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Climate change is a retirement problem – how to turn worries into action

‘Are you sure we can afford to retire? We can still live 20 to 30 years. I’m wondering if I need retirement savings anymore. ‘

‘The recent terrible wildfire really shook me. Many of those destroyed in the fire were elderly retirees and could not move in time. The same thing happened with Hurricane Katrina. ‘

I am very worried that the lives of our grandchildren will be more difficult than ours due to the possibility of a climate change. When our grandchildren realized this and asked what we were doing to help them, what would we say? ‘

We need to plan ahead

Action is the antidote to despair – Joan Baez

There are a lot of things that pre-retirees and retirees can worry about today. Normal retirement savings. Lack of pensions. Threats to Social Security. Concerns about investment volatility and inflation. More bills for medical expenses. Increased life expectancy — which is good. Extreme weather events. Concerns about the world our children and grandchildren will inherit.

Read: Is Retirement Safe for Climate Change? Ask tough questions about real estate and property insurance

These worries can seem overwhelming and it is normal for you not to know where to start. And you may be wondering if there’s a connection between your money and climate change – it turns out there’s a major connection.

You will be better off if you plan ahead to mitigate the potential damage to your money, your life and the world we leave when we go. Unfortunately, there is not one silver bullet that magically takes care of all your concerns. Most often, you will need to take many creative steps to create more “green” that you can spend and grow more “green” in your life.

The challenges we face require planning for the remaining 10, 20, or 30 years ahead of us. And it takes commitment, hard work, and self-discovery about what’s really important to us.

We are ready for action. Elders traditionally play the role of supervisors, turning their knowledge and experience into actions and words of wisdom. Senior supervisors provide leadership to their communities by setting a good example for everyday life. In this vein, senior supervisors have been teachers, mentors, and patrons throughout the centuries.

Fortunately, as a senior supervisor, we can do a lot to plan ahead.

Reflecting on what is really important to us

Since many of us have to make some tough decisions about our lives in retirement, let’s do a little soul-searching to reflect on what really matters.

One way is to ask insightful questions, a method used by the Greek philosopher Socrates. Here are some questions to consider asking yourself and those you care about:

ಹೇಗೆ How do you define successful retirement?

ಯಾವ What kind of peak experiences (bucket list thing) do you want in retirement?

ಉತ್ತಮವಾದ What does an “average day” look like for you in retirement? (Not doing your bucket list stuff.).

ಯಾವ What events can prevent your bucket list and your best “average days” in retirement? What steps can you take to make your life better?

ರೆ Imagine your home, community and surroundings in 10 to 20 years if current trends in the world continue. Will your life be the same, better or worse?

ಜೀವನ What is the life of your children and grandchildren?

ಯಾವ What kind of ancestor would you like to be?

While you can always reflect on these questions yourself, it may be more insightful to explore these questions with relatives and friends who understand you a lot.

Next, let’s dig deeper into some of the challenges we face.

Face the dilemma of retirement

If you have a higher retirement and retirement, you will spend less money in retirement compared to when you are working because you have less regular income. More or less, for some people.

This means you need to make every dollar count in retirement. To have more confidence in your money, you need to balance the “magic formula” for financial security in retirement throughout your life:

I> E, Or More revenue than costs

In fact, this formula is not really magic, it is just general knowledge. Balancing this formula will reduce your stress about money in retirement.

If your income declines significantly when you retire, sooner or later you will need to reduce your expenses on living expenses. A common problem is that many new retirees continue their current spending habits, delaying the day of their reckoning. For most people, the sooner they face the reality of their financial situation, the better their long-term financial security.

You want to understand the amount of regular retirement income you can expect from all sources, which aim to limit your spending on living expenses. If you need to reduce your spending, thinking about the questions asked in the past can help you focus on what really matters and what is most important to you.

Most of us have more time and less money in retirement compared to our working years. As combined interest increases our savings accounts, we can use our time asset to our advantage with the knowledge that many small, positive steps can accumulate as significant improvements over time.

What’s the next step?

Accept the reality of climate change

Although there are many opinions about the cause of climate change, it is becoming increasingly clear from recent news that these events may be the new normal for the rest of our lives.

For example, a recent report from the United Nations warns that climate change is making time to avoid worldwide disasters. Surveys, however, show that younger people are more concerned about these events than seniors. Given the challenges we face in relation to climate change, it should call for senior supervisors to “deck on all hands.”

The climate crisis has developed over the decades due to the cumulative impact of actions taken by millions of people around the world. To mitigate the most severe impacts of climate change, it will take millions of people to “green” their lives with smart changes in their daily routine. These steps have a positive cumulative effect not only on the environment but also on your bank account.

Now that we are motivated to take action and we have a little understanding of our challenges, let’s turn to practical strategies to make a difference in our lives and the lives of others.

Follow your money

Instead of viewing our financial realities as a poor situation, we have win-win opportunities to enrich our retirement years while helping to improve our communities and future generations. If we carefully follow our spending money, we can still have a better life by strengthening our economy, reducing our stress on money, improving our health and leaving a better world for our grandchildren.

With this attitude in mind, you want to take a closer look at where you choose to live, because the quality of your life in retirement depends significantly on your community and specific home. For most pensioners, housing costs are a big part of their regular budget, so they represent a potential target if you need to reduce your spending. In the process, you can also lower your carbon footprint.

Many retirees succumb to inertia and stay in their current home as they transition into retirement. Your current home may be a great place to live your working years, but it no longer meets your needs or budget in retirement. The best approach is to investigate a home and community that best meets your needs during your retirement years, when you still have the energy and ability to move.

You want to keep track of your daily expenses on transportation, food and other things that provide opportunities for win-win savings.

It may take a lot of work to embrace green retirement, but it is well worth the effort considering it is at risk. Stay tuned for part two of this series, where we will look at tens of thousands of practical strategies and tips to save money on our retirement years and help our grandchildren leave the planet better.

Conversations on the wall in 10 years:

‘I am proud of how we balanced our spending and income so many years ago. I am not overly stressed about money and it is very good for me.

‘We made the right decision to move a few years ago. It was a lot of work, but it was worth the effort. Have you read anything in our old town? ‘

‘I want to share the exciting news. My granddaughter was studying ecology in college. She was inspired by her grandmother to do something to improve the world.

Stay tunedve Vernon, FSA, an independent research consultant on the most challenging retirement decisions. He is the author of six books on retirement planning and has led hundreds of retirement planning workshops. He recently completed a nine-year consultation on retirement strategies for the Stanford Center for Longevity.

Harry R. Moody, Ph.D., is a retired Vice President for Academic Affairs for AARP. She meets faculty in the Creative Longevity and Intelligence Program at Fielding Graduate University.

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