This morning I opened the newspaper and there was yet another article about how baby boomers are unprepared financially to survive their retirement. Now I don't disagree with the numbers regarding the percentage of boomers who have little or no money saved for retirement but I find the doom and gloom approach of these articles to be useless. At the end of this article there were a few suggestions such as spend less now, get out of debt, etc. Pretty generic.
How about some creative solutions for those who find themselves often due to circumstances out of their control with limited funds to live on in their retirement. Move to an inexpensive cost of living area. Share housing. Live where public transportation enables you to not have a car. Investigate the non-consumer movements such as The Compact, Not-Buying It, etc. In other words, use the same problem solving skills that have helped you get through difficult times so far in your life and be creative.
I'm not saying that people shouldn't save like crazy - they should if possible. If we are lucky eventually we will face illness or disability or just be too old to work and need to live off of retirement funds. But really - how do these no hope for boomers articles help anyone?
We have saved, will get Social Security and a small pension yet we still wonder if it will be enough. We started our careers in our early 30's after getting PhDs and then were raising a family. Serious saving started too late according to the articles and if we had believed that we wouldn't have saved what we have or paid off our mortgage.
I would rather see articles that encourage people to start where they are and improve their situation. The media doesn't do those articles often but there are great blogs that can help with ideas and success stories.