Why is there a pending "impoverished retirement income" epidemic among retiring boomers?
The following is a personal story that may shed some light on the answer to both questions.
Four months ago during a routine medical examination my physican and I were discussing my numbers and I asked him why there was a diabetes epidemic and he in turn asked me if I would like to learn why the epidemic in diabetes exists. I said I would like to know. I told him my father in law was in palliative care as a direct result of diabetes. He said that he would enroll me in a diabetes education session given by our hospital - 2 sessions for 3 hours each. That was in August 2009.
Within the first hour what I heard was a lifestyle changing explanation simply describing the reason we have an epidemic. It was lifestyle changing because I concluded that we cannot make a rational case for carrying 25 - 30 pounds of excess weight on our bodies. I decided to reduce the body's demand for glucose by removing the cells which in large measure create the demand.
4 months later here are the stats:
40 pounds lighter.
Blood glucose in the low end of the ideal range.
Cholesterol in the low end of the normal range.
Blood pressure in the low end of the ideal range.
The solution included:
Daily exercise - 2 miles
Disciplined daily focus on the #'s
What was lifestyle changing was my acute awareness of what causes diabetes - and what we can choose to do about it. It was a choice because I had no threat that was imminent.
Here is what I learned:
As we grow older the pancreas, the organ that provides insulin to carry glucose in our blood vessels to the cells in our body which require energy - slows down. It simply does not produce enough insulin to get the glucose to where it is needed. It accumulates in our blood vessels and one day our physician announces "You have diabetes!".
It happens over time because we eat as we always have without realizing that the insulin producing motor is not keeping up with its job. They call it a silent killer.
None of the above is new. But for whatever reason the public does not internalize the significance on our life and our lifestyle.
Here is what I did - immediately.
I lost weight based upon my own self imposed diet
I began doing a 2 mile lap daily.
I measured the results daily.
I feel energized and relaxed and grateful to my physician.
Here is the connection with the impoverisation of our retirement income.
We live our daily economic lives very much by habit. One economic habit is our minimal savings for retirement. We don't change our economic habits for the same reason we don't change our eating habits to avoid diabetes. There does not appear to be an imminent financial threat.
One day a financial physician announces that "Your 30 - 40 year lifestyle may be less than 'golden'".
The solution is identical - awareness.
The requirements are identical - disciplined and applied focus.
The professional source of guidance and expertse that is necessary is identical - client centric professional expertise - i.e. financial phyicians
That is what we do.
The problem in health be it physical or financial is identical.
We must be aware - it must matter - we must choose to act. It is our choice.
Our professional lives are devoted to making it happen.
We wish you success.