Most of our parents never had this problem; they became history somewhere between the ages of 50 and 65. We were cleverer. We donated money for medical research, we exercised, cut the cholesterol, jogged, ate lean meat and laid off eggs. And now we are 80 years old, still going strong, still exercising and still without eggs. But we forgot to attend to the life expectancy of our money. In fact we went one worse than that: we saved our money unwisely. At the time it all made good sense, but then the economic structure of the world changed. When we were fit and well and raking in the dough, we gloated over the interest rates on our savings and retirement funds. “Wow, I’m getting 12 percent!” Now there is hardly any at all.
We watched in silence as interest rates dropped and dropped and then became a miserable wet patch in the bottom of the bucket, mainly caused by the tears of the few who understood. Today, “interest rates” is a disappearing phrase in most languages and is likely to remain so, until someone figures out what to do.
So the retirement money you keep stashed in the bank drops a little each month as you draw from it to enjoy your golden years. All the retirement fun things you looked forward to are still there but you are not enjoying many of them, “everything is so expensive these days!” Remember your plans for round-the-world cruises, long overseas holidays, shows and theater, lectures at the university, books you were going to buy and read?
It’s not all bad news. Old age has improved. We have retirement homes, caregivers, mechanical aids, walkers, mobile wheelchairs and great nursing.
We are just caught in the “outlived-our-money-trap” an unforeseen and unexpected event. Our retirement nest-eggs? Oh, we use them – mainly for medical and dental stuff. No matter how good your health plan is there is always something extra that needs doing. “Have you heard the price of those medicines?”