My parents had it easy.
My dad spent his career working for the federal government; my mom was a schoolteacher. When they retired, both before 65, their government pensions were more than enough to live on comfortably. They had an ample income they couldn’t outlive.
For them, the money they’d saved was icing on the cake. Their home and cars were paid off, their property taxes were low, and their needs were few.
During their working lives, they weren’t forced to deal with big expenses that could have trashed their savings. The family’s health insurance was completely paid for, and there was no deductible. My out-of-state tuition at the University of Arizona was only $600 a semester!
Maybe that’s why my parents had savings they never touched. As for investing? No stock market for them; their savings were all invested in risk-free Treasury bills. There was no need to roll the dice. Back then Treasury bills were paying around 8 percent. The only investment management they had to do was to let them automatically renew every six months.
Since my dad was a veteran and served in the Air Force Reserves, they could travel to Europe free on government transport. When they weren’t overseas, they traveled the U.S. in a travel trailer pulled behind a pickup truck.
In short, like many of their generation, my parents enjoyed a simple, rewarding retirement. For them, “retirement planning” consisted of deciding where they’d spend the winter.
What a difference a generation makes.
I’m now reaching the same age my parents were when they retired, and life couldn’t look more different. I’m sure you can relate. (After all, that’s why you’re here right now, isn’t it?)
For the vast majority of those approaching retirement these days, there’s no pension. Free income for life is no longer a standard employee benefit. Instead it’s been replaced by the 401(k): a retirement plan that forces you to invest your own money, along with — if you’re lucky — a meager match from your employer. The day you retire, you’re on your own. And if the money you managed to save isn’t enough to last a lifetime? Well, that’s your problem, not your employer’s.
Of course, we still have Social Security, but for most, it’s not nearly enough to live on, much less fund a fun retirement.
Which leaves the third leg of your retirement stool; your personal savings. But putting money aside isn’t as simple now, is it? Life is more expensive.
Although my home is about the same size as my parents’, my property taxes are 10 times higher.
My wife and I pay $800 a month for health insurance, and that’s with a $6,000 deductible.
College tuition is 20 times what it was when I was in school.
And where do you put the savings you manage to keep? Interest rates on insured accounts have been paying nearly zero percent for the last decade. Which means that in order to survive in retirement, we’re forced to take risks with money we literally can’t afford to lose.
Put it all together, and this isn’t your parent’s retirement.
Not to worry.
Sure, the landscape is challenging, but it’s not impassable. With a little planning, you can still have the retirement of your dreams. Because while our parents may have lived a simpler retirement, we have knowledge, tools and options they didn’t.
Over the next several weeks, you’re going to learn everything you need to know about preparing for, paying for and thoroughly enjoying your retirement years. You’re going to get expert, personalized advice. You’ll have access to state-of-the-art tools. And when it’s all over, you’ll have an answer to the scariest of questions: “Will I have enough?”
In short, you’re about to replace fear and uncertainty with confidence and control.
This course was designed for those between the ages of 45 and 60: close enough to retirement to picture it, but far enough away to potentially influence the outcome.
Ready to get started? Let’s do it!