Retirement Planning for Baby Boomers

Many of our parents and grandparents had the security of knowing that when they hit their pre-determined retirement age they’d be handed a commemorative gift, feted with a cake, and comforted with a lifetime of retirement checks.

For most of us today, that’s not the case. People are living longer and working longer, and most companies have abandoned corporate retirement accounts, turning control — and responsibility — over retirement funds to each individual.

Baby boomers are now facing very high stakes. In years past financial experts created retirement plans that ended at age 85; today they’re looking ahead to 90 or 95 years. At 65, the average life expectancy in this country is another 12.4 years for women and 10.3 years for men.

CPE Link instructor Anthony J. Rocca points out that practitioners need a solid understanding of the vast estate and financial planning issues affecting the baby boomer generation, including the mistakes this group often makes.

For example, while many of us fully expect to work well into the traditional retirement years, that kind of thinking can be a pitfall because it can keep baby boomers from making the planning choices they should. In addition, health factors need to be taken into consideration. We may feel like we can conquer the world at age 50, but unexpected health problems, overwork, lack of sleep — any number of factors — can change all that a decade later.

Long-term care costs can also wipe out a lifetime of savings. My parents, for example, lived frugally and saved with the zeal of people who were young and impressionable during the Great Depression. They paid off their home and had what seemed like a comfortable amount in savings, but before the end of their lives it had all been spent on assisted and long-term care.

Added to all the uncertainty is the volatility of domestic and foreign stock markets and ever-changing federal tax and health-care laws.

Rocca teaches in his upcoming webinar how practitioners should determine each individual’s needs, what the risk management issues are, the factors affecting estate and financial planning, and the changing workplace.

This blog

by Sue Anderson - Based on 30 years of experience in continuing education for accountants. Currently program director for online CPE provider, CPE Link. Formerly with the California CPA Education Foundation managing key operational areas including marketing, program development, and distance learning.

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