How and why are too many Boomers finding themselves in a critical crossroads of many years ahead with little or no financial resources. Did they fail to establish a sound financial retirement plan early on in life?  Were they too busy establishing careers and reaching job goals? Did the euphoria of consumerism consume and blind them to the wisdom of deferring immediate impulsive “wants” in favor of long-term “needs?” Did some unanticipated and unavoidable financial crisis arise, draining their financial resources? Did raising a family, college costs, parental sickness, a divorce, or some natural tragedy sabotage their long-term financial plans?

Whatever your reasons for finding yourself financially unprepared to enter this, your last, and what you hoped to be your best life passage, you now must deal with the reality of a fixed amount of money, limited discretionary income, with lots of time on your hands to spend it! What’s a retiree to do?

The hour for tough love is at hand.  A reality check is in order.  It’s time to set aside the seemingly or actually ever dwindling checking balance and to answer several lifestyle changing questions: How and where can I conserve?  How and where can I put my current limited assets to work more effectively? How and where can I augment my income? Rest assured that, through smart saving and thoughtful spending, an adjusted lifestyle, and creative work strategies, you can and will survive, even thrive in retirement on a limited modest income.

First and foremost, do you actually have an accurate handle on your assets? Do you really know how much discretionary money available to you per month?  Where do your income resources lie? You actually need to compute how many dollars per month you earn. Typically, you might have a company pension, a 401K or similar IRA type retirement account, social security, a rainy-day savings account, and any other source of income.  These resources are liquid, in that they are available to you on a regular basis; they constitute a fixed amount; you can rely on them to cover your living expenses.

Next, consider other assets that, while they are not liquid in nature, nor are they easily accessible, are real, tangible possessions that may or may not be readily transferred into hard cash.  These include a home, a car, a boat, a motorcycle, a vacation condo, luxury technology and electronic items, etc. And although you cannot rely on these items to provide you with hard cash on a regular or instantaneous basis, you need to be aware that they comprise a body of valid monetary value.

Now for the hard part, the painful specific itemization of everything you spend on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. Microsoft Excel has several user-friendly templates that allow you to itemize your expenses by category, so that by the end of a given month, you know exactly how much you spent on that Starbucks pumpkin spice caramel cappuccino, what those on-sale Jimmy Choo shoes actually cost you, including shipping and state taxes,  how much you really dropped on that “bargain weekend getaway” to the Bahamas!

Once you have a firm handle on where your newly-limited fixed income resources are being spent, you’d be surprised how creative you can become in avoiding life in the red column! That free on-line pumpkin spice caramel cappuccino recipe you found on line might taste just as delicious in your kitchen wearing your PJ’s!  And who will ever know if you opt to purchase your designer shoes at a local outlet at half-price, where you might even find two pairs for the price of one.

Assessing one’s assets, and facing the realities of spending on our needs rather than our wants are two laudable beginning steps to assuring that you become and remain financially comfortable in retirement.  There are other even more pro-active steps you can take to assure that your golden years are just that!  For example, we haven’t even scratched the surface of multiple employment options, configurations, and strategies.
About the Author

Marie Langworthy’s retirement well-lived is her best sales pitch for her co-authored book, Shifting Gears to Your Life and Work After Retirement: Second Edition. In her current retirement career, she is fulfilling her long-held compulsion to write. Her new work takes the form of writing books, blogs and copy for client web sites. Marie is living proof that you can realize your dream job after retiring. But you need to do more than wish for it; you must will it to happen.

In her two most recent co-authored books, Shifting Gears to Your Life and Work After Retirement: Second Edition and Shifting Gears to Your Career Working Online (both available through, Marie and her co-author, Carolee Duckworth, provide a specific, exciting pathway and strategy for carrying out your ultimate retirement adventure. Both authors take pride and thank their readers that the first edition of Life & Work After Retirement sold 4000+ copies and won a Silver Nautilus Book Award as well as a Foreword’s IndieFab SIlver Award.

Come visit the book website at and the blogsite at for ongoing updates of resources and possibilities for life and work after work.