Older adults have specific fears that tend to bother them more than others. A recent study by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that baby boomers are specifically afraid of outliving their money and feeling isolated in their later years. These days, it's more important than ever to be proactive about retirement planning and staying social as we age. Check out these tips for overcoming your biggest fears! Luckily, there are steps you can take to ease these fears. In this post, we'll discuss some of the top fears of baby boomers and offer tips on how to overcome them. Stay tuned! Make sure you join the "Stay in the Know" list to be sure you know when we share the rest of the fears!
As baby boomers we are heading into our so called “Golden Years” Sometimes they don’t feel so golden. We are going to take a look at the top 10 fears that we as baby boomers thinks about as we age. This post will address fears one and two.
According to the article from Motley Fool there are 77 million baby boomers in the United States. According to AARP 10,000 baby boomers are retiring every day.
Fear Number One: Isolation
For years we talk about how awesome it will be to finally get to retire. We talk about all the things we are going to do, and all the time we will have to get to the things we have been putting off forever.
The day finally comes, and we retire. We get a party and all the trimmings. The first few months are great. No alarm clocks, no schedules. The time is ours. It feels great.
One day we wake up and it doesn’t feel so great anymore. This doesn’t happen to all of us but for many we begin to feel isolated, alone and feel like we have lost our purpose. We miss interacting with people. According to a Federal Reserve study almost 1/3 of retirees reverse their retirement and go back to work full or part-time. There are many reasons why people return to work after retirement. The same Federal Reserve study showed that economic class played a part, but the results may surprise you. 1/3 of retirees return to work from a lower income bracket. The other 30% of the retirees going back to work are from an upper income bracket. 65% of people going back to work are going back for other reasons than money. Money does come into the struggles but that is a fear we will tackle a little bit later.
For this fear we are going to talk about those that go back to work to feel they are once more productive. As a nurse, we had to take psychology classes and learn human growth and development. There are certain emotional or “psycho-social” and cognitive milestones we go through from birth to death. Not just physical growth and development.
The milestone for aging or “mature” adults begins in the mid-60s called “Late Adulthood” This term is scary in itself because the name itself means you are coming to the end of the road. Our milestone is Integrity vs. Despair. We are at the age when we may start losing some of our friends and family and our “inner circle” is becoming smaller. Those we love and trust the most for years are suddenly leaving us. This can lead to the “despair” part and if you don’t have a purpose outside of those relationships you may feel isolated and alone and without purpose.
It is so important to have something to give you purpose and meaning once you retire. Again, referring to the Motley Fool article 65% of baby boomers plan to work past the age of 65. I am one of those. I plan on retiring from my job at the hospital at the age of 65 but I am nowhere near ready to retire. The article goes on to share some insight that 45% of baby boomers consider themselves to be entrepreneurial. In fact, this post shares that baby boomers are twice as likely then millennials to start their own business.
Many baby boomers are taking their knowledge and experience and turning them into their own business. This time around however, things are on our terms. We work when we want, set our own schedule, make time for the things we want to do and feel much more productive without punching the time clock and having to ask for time off! I for one am a raving fan of this kind of retirement! Work from anywhere type of work! After 40 years of being a nurse I have lots of knowledge I can share and still help other which is always been my passion.
Fear Number Two: Outliving our Money
This is a natural lead in from fear number one. With advancements and increased healthcare technology, we are living longer. I hope one reason is that we are taking better care of ourselves too! Outliving our money is another valid fear. According to a Transamerica study 45% of baby boomers have this fear.
I found this free retirement calculator where you did not have to give up your email address only to get sales emails. No strings attached to this one! https://www.calculator.net/retirement-calculator.html You can get a dollar amount to have in retirement based on your current lifestyle. We tried it ourselves and found it to be a great tool.
