by Jaynee Sasso
The financial pressures of today place an even greater burden on our seniors as they are the least likely to have the time, energy and resources to fully recover from an economic meltdown. For many, the idea that our “Golden Years” will be filled with freedom from the financial constraints of our past seems to be a distant dream. Many seniors are facing the brutal effects of rising healthcare costs, depletion of their retirement nest eggs, sometimes even homelessness and what appears to be an irreversible state of poverty for the remainder of their lives. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 41 percent of America’s lowest income earners will run short of money ten years into retirement and 29 percent of the next-to-highest income earners will run short within 20 years.
We can no longer afford to proceed with our financial lives as usual. Many of the seniors that I have counseled over the years never expected to be rich in their latter years, but they surely didn’t expect to be challenged by providing for their most basic needs. Often they are hesitant to ask for help from their adult children because their children are making desperate attempts to overcome their own financial struggles and stave off experiencing the fate of their parents. However, families must band together to successfully overcome the challenges that lie ahead. Deciding to put the wellbeing of the family first and learning to work together is the remedy for this hour.
It’s time to sit down together and answer the question, “How are we prepared to work together to ensure our future success?” The mindset that “Things will somehow just work out” is not an acceptable attitude as we see the suffering endured by so many seniors and the legacy of poverty they leave behind. This depletion of resources means that there is less available for future generations to build upon, which may mean we can expect to see a new wave of people adding to the population of the working poor. The concept of personal money management is in danger of becoming focused on how to meet your most basic needs and no longer about the building of wealth. Yet building wealth is crucial in breaking the cycle of poverty.
Your whole family can take the following steps:
• Commit to wise financial choices today in order to improve your family’s financial
• Start saving in preparation for your future.
• Help your ageing loved ones preserve assets for the benefit of the next generation.
• Create a family plan that works to the benefit of everyone. Consult a financial advisor if possible.