These 2 retirement concerns have Baby Boomers worried the most

Though many workers look forward to retirement and the opportunity to break free from the daily grind, it’s also a worrisome prospect, particularly from a financial perspective. But of all the various retirement concerns today’s older workers have, the two most pressing are future healthcare expenses and changes to Social Security that could reduce benefits, according to the Insured Retirement Institute.

If you’re worried about paying for medical care as a senior while losing some of the benefits you might one day come to rely on, you’re clearly not alone. But rather than succumb to those fears, you can learn how to mitigate them.

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Figure out your stable retirement income.

Take stock of any pension or Social Security income you expect to get during retirement. This stable income should form the basis of your budget, but probably won’t cover all of your expenses. This is your base retirement income that your savings and investments build upon.

Look at your other retirement income sources.

Determine what you can expect to draw down from your personal retirement investments. You may want to meet with an investment advisor to develop a withdrawal strategy. If you want or need to continue working in retirement, you can also include any part-time income you expect to receive for the first few years of retirement.

Make your retirement budget.

Figure out how much you plan to spend during retirement. This can help you get a handle on whether or not you actually have enough money to retire in the coming year.

One good exercise is to figure out the absolute minimum you need to get by. This means paying essential bills including health care expenses, clothing, food, transportation and other essentials. Then, determine your ideal retirement budget. If you could have the retirement you really want, how much money would that take? This lets you add in things like dining out, traveling and other luxuries.

At a minimum you should be able to cover your bare bones budget indefinitely. But it’s better to delay retirement until you can afford the lifestyle you want. Working an extra year or two might help you to finance a more enjoyable retirement.

Check into your investments.

As you approach retirement, it’s a smart time to double check your portfolio allocation. You should be shifting your money into lower risk, lower reward investment options, such as bonds. You can still take some risks, if you can stomach potential declines in your investment portfolio. Just be cognizant of how a downturn in the market could affect your retirement plans.

Figure out your health insurance.

If you are 65 or older you may qualify for Medicare, but you should also look at supplemental insurance policies you might need. If you don’t yet qualify for Medicare because you’re retiring early, be doubly sure you have enough cash flow to cover an individual health insurance policy.

Use your paid time off.

Check into your bank of vacation time or paid time off. You should definitely use this before you retire, unless you can translate those banked days into cash at the end of your working years. If you plan to look for a new place to live in retirement, that’s an especially good use of any banked time off you have available.

Make a plan for your time.

Figure out what you plan to do with your time during retirement. The transition from working every day to a life of leisure can be surprisingly emotional. The best way to fend off boredom and depression is to stay active physically, mentally and socially.

Take some time now to plan a retirement celebration, vacation or to find some volunteer opportunities you can step into as a retiree. This will help smooth the transition into your golden years.




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Preparing for senior medical costs

Without a crystal ball, it’s hard to predict how much you’ll spend on healthcare once you stop working. After all, just because you’re healthy today doesn’t mean you won’t encounter medical problems in the future. Still, if you’re looking for a reasonable estimate, HealthView Services, a cost-projection software provider, says that the typical 65-year-old man who lives an average lifespan will spend $189,687 in today’s dollars on medical care in retirement. The typical 65-year-old woman, meanwhile, will spend $214,565, since women tend to live longer.

Clearly, these aren’t small totals and they don’t even account for long-term care expenditures, which can be catastrophic. But knowing these numbers can help you establish a savings goal that adequately prepares you for what might lie ahead.

Furthermore, if you’re worried about long-term care, which, frankly, you should be, buying long-term care insurance in your 50s or 60s can help offset some of the risk you’d otherwise face. It’s estimated that 70% of seniors 65 and over will need some type of long-term care in their lifetime, and applying for insurance early will not only increase your likelihood of getting approved, but snagging a health-based discount on your premium costs.

Understanding what’s in store for Social Security

Despite the many rumors that abound, Social Security is by no means at risk of going broke. That simply can’t happen, since the program is funded heavily by payroll taxes. This means that as long as we have a workforce, there’ll be money coming in.

The program is, however, facing a serious shortfall that, if left unaddressed, could slash benefits by up to 23% as early as 2034. On the one hand, that could spell trouble for future recipients. On the other hand, lawmakers have plenty of time to intervene with a fix, so there’s no need to worry about your future benefits just yet.

