Retirement ... A Senior Moment?
January 10, 2016
Forbes calls it the greatest retirement crisis in American history. Many who scrimped and saved and did everything they were told to do so they could enjoy their golden years are finding that dream tarnished.
Dwindling values on 401ks, real estate, a recession and tough times have shifted the goals from retirement to survival. Gallup surveys show that seniors are seeking employment in record numbers – not because they want to, but because they have to.
The New York Times notes that a record 7.2 million Americans age 65 and older are working – double the number from 15 years ago). They're doctors, lawyers, retail clerks, entrepreneurs and more. Some do well, others try to survive on minimum wage.
The National Council on Aging claims that 23 million Americans aged 60 and older are economically insecure — they live at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty level. They struggle with rising housing and medical bills, inadequate nutrition and diminished savings.
It all comes down to this: Many can't afford to save enough to retire comfortably. A survey by the think tank, Employee Benefit Research Institute, discovered that 57 percent of workers reported less than $25,000 in total savings (not including a home or a defined-benefit pension). Twenty eight percent of them had less than $1,000 in savings.
So they delay retirement – or for some who were retired – go back to work. The U.S. Bureau of Labor reports that 41 percent of men ages 65-69 and 34 percent of women are predicted to be in the work force in 2020 (up from 36 percent of men and 27 percent of women working in 2010).
The numbers are just as startling for ages 75-79, where 18 percent of men and 13 percent of women are expected to be working in 2020 (compared to 14 percent of men and 8 percent of women in 2010).
It's even more difficult when a wife or husband has to work – and leave their spouse home alone. While that may seem like nirvana to some who have been craving some alone time, it creates a whole new set of worries for the working spouse who has qualms about leaving their loved one home alone.
It's not easy to concentrate on tasks when you're worried about your spouse falling, getting ill or needing other assistance.
Many couples solve the problem by getting personal emergency response systems
. These easy-to-use systems can be rented or purchased and offers 24/7 state-of-the-art peace of mind.
A push of a button on a pendant, wrist-watch, or main console will connect their loved one with an experienced operator who can immediately contact family, friends, or 911 - and they'll stay on the line until help arrives.
There's nothing like peace of mind while you are minding "the store".