Everyone laughs when the conversation turns to money and someone says, “Well you can’t take it with you.”
Yeah, no kidding. There are no ATM’s in heaven or hell (if you believe in either).
But boomers have been encouraged for years now to SAVE, SAVE, SAVE. According to recent surveys, many boomers are not drawing down their assets. Quite the contrary, they continue to accumulate and grow their wealth.
What’s holding them back? High on the list is the fact that they can live off social security and other incomes sources without touching their savings. Don’t need to tap it so leave it alone. OK, so you don’t want to be extravagant but you “could live it up a little,” eh?
Why else would you hold back? Maybe you want to leave it behind for offspring. So that they can put it in the bank and not spend it either? Mmm? Better to give some of it away NOW to some of the charities and causes that you know can really use it.
Then there is the notion that you need to keep the nest egg for those “unforeseen costs.” Such as getting old and wearing out. That’s right, we’re all going to wind down and check out. You could just as easily therefore make the argument that you ought to enjoy your money while you can.
Probably the biggest worry of all for boomers is that they will run out of money. I get it. We’re living longer. Most of our parents enjoyed 10 or 15 years of retirement leisure and then it was lights out (sorry if that sounds a bit harsh, but that was life expectancy for their generation). We’re exercising and eating well so that we can enjoy 25 or 30 years of retirement. I’m not quite sure what we will do with all those extra years, but damn it, we’re going for it.
I’m not advocating profligacy necessarily but I hate to think we’re going to hold ourselves captive to the other “P” word – parsimony. Pinching pennies down to the finish line isn’t really living. It’s more like barely eking it out.
I’m not sure I really know what it means, but my mother (one of the all-time, unparalleled penny pinchers) once said what I think she meant as advice, “Ladies and gentlemen take my advice. Pull down your pants and slide on the ice.”
Jay Harrison is a writer and creative consultant for DesignConcept. His mystery novel, Head Above Water, is available on Amazon and Kindle. You can also visit his author page here.