Better Off Today?

As today’s retirement continues to be reinvented, the definition of what makes that time in our lives successful is something that also continues to broaden in scope. Often the focus on success is financial, and unfortunately, the economic aspects have become more challenging. But a good life during your retirement years goes beyond your financials.

This is where current and future retirees are gaining in satisfaction over previous generations. Moving beyond pure economic benefits, today's retirees might be considered better off for several reasons:

  • Breakthroughs in science improved the odds of extending healthy years through exercise, proper nutrition and social engagement.
  • Technology has made it easier to stay in touch with far-away grandchildren, relatives and friends.
  • Technology has also provided us with access to much more information that can help us successfully navigate many aspects of our lives. For example, we can easily view weather forecasts and traffic reports, and shop efficiently for goods and services that can be delivered to our doorstep.
  • Medical science has created drugs that help keep us alive by addressing such common conditions as high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes (albeit with financial and dependency costs).
  • Today's grandparents appear to be more connected with their adult children and grandchildren, compared to prior generations, giving them essential social connections and purpose.
  • Americans have more opportunities now to create communities and find support through senior advocacy groups, such as AARP, Area Agencies on Aging and the Villages Movement.

No doubt boomers will need to rethink the American retirement dream to address the economic challenges they face. However, when balancing the economics with the intangibles (like those above) they may feel that their definition of the “retirement good life” is not diminished in comparison to past generations.