Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Should Baby Boomers Retire Already?

Baby boomers are defined as people born during the demographic post-WW II baby boom between the years 1946 and 1964.  As a group, they were the wealthiest, most active, and most physically fit generation up to that time.  They were a generation that received peak levels of income, so they could reap the benefits of abundant levels of food, apparel, retirement programs, and sometimes even "midlife crisis" products. 

Being a member of that group, it is time to think of retirement and all of its trappings. 
When I was 50, my requirement for retirement was a Dow of 20,000, and S&P of 2,000, an end to supporting various universities, winning the lottery, and finally controlling my chronic disease of fixed monthly expenses. 

Time has changed these criteria, but even with a 20% net reduction in the value of the dollar since the "crash" I '08-'09, the stock market has recovered significantly.  This has given more people a chance to consider retirement despite the fear of "running out of money".

Of course, this is all monetary.  The real substance of the issue is within the word retire.  How can I re-tire, when I an not even tired, yet?  Other than finances, then, a more important question is "what am I going to do with myself"?  This is a real issue for hard-working type A personalities who daily have a large number of people under their beck and call.  Another facet of this issue is the concept, long purposed in many corporation, of mandatory retirement.  Have many of us worked alongside a long-time partner who is "slowing down" and whose apparent clinical productivity is not what it use to be?  What should happen to him, if he loves practicing medicine, and wants to work into his 70's?

Start thinking about this, when you are 50.  If your life expectancy is 80 or 90, you probably will have at lease 20 years of retirement. 

Retirement does not mean intellectual, spiritual, and physical death.  It should be viewed as an opportunity.  After all, there are many youths out there that world love to have your job!!  Give the "kids a chance".

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