“Retirement at sixty-five is ridiculous. When I was sixty-five I still had pimples.” - George F. Burns
In London, the Underground has signage that reminds commuters to Mind the Gap. This gap is the space between the rail car and platform and it’s a crevice that is big enough to swallow an ankle or baby stroller wheel. It’s mean and ugly and quite the divide.
There is another gap out there that figuratively represents the economic disparities among retiring baby boomers. The mainstream media writes a lot about the wealth of baby boomers and how their retirement will be about discovering true passions in life after work.
Kadlec had an article in this week’s Time magazine called Grandpa Goes To College. He writes, “A building frenzy is taking shape at colleges and universities across the U.S., much as it did 40 years ago, when baby boomers first began to swell class sizes. This time the schools aren’t adding desks.”
“They’re developing elaborate university-linked retirement villages. The goal is to lure back empty-nest alumni who want to live in a collegiate environment–auditing classes, picking up new skills for their postcareer career or giving something back as a mentor to young students.”
Interesting… but college at 19 or 69 still costs money. On one hand you have an entire group of baby boomers that have managed their wealth appropriately and their golden years will be all about freedom and new experiences.
On the other side of the gap are the millions of soon-to-be retiring Americans that are ill prepared for the years ahead. Jonathan Peterson had an article in the LA Times on Tuesday that cited recent findings and warns that the Golden Years May Not Shine.
He writes, “Many Americans are stumbling toward retirement with big misconceptions about how to prepare financially for old age and with inadequate saving for a time of intensified economic pressures on the elderly.”
“There is wide agreement among independent experts that the risks are real and that many of today’s workers face lower-than-expected living standards in retirement because of pension cutbacks, low savings level, early retirements and rising healthcare costs.”
Nobody chooses to be on the poor side of the gap. But you can choose to be on the rich side. It just takes a little income, discipline and time.