Two years ago I read a piece in The Atlantic that resonated loudly with me. It detailed the secret shame of the middle class when it comes to their precarious financial situation. I think it spoke to me because over the past few years I’ve witnessed a number of things that hit me hard. I’ve also experienced some things that hit me hard.
For example, last week our next door neighbors moved. That might not sound like anything significant. But if you know the story why, it was very significant.
They are a kind Christian couple and good neighbors who are sixty-ish. Their children are grown and married with children. Their grandchildren love to come and visit our little red schoolhouse library.
To make a three plus year story short, he lost his job over three years ago due to funding cuts, could not find work despite sending out hundreds of resumes and having dozens of interviews, found out he had cancer, underwent surgery and treatment, still no job, and then the cancer returned in new places which made it terminal in the next few years. So this summer we watched as they sold almost all their belongings, sold their home, and moved this past week to live with their daughter and her family for now.
They had reached the point where they had to sell their home. I’m fairly certain this was not their plan for their later years.
I’ve interacted with dozens of people who either have a chronic illness or their child has one. I’ve interacted with so many people who have a gifted or 2e child. In so many of those cases, they have suffered a huge financial hit. Some of them will never recover financially.
So what happens to all these people? What happens to their retirement plans?
I’ve also contemplated the impact of homeschooling on people’s retirement. I have another post I’m going to write here about that. One of the things nobody talks about is how homeschooling is going to negatively impact some people’s retirement in some pretty significant ways. (There are some really negative impacts to people’s lives when they homeschool that don’t get discussed often enough and I think people also carry around secret shame over those as well.)
That started me down a trail of studying and learning more about the retirement plight of Generation X. This is my generation. These are my fellow Gen Xers who are bearing the brunt of a hugely changing financial landscape with less time to adjust than the generations after them.
So two summers ago, I purchased a domain with the intention of taking that information and eventually putting it into one place to help others. (And, to be honest, help David and me also work toward our financial and retirement needs.) Between work and health and homeschooling and everything else, it took a while to get there. But I’ve finally got the site up and am ready to launch it. It’s a start and there is a lot more to come since I’ve been collecting research and links for a couple of years. I don’t even have the newsletter sign-up ready yet, but am going to go ahead and share the link.
There’s lots more I could say, but I’ll let you read more over on the actual site: Gen X Retirement Planning.