Turning 50 can be scary... besides becoming increasingly worried about your impending empty nest, the uphill battle to defy the effects of gravity, and getting called "ma'am" by just about everybody, you also start dreading mail deliveries and the arrival of your AARP senior discount card which, in your mind, means you're officially "old." Ick. But don't toss that card and your newly-minted "senior" status out just yet. Yep, turns out, if you can just get over the unsexiness of the "senior discount," there are actually plenty of reasons to get stoked about the milestone. Here are a few of the best:
Hopefully, with your kids leaving home soon and your other responsibilities winding down, you'll have gobs more free time to take those dream trips on your bucket list.
No doubt, for many drivers, a major money suck is costly insurance rates -- as well as maintenance costs -- that seem to keep going up and up each year.
Whether you're buying a little something for yourself or treating your kids or grandkids, any money saved on clothes, accessories, and other everyday items adds up quick.
FOR TIME WITH THE KIDS AND GRANDKIDS
We love our little ones, but let's face it: entertaining kids can get pricey when a regular old board game or day at the park just won't do.
What's not in dispute: the sheer size of the aging baby-boomer generation and that an unprecedented demographic shift distorts statistics. It means, for instance, that retirees can play a significant role in the shrinking labor force even as people are staying on the job longer than ever.
The U.S. jobless rate fell below 7 percent at the end of last year for the first time since 2008, helped by an exodus of retirees that has shrunk the labor force, Fujita wrote in his analysis, revised in February. Unemployment dropped even further in April, to 6.3 percent.
Those numbers dovetail with the broader economic recovery, prompting Drew Matus, deputy U.S. chief economist at UBS Securities LLC, to posit that boomers put retirement plans on hold during the depths of the financial crisis and have been revisiting those plans since.
Baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964, when a jump in birth rates followed World War II. As each year passes, the demographic inches along into older age slots that naturally have lower workforce participation.
Stock market gains haven't helped everyone. Those who want a job but have given up looking reached 783,000 in April, almost triple a low in 2007. That figure has remained stable since the beginning of 2012, ruling it out as a key factor behind the drop in participation rate, Fujita said.
Most economists agree that boomers will drive declines in the labor force for years to come. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the aggregate participation rate will be 62.5 percent in 2020, 1.8 percentage points below the level in 2010.
U.S. home-price gains have restored $3.8 trillion of value to owners since the beginning of the real estate recovery in 2012, according to Federal Reserve data.
In 2012, there were a record 61.8 million Americans over the age of 60, according to the Census. That compares with 46.6 million in 2000.
In the first three months of 2014, buyers plunked down $105.1 billion of their own money for properties, compared with $84.7 billion a year earlier, according to Bloomberg data.
Members of the baby-boom generation have more home equity than their parents because they owned homes during the biggest 30-year housing bull market in history. The median U.S. price of an existing home in April was $201,700, triple the $67,800 median price in 1982 when many were buying their first properties.
Almost 60 percent of boomers said they plan to move out of their present home, according to a March survey by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC, a brokerage franchise based in Parsippany, New Jersey. Some, like Linda Snetselaar of Iowa City, Iowa, are buying a retirement home now and using it for vacations until they stop working.
About 39 percent of boomers want to retire to a rural community -- either a farm or a small town, according to the Better Homes poll. About 27 percent plan to move to an adult community where activities such as rock climbing and yoga are available. And 26 percent said they want to retire to a city.
We've all heard the numbers: 10,000 baby boomers a day are turning 65, what used to be the traditional age for retirement. While not everyone can afford to or wants to retire on the big 6-5, there are a couple of things that seem to be universally on the minds of those as they near retirement:
Running out of money.
So we don't know if we should be planning financially for 20 years of post-retirement life or 30? Or even 40! The National Institute on Aging says that the oldest old people age 85 or older-are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population.
Getting crazy bored.
The experts advise people to consider volunteering. Some people attempt to start businesses of their own, often based on their hobbies.
Loss of importance.
We enjoy feeling that our views count. We like having our opinions sought out. But retirement doesn't have to diminish your value. We know a guy who teaches at a community college, not because he has the financial need but because he likes how mentoring students makes him feel.
Living outside the pulse of society.
Keep interested in the world around you and step up your game. Get out more -- we mean that both in the literal and online sense. Broaden your social circles and your social media outreach.
Pantech Flex: One of the best and most affordable age-friendly smartphones on the market today is the Pantech Flex, sold through AT&T for only $1 with a two-year contract.
Jitterbug Touch: Offered by GreatCall Wireless -- the same company that makes the Jitterbug big-button cell phone -- the Touch is actually a Kyocera Milano smartphone that's been rebranded and loaded with GreatCall's simplified user interface software.
