Baby Boomers talk about money, savings, house, mortgage, children’s inheritance, and healthcare plans as they move onto the third stage of life.
Wayne: You’re listening to Booms Day Prepping, a podcast for Baby Boomers, by Baby Boomers, about Baby Boomers. And today, Dr. Drew Dwyer and myself are hosting in our normal panel of experts and commentators, we have Bron, Amanda, Glenn and Brian with us. And if you’d like to learn more about that excellent group of people, if you head off to our website at boomsdayprepping.com, you can find both a little introductory video on each of them and some biographical information and also their happy smiling faces so you can see who you’re listening to. This episode, we’re having a look at prepping and planning and that most necessary of commodities, money. And we’ve titled it, ‘Every Penny Counts’ and here is Dr. Drew Dwyer to fill us in on his thoughts on Every Penny Counts.
Dr. Drew: Hello everyone, it’s great to be here. And I want to open up the platform really for the rationale of why I introduced this topic or why I want to have a discussion around this topic particularly with the panel. And for myself, it’s a pride area of work because I’m lucky enough to have millennial children. So I had children late and my younger children regularly, particularly my son convinces me or questions be regularly on his inheritance and what he’ll be left and what legacy he would get. And as he’s coming into the late years of high school now, looking forward to the university life or perhaps military life for him. I’m busy reminding him and trying to get him convinced that he who inherits the biggest debt from his parents will be the ultimate winner. So in other words, the planning and preparing myself, my wife and I preparing our children to understand and my wife as a mid boomer telling my children, “There’ll be nothing left for you other than what we give you early.” So Every Penny Counts has always been a foundation stone for the greater generations. Older generations of the Boomer being the Great Generations and the Silent Generations that is the people between 72 and 92 and the 92s to OMGs. The history around their culture is being frugal and they’re spending conscious with their savings that rainy day stuff. They’ve lived the experience of course coming through two world wars, coming out of poverty, nothing was assured he for them other than death and tax nothing was a positive thing for them other than they had to save for their legacy, for their children and everything had to go towards them. Not necessarily because there was no pensions or no superannuations back then. As a modern millennial concept of the pensions and separations have now interfluxed with the older generations and has become very stationary as a Boomer concept. Boomers invented it, Boomers has created the platform for superannuation and retirement. And luckily, for the older generations, Boomers have set up a platform that allows balance for their parents to be rest assured that they actually don’t need that much but it doesn’t take away from the older generations that teaching or cultural transfer. Older generations still have a big influence in the Boomers. Boomers still have a big influence of looking through the lens of ageing and trying to work out what their going to need when it comes to understand what they’re going to need later. Now, some of the figures that I look at when I work with other companies or particularly finance companies around ageing and retirement. In Australia for example, a modern Boomer who wants to retire will probably from the age of 70 onwards will need as an individual roughly one million Australian dollars in their superannuation. They would probably need to have their home as a private residence without a mortgage and this would give them a substantial increase to the current pension entitlement which is roughly around about 18,000 to 20,000 Australian dollars and you can’t feed a dog on that. But the reality is a self-funded retiree will need this money to give them a basic pension of about $45,000 to $50,000 to live a life, a healthy life probably for 30 years up until they’re probably 90 to 100. And if living well into that zone, taking into consideration and which we will talk about today, what are their unexpected things that come into ageing and that money will be drawn towards like health and lifestyle. These are big factors for Boomers to consider because as I said, as we discussed earlier, Boomers are in a middle space as sandwich people looking after their elderly parents and thinking about the legacy for their children and where their children are going. And at the same time, a Boomer has got to be reminiscent of, they’re still young enough and active enough and where’s their own life going and how much is it going to cost because every penny counts.
Wayne: There was stunned silence in the room as everyone raced out to check their superannuation balance and went, “My God, a million dollars that’s a lot of money to have sitting around doing nothing.” Given that for many of us superannuation wasn’t a thing in our younger years, it didn’t kick in as a compulsory thing until I was probably in my mid-30s or something. And being a Baby Boomers generation of course money was made round to go round, not flat the stack. So there were not big savings and now if you had 40 years in a job like the government where superannuation was part of the deal, then those sort of superannuation figures are going to be common. But for those of us who didn’t have a nice stable government job, those of us who were self-employed perhaps, we don’t have that chunk of money sitting there.
