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How to Finance Aging at Home in the New Retirement

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The New Retirement

The Boomer generation’s retirement will be the most expensive in human history. Due to improvements in medical care and increased longevity, Boomers will enjoy a much longer retirement than previous generations. In the 1970s, for example, the average worker could look forward to less than ten years of retirement. Today retirees average twenty years of retirement, with some retirements lasting as many as thirty or even forty years. With these longer retirements have come sky-rocketing costs.

Increases in life expectancy and the resulting longer retirement periods have forced most companies to abandon employee pensions in favor of 401(k) plans. This effectively shifts the burden of funding a longer retirement onto the employee.

Americans pay the highest housing, medical, education, and government service rates in the world, and these costs are only increasing. As a result, retirees need to plan for living costs that may triple over the course of their retirement years.

What’s more, when middle-class retirees need care and government social program assistance, they often those find that government programs lacking. Despite rapidly escalating costs of living for all Americans, federal, state, and local government has yet to reckon with the health and social needs of middle-class Boomers. The result is a widening gap between real needs and available resources.

Look at your retirement savings: Will that balance support you with rising costs over a period of thirty years? Consider, too, that the estimated medical expenses for today’s retiree average $260,000.

If you are part of the Boomer generation, you recognize that society has given you the impossible task of managing the longest and most expensive retirement in history without providing you with adequate educational, social, or financial support systems. Even if you are able to hire a private financial advisor, you will quickly discover that the current industry model is not designed to help you age at home throughout retirement. As you age and draw down your balance, your financial advisor—who earns money as a percentage of your investments—must spend less time with you to keep their business profitable. Boomers have been left on their own to make difficult financial decisions.

This is the reality of the New Retirement.

Despite these challenges, you can retire well—but you’ll have to forget what you think you know about retirement. Stop listening to self-proclaimed experts who are selling to you, not informing you. Wall Street has focused its advertising on your investment assets and stock market performance because it’s easy and extremely profitable for them. But the truth is, you will not create a successful retirement by focusing solely on your 401(k) balance.

A successful retirement is not about investing; it is about managing costs and your retirement resources.

It’s increasingly clear that US society has moved back into a greed-based phase of capitalism, marked by rapid wealth accumulation for the few. This isn’t new. The last time we saw this level of wealth disparity, 10% of Americans owned 90% of the nation’s wealth. That means that 90% of Americans were left to survive on only 10% of the nation’s assets. The result was the Great Depression.

The self-interest that once drove our industries to dominate the world’s markets has turned to greed. Corporate leaders recognize that the opportunities for American businesses are shrinking as the world economy matures. Profit margins for these corporations shrink as foreign competitors bring their products to the marketplace with lower labor and production costs. To maintain their profits for wealthy investors, American corporations have turned to exploiting the American people. The exploding costs of government, driven by these corporate interests, have seriously threatened essential retirement benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

Our government and media create and perpetuate myths, misleading the public and dissuading citizens from demonstrating for change. Instead, we passively accept an unfair system in which politicians pass laws that favor corporate interests at the expense of the public welfare, in exchange for financial and political support from wealthy corporate patrons. How is it that Americans pay three times as much for medications than our Canadian neighbors? Politicians have created laws that favor pharmaceutical corporations while spreading the lie that medications in the US are purer and safer, thus justifying higher costs. In reality, the pills are manufactured by the same companies to the same purity standards; the only difference lies in American laws. Other countries simply do not allow the exploitative pricing that our citizens have been duped into believing is normal.

Greed-Proof Your Retirement

If you want to survive on your retirement savings, you’ll need to make some changes. It’s time to take back your power.

Change your mindset.

  • Recognize how corporate interests are used to manipulate the American public.
  • Manage retirement costs instead of concentrating solely on investing: It’s easier to save 3% than it is to increase your investment earnings by 3%.
  • Place the proper value of relationships and experiences rather than purchased items.
  • Become politically active by electing legislators who will protect Social Security and tax corporations and the wealthiest citizens fairly.
  • Avoid significant medical expenses by eating well, exercising, and limiting unhealthy habits to avoid the chronic illnesses that may bankrupt you.

Boomers have more challenges but greater opportunities.

Boomers have valuable assets and resources that their parents did not. Today’s retiree must leverage these assets to protect their 401(k) over the course of their retirement. By strategically integrating retirement assets—managing the use of each retirement asset so that it increases the value of the others—retirees can create a synergy that will carry them through their retirement years.

Recognize all five of your retirement assets.

Every retiree should have five significant retirement assets that, when converted, will allow them to age at home comfortably.

  • Valuable employment skills
  • Social Security retirement payments
  • Government assistance for seniors
  • Value in their home
  • Retirement investment accounts

Your home is your greatest and most important asset. Its value, if managed well, will assure your ability to age at home.

Women must lead the way.

This conversation is vitally important to women because they are the most vulnerable to poverty in the New Retirement.

  • Women live longer than men, so they are more likely to be single in the later stages of retirement.
  • Retired women typically have fewer assets and resources than retired men.
  • Because they live longer, women have greater need for medical care services.

Free—our exclusive method:
How to Finance Aging at Home in the New Retirement

* denotes required field


Designed for Massachusetts residents only.

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