That said, many seniors run into financial trouble in retirement because they go in expecting Social Security to cover all or the majority of their bills. It won’t do that. Those benefits, in a best-case scenario (meaning no future cuts), will cover about 40% of the typical worker’s pre-retirement income. Most folks, however, need more like 80% of their former earnings to pay their basic expenses, even if their lifestyles are relatively modest.

The solution? Save independently during your working years and look at Social Security for what it is: a means of supplementing an already solid stream of income.

Now the good news is that older workers get a huge opportunity to catch up on savings. Those 50 and over can put up to $24,500 a year into a 401(k) and $6,500 a year into an IRA. Max out the former for 10 years and you’ll pad your nest egg by $338,000, assuming your investments generate an average annual 7% return during that time.

Another option? Prepare to work part-time in retirement. This will not only give you an additional income stream, but the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you do have the option to generate cash when you need it. And as an added bonus, working in some capacity as a senior will give you something productive to do with your time, thus helping you avoid spending money on entertainment while simultaneously staving off depression and boredom.

Paying for medical care in retirement and facing cuts in Social Security benefits are two very valid concerns — but you don’t need to lose sleep over them. Save appropriately, and you’ll feel much better about the prospect of leaving the workforce for good.

 

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Museum offers look back on baby boomers

They helped put the bang into the baby boomers. A new exhibition will have Springfield talking about their generation.

“The Boomer List: Photographs by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders,” which opens this week at the Springfield Museum of Art’s McGregor Gallery, gathers portraits of 19 influential people, one each from 1946-64, each year of the boomer generation, in an interactive exhibit.

An opening reception will be 4-5:30 p.m. Sunday, April 22 at the museum.

» READ MORE: Springfield’s new Museum on High elevates the local art scene

In the traveling exhibit developed by the Newseum in collaboration with AARP, visitors will get a sense of the people who represent the boomers along with how that generation helped shape the culture we know today.

Celebrated photographer Greenfield-Sanders has captured boomers in several fields from performers to activists, industry leaders and other notable figures such as Billy Joel and Samuel L. Jackson, Erin Brockovich and Maria Shriver.

“It’s a different type of show,” museum curator Erin Shapiro said. “It uses portraiture to show how photography can be used in a creative way.”

Multisensory components will give visitors will make the visit an experience and enhance a greater sense of the project and the time.

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A station called “Scents That Defined a Generation” has three fragrant experiences including new baby smell (baby powder), the smell of the suburbs (fresh-cut grass) and hippie hallmark (incense).

A separate visual station will go behind the scenes of the portrait shoots and the project as a whole. Rounding things out is a video program with yet more insights.

Shapiro said technical elements are a different addition for the museum and it may incorporate similar features in future exhibits when possible.

In installing the exhibit, Shapiro found herself more informed on the era.

“It’s interesting to present this view,” she said. “It’s nostalgic for boomers, but younger people can learn more about the period.”

» READ MORE: A look back on notable names the greater Springfield community has lost recently

Admission to the reception is $5 for nonmuseum members and free for members. It will include complimentary refreshments and a cash bar and will be in conjunction with the opening of “Sharri Paula Phillips: Marvelous Journeys.”

“The Boomer List” will be on display through June 17. The exhibit will be available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 12:30-4:30 p.m. Sundays.

For more information, you can visit the Springfield Museum of Art website.



Many baby boomers are increasingly turning to houses of worship to find meaning as they age

April 20, 2018

Baby boomers are known for ushering in an era of protests that brought about transformative change in American society but today many are turning to religion to find meaning in their later years.

That’s according to the latest data collected from the Longitudinal Study of Generations, an ongoing project of the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles.

The research suggests many people are more engaged in religion and more involved in religious activities as they approach the end of life, said Vern Bengtson, research professor of social work at the USC Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging and the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work.

“One of the things we found in our study of baby boomers — particularly among the older boomers — was that many are now more likely to be churchgoers or engage in spiritual practices than they did in their middle years,” Bengtson said. “One in 5 of the 599 boomers in our study reported they had increased their religious or spiritual activities in recent years.”

Bengtson and his research team discovered three factors that may explain why some baby boomers become more religiously involved as they age.

Growing awareness

The first reason is the most practical. People simply have more time in their retirement years and are not preoccupied by full-time work.

The other reasons are more personal. An example is the growing sense of impermanence that comes with age.

“People become more aware of the shortness of years remaining in their life,” Bengtson said. “Many of them want to set their house in order, so to speak, at the end of life.”

The third reason is connected to this awareness. It is the direct experience of the fragility of life.

