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Don’t let those golden years be tarnished (12/20/2006)
By Al Thomas

The golden years are fast approaching for the boomers - those born between 1946 and 1964. They are looking forward to retiring to Florida or Arizona or traveling the world as is shown on the TV commercials.

There is one problem.

Most of them are broke. I don't mean they can't pay their current bills or meet their credit card balances. They don't have enough saved to take a vacation to the next town much less Tahiti. They are living the good life now and hoping that somehow when 60 - 65 rolls around there will be enough to continue current life style with more time to enjoy it. And pigs can fly.

There are figures published that from 25% to 80% of this prestigious group have less than $50,000 saved for the golden years. This figure does not include home equity. Too many boomers during the past few years have been using their homes as ATM machine.

If the slowdown in hosing continues to accelerate there will be many situations where the mortgage exceeds the value of the home. This is called being "upside down". Before the bankruptcy law was revised people would hand the keys to the mortgage company and walk away. You can't do that any more as the unpaid mortgage balance will follow for the rest of your life.

Don't worry. Be happy. There is Social Security better known as "social insecurity". Can these extravagant boomers live on it? Surprisingly the government has already posted figures that 80% of the income of retirees comes from Social Security. If that doesn't scare the boomers I can't imagine what will.

They won't have to worry about medical bills because Medicare will pay for everything. Well, not unless you are a retired U.S. Congressman.

Did I forget that the stock market is going to go up forever and the equities they have put away will take care of everything? There are 78 million boomers and some of them (about 50% is a good guess) have stock. Instead of buying they will now be selling to pay their bills. What is this going to do to the market?

If they haven't got a good net egg by now there will be no gold brick just a brick at the end of the rainbow.

Now, today, is the time to examine his net worth and if it isn't in a good six-figure range it will be time to eliminate debt and increase savings and investment. How? Eliminate these wasteful excesses and divert to personal equity. Can the elimination of 3 daily $3.40 Starbucks coffees mean anything? Just $2,500 a year. Be sure to put it away and not spend it on something else. Little things like this can make a difference 10 years from now.

When those golden years arrive it is up to each boomer to have enough gold so they can be enjoyed and not be tarnished by near poverty.

Al Thomas' best selling book, "If It Doesn't Go Up, Don't Buy It!" has helped thousands of people make money and keep their profits with his simple 2-step method. Read the first chapter and receive his market letter for 3 months at www.mutualfundmagic.com and discover why he's the man that Wall Street does not want you to know. 


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