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Baby Boomers In The Land Of Oz

As more Boomers reach retirement age every day, they are realizing that they're "not in Kansas anymore." When Dorothy awoke in a place totally unlike where she had left, she realized that there were big changes ahead. The same can be said for the Boomers: as much as they seem to think that they have everything under control and things won't change as they age and retire, the fact is that there are huge changes afoot. They are about to enter a new paradigm in their life, unlike anything they have seen before. If you are in the age category of the Boomers, born between 1936 and 1954, as am I, I'm sure you are beginning to see differences in yourself and lifestyle. Stiff backs, CRS Syndrome (look it up!) and multiples of pills daily are just the start. As we dig deeper aside from healthcare, we have to look at housing and lifestyle- a subject most Boomers have stubbornly ignored.

By now, most of us fall into two categories: the first of those who have decided to downsize and start again, usually in another lesser expensive and temperate climate location. The other category are those who look at their garage, closet and basements, shudder at the thought of cleaning it all out, close the door and refuse to consider a change may be at hand whether you like it or not. Well my friends, I have a newsflash for you : ignoring the situation isn't going to solve anything... you're still getting to get older, take more pills, and suddenly find yourself in a living situation above your head. I don't have to tell you what it takes to keep you house in shape and running- I also don't have to tell you that it seems to get harder and harder each year. You plant les (if any) flower, you cringe at the thought of replacing a roof or furnace because of the huge cost, and the house slips into a state of disrepair before your eyes. You don't seem to see it though, since after decades of being there, you just don't see it. But my friends, trust me- you've got a ticking time bomb on your hands. The big questions is- what are the alternatives? I agree- living with the kids is not a viable choice: but you don't want to move away from them. So... what's an aging Boomer to do?

Boomers are a different breed of people than ever before: at our parent's ages, we're just getting started. They just planned to settle down in a retirement community- we're running triathlons and building and racing hot-rods. Clearly, we are a different generation entirely: the problem is there are rough seas coming. Denial of sorts is looming on the horizon- and many Boomers are blind to what's coming. The fact is, as busy and active as are, at some time we will be forced to slow down, and most Boomers aren't preparing for it- they are turning a blind eye to the inevitable. The human body can only run for so long before it starts to break down, and it takes preparation to move to this new stage, but most are turning a blind eye. Well, I have a newsflash for you my friends- it's time to open your eyes and start planning.

As we age, we go through stages: the active stage where we still do the things we use to in spite of our limiting abilities, slowing down as mobility limits our abilities to do that which we did before, and the custodial state- where we just may need to (gasp!) ask for assistance. According to Federal Reserve Data in a 2013study, the typical household net worth for a Boomer family was $143,000- hardly enough to retire on.

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