By Marie Langworthy, NABBW’s Transforming Retirement Associate

Yikes! Water! Water! My hair’s on fire! Oh, it’s not my hair! It’s my bank account! I have completely smoked it! I inadvertently incinerated it during these last 30+ years of career building. If it’s any consolation, you have loads of company in your current miserable dilemma.

Alana Semuels, in a February 22, 2018 The Atlantic article, “This What Life Without Retirement Savings Looks Like,” says that “… the median savings in a 401(k) plan for people between the ages of 55 and 64 is currently just $15,000, according to the National Institute on Retirement Security, a nonprofit. Other workers did not have access to a retirement plan through their employer. They’re going from being near poor to poor.”

It’s sobering reality to learn that, according to a January 13, 2017 report of The Social Security Administration, 21% of married couples and 43%of single seniors rely on Social Security for 90% or more of their income. According to a 2015 Gallup poll, 36% of near-retirees say they expect Social Security to be a major source of income once they retire. (https://www.seniorsresourceguide.com/articles/art01034.htm)

How and why are too many Boomers finding themselves in this critical crossroads of many years ahead with little or no financial resources? 
  • Did you fail to establish a sound financial retirement plan early on in life?
  • Were you too busy establishing your career and reaching your job goals?
  • Did the euphoria of consumerism consume you and blind you to the wisdom of deferring an immediate impulsive “want” in favor of long-term “needs?”
  • Did some unanticipated and unavoidable financial crisis arise, draining your financial resources?
  • Did raising a family, college costs, parental sickness, a divorce, or some natural tragedy sabotage your long-term financial plans?

But here you are – that was then; this is now.  Your current reality presents a sober wakeup call as to what to do now.  Take heart.  Breathe. And let’s look at options.

First, turn to an expert to assess your current real assets. There are many free services offered to senior citizens designed to help seniors gain control of their financial affairs.  For example, AARP (http://www.aarp.org). under the heading, Finance, has an entire cadre of resources, both human and on-line. Such topics as “Get Help Choosing a Financial Advisor,” “Free Tax Preparation,” and “Money Management Resources,” – are designed to help you determine the reality of your current financial status.

Another invaluable resource for Boomers and seniors is the Federal government. A Google search, “Government Services for Seniors” yields a gold mine of sites where seniors can retrieve concrete advice and material goods and services. What is the ultimate irony of making use of these resources?  It is that all these years we, the people, have through taxation, generously contributed to the development and availability of what the government can now provide for those in need.  Why, to a great extent, are many Boomers unaware of their existence or reluctant to take advantage of them?  Now is the time to dip into this abundant trough of resources that you in fact helped build!

Now, Dorothy, that you realize that “you’re not in Kansas anymore,” you will need to decide which path of the yellow brick road to follow to best meet your current financial needs.

How and where can I conserve?  How and where can I put my current limited assets to work more effectively? How and where can I augment my income?

Stay tuned to Part 2 of Facing Retirement Without Savings, where we assure that, through smart saving, adjusted lifestyle, and creative work strategies, you can and will survive, even thrive in retirement on a limited income.

About The Author —

In her current retirement career, she is fulfilling her long held compulsion to write.  Her new work takes the form of not only writing books, but blogging and contributing copy to client web sites.  Marie is living proof that you can realize your dreamed job. But you need to more than wish it; you must will it to happen.

In her two most recent co-authored books, Shifting Gears to Your Life and Work After Retirement (2nded), and Shifting Gears to Your Career Working OnLine, Marie and her co-author, Carolee Duckworth, provide a specific, exciting pathway and strategy for carrying out your ultimate retirement adventure. Both authors and readers can take pride in fact that the first edition of the former title won both a Nautilus Book Award as well as a Foreword’s IndieFab Winner Award.

Marie Langworthy can be reached at –