Bron: Can I throw into there women in my age group and in my situation? I’m divorced and we know statistically that close to 50% of marriages end in divorce. So that means close to 50% of women in my age bracket end up divorced in midlife and have to start again and that’s literally what I did in my 50s. For myself, my superannuation really didn’t start until I was in my mid 40s and even then, it was minimal because I did mostly part-time and casual work. And so any superannuation that I had was never going to get anywhere near even $200,000. So for a woman in my position, the prospect is that continuing to work well past 70 is the likelihood. For me, that’s not an issue because I feel healthy and strong and I’ve got plenty of ideas and still a lot left to do. But I think for women who already have health issues, who are in their 60s and have found themselves in the same situation that I have, the future looks bleak and rather scary and we know statistically that women in my age group are increasingly becoming homeless. So yes, the whole money issue, it’s a huge one.
Glenn: There’s part of the human brain that’s got a button and we have button as you would know Bron that is when is enough concern and anxiety and that’s always been anything through life. We fluctuate between anorexia, if you’re on obesity, we’re never good in the middle roads and becoming good at it. So that when it’s enough, we do the rock throw and we hear people say “We’re going to live between 90 and 100 years instead of earlier”. But we can also go suddenly at 60. We can all go suddenly at 61 and be as healthy as. So that concept around living your life well and enjoying your life well, well has done some rock throws into the future but I think we’re doing so many rock throws into the future that a lot of us are living with anxiety rather than go “Hold on there’s another chance that in a couple of years time that bus might take a wrong turn and hit me. So what are the things that I really wish to do? What’s the legacies I wish to have in place? What are the sites that I still wish to see?” Now I’m not a great fan of as much as a mate of mine lives his whole life about talking about a bucket of list. I’m not a great fan of that concept but I am a fan of putting money into health, putting money into learning, being aware that we may be living a long time, but the anxiety of where we’re going to be in 20 years’ time needs to be tempered with the fact of how we’re living now. And there’s a whole stack of things you can do for absolutely free, if you’ve still got your health mentally and physically, you can go walk by the river, you can swim in the ocean and it doesn’t cost you and to do those things as well as having a few special things for health and learning and a few tricks up our sleeve that we might want to take.
Bron: Good words Glenn.
Dr. Drew: For someone like Brian, I’ve got a question for Brian because Brian I have thespians in my family, musicians and actors. I have one brother particularly, who we’re very close, we do have a good laugh when we get together and he’s lived his life as a musician, entertainer and so forth and as I can say, I watched him over the years where their families were at the point where all they’ve got is bread and drippings because the incomes of life are not that greatest in the acting, performance, music game and they live quite a tight life. But the passion and and the wealth of their love and their knowledge is always there, they’re happy people. But now that they’ve entered into their mid-Boomer years, there’s quite a bit of pressure around them not owning property, not set up pensions, not enough superannuation and I often wonder to myself like him and he’s co-author friends because he has many. Is it for the thespian side, the actor side? Is it a consideration for people who have, I won’t say alternative but the diverse lifestyle growing up not worrying about money and property and finances. “I’m focused on my passion, my love, my music, my theatre, my art.” At some point down line, they realize “Holy hell, I got to be starting to plan for the third stage and I haven’t really done well at this.”
Glenn: But I think it’s “Holy hell, my manager has run off with my money” isn’t it?
Brian: So do you know my manager? It’s interesting, I’m lucky in one respect. I’m not with a lot of respect. In this particular respect, I’ve never worried about money. It’s just something that it’s like having a car, it’s a necessary evil and so I’ve never worried about it and luckily again, I’ve always managed to have some money. When I was acting pretty well full-time living in Sydney, I managed to get enough money together to buy my first property and then you sell that and you buy another and blah, blah, blah and it goes on South. So I’ve always managed to cover my bills. When I was growing up, one thing, I can’t remember very much that my parents have said to me apart from “stop doing that,” whatever that was. But one of the things they did kind of instill was “Never buy anything that you can’t afford to pay for.” So I almost never, apart from mortgages and things like that, I never had any debts. I don’t go out and buy things on credit, I mean I use my credit card all the time but we pay it off every month. So I never have those sort of debts and I still don’t worry about money. Having said that, my beautiful wife still works. So she has money coming in which I think, “Oh, this is good, see? I’ve got money and I don’t have to worry.” But if she stopped working of course, it would make a big difference. And in terms of planning, I mean you can plan to live to a hundred and you walk out the door and get hit by a bus at the age of 59 or something. My father worked all his life, never, literally in all his life, I think he had two weeks off with a cold, this is in England. Everybody has time off off with a cold, not my dad he got a call – two good things happening, one was when he gave up smoking because he couldn’t taste and the other thing was it made him realize that people do get sick. But when he died at the age of 64 watching a soccer match, it was like he’d never lived, there was nothing. There was a couple of thousand pounds in the bank and that was it. So what’s the point of worrying about it? I mean just get on with it, enjoy your life, do what you have to do.
