Your life in retirement is about to change dramatically due to what I call the overlooked retirement dangers. These are a perfect storm of converging trends that are about to change the world we know, and not for the better. It will be a hard time to be retired if you're not prepared for it.
What are the overlooked retirement dangers?
The first is one that most Americans have heard discussed for many years: The bankruptcy of the Social Security and Medicare system. Before you turn away, thinking you've heard all this too many times, let me assure you running out of money is not the problem. The problem for you - no matter how large your assets are - begins when our federal government is forced to print massive quantities of money to pay their obligations, thus inflating your savings out of existence. I'll explain in detail what you can do about this in a later post.
The next major overlooked retirement danger is the inevitability of more terrorism strikes here in America - probably nuclear - if our leaders don't change their approach to solving the problems connected with our ties to the Middle East. Atomizing a few square miles of Manhattan or L.A. will pretty much bring our complex society to its knees. This is totally unnecessary, but it is where we're headed if we don't change our foreign policies.
The final major Overlooked Retirement Danger is known as Peak Oil. We don't have to run out of oil and natural gas to slow our modern civilization to a crawl - all we need is for demand from China, India, and other nations to grow larger than the declining supplies of cheap, accessible oil. Peak Oil will affect every aspect of your life in the near future, from where you decide to retire to how you plan to feed your family, so you need to think about this now, before it becomes evident.
We're already seeing our economy about to go into what is euphemistically being called a "deep recession." There is so much built-up debt, both on a national and a personal level that it should be clear we are not easily going to paper over major economic problems this time around. When you factor in the crushing weight of the 77 million Baby Boomers' retirement obligations with two hugely expensive ongoing wars, it should be plain that we're in for no ordinary recession.
The key point I want to make here is that there is much we can do to smooth this transition. Most of us don't want front-row seats at Armageddon, and I believe there's a lot we can do to avoid it. With a little preparation, it may be possible to avoid the worst of these changes and prosper by providing your unprepared neighbors with critical goods and services they will need.
Why listen to me? I have a knack for gathering useful information and making correct decisions based on envisioning where our present course of action is going to take us. At age 18, I saw that the U.S. war on Vietnam was immoral, wrong, and was a terrible waste of lives and money. I faced prison rather than taking part and I believe that was one of the best decisions I ever made. History shows us that nothing worthwhile was accomplished, as we now trade freely with Vietnam and the Communist threat has proven to be an expensive delusion.
I feel just as strongly about these overlooked retirement dangers as I did about Vietnam forty years ago. I provide my reasoning and research here in hopes we can all work together to avoid some very unpleasant conditions in what are supposed to be our Golden Years.
In my next few posts I'll lay out our situation in brief and some surprisingly simple ways you can improve your personal retirement quality of life.