In honor of Mom (and Dad too), read along with me about life in 20 years.
It's a crisp winter morning in Chicago. Your wife is just getting home from working at the all night diner a few miles away and now it's her turn to watch the kids and get them ready for school, getting a few precious hours of sleep before working at the hospital for her full time, 12 hour shift at the hospital. You've only were able to give your wife a quick peck on the lips before running to catch the Metra on the way into Oglivie Station. It's packed and they're running now at double the capacity to curb the horde of commuters who fled the gas stations to the public transportation system, which was in dire straits even 20 years ago.
As you pass the bedroom on the left, you check in on mom, who is sleeping soundly. Their caregiver, quietly reading a magazine under a low light in the corner. Her smile in response is strained. She knows that she'll be leaving in the next couple of weeks because your money to pay her will run out. Just in time for your part-time to kick in, but now how to fit in the time and who will take over watching your mother? Your wife could do it, but without her income, you would have to sell the house. And this particular school district is the only one performing to minimum standards within 30 miles - moving is not an option. Who's going to take care of Mom?
Does this sound like the picturesque lifestyle you envisioned for yourself 20 years ago? Absolutely not. But it has become the new standard of living for families living in 2030. This is your future - if you let it.
Most American families today haven't realized the ramifications of what 65 million people reaching retirement age will mean for us in 2030. In Chicago, 1 out of 6 people will be retired, with almost 1.7 million retirees straining the economy. With less of this generation to make up the difference and fill the gap of income generating households who contribute to our social infrastructure such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, it falls on the X generation to bear the burden.
65 million Americans, of whom, 70% will run out of money and lean on the same infrastructure to provide for their basic needs to live. We know this. It has started happening now. The housing market will take another nosedive as more seniors sell off their homes in panic sales to make up the lack of income. The hospitality industry will be devastated by the lack of discretionary spending. Employers will be short of skilled workers. Over 2/3rds of people over the age of 65 will need long term care, adult day health care, or live in assisted living/nursing home.
Matt Sapaula, my financial mentor extraordinaire, and I are part of the X generation. The same that fought in the Gulf War and watched the Towers fall in New York and most recently, witnessed the heinous mastermind of that attack come to the ultimate justice. But what sets Matt and I apart from most of my generation is that we have realized that without adequate planning in place now, our lives could be as that described above - at the minimum. Sharing a Filipino-American background, it's not uncommon to expect parents to live at home - it's an easy way for those still able to function, a way to spend time with the grandchildren and ease the burden of day care. But even with that expectation, this is at best what I can expect if my parents didn't need long-term care.
Understanding this, the traditional expectation and savings for the future no longer just include, my home, my car, and my children's education, but also the added expectation of providing for ailing parents who need our help.
Based on an analysis conducted by Genworth Financial on a typical 8 hours a day, 5 days a week of care, in Illinois, you can expect:
Home Health Care to cost between $44,272 - $45,760
Adult Day Health Care $16,770
Assisted Living $41,880
Nursing Home between $54,750 - $63,875
Where are the savings for my retirement now?
The answer isn't arrived by waiting. We cannot afford in time or money to wait for our legislators to put aside their political differences and fix those problems that can exponentially complicate these mounting problems. It falls to us to plan for all of these things. So that our vision of retirement can be that of what we believe it should be today and not one born of necessity.
If you want to plan today to avoid an unpleasant future, give me a call at (312) 493-2054 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org