It might be time to get a financial check-up before you retire or now if you have already begun to collect social security. How much money will you need to retire and maintain your current lifestyle? Plan and budget. Being away and prepared is much better than just running out. We want to be proactive. What are all your sources of income? Do you have a pension of any kind? What will your fixed income be? What do you have saved already? Can your financial plan be tweaked a bit to be better prepared?
Another fear of outliving the money is what if I need long term care? Long term care insurance is available, but it can be expensive, and the policies are all very different. Please make sure you know all the fine details when choosing this form of insurance. What percent of nursing expenses does the policy cover? Does the policy cover any type of care in the home? If so, how much and what type exactly of care is allowed to be covered under the policy. Can family members perform any of the care and be covered?
Check with your financial planner to see what changes can be made to protect you longer. Look at all your insurance policies for example is there a cash value? Reverse mortgages can be an option but please get expert advice before taking any action. Everyone has different circumstances, and no two people are alike so let the professionals provide the advice. One more tip, make sure you are discussing the money situation with your spouse or partner, so everyone is on board and there are no secrets to surprise anyone later!
One thing you can do ahead of time is to plan out your retirement budget. Again, offers no surprises. To start this process, it’s best to sit down and discuss what your retirement is going to look like. What is important to you? Do you plan to travel, buy an RV, or take month long vacations? Maybe you want to be a snowbird and have a second home or a vacation home. What expenses do you have now that can be trimmed?
Are there things you will not need going forward? Do a deep dive into all your subscriptions. How much money is coming out of your bank account every month automatically that you just haven’t gotten around to cancel? Now is the time! Create a budget for your retirement. What will that look like? This will also help you to make decisions going forward. If your fixed income doesn’t allow for that weeks’ vacation every 3 months, what can you do if this is important to you? Would a part-time job help? Remember to make sure you are aware of how much income you can make without effecting your monthly social security income if you have retired before full-retirement age where you can continue to earn income regardless of your social security check.
Maybe a side hustle is in order. What skills, knowledge or expertise have you accumulated over the years? As we mentioned earlier this can be a win-win for both fears we talked about today. A side hustle that allows you to work from anywhere is very attractive to a retiree! This is my personal choice to make sure we have the income we need to continue the lifestyle we are accustomed to.
We want to travel and not be tied down. One thing we hate is having to pinch pennies when we travel. Of course, we are money conscious, but we want to be able to take in the whole experience. Our Alaska trip is a good example. We spent 2 weeks in Alaska and ended the trip with an inside passage cruise back to Vancouver. We planned the trip three years in advance and had a monthly budget to save for the trip. It was nice with the cruise line that planned the entire land and sea cruise tour allowed us to make payments ahead of time and even pay for our excursions upfront. By the time we left we had the entire 2-week vacation paid for and just had to bring incidental money for food and souvenirs. It was an amazing feeling to have our days filled with great adventures and not having to check bank balances or credit card balances during the trip! You just need to get disciplined enough to put the money aside. At times it was tempting to skip a month, but we didn’t. That was how bad we wanted to have the trip paid for.
While it's natural to feel some fear as we age, it's important to remember that there are ways to ease those fears. Older adults have specific fears that tend to bother them more than others, but by being proactive about retirement planning and staying social, you can overcome these challenges. If you're interested in learning more about how to stay connected and informed as you age, consider joining our "Stay in Touch" list. We'll keep you updated on the latest news and resources related to aging well! We hope this information provides peace of mind and helps you live a fuller life as you age.
Thanks for stopping by and spending some time with us. Have you dealt with any of the fears on this list? How did you overcome them? Let us know in the comments below to share your wisdom with our community.
Take care and see you back here soon. Join us next week for fears 3 and 4. Make sure to join our "stay in the know list" today we would love to have you a part of our baby booming community!
Cabin Creek Wellness
Pam is an R.N. Entrepreneur with a passion for helping others. The mission of Cabin Creek Wellness is to support baby boomers like us to live a healthy and prosperous life and truly enjoy our Golden Years! We work hard to bring you the education and tools to do just that!