Barron’s recently published an article about the impending “Baby Boomer Retirement Crisis.” Like clockwork, here’s another panic-inducing article from the media to increase the profits of Big Antacid.
The article’s premise is that the current generation of retirees is in danger of running out of money, even though they’ve earned more, inherited more, and enjoyed a higher standard of living than any previous generation. And yet seemingly millions of everyday Americans are in danger of subsisting on cat food, keeping their worldly possessions in a shopping cart with two good wheels (as opposed to the ones in the grocery stores that often have three good wheels), and living under a bridge. Okay, maybe I embellished the last part just a teeny bit?
The problem most Americans have is they are trying to do everything and have everything. Television, since its inception, has been a full-time Consumerism messaging machine. Spend, spend, spend. Live your best life now!
For the past decade, you’ve seen a 20-something waitress (and aspiring actress) living in California in a HUGE apartment while her friends across the hall -also with a HUGE apartment- buy comic books and Star Trek memorabilia while going to grad school for 12 years. In the 1990s, you watched a coffee shop waitress (and aspiring fashion designer) and a wannabe chef live together in a HUGE 2 bedroom apartment in New York City just across the hall from two friends –also with a HUGE apartment. One friend was a struggling actor, while one worked as a Transponster.
It’s hard to take a step back and recognize the struggles of some of the cherry-picked, hard-luck stories in this article that doesn’t represent all retirees. But there is no denying the overall lack of personal accountability and attention to detail while you’re being told not to sweat the small stuff. Many Americans seem to think, “I don’t need to worry about my spending. I can always cut back. I don’t need to save a lot now. Right now, I need a bigger house, a better car, and a flashy vacation I can post about on Facebook.”
Besides, investing is easy, right?
Only incredibly weak-minded simpletons hire financial planners. Smart people go online and do it themselves and do their own trading. Smart people have crypto wallets, and all their trades always make money because they sell at the very top of the market. And they also happen to know exactly when to get back into the market before it goes back up.
Of course, with ever-increasing demands at work and home, and extra time devoted to showing off for the neighbors, we have a lot of free time to manage our finances. There are apps for all those things. Yet how are people getting to traditional retirement ages of 62 or 65, or 70, and they don’t have enough money saved? They are distracted. Distracted by the messaging telling them it’s okay to ignore tomorrow and that they are chumps for hiring a financial advisor. In many cases, they’d rather be distracted than recognize their lifestyle is not sustainable. They live in a bubble where they never age, have a health crisis, or get downsized. And their parents and kids are financially independent.
Fortunately, there is help for these “finance deniers.” Candidly, the help advisors can provide works even better for the folks who realize they need more time and more knowledge of what to do and how to do it. Fortunately, there are local financial advisors all around the country who can help them face reality and deal with it head-on. They have the experience and the tools to help people serious about not crashing and burning their retirement. Financial advisors have seen the chaos and carnage of the unprepared. Financial Advisors understand how to talk with clients and develop a plan to minimize the drama. They also help you shut out the noise and false promises oozing from your television. Financial advisors are focused on you and getting you focused on you… not the Jones (or the Bings or the Hofstaders). Just turn off the TV, shut off the noise, and make a choice not to be a hard-luck story by getting your retirement plans in place.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.