“Many people experience a health crisis that actually brings them closer to death,” Bengtson said. “It causes them to reassess what is truly important and what is much less important.” (TAB)

Australian millennials’ incomes have grown more than baby boomers and millennials in other countries

Life has changed significantly for young Australians over the last 40 years. Millennials now delay marriage and childbirth, increase their years of study and have much greater rates of part-time work.

As a result, millennials might be feeling a little hard done by, but Australians aged from 25 to 34 have actually enjoyed increases in their incomes compared to the population average. They have also done better than people the same age in other countries.




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These are some of the findings of a report from the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia: How unequal? Insights on inequality. It questions whether young people today are likely to do as well economically as previous generations.

Early millennials, born between 1981 and 1985, experienced household income growth 27% higher than the Australian average up to 2010, while households with a head aged 70 to 74 enjoyed growth only 2% higher than the national average.

Although incomes might be higher, the picture of household wealth is different. The wealth of older Australians has increased much more rapidly than that of younger generations, due to both increasing superannuation wealth and increasing property wealth.

Incomes are better for Gen Y in Australia

Work by the Luxembourg Income Study found that in the United Kingdom, households with a head aged 25 to 29 years saw income growth 2% less than the overall national average in the three decades up to 2010. They also found households with a head aged 65 years and over enjoyed income growth more than 60% higher than average.

In brief, in the UK older households became much better-off and younger households became slightly worse off than the population as a whole. Similarly young Americans experienced income growth 9% less than the national average, those in Spain 12% less and in Italy 19% less. In all these and other countries, older households have done better than the national average, although none as well as in the UK.

In contrast, younger Australians did better than the national average in income terms, and better than older Australians.

ABS data show that in 2016, Generation Y Australians had higher incomes between the ages of 25 to 34 than the preceding two generations – about 18% higher than those born a decade earlier. However, the real increase appears to have slowed compared to the previous decade, that cohort had incomes 65% higher than those a decade earlier (due to the mining boom).

Older Australians, born between 1941 and 1950 (including the first “baby boomers”), show an increase in average incomes between 1995-96 and 2005-06, and then a decline as they enter retirement. Middle baby boomers, born between 1951 and 1960, show a marked increase in real incomes between the age of 35-44 years and 45 to 54 years (from A$1,370 per week to A$2,200 per week). But they only experienced a very small increase in the next decade, because some of them retired before the age of 65.




Read more:
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Baby boomers born between 1961 and 1970 show substantially higher incomes than those born a decade earlier – more than 20% higher in real terms at the age of 45 to 54 years. Generation X born between 1971 and 1980 show large increases in real incomes – nearly 45% – across the last decade and are about 34% better off than the preceding cohort were at the same age.

What has happened to wealth

Households with people under 35 years of age were actually slightly worse off in wealth terms in 2015-16, than a decade earlier, with their net worth falling by around 8%, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data. But for those aged 65 and over, there were increases closer to 40% in real net worth.

The value of owner-occupied housing fell for Australia’s youngest age group, but older households enjoyed large increases in the value of their homes and large increases in the value of other property they own.

Overall, all age groups saw real increases in the value of their total assets, including the youngest age group. This means that falls in wealth are due to an increase in their debts.

ABS data also shows that at all ages there has been a fall in the share of outright home owners, and also in the share of the youngest age group with a mortgage. For younger age groups an increasing share are private renters. This was a significant increase from 43 to 53% for those aged 25 to 34 years and from 26 to 31% for those aged 35 to 44 years.

For those 65 years and over, there has been little change – around 85% of households aged 65 years and over were owners or purchasers in both 2005-06 and 2015-16.

Younger households have seen both declining rates of home purchasing and higher overall indebtedness. Rental costs have also increased faster than the costs of home ownership, and this may have increased the barriers that younger generations face in establishing themselves in home ownership.

But when it comes to incomes, millennials in Australia have continued to progress.

Baby boomers drinking more than young adults, teens

Experts on alcohol abuse have found one demographic group that’s drinking at an alarming rate. Not teenagers. Not college-age people. It’s baby boomers.

For reasons not well understood, teenage and college-age Americans today are consuming alcohol at lower rates than young people 10 years ago, according to the Monitoring the Future study at the University of Michigan.

The most widely discussed hypothesis is that young people have changed the way they organize their social lives today, said Katherine Keyes, a Columbia University professor of epidemiology who has tracked drinking trends.

