Our fathers and in some cases our grandfathers retired with gold watches and pensions that would see them through to the end of their lives. We were raised to believe that this would be the case for us as well; but recessions, stock market crashes and, oddly enough, improvements in health care have landed the baby boomer generation in a much more uncertain retirement scenario.
“Will the money last long enough” is the number one question that comes up in our Facebook forum every week. But, it seems to me that a great number of people are also complacent about their situation. They realize that they will live longer, but they seem to assume that because they are over sixty that they cannot earn money because no one will hire them.
Now is not the time to cower at the kitchen table with your head in the sand. Now is the time to dig deep inside yourself and find a way to supplement your income that does not depend on you landing a job working for someone else doing the same thing that you always did.
Now is the time to ask yourself what else you can do.
It does not need to be full time or terribly fancy. My grandfather for example made Christmas ornaments for years and sold them at the local pharmacy. There are all sorts of possibilities – babysitting, driving others to appointments, baking, and gardening (if your knees are up to it).
- How much money would I actually need to make in a month to make a difference in my circumstances?
- How much longer would my current savings last if I was able to decrease the amount that I withdraw each month?
- What could I start doing tomorrow to make money with what I have around the house?
- What service can I provide to the people who live within walking distance of my house?
- How can I let everyone know that I am available to do odd jobs?
- What part of the job that I used to do could I do from home to earn extra money?
I realize that this is not where you expected to be at this point in your life, but the game has changed. You are younger, stronger and better educated than your ancestors were.
Don’t think of yourself as retired – think of yourself as ready to do something new and you will.