Being old, cold, broke and lonely are the four horsemen of old baby boomers. Aging has been a fact of life since life itself appeared on the planet, and no one has ever doubted that they would age over time. It’s the combination of aging with the prospect of being cold, broke and alone that is terrifying for some boomers as they enter their senior years.
Out in the cold
The miraculous breakthroughs in energy production, predicted in the 1970s and 1980s, are clearly not here yet. Despite current price fluctuations, the long-term trend in heating, lighting and reliance on energy to run the home can only point upwards in the near future. Prices will only rise as boomers face the end of their careers, retirement and years of living on a fixed income.
Going for Broke
With housing prices plunging, fears of a receding recession and public debt rising to astronomical levels, the long-term savings of many boomers have taken a big hit. Boomers nearing retirement don’t have enough time to recover, and even those five, 10, and 15 years into retirement will face rocky roads. The prospects of going broke, or at least having to live through the days much less than planned, are real and alarming.
alone at home
For several decades, one out of every two marriages in the US has ended in divorce. This does not mean that one out of every two people will divorce, because first-time divorcees are unfortunately prone to divorce once and perhaps again. In any case, the number of single adults over 45 is at an all-time high and growing. More people heading into their “golden years” are alone than at any other time in American history.
Ending life cold, broken and alone is not a pretty picture. However, a significant number of boomers face this prospect. While little can be done individually about the macro economy, rising energy costs, or declining real estate and investment values, there are more potential partners for aging boomers today than ever before. Online dating services and a variety of local social groups, however, ensure that those who don’t want to face their senior years alone don’t have to.
Old, cold, broken and alone does not have to be your destiny.