Samsung Galaxy Note II: If a bigger screen is the most desired feature, the Samsung Galaxy Note II has a huge 5.5-inch touch screen display and can be used with a stylus, which makes it easy to see and maneuver. It also offers an Easy mode feature which simplifies the home screen providing access only to key functions like the phone, messaging, Internet, contacts and your favorite apps.
Doro PhoneEasy 740: If you don't mind waiting, the Doro PhoneEasy 740 is another excellent option, but it won't be available in the U.S. until later this year.
The "sandwich generation" is more hard-pressed than ever to support both adult children and aging parents. At least 15 percent of middle-aged adults are financially supporting both aging parents and children, according to January 2013 Pew Foundation survey of 2,511 adults throughout the country. When loved ones need help now, it's easy to see how money intended for retirement gets diverted. Here are five steps to keep your own retirement on track as you help your aging parents and adult children.
Pay it forward for yourself.
Reconcile yourself to tough choices.
Estimate what you'll give up for what you get.
Activate an end-of-life financial plan for your parents.
The first Scoopshot soccer global task, "Show us your favorite soccer team jersey!", was pushed to users on June 12. Hundreds of Scoopshooters posted photos of themselves, friends and fans sporting jerseys at home and at the games. Future tasks include "In a 15 second video show us your soccer fancy footwork," and "Photos of dogs in soccer attire!" In addition to global tasks, Scoopshot will also create tasks for specific rivalries and countries. Scoopshooters will receive push notifications on their smartphones as new tasks become available. Scoopshooters can earn from $5 to $25 U.S. depending on the task assignment. Scoopshot has a track record of generating thousands of creative photos and videos. From a Finnish parachutist holding a beer above the Earth to cars hanging from giant cloth pins, Scoopshooters capture remarkable images and often get paid for their ingenuity. Scoopshot will issue the 18 tasks between June 12 and July 30. More than 100 Scoopshooters will earn cash for photos and videos that best capture the soccer spirit. Photos and videos that earn cash will be featured on the Scoopshot Facebook page and on Twitter: @scoopshot #WorldCup2014 About Scoopshot
Scoopshot is the leading mobile platform for photo and video crowdsourcing. With nearly 535,000 mobile users and 1,500 professionals in 177 countries, Scoopshot has fundamentally transformed how media providers and brands source visual content and engage their audience. More than 70 leading media companies and brands use Scoopshot to gain instant access to a global pool of Scoopshooters. Partners include USA Today, News Corp Australia, Apple Daily, WAZ, Fiat, Finnair, Oxfam and many others. Scoopshot is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland and incorporated and staffed in the US.
In addition to global tasks, Scoopshot will also create tasks for specific rivalries and countries. Scoopshooters will receive push notifications on their smartphones as new tasks become available. Scoopshooters can earn from $5 to $25 U.S. depending on the task assignment.
Scoopshot has a track record of generating thousands of creative photos and videos. From a Finnish parachutist holding a beer above the Earth to cars hanging from giant cloth pins, Scoopshooters capture remarkable images and often get paid for their ingenuity.
Scoopshot will issue the 18 tasks between June 12 and July 30. More than 100 Scoopshooters will earn cash for photos and videos that best capture the soccer spirit. Photos and videos that earn cash will be featured on the Scoopshot Facebook page and on Twitter: @scoopshot #WorldCup2014
A growing number of baby boomers who say they want to find smaller homes to save money are putting it off. Financial planners say it has become more difficult to downsize in recent years, but it can still be a smart decision that people should consider if they want to save money. Despite the large number of people who have shopped for smaller homes, the numbers don't show a big uptick in homeowners who follow through with the move. What's keeping empty nesters from taking flight? For one, the empty nest is not necessarily staying empty due to young people returning home in record numbers because of a weak, low-employment economy. People nearing retirement are also discouraged by recent economic setbacks, according to real estate experts and financial planners. Still there is still plenty of opportunity to save money by downsizing. It may not come as the big profit windfall boomers were expecting when home prices were soaring a half-decade ago. Not everyone has gained in the uneven housing recovery, but that's not entirely bad for downsizers. With the flexibility they gain in retirement, they can target lower-priced regions.
Unfortunately, you may have to raise some unpleasant issues when you speak with family members over the holidays if you want to ensure a successful retirement. Family issues are just about the only thing investors don't plan for, and it could hurt them in retirement, a new Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Age Wave study shows.The baby boomers, also known as the "sandwich generation," are in a tough spot, with one in five parents seeing their children return home to live with them as they also attempt to care for their own aging parents.
For decades, the retirement of the baby boom generation has been a looming economic threat. Now, it's no longer looming - it's here. The recession may have delayed the inevitable for a time. The financial crisis wiped away billions in retirement savings, forcing many Americans to work longer than planned.Now that the wave has begun, nothing is likely to stop it. The Census Bureau on Tuesday released a pair of reports that show just how dramatic an impact the graying of the population will have in coming decades.