Recession and Retirement

dow jones stock marketIf you are of retirement age, perhaps you have heard people talk about what it was like to have lived through the times called  “The Great Depression”. ‘Those that lived through those hard times were forever changed by the experience.  For better or worse they and their world were never the same.

Now, it is our time  to experience something no one has ever lived through before and it will be interesting to see where it all takes us.  In a way, it is comforting to me that economists are admitting that they don’t know what to expect.  It is also scary because I always thought they did know.  If you are like us, we are watching our retirement accounts dwindle away, and the very concept of a comfortable retirement has changed.

For many of us, working beyond retirement age has become a necessity rather than a luxury; second homes and yachts a fading thought; and extensive travel plans have turned into weekend trips to Paducaville.

If you listen to the TV News Shows, you can get different advice from as many people as you listen to.  Perhaps, some of the best advice I have heard came from self-help coach Tony Robbins.  In an interview on the Today Show he gave some tips for getting through this historic time.  While it would be easy to get depressed, don’t.  Realize what is important in life and that we will get through this. In times of strife and crisis, it is a time to realize what is important.  He cited a recent health scare that both he and his wife have had.  It has been said many times, but if you have your health, you are indeed fortunate.  He also called on people to get outside themselves and do something physical.  There is a mind body connection that can’t be denied and research shows you do feel better if you exercise or do active hobbies.  Don’t sit behind the computer or television and watch the world go by, get out there and experience it yourself.  We are a generation that was known to get out and experience things.  Now is not the time to become inactive and unengaged.

It would be very easy to become discouraged with the world economic issues, so perhaps, November, which brings the holiday of Thanksgiving couldn’t come at a better time.  We  are living in historic times and we are fortunate to live in a democracy where we will have a chance to vote in an election that will change history.  Get out a vote, whoever your candidate, for it is time to make a change, and strong leaders will be required.    Now, more than ever, we should reflect not on what we have lost, but what we have.  These are historic times but resist the temptation to be an observer.  Hard times are also times of great opportunity and those of us that live with a view toward the future rather than the past will be best prepared for what lies before us.

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