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Did you plan on retiring early to live in paradise?

How’s that working out?

Do you plan on retiring at seventy and living in Section 8 housing?

Keep reading.

Portland Baby Boomers come in many varieties, as many as you’d expect from seventy-nine million people born between 1946 and 1964.

A twenty year old in 1966 is a different person than a twenty year old in 1984, buts that’s the baby boomer retirement span and it’s first come, first serve.

Who are the first in line? What can they expect?

In spite of the mythology, boomers didn’t all eat the macro-biotic food, drink the Kool-Aid, or follow The Dead.

They didn’t all burn their draft cards, their bras, or leafy greens.

But they all plan on retiring. Is planning enough?


Young people don’t have the money to retire and pursue their dreams, but they have the health.

Older people have the money and time to take a flyer, but often not the health.

It may not seem fair, but consider the steel worker who retires to the country. If they spent their working life making steel they’ve been filtering gasses and particulates through their body for thirty or forty years. They’ve been standing on cement floors. Their lungs and legs are shot.

If their retirement dream is foreign travel, it’ll be hard getting around on bad wheels and an oxygen tank. You can do it, but the hassle takes some of the carefree feelings away.

The business executives retire to find themselves in charge of what’s for dinner? These are people who thrive on forecasting the future, brainstorming new concepts, and looking good all day long.

Pushing them out the door with a golden parachute is the same as throwing them overboard tied to a three ton anchor. Either way they’re going down and taking dreams of a happy retirement with them.

They may find solace in new hobbies, but remember, smoking Camel straights and knocking back Jack all day as a new hobby is not the sort of bitter hobbyist anyone wants to be around.

Breaking down retirement to dollar and cents is key, and an industry full of financial planners will help, but is that the most important thing to you?


Start planning on relationships and the people you want around on a regular basis. Remember, you can’t buy friends and you must pay caregivers. warns about 12 Terrifying Retirement Facts Keeping Boomers – And Their Advisors – Up at Night, but what’s more terrifying, losing your money, or you ability to adapt to losing your money.

You won’t be the first to go broke, or the first to breakdown when you find out, so why not be a leader in finding better solutions to those problems? There’s a big need there. reminds baby boomers they are the Sandwich Generation lodged between elderly parents and children needing their help.

What kind of sandwich will you be, the club sandwich with the diversified filling, the grilled cheese with the single addition, or the wish sandwich of two pieces of bread and you wish you had something in there? explains 7 Ways Baby Boomers Are Redefining Retirement so well that a google search shows the story reposted on pages after page.

It also reinforces the idea above about relationships with, “The biggest draw affecting relocation? The kids. If you want to find out where a boomer couple will be moving to, find out where their oldest daughter lives. It’s the pull of the grandkids.”

Take a good look at your friends and family, at the rain and snow, at the heat and humidity, and the time you’ve spent with them all. That’s the sort of investment that pays dividends you won’t find anywhere else.

That’s who you are and retirement doesn’t change it.

















About David Gillaspie
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