It’s that time of the year again. The Halloween fright fest has begun. Ghosts, witches, goblins and all sorts of spooky things go BOO! in the middle of the night. But maybe the scariest thing to keep us awake is the latest report from World News on the financial status of people over fifty. A very bleak picture has been painted for those of us that are nearing the time of life that used to be thought of as the “comfort years”. The recession has been especially cruel to those people fifty-five and older. Retirement used to be something we looked forward to in the future, but sadly, retiring at age sixty-five may be a thing of the past. The unemployment rate for the over fifty has doubled since 2007. On average it takes a person sixty-five or older 31 weeks to find a job, compared to 11 weeks in 2007. An AARP survey finds that 25% of those fifty and older have exhausted all of their savings. This includes people who are still working. For this age group there is less time to recover, especially considering the value that has been lost in housing and investments.
Seniors are looking at increased medical costs and decreased opportunities in the years to come. They are resorting to not buying new clothes or new glasses when needed. They are skipping doses of prescribed medications or not taking the medications at all in order to save money. Some seniors are even skipping meals to make ends meet.
My husband and I are very lucky to have parents on both sides of our families that are ninety years or older. Our friends also have parents in their nineties. But in all cases the money is running out. The economic picture for seniors can make you feel a little sick.
So, as baby boomers, what is our plan? Is now the time to turn that hobby into a business, or write that book that has been in your head for years? In future blogs I will take a look at how some baby boomers are preparing for their futures. Some plan on working as long as they can, some simply want to retire. But many want something new in the future. We’ll look at what baby boomers are doing for their “second acts”.