the ability to “work off” our property taxes like we can now) and lots of outdoor things to do. We have lived all over the world since we got out of high school and were married 42 years ago. We chose jobs that allowed us to look all over for a retirement place. I suggest a job where one is relocated many times to be able to look. We’ve moved 26 times thru 5 countries after I got out of the USAF and was married. Conclusion…plan ahead and suggest to children and grand children to do what we did.

    kmp

    by kmp — April 13, 2008

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