The Golden Years?
I was reading a rather depressing article on what is happening to baby boomers as they enter their retirement years. The article put forth some rather sobering facts about those of us who are boomers – that is, born between 1946 and 1964. For starters, more than 10,000 of us are turning 62 each day! And age 62 seems to be the average age for boomers to retire. While the numbers seem absolutely staggering, the money that the average boomer has isn’t nearly as impressive. Statistics show that more than 15% (6.1 million people) over the age of 65 live in poverty and almost 50% live on incomes less that twice the poverty level – they are referred to as the “near poor.”
Industries are popping up all over to address this problem. “Granny houses” – homes that are small and can be placed in the backyards of other homes – are becoming the wave of the future as parents decide to move in with their children. The next generation isn’t doing so well, either. Among people 55 and older, 60% have saved less than $100,000 for their retirement and 24% have saved less than $1,000! All this in a world where financial analysts indicate that you will need 11 times your final compensation to meet your needs during your retirement years.
That’s probably why so many people depend on social security to fix their retirement savings shortfall. Yet even then, social security only pays about $1290 per month on average – far less that most people need to live on as they age. And another thing – the average person will incur more than $220,000 in out of pocket health care costs during their retirement years. And fully 23% of people are depending on the equity in their homes to get them through their retirement years. But then, where will they live – “granny houses”? Only 15% of people will depend on the stock market for income as they age. It’s difficult to see how people will be able to provide for themselves in their golden years.
All in all, boomers haven’t really done a very good job providing for their non-working years Undoubtedly, that will put quite a strain on the economy as more than 20% of the entire US population will be age 62 or older by 2030. What are we to do? In a word, pray…
While this may sound like a somewhat irresponsible way to deal with things, God gives us hope that He will be there for us. And He knows what our needs are – notice that God doesn’t necessarily provide for what our wants are… The verse for this evening is Matt. 6:26, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
In other words, won’t God find a way to provide for people – people who are created in the image of God? I guess we will all find out soon enough… My encouragement this evening is to remind you that God helps those who helps themselves. God doesn’t expect us to sit back and expect Him to do all the heavy lifting. No – He expects us to do our part to become successful and provide for ourselves. My prayer is that you will see the wisdom in putting money away for the future. It is amazing how money multiplies when you are diligent in putting away funds for your golden years. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…