One of the scarier phrases in today’s vocabulary is “outliving income.”
The term is popping up with increasing frequency in surveys, marketing materials and advertising campaigns of financial services providers.
But whether it is actually being understood by most people is unclear. Or, perhaps, people understand it but just don’t feel it.
In this week’s Advising Boomers section, this lack of urgency surfaces in each story but is particularly apparent in the collection of ‘boomerisms’ financial advisors told Linda Koco they hear from their clients. And, these are boomers who are savvy enough to have financial advisors.
If you prefer numbers to anecdote, turn to Trevor Thomas’ story detailing the results of a survey completed by Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.
Among the survey details are findings that half of boomers aged 50 to 59 agree they don’t know how much they need to save for retirement, and 60% agree to some extent that they need to be saving more but are not.
Why boomers fail to bridge comprehension with a gut understanding of the risk they could face is anyone’s guess. Maybe it is too far away or just too far removed from the dream retirement that boomers see on commercials pitching retirement products. You know the ones I’m talking about. The boomer couple lounging on the deck of their beach house in the glow of a late afternoon sun.
Or, perhaps having grown up in a time of unprecedented plenty, boomers cannot picture themselves ever being in need or living on the edge.
Or, maybe the concept of self-sufficiency has somewhere, somehow been lost. I’m not suggesting a weakening of Social Security, but rather cutting back on one or two little luxuries a week, to tuck something away, is an idea that boomers may want to consider.
If boomers aren’t feeling urgency, it might be worth listening to an older relative or friend.