A "New Map of Life" for Boomers
Retirement: It's Personal

"Are We There Yet?"

Liam-pozz-yjmJBkKn26k-unsplashI'm betting most Boomers remember "Are we there yet?" from their childhood car rides and during auto excursions with their own kids. It's a common question that signifies youthful impatience.

In the context of growing older, though, "Are we there yet?" has an entirely different connotation. Boomers are not necessarily impatient about getting to our later years; in fact, old age sneaks up on us rather quickly. We may even be openly or secretly apprehensive about the aging process. "Are we there yet?" is a more difficult question to answer for Boomers today because "there" is such a huge variable. We are each likely to have our own personal definition of when we really enter "old" age.

Boomers who are in good health, financially secure and satisfied with their lifestyle may not get there anytime soon; they may be thriving into their 80s and 90s. However, those who have health problems or must continue to work due to inadequate retirement funding may get there a lot sooner; they may prematurely age, finding life downright painful even in their 60s and 70s.

"Are we there yet?" also applies to the worldwide pandemic. It's the question we've all been asking as we anxiously await a return to our pre-pandemic lives. While we seem to be turning the corner in the United States (especially those Boomers who have been fully vaccinated), COVID-19 has redefined "normal." It has further exposed the disparity in society between haves and have-nots. For example, as I observed in a previous post, this pandemic has led some better-off Boomers to rethink work and retire earlier than previously planned. In contrast, less fortunate Boomers who lost their jobs because of COVID-19 may have seen their retirement plans crumble before their eyes.

Experts tell us that the current pandemic is very likely to be just the beginning of a string of virus strains that will put a strain on all of our lives. Like COVID-19, future viruses will probably affect the elderly more severely.

As we march down the road to our later years, we face not just viruses, but other risks that are exacerbated by our age. All the more reason for Boomers to take the steps necessary to anticipate the challenges of getting "there." That's why we need to care for ourselves holistically -- physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. So perhaps a better question than "Are we there yet?" would be "Are we prepared for when we get there?"

Photo by Liam Pozz on Unsplash

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Jo-Ann Roy

Great thought-provoking question! I am a firm believer in looking after oneself - on every front - and holistically!

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