From the October 2007 issue of Boomer Market Advisor • Subscribe!

The friendly skies

Not to take anything away from FPA, but the most valuable piece of information I received from their annual conference was on the plane ride out. I happened to sit next to an elderly gentleman who was heading to Seattle to see his new great-grandchild. Him being of the WW II generation, and me being a geek about demographics, I asked the poor guy questions for almost the entire flight (obviously, he had no iPod to tune me out). He retired from Boeing with a $130 a month pension that was not indexed to inflation. If not for smart real estate investments in the post-war housing boom, he felt he and his wife would now be destitute. Social Security helps, but if it was all he had, he wouldn't be able to afford the ticket price to Seattle to see his family.

I should also mention he retired after 30 years with the company -- in 1975. The math isn't difficult; 30 years with the company, 32 years in retirement. When Ken Dychtwald and other gerontologists say we could theoretically spend more time in retirement than in our working lives, well, it's no longer theoretical. That's why solid financial products, planning and strategies are so critical to boomers -- most of whom will now, officially, live to at least 78.

Which brings us to this month's issue. We're proud to announce the winners of this year's Readers' Choice Awards. Each was picked by you for their ability to address longevity and income issues boomers face, issues that will only become more common as life spans grow. In particular, new and creative living benefit and mutual fund products were singled out. So congratulations to the winners, and for the sake of my traveling companion (and all of us), keep doing what you're doing.

John Sullivan

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