Americans born in the postwar boom are entering their golden years. Despite the financial success of their careers, a disturbing number aren’t prepared for the financial challenges ahead.
Elizabeth Boatwright planned to be retired by now. After all, she and her husband Frank saved diligently for decades, and seemed on track to hit their financial goals. But the couple’s plan didn’t include Frank, a former social worker, developing dementia two years ago, or budget for his caregiving bills of $5,000 to $6,000 a month. So 72-year-old Elizabeth is still working two 12-hour shifts a week as a chaplain at a local hospital and filling in at the local children’s hospital whenever she can.
Once the couple’s nest egg shrinks to less than a year’s worth of caregiving costs, Boatwright says she plans to give up her paid work and care for Frank herself. “It’s hard. The savings are dwindling,” says Boatwright, who has a side business helping others with life transitions and financial planning. Her current situation juggling work and Frank’s needs “is definitely exhausting,” she says. Yet the prospect of giving up her paycheck and watching their savings shrink is even more daunting.