A few days ago I caught the tail end of a news item on TV that indicated that Americans have been paying down their personal debt at a significant rate. Makes sense. If your job could be at risk, you start to think more carefully about how you spend the money you do have. And you may think more about building up a store of reserves in case things get even worse. So paying off your credit cards and other debt lowers your risk and moves you in the direction of having your income freed up for savings as well as life’s needs. A good thing – and a responsible thing – in an uncertain economic environment, right? It is what banks have been doing with their money – stashing more cash and protecting it from risk.
For Baby Boomers it sounds a lot like how our parents managed their household finances in the 50’s. Perhaps a return to those strategies will result in a more stable economy in the long run and more security for today’s families. But what if you are retired or getting close to retirement? Making a shift like that does not allow enough time to recoup and it leaves many of us caught in the plan that was already constructed for us – based on the assumptions of expectations of growth, medical and retirement benefits, and structures we factored into our retirement plans. So we are reeling and wondering how to stay upright, let alone hoping to stay on our retirement trajectory.
For many of us our homes were a big part of our retirement plans, the homes that have recently dropped so much in value. Were you were planning on selling your home and moving to a retirement home either locally or in another city? Or maybe you were hoping to remodel and update your home for a more comfortable retirement in the place you love. You don’t have to abandon your plans, but to accomplish either scenario in today’s economy you probably will have to do some creative thinking and making some adjustments in your original plans. And you are likely to need a little help with that. A good real estate agent, financial planner, and elder attorney, who are thoroughly trained in the rules, regulations, and the current issues of 55+ Boomers, may be your best assets. They will be able to assure that your best interests and your protection are balanced with your goals. Make a call and start a conversation about how to move forward!