Everyday is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one is rich, no one is poor, we’ve got 24 hours each. –Christopher Rice
“What happens to old people who don’t save for retirement?”
When I read questions like this on the internet, the answers really annoy me.
Because so many of them lack the ability to see anything except misery, and lack.
They are often answered by retirees who sound bitter about their circumstances.
Or, answers are from financial experts who gaze into their crystal balls and chime in with facts, figures, and fear tactics explaining how old people who don’t save for retirement find themselves in serious financial difficulty.
Then, there are the individuals who pop out of the woodwork who are not retired, but critical of old people who didn’t save.
They spout opinions on what they think could have been, if only the old person had saved for retirement.
Take the following illustration taken from an answer I found on a forum.
An 80-something grandmother who lives alone is described as “having” to share garden vegetables with friends, kind of co-op style. The writer’s tone is such that Grandma growing her own vegetables and sharing her bountiful harvest is a terrible thing – a result of her grandmother not saving for retirement.
It’s a shame that this person views their grandmother this way.
To be fair, I don’t know Grandma’s situation. To say nothing of the fact that it can be difficult to get a complete picture from someone’s answer on a forum.
Nevertheless, from what is described in a few sentences, Grandma appears to be an independent self-reliant octogenarian who tends a garden and also has a network of supportive friends to share it with!
It’s okay if Grandma’s golden years are different than what you think they should be.
In my opinion, Grandma’s contentment in her old age has more value than her inability to live an extravagant lifestyle.
-People have lives.
-They live, love, laugh.
-They have kids, buy houses, start businesses.
-Kids get sick, houses get foreclosed, businesses fail.
For all we know, she couldn’t have saved for retirement even if she wanted to.
As a result of living life, Grandma found herself without a nest egg. She may even require financial support.
However, it doesn’t mean that Grandma has a bad life because she didn’t save for retirement. It’s just different than the way life was before.
Yes. I’m looking at Grandma’s situation from a positive point of view.
Because, what is the alternative?
To be a complainer and only see misery and lack? If you know anything about the law of attraction, you know that what you focus on manifests in your life.
Read my article on poverty consciousness to understand how focusing on the lack of money perpetuates the situation.
(If you have any interest in this topic, I encourage you to read the Game of Life and How to Play It. It’s a prosperity classic and a quick and easy read. Click the picture to check out the price on Amazon.)
What comes to your mind when you hear the question, “What happens to old people who don’t save for retirement?
Are you afraid you will be an old man or old woman living in squalor?
Are you scared you’ll be eating cat food for dinner?
Fearful thoughts indeed!
But, the truth of the matter is, that most people who live in squalor have a mental condition and are under the age of 65.
Therefore, if you’re a middle-class boomer who is halfway sane, most likely you won’t become a statistic.
Yes, you can find sad stories about elderly people resorting to eating cat food because of a lack of money, but that’s rare too.
With that in mind, if you know of anyone in this situation, you should help them by providing them with some nourishing food.
Regardless of whether you saved or didn’t save for your retirement, it will most likely look different than what you’ve planned.
I don’t know of anyone who has played the game of life and had it turn out exactly as they had planned.
It’s reasonable to say that neither will your retirement.
However, if you embrace change, have a positive approach to “old age”, and do some spiritual work on your attitude about money, you’re likely to make it through okay.
And who is to say what the ideal retirement looks like?
Only you can determine that.
Now it’s your turn to sound off. Leave me a comment below.