There you are, a Gen Xer. The generation that grew up in the era of computer technology, MTV, grunge music, and indie films. Society wrongly labeled you “slackers” before they realized you’d be the ones who would bring us Amazon, Google, and a wave of entrepreneurship.
Now you’re in middle age and facing the stresses that come with that – increased responsibilities at work, caring for the family, and aging parents. At the same time, retirement is getting closer and it could be a long one if you’re thinking about the traditional retirement age of 65.
According to a report by the Stanford Center on Longevity,Life Planning in the Age of Longevity: Insights for Gen Xers, “A 45-year-old (Gen X) female non-smoker in excellent health has more than a 50 percent chance of living to age 90.” That could mean a 25-year-long retirement, which is a long stretch of time to cover living expenses if you’re done working!
While you may be looking forward to an abundance of leisure time in your retirement or perhaps even a second career, what you probably don’t want is to spend it poor, sick, and lonely. But shockingly, many are on a path to do just that if they don’t take steps to secure what their retirement will look like.
The Stanford Center on Longevity report shares how you can start by getting a handle on three key areas of your life to have the best chance of living long and living well:
Get to a place in your career where you are earning sufficient income to cover expenses and save for a longer retirement. That may mean boosting your current job skills to maximize gainful employment for the short term and long. Your generation may not have Social Security and employer pensions to rely on, so develop a saving and investment strategy. Work with a financial professional for guidance.
Take steps to improve and manage your health to protect against medical costs and prevent lost work due to illness or disability. Get regular checkups, incorporate exercise and healthy eating habits into your lifestyle, and stay away from risky behaviors such as smoking or drinking too much.
While family may take up much of your time, make an effort to maintain relationships with long-time friends and build new ones. Connect regularly with neighbors and engage in group activities in the community such as volunteering and going to religious institutions. “Research has found links between feeling connected to family, friends and the community and improved health and longevity,” says the report.
You have a whole second half of your life to look forward to Gen Xer, and with a little preventative maintenance on your wealth, health, and social life, you can ensure it will be as exciting as the first half!
Discover more tips for planning for your longevity in this infographic.
Neither Transamerica nor its agents or representatives may provide tax, investment or legal advice. Anyone to whom this material is promoted, marketed, or recommended should consult with and rely on their own independent tax and legal advisors and financial professional regarding their particular situation and the concepts presented herein.
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