That might make some sense at first glance, since teenagers a generation or two ago were more likely to meet in the parking lot behind the school gym and hope someone brought a cooler of beer. But Keyes notes that this downward trend started well before the advent of smartphones and social media. She points, instead, to cigarettes and the successful anti-smoking campaigns of recent decades. That may have had a cascading effect among young people. Cigarettes, Keyes said, are often the first thing teenagers experiment with, and can function as a “gateway drug” to alcohol. But smoking isn’t cool anymore, and teen smoking has dropped dramatically.Nationally, alcohol consumption presents a complicated picture. Overall, drinking is relatively flat, according to Aaron White, senior scientific adviser at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. But if young people aren’t drinking as much as they used to, that means some other cohort is drinking more heavily.

That’s where the boomers make their (tipsy?) entrance.

There are generational trends in alcohol consumption, and one that’s been known for half a century is that baby boomers tend to like alcohol more than the “silent generation” that preceded them.

As the silents move on to their reward, and as the boomers (the cohort of people born between 1946 and 1964) age, the boomers make up a greater portion of the 65-plus age bracket tracked by researchers who study alcohol consumption.

Downsizing Baby Boomers Help Goodwill Set Donation Record

Goodwill Industries of Northern New England says it took in a record number of donations in 2017 and is on track to do the same this year.

The non-profit says one factor behind the increase in donations is the region’s aging population. As baby boomers downsize, it seems a trip to the Goodwill is often in order.

Last year alone, Goodwill NNE says it diverted 60 million pounds of stuff from the waste stream.

Spokesperson Heather Steeves says even if those items aren’t sold in stores, they have lots of ways of keeping them out of a landfill.

“Oh, you’d be surprised. We have people who purchase things like DVD cases and will recycle the paper inside of it, we have buyers who will buy cords to electronic appliances just to get the metal out of them and recycle that plastic and metal.”

And 2018 is also the first year Goodwill NNE no longer offers plastic bags to customers.

65% of Baby Boomers Are Making a Huge Financial Mistake That Could Leave Them Broke — The Motley Fool

Each day, around 10,000 baby boomers in the United States hit their retirement age, according to The NHP Foundation. Unfortunately, many of them are woefully unprepared for retirement, lacking sufficient retirement savings or a retirement budget. 

While soon-to-be retirees could face lots of money issues, there’s one particular issue that has left the majority of retirees at risk of financial disaster: healthcare. When the NHP Foundation surveyed non-retired Americans ages 50 and over, they found 65% of boomers had no plan at all to handle unforeseen health-related expenses. 

Man in a lab coat and man with gray hair seated at a desk

Image Source: Getty Images

If you don’t have a plan for healthcare expenses, you’re setting yourself up for disaster 

Many pre-retirees think they don’t need to worry about healthcare because they anticipate care costs will be covered by Medicare.

But the reality is that Medicare makes seniors responsible for picking up a significant percentage of their cost of care. Seniors may face high deductibles, coinsurance costs, premiums, and coverage limitations.  

  • Medicare Part A, which provides hospital coverage, has a $1,340 deductible; seniors hospitalized for more than 60 days during the year must pay a daily coinsurance cost. 
  • Medicare Part B, which provides for routine care, has a 20% coinsurance cost.
  • Medicare Part D, which provides prescription drug coverage, has a coverage gap you fall into once you’ve exceeded $3,750 in covered drugs in 2018. 

There are also many services Medicare doesn’t cover, including hearing aids, long-term care, and dental care.

Because of coverage limitations, seniors must pay a portion of routine costs. In 2015, for example, The Commonwealth Fund found seniors with Medicare pay around 13% of healthcare expenditures out-of-pocket. This may seem fine if you have minor issues, but serious health problem are common, with 34% of current retirees responding to a Nationwide survey reporting health issues that interfere with retirement.

If you have a big problem, such as a stroke, could you afford 13% of $60,000 in treatment costs? What about $370,000 for care for you and a spouse? That’s the amount the Employee Benefit Research Institute estimated a senior couple with high prescription use would need during retirement. And that doesn’t even factor in long-term care, which could cost as much as $100,000 annually. 

How to make a plan to cover healthcare

The numbers above should have you convinced you need a plan to cover healthcare costs, but it can be hard to know where to start. 

First, if you’re eligible based on having a high-deductible health insurance plan, contribute to a health savings account (HSA). You can contribute up to $6,850 in 2018, if you have family coverage, and can leave the money invested

Contributions to an HSA are made with pre-tax funds and the money can grow and be withdrawn without owing taxes, as long as it’s used for qualifying health expenditures. If you contribute and invest when you’re as young as possible and leave HSA money alone until you’re a senior, you should have a generous nest egg to cover care.

