April is designated as National Financial Literacy Month. It seems that so much financial education is pointed at young adults who are starting their lives. The fact is that we Baby Boomers are pretty good at earning money, but many of us know very little about what to do with what we’ve saved, or if we have saved enough for the new longer life we are living. Let’s face it, some of the products are really hard to understand and the idea of learning is kind of boring. (It’s math and we’ve never liked math!) Because we feel embarrassed by what we don’t know, we procrastinate focusing on our finances.
Understanding the concepts of planning for our financial future, what impacts our finances, and getting a plan in place is just smart. When we feel in control we can relax and focus on living! Financial guru, Suze Orman, once said something profound about the way we approach our financial lives. Take a moment to reflect on your first “money memory.” Those memories have a lasting effect on the way we handle our money, approach risk, and plan.
Consider the guy whose parents rented homes his entire childhood and grew up to own many homes and plans to retire with a primary residence and a vacation home. Or the woman whose depression-era parents were so frugal that she inherited a “saver mentality” and has put away 30% of income her entire life. Even as she approaches her retirement with a healthy retirement portfolio, she fears she will outlive her savings. We are carrying our emotional baggage into our thinking about retirement and we need a better way!
A recent PWC survey finds that over a third of our generation has less than $50,000 saved for retirement. Only 15% have saved over $500,000 – an amount that could create the retirement income to maintain a standard of living. Social Security replaces only about 40% of a worker’s income, with the average around $1360 per month; yet 43% of single people and 21% of couples rely on it for 90% or more of their expenses.
So what do we do? We’ll use this month to learn more – because when we know better, we can do better – and that is empowering! Knowing that no single solution is right for everyone, we’ll explore savings, home equity, what happens during a divorce, and the options we have for our retirement life. Let’s breakdown the confusing terminology, ask our experts, unpack our baggage, and create a new relationship with our money.
It going to be an amazing month, so fasten your seat belts and join us!
Wendi Burkhardt is the CEO of Silvernest, an online roommate-matching service for aging adults. A seasoned entrepreneur, Wendi also mentors and coaches social ventures.
You can learn more about homesharing at Silvernest.com– Silvernest boldly breaks the rules of aging so you can share your home on your own terms. We’re creating the next generation of roommates. A more modern kind. A well-matched kind. A kind that’s just your style. Because around here, the details are totally up to you.