You’ve probably been hearing a lot about Baby Boomers lately. Not surprising considering this huge generation is reaching retirement age in a very different economic climate than their parents. In fact, 10,000 Boomers are turning 65 every day. Boomers, as a group, will be retiring with more debt than their parents, be it credit card, education, or a mortgage. On top of that, the cost of living has jumped significantly in the last few decades, with housing up 21% in the last three years alone, food up 26% in the last ten years. Medical costs even for those over 65 who qualify for Medicare have increased as well. What that means for retiring Boomers, as this is a population who has the potential, through lifestyle and advances in medicine, to live well into their eighties, nineties, and hundreds, is that they should go over the following checklist of financial goals.
For a lot of us working and saving and planning for retirement, how we will pay for our healthcare, is probably not at the top of our list. This may be in part because of Medicare. Medicare is a social program started in 1965 to insure the American population over the age of 65, who found it difficult to impossible to secure health insurance in their later years. In 1965 the life expectancy was 70 years old. Since then, people have started living a lot longer, and one of the main reasons for that is the use of medications, technology, and surgeries to prolong life and health. A longer life with more medical intervention also costs a lot more which is why Medicare is about 14% of the total federal budget and in 2018, ran up a $583 billion-dollar bill.
Retiring can come with some expensive surprises. To avoid getting hit with unexpected expenses when you retire, financial advisors suggest planning as far in advance. Even if you are just about to retire, there are a few tips that can save you a lot of money and headaches when you file your taxes. Since nearly half of retirees wish they had been better prepared for the jump in taxes in retirement. 1 in 4 says they paid thousands more than they anticipated, getting educated can be a real wallet saver. This is truer than ever for the upcoming retirees, as they are more likely to use tax-deferred options, like 401(k)s, as a main source of income.
Parenting is hard. From the moment you take that bundle home and try to figure out how to take care of it, you are in for it. A lifetime commitment of small steps that grow a tiny mewling baby up into an adult. We want the best for our children, we want them to be good people, to have great success, and to be happy. What we may not think about as much, when scheduling soccer, and tutors, and fishing crayons out of pockets in washing machines, is what financial values we are teaching our children. The truth is, whether you are having money talks with your kids or not, they are getting an education by watching you. Studies have shown that children may have already become set in their money behaviors by the age of 7![i] Since a 7-year-old is not doing a lot of accounting and bill paying, it makes one wonder what they have learned by then about money? Good or bad, those lessons have been coming from their parents. Every coffee through a drive thru, every comment about bills, every time you say no at the store. It’s been building a foundation that your child will carry with them. The best advice for any parent is to not think about financial education as a few conversations over a childhood, but rather a process where teachable moments are found everywhere and open talks about money are part of the household.
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