America is known for its Rags to Riches stories, which give us all hope for a better tomorrow. But do we use it as a crutch? Do we sometimes willfully deny reality and rely too much on hope for the big job, the next Apple, the lottery, or an inheritance to save our money worries?
According to a Time Magazine article “Boomers Never Got their $30 Trillion Inheritance…” , the Boomer generation was set to inherit $41Trillion before incomes stagnated, jobs disappeared and the market took a dive. Now the Boomer generation is set to inherit somewhere around $12 Trillion as of 2013. With 76.4 million Baby Boomers, that leaves $157,068 per Boomer. And if you take out the billions of assets owned by the uber wealthy, that leaves even less money inheritance for the rest of us.
Now $157,000 is nothing to sneeze at. But it’s not going to put most of us in a lap of luxury during retirement either. $41 trillion sounds rich. $157,000 is reality. So why are many of us hopeful that we will be OK in retirement even if we don’t focus on it?
Margaret Heffernan’s book Willful Blindness talks about our human need to believe we are “good, and worthy and valued”. She suggests we couldn’t function if we believed ourselves to be otherwise. So we ignore our failings, like managing our money well, to avoid pain and conflict. We don’t want to admit we could be doing more, because it makes us feel unworthy. And we don’t want to find out we need to do more, because then it creates conflict between the way we want to live and the way we should live.
She challenges that when we are blind to our shortcomings, we aren’t effective at functioning either.
“That’s the paradox of blindness: We think it will make us safe even as it puts us in danger”. Are you in danger?
Your Life is Worth Planning Ahead
So let’s turn the tables. Know that money issues are tough. You are worthy even if you find it hard to tackle them. And you are also worthy enough to take care of your future self. Start with one commitment because you are valued– start figuring out what you will need in retirement.
Related Topic: Why You Avoid Money Decisions
Information shown is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal or tax planning advice. Please consult a financial adviser, attorney or tax specialist for advice specific to your financial situation. Behavioral Cents, LLC and any third parties listed, linked to or otherwise appearing in this message are separate and unaffiliated and are not responsible for each other’s products, services or policies.
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