If you’re already retired or nearing retirement, you may not have time to build up a big balance in your health savings account. If that’s the case, consider whether your other retirement savings provides enough money to cover care costs. If it doesn’t, you may need to work a little longer or look for a part-time gig in retirement to supplement your care expenditures or save for care down the road.

You can also look for ways to cut costs or find third-party sources of payment for the care you need. Purchasing a comprehensive Medigap policy is likely a good investment, and you should discuss with your doctor whether generic medications would work for you and ask for other suggestions your doctor may have for reducing costs.

Qualifying for Medicaid could also help you afford care costs by subsidizing Medicare premiums and paying for some services not covered by Medicare, such as routine nursing home care. While there are strict asset limits to obtain Medicaid, an attorney can help you to develop a plan that protects your wealth and still allows you to obtain coverage. 

You need a plan for healthcare

Whatever approach you decide to take, today’s the day to start making plans for how you’ll cover healthcare costs as a senior. Your chances of a serious health issue go up dramatically as you age, and you don’t want to be left unprepared, without the cash to cover you when you need care the most. 

 

Many Baby Boomer and Gen-X renters say they will never own a home

(Above) Vintage walk-up apartments in Old Town.

15-Apr-18 – The American Dream of homeownership is fading among Millennials and older generations.

Apparently, an increasing number of people in the Baby Boomer and Generation X age groups prefer renting and do not anticipate buying a home, according to new research by Freddie Mac.

Profile of Today’s Renter, a survey by Freddie Mac Multifamily, found that growing segments of the population – Baby Boomers and Generation-Xers in particular – are showing less interest in owning a home.

The survey also revealed that despite growing economic confidence among renters, affordability remains dominant in driving renter behavior.

• 67 percent of apartment and home renters view renting as more affordable than owning a home, including 73 percent of Baby Boomers age 53-71.

• Similarly, 67 percent of renters who plan to continue leasing their housing say they will do so for financial reasons – up from 59 percent just two years ago.

• 50 percent of Baby Boomers currently renting do not anticipate buying a home in the future, up eight percent from six months ago. Of that half, 35 percent have no interest in owning, and 15 percent believe they will never be able to afford it.

• 31 percent of Gen-Xers, ages 38-52, expressed that sentiment, up from 28 percent from the previous Freddie Mac renters survey. Of those Gen-Xers surveyed, 19 percent lack interest and 12 percent believe they will never be able to afford the American Dream.

The 2018 renter profile is based on a survey conducted online earlier this year among 4,115 adults, age 18 and older, including 1,209 renters. The survey was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Freddie Mac.

David Brickman “Perceptions of affordability and cost continue to play an outsized role in the choices of America’s renters, as they overwhelmingly see renting as more affordable and the right choice for them – right now,” said David Brickman (left), executive vice president and head of Freddie Mac Multifamily. “Remarkably, half of Baby Boomers who rent do not anticipate owning a home in the future, with a growing number of Generation-Xers following suit.”

Brickman says we are witnessing a historic shift in preference among older Americans, as they increasingly are choosing the size, convenience, and affordability that renting offers over ownership.

Cost drives rental decisions

Although the research found that a growing number of renters believe their economic situation has improved compared to last year, it also finds that cost is increasingly driving rental decisions. While 67 percent of renters stated they will continue renting for financial reasons, that number is significantly higher for Millennials aged 21-37, jumping 15 percent from 59 percent in 2016 to 74 percent today.

Multifamily renters – versus single-family renters – expressing this view jumped 11 percent from 57 percent in 2016 to 68 percent today. Although this increase takes place in all geographic areas, urban renters are increasingly likely to continue renting for financial reasons, Freddie Mac reported.

As part of the renter research, a companion survey conducted by GfK Custom Research found that cost concerns play a major role in mobility and housing choices.

This study shows a significant majority – 64 percent of renters – cite price as the most important factor when considering their next home, a theme consistent across all three generations. Only 36 percent cited location as the most important factor in choosing a home.

In addition, the companion survey found that across the three generations, renters are more likely to perceive homeownership as less accessible than it was three years ago. 40 percent of respondents shared that view.

A whopping 81 percent of renters anticipate it would be difficult for them to buy a home, as compared to 38 percent who believe renting a home is difficult. Plans to continue renting remain relatively constant, with a majority – 55 percent – of renters indicating they plan to continue doing so.

