It’s important when creating your budget to understand what is a need versus a want. If you need to cut back then the wants are the first to go. However a recent survey of my generation revealed the needs are not really only the basics for survival (shelter, clothing and food).
Instead, 66% in this survey by Mainstay Investments indicated that shopping for birthdays and other special occasions is a need. If that seems outrageous, other surprising baby boomer needs include an annual vacation (50%) and professional hair color/cut (43%).
Wanting it All
As part of the first generation to think they could (and should) have it all we’re starting to seriously think about retirement if not already there. And it’s time to pay the piper. This has motivated me to focus on paying off debt so I can start seriously beefing up my retirement accounts.
David Stewart, financial psychologist, indicates that boomers in general never shifted from spenders to savers when hitting middle age. I can see why if we think dining out (38%) and weekend getaways (46%) are needs.
Thank goodness I am near the end of this generation so I have more time to prepare. Fortunately I’m not the only one making changes in their retirement strategies. Some might work longer while others might try phased retirement.
Another strategy is to retire to a smaller home or cheaper area and add the remaining equity to your retirement fund. Others are seeking the advice of financial advisers for advice on when to retire and how to live as comfortably as possible.
I think we’ll be okay but I am with the majority of boomers who think internet (66%) and pet care (51%) are needs. What is a need in your budget that isn’t directly related to food, clothing and shelter?
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