What is true financial security? We all invariably have different definitions of it. For the longest time, most baby boomers equated financial stability with their job, or perhaps their career. We believed that if we worked hard enough for long enough, our employer would reward us with a solid retirement that would allow us to enjoy our golden years.
But although this model seems to have served our parent’s generation fairly well, it didn’t work too well for us. We found out early on that working for the same company for several decades was no longer a viable approach. We changed jobs, and often over the years, changed careers. Even those folks who were lucky enough to start out with a company that employed them all the way to retirement often saw their solid retirement plans collapse as companies used pension funds for other things, or got rid of them entirely.
For other Boomers, financial security came in the form of a retirement portfolio, made up of stocks and bonds. Some of us got greedy during the go-go years of the early Internet craze, only to lose untold thousands of dollars in the dot com bust. But we persisted, believing that ultimately the stock market would come through, so we kept investing. And by 2008, we had all been burned again as the market tumbled and trillions of dollars of value were lost. Good luck finding financial security there. (more…)