In the April issue of Venue magazine, Wealth Dimensions discusses the importance of creating a financially sustainable lifestyle, or living in a way that does not deplete essential financial resources necessary for a comfortable and secure future. Individuals and couples need to plan for a standard of living that will endure over the long run and can weather the unexpected. In the face of longer life expectancy and the increasing cost of healthcare, the need to live a sustainable lifestyle to best position yourself for retirement has never been greater.
We at Wealth Dimensions work with clients to develop financial plans that become a blueprint for making smart decisions. According to Doug Loftus, managing member at Wealth Dimensions Group, “A good financial plan should integrate well-defined family goals with assets, resources and everything else that impacts the outcome clients are trying achieve. When you do this, you have a higher level of commitment to the plan with clients who are able to overcome obstacles and stay on track.”
Many families underestimate what it takes to transition into retirement and maintain their current lifestyle. According to a recent Bankrate.com survey, upper-middle-income households were saving 21 percent less for retirement in 2013 than the year before, while only 14 percent were saving more.
Clearly, having a financial plan is an essential starting point. But many families today are “sandwiched” between the dual realities of aging parents and adult children struggling to become independent.
A Pew Research Study shows that the financial burdens with caring for multiple generations of family members are escalating. The study also indicates that the biggest pressures are coming primarily from grown children.
This is also supported by a Harris Interactive Poll conducted in May 2011 that shows more than half (59 percent) of the respondents are providing or have provided financial support to adult children who are out of school. One explanation for this may be the Great Recession and sluggish recovery. According to a study (Pew Research Social & Demographic Trends, “Young, Underemployed and Optimistic,” Feb. 9, 2012.), the share of young adults who were employed in 2010 was the lowest it had been since the government started collecting data in 1948. From 2007 to 2011, those young adults who were employed full-time experienced a greater drop in average weekly earnings than any other age group.
The need to have financial strategies in place for dealing with these family situations is critical. “For our clients, taking care of their family is a priority, but this needs to be balanced with their own retirement financial security,” says Tom Curti, a managing member at Wealth Dimensions Group. “Helping your adult children while jeopardizing your own retirement is a sacrifice that families cannot afford to make. No one wins in this situation, and in many cases, the best way to care for future generations may require you to make your own financial security a priority.”