Dr. Drew: Okay, and Amanda I got a question for you. Amanda, if you don’t know everybody is our very hardly welcomed new Australian Chinook salmon reservist from Canada. So is it the same sort of thinking throughout the Northern American way of life, Amanda and being in an Australian way of life now that they think about the same things, parents, savings, house, the money, the mortgage, the retirement package?
Amanda: I think it is. One of the biggest things that I noticed is that the cost of living in North America is much, much cheaper than it is in Australia. So that was a big eye-opener for me because often times, a lot of my family members and especially my parents they have a house that their wages easily pay for and all that kind of stuff whereas here, you look at the cost of housing and then you look at your wages and you’re like, “’Okay, the wages are good but the cost of housing is astronomical.” So I remember purchasing our first house here and it was quite expensive and my mom was like “Are you buying like a mansion? Like an estate?” And I said, “No. It’s not an estate. It’s a three-bedroom townhouse with no basement and no backyard.” And she was like, “What?”, I said “Yep, yep.” And she goes “Oh my God, you’re going to be paying that off until you are 300.” I’m like “Nope. My children won’t be paying it off.”
Dr. Drew: Is healthcare play a big role role in that as well?
Amanda: Healthcare in Canada is outstanding, it is free. So that’s a nice thing but the problem is you need to kind of wait in line. So the benefit is, and I live from a border city, so the benefit is if you have any money and your health is declining, you drive across the border and you just pay for whatever it is that you actually need through an American hospital. So that’s our gap, is that the health care is free which is great but you have to kind of stand in line with everybody else. Whereas here again in Australia even, free healthcare is great but if you really need to see that specialist you’ll be able to fork out for them if you need to see them quickly.
Glenn: You also need to save up a lot of money to buy a martini. In America, you can buy several martinis.
Dr. Drew: Well that’s right. The more I travel Glenn, I see these things, it’s the concept of how we value or construct the dollar and the taxes. In Australia and particularly it’s very expensive to live. The cost of living in Australia is going through the roof and I mean, simple things in the moment in Australia, electricity. I’ve got so many community clients that are just leaving their electricity off. Elderly, older Boomers over 75 to 80 and they’re just going without because they understand the concept of going without and it’s detrimental to their health. But the concept of retirement living is my next question, the concept of retirement living is well outdated and it needs a whole revision. People don’t retire anymore. The modern Boomer is not going to retire so the modern Boomer needs to replatform or redevelop what retirement looks like whether they find a new word for it or new concept or modeling. But in the end, we need to, I believe as a gerontologist get the focus back through the Boomers because there’s so many of them and they’re going to have such an impact on society as we age in the next 30 years. The remodeling of how we live as communities shared dwellings, shared community living, closed communities, these types of things really need to hit the forefront because it’s going to take Boomers to understand and to evolve these models – community models where we have shared gardens and fruit and veg and I hope you can understand where I’m coming from here. Where they’re shared living, where they’re reduce their expenses, they’ve got supervision, ground maintenance, they’re doing their bits and pieces, but they can find they’re happy and they really kind of stay in that little tight, little living community or living address until end of life. Because I can guarantee you now, nursing homes worldwide are becoming nothing but hospices for death because elderly people do not want to move into a retirement village or a nursing home. However, this is a fundamental strategic planning process for transition and a lot of the crisis management I deal with is when I’m dealing with Boomers, late Boomers in particular and the older generations that have given this no consideration. As far as they’re concerned, they’re staying in their house right up until the end regardless of how many stairs and how complicated that dwelling is to live in. What I want to know what your thoughts are because I know mine is set yourself up for success so you can die where you want.
Glenn: Certainly it requires the greatest and creative and innovative thinking to be brought to that strategic process and the choices we make, the way that we live, I’m a former kibbutznik, I lived on a kibbutz and a modified version of kibbutz seen in a community living way and is one of the decisions that some people are making. Wayne, other people are making decisions that are quite brave and courageous and go “Hold on, I don’t have to live in this country. I’m going to live in another country. I can spend some time somewhