Is retiring a thing of the past? Work long and prosper (or at least be able to pay your bills)
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is clear in that one must cover the basics before moving on to areas such as self-awareness.
So, can you afford food? Do you have a safe place to live?
If the answer is no to these first two, please seek out family, friends, or a local charity to help get you back in a position of self-sufficiency and strength. Unfortunately the gap between the have and have not is growing just about as fast as the number of baby-boomers turning 65 each day.
A recent Volunteers of America report found that: “40% of survey respondents are worried about saving enough for their own retirement, but they are not clear on the true costs and there is a lack of excess income to put toward future goals.” http://www.voa.org/Media-Center/News-Releases/Volunteers-of-America-Releases-Report-on-Aging.html
According to another article, “Women find it significantly harder than men to achieve a comfortable retirement. They live longer, earn less, and typically lag in savings and financial awareness.” http://articles.boston.com/2011-05-07/business/29520810_1_retirement-baby-boomer-women-cindy-hounsell
In the coming years, unless we formulate stronger and more comprehensive community support measures today, the number of homeless baby boomers will rise dramatically. In addition, those baby boomers without health insurance will also rise, relying on local hospitals to provide emergent care on a more regular basis. Overall, the current systems are not in place to handle the influx of health care needs that poverty-level seniors will have. It is becoming more and more of a reality in today’s economy that for those who can work, retirement may not be an option.
One way to stave off expenses is to find a way to share costs among a group of individuals. Religious institutions are now pulling together their resources and needs and purchasing health services at more of a bulk rate that can shared amongst the masses.
In addition, it seems that large-scale lifestyle communities are coming back in fashion as these locations offer a way for seniors to pay a predictable amount each month while sharing expenses among several hundred people.
At a time when people would prefer to focus on self-actualization in their later years, challenges are ahead for many. Through community and coming together we will have to work towards a solution.