Like most older adults, I was looking forward to kicking back a bit once I turned 65, but that did not happen. Instead, I found myself working more, especially during this pandemic.
As a self-employed individual without any pension other than a relatively small social security allotment, I’m pretty much relegated to work till I drop. In short, I need supplemental income to survive. Forty percent of older adults in the U.S. rely on social security alone for their economic well-being – which was not meant to be our sole income.
Older adults will be a much larger portion of the world’s population than in the past as medical advances and healthy lifestyle research continues to keep them kicking and ticking in what’s now commonly called “The Longevity Economy.”
As noted in a recent New York Times article
, the May 2021 census announcements revealed that China
and the United States
had the slowest rates of population growth in decades and thus pointed to the possibility of “hard-to-fathom adjustments.” That scenario predicts there will be fewer workers and more retirees, which “threatens to upend how societies are organized…”
This population trend also heralds the possibility of a non-retirement scenario in which older adults will be working well into decades beyond their typical retirement years. In this scenario, the age requirements for receiving government-subsidized retirement benefits will continue to rise. In Germany, for instance, the retirement age was raised to 67 and a recent attempt was made to boost it to 68. Could that kind of policy change soon be coming to the U.S.?
The bottom line is older adults are an active and vital part of our labor force.
So, all that time thinking about how was going to spend my elder years in comfortable ease perhaps living near a beach somewhere did not come to fruition. Life is still a financial struggle, and I still have the drive to somehow make more money to save for those days when I may not be able to work or when I would actually prefer to do mostly nothing important other than enjoy myself.
The cliché that nothing worthwhile ever comes easy keeps playing in my brain, and frankly I’m tired of hearing that tune. I want my life to be much easier than what it is right now. I still have to work hard at it. The prospect of slowing down is not yet clearly in view and may never be. Is that okay? I think it is, but I’m challenged to come up with ways to lessen the load.
I keep thinking about what it’s going to be like three years from now when I turn 70 – what will that decade be like? And what if I live to 80 - what will that decade look like? The fact that 90 is only 23 years away freaks me out a bit actually. Will I be able to take care of myself? Where will I be living? Will I be able to work as hard as I do now? Will I actually need to or want to work as hard as I do now?
Time is no longer on my side, which means I need to really think harder about my priorities now, not later. So, I ask myself what if I knew that I only have about three months left? Would I live any differently? I’m having a hard time answering that question, so that must mean I’m okay with the way I’m living right now and more than likely would not change anything other than I would stop chasing new clients, or thinking about marketing and advertising, for the next three months.
So, with the challenge of bringing in more dollars still looming large, here are some articles that may help if you are in a similar boat: