(If you didn't see Soylent Green, Sol Roth chose a beautifully choreographed assisted suicide, which was encouraged by authorities in order to make room for the burgeoning population. The world was so nasty that this solution was welcomed by many older citizens. I'm confident we'll have a better future!)
Here's a better plan for Sol and the millions of boomers who are worried about their futures:
- Work until age 70. If you take care of your health, there's a good chance you'll live to 90, giving you 20 nonworking years to enjoy your retirement.
- Start your Social Security benefits at age 70. Waiting until then maximizes your lifetime income.
- Get serious about taking care of your health. Improve your diet, exercise, and stress management. And if you smoke, quit. These steps will help minimize your medical bills and ensure that you'll be healthy enough to work until age 70.
- Refinance your home with a 15-year mortgage. Take advantage of the fact that interest rates are now at an all-time low. This leaves you mortgage free by the time you retire. Note: If you already have a low interest rate, you might be better off just paying extra on your mortgage each month, so you'll be debt-free by 70.
- Start saving like crazy. For instance, if you save $10,000 per year for 15 years and earn 6% per year, you'll accumulate more than $230,000. This could generate an annual lifetime retirement income of between $10,000 and $15,000, depending on your drawdown strategy.
- Develop your support network. Get closer - geographically and emotionally -- to your children and other relatives. Make lots of friends. Your social support network will be invaluable in your later years for a number of really important reasons.
- Be open to creative housing options and other ways to reduce your living expenses. The "Golden Girls" solution might save you lots of money and could improve your social life.
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