From The Book: (Excerpted from the fourteen page chapter)
"JUST DON'T GET TOO ANXIOUS! Most people have forty to forty-five years to think about retirement, so what's
the hurry? There is no need to complicate the next—make that—the last, thirty or forty years of your life, with a quick emotional decision. A decision
made, in what you hope, are the final five or ten years of your normal working lifespan. You may well be on your way to a retirement which lasts longer than your
working years! Impossible? No, for millions of American workers, believe it or not, it's already under way."
"You've thought about an early retirement? Think again. Or maybe you just look forward to retiring at a
"normal" retirement age. Who wouldn't? Seems reasonable, and that's the way it should be. However, keep in mind that even a well planned
retirement can present some headaches. Most Americans have not, will not, or cannot, properly prepare for a comfortable retirement.
That leads to—"Why" not?"
"So, "Why not?" Why do so many people delay thinking about and preparing for a sensible
retirement, especially with a sound "retirement plan?" It's not just a transition, from working one day, to "turning in the keys" the
next day. Planning for retirement means preparing and following a road map, or a blueprint, or a guideline, or whatever you choose to call it. But, please
just do "it"—call "it" anything you want—and follow the plan. Maybe some parts of the plan are more intent on "how to enjoy the good life" or "how to
spend the Golden years." And that's okay, as long as the plan includes how to finance the enjoyable parts of the plan.'
'But, the plan also has to include how to prepare for the unexpected—or what we should be calling the expected.
The "expected" includes changes in lifestyle and changes in health. Those changes are imminent, and every retiree should know about—and expect—health and lifestyle changes
. With the exception of a quick death, these two factors are going to have an impact on the retired person, and their plans—count on it. So, part of
retirement preparation boils down to preparing financially for the "expected" changes in lifestyle and health.'
"We have two demographic problems—extended longevity and population shifts.
We can do nothing about the first scenario—extended longevity— the wheels are locked in, and the final approach is underway. In the past, we simply referred to the word "longevity."
Not anymore. We now have "extended longevity." It's here to stay.
The second demographic problem is that America's senior citizens have found a new way of life in the Sun Belt. However, while the living is easier, the cost of living
is no easier."
"Look at some of the problems this way. The oldest boomers turn 60 in 2005, which means that retirement is beginning to be a more than distant thought.
Expect a totally different approach to retirement as 78 million of your friends and neighbors retire right along side you—they (and you) will redefine
retirement in America. Now, think about this. Who will be the best prepared to cope with the expected surprises of retirement -- the prepared or the