Or maybe it is a surprise?
These days, change occurs so continually and rapidly that we may not realize the impact of this change until we reflect upon it and bring it into closer view.
Economists, scientists and futurists have predicted that 78 million baby boomers becoming seniors will have a tremendous effect on society.
Aging boomers are already putting a strain on our healthcare systems.
The increase in the divorce rate has made life more complex. This rise in blended families (mother, fathers, stepfathers and stepmothers, in-laws and step-in-laws) will make the choice of how we care for our elders much more challenging.
The idea of work has been changing. The career you once held may no longer be available or you may simply want to do something different for reasons of your own.
Social norms are changing. Retirement may not be a relaxed, worry-free lifestyle.
Today it may mean working beyond the traditional retirement age for money, meaning or benefits.
The economy seems to be more unstable each day. Financial markets have been jumping up and down, and we are experiencing severe challenges in the global economy.
How can we ever figure out the financial investments we need to make in order to secure our future with this kind of uncertainty?
Changes are also coming from the inside. We might feel the tug of wanting to do something more purposeful and meaningful with our lives.
Most people in our grandparents’ generation knew many of the answers because their situations weren’t nearly so complex and because the decisions they had to make did not carry the same significance as they do today.
Most retirees of their generation only lived five to 10 years on their retirement incomes.
Many had their jobs for life. Most had secure pensions. Few had to deal with the complexities of diseases like Alzheimer’s.
So what is the result of all this change in our lives?
The thing that makes change both exciting and scary is that it breeds uncertainty.
We’re uncertain because we don’t know what to expect, because it’s not clear what our options are, because we don’t know if others will give us a chance or because we are tempted to play it safe.
We are also uncertain because we don’t know how much money we’ll need or how much we must earn or save.
So what’s the antidote for uncertainty? Not surprisingly, it’s planning and preparation.
Planning brings things into clearer focus and gives us a chance to step back and look at the big picture of our lives. It helps to mitigate legal, financial and other risks. It expands our choices by putting more opt ions on the table. And it puts us in a position to make our own luck happen when the right choices come our way.
Yes, I hear you—planning is scary and boring. Being stressed out may feel a little bit better; at least we’re used to that feeling.
But if you are ready to begin planning, there are many ways to get started and one that is neither scary nor boring.
This October, local residents will have the opportunity to learn from experts in the field of life planning.
Boomer Bootcamp is a three-part presentation at 7:30 p.m. Wed., Oct. 10, 17 and 24 at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Scherr Forum, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd.
The series offers boomers and beyond, ages 45 to 75, a set of creative, fun and entertaining insights and lessons for planning their futures.
The first event takes the audience on a tour of the future to see how it will change our experience of aging.
The second event will explore the abilities we already have within us to age successfully.
And the third event offers insights into what Mr. Spock, Homer Simpson, your dog and a marshmallow can teach us about planning a secure retirement.
The three-event series is $51 for all seats. Tickets are available at the Civic Arts Plaza box office and atwww.civicartsplaza.com.