(Right) ARC at Old Colony, renovated student housing located in the Loop.


Photo obtained from Don DeBat

Most renters are happy renting

The Freddie Mac survey found that a significant and growing majority of renters – a solid 66 percent – are satisfied with the overall rental experience, up from 60 percent in August 2017.

Even among renters who have experienced a rent increase in the past two years, a growing number – 64 percent – stated they do not plan to move, up from 49 percent in August 2017. This includes a noteworthy 70 percent of Baby Boomers.

The findings are consistent with Freddie Mac’s 2016 study of the 55-plus population, which found 63 percent of Boomers prefer to age in place. In addition, most renters – 54 percent – continue to believe that renting is a good choice for them now, including 71 percent of Millennials.

In addition to Boomers and Gen-Xers, 31 percent of urban renters do not see homeownership in their future, up from 27 percent in August 2017.

“Renter satisfaction remains high, but the continued shortage of supply and growing demand means more renters are looking at cost than ever before,” Brickman said. “Although it’s clear that the demand for rental housing will continue for the foreseeable future, this survey is also a reminder of the important role Freddie Mac plays in financing low-income and workforce housing across the United States.”

Opinion | Baby Boomers Reach the End of Their To-Do List

But meditating is just another thing. Yoga? Another task, another item for the to-do list.

This battle between striving and serenity may be distinctly American. The struggle between toil and the dream of ease is an American birthright, the way a Frenchman expects to have decent wine at a reasonable price, and the whole month of August on vacation.

Maybe it goes all the way back to the Declaration of Independence, our founding document. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. How proud I’ve always been, through the years of protesting, the radical this and progressive that of my 1960s generation, to think of those words.

That unlikely word — happiness — made me proud to be an American, not just for my own sake, but that everyone was enjoined to find a personal project of delight. Of course happiness is an illusion. Still, I’ll pledge allegiance to it.

But happiness is the only word in the Declaration of Independence triad that doesn’t stand alone. Happiness is not, like life and liberty, a given. Happiness in the American credo is a job. It must be pursued. It may not be clear what happiness is, but you better get hold of it. Your fault, sucker, if you can’t somehow nab it for yourself.

The essential American word isn’t happiness. It’s pursuit.

This is where the struggle is engaged, happiness as a national enterprise. Its pursuit is the loneliness coiled within the heart of the American dream.

Even a postmodern to-do list is not the answer. Go ahead — meditate, do yoga, eat probiotic foods, all that.

But how about just giving up? What about wasting time? Giving up or perhaps giving over. To what? Perhaps what an earlier age called “the life of the mind,” the phrase that describes the sovereign self at ease, at home in the world. This isn’t the mind of rational thought, but the lost music of wondering, the sheer value of looking out the window, letting the world float along. It’s nothing, really, this wasted time, which is how it becomes, paradoxically, charged with “everything,” liberated into the blessed loss of ambition.

Report: Many Baby Boomers Unprepared for Retirement

WASHINGTON – A new study confirms what others already have concluded: Many Baby Boomers haven’t saved a dime for retirement, which can’t help but mean trouble as they reach retirement age.

This is National Retirement Planning Week, an effort by consumer advocates, educators and financial-service organizations to promote comprehensive retirement planning.

However, according to Cathy Weatherford, president and chief executive of the Insured Retirement Institute, 42 percent of Baby Boomers have no retirement savings at all. Still, there are things they can do to prepare for the future. “It’s never too late to sit down with a financial professional, assess where you are and see what you can do to improve your financial well being,” she said. Weatherford added that many people have assets they had not taken into consideration that can contribute to a more secure retirement. Assistance is available at retireonyourterms.org.

Of Boomers who have saved money, the study said, only one in four is confident that their savings will last through their retirement years. Weatherford emphasized that planning later in life isn’t all about trying to catch up on missed opportunities but trying to do the best you can with the options that are still available. “That might be working a little longer,” she said. “It might be planning on downsizing out of a bigger house to a smaller house. It might be moving to a less costly city or area.”

Weatherford said paying down credit-card debt is a good first step, but the most important step is saving. Experts generally recommend putting aside 10 to 20 percent of your monthly income toward retirement, and Weatherford said that for many Boomers, there are still years of earnings ahead. “The youngest Boomer is just 54,” she said, “so there’s still some time yet to really get a plan in place and work towards a good, clear goal.” About 50 million Baby Boomers will reach age 65 over the next 10 years.

The study is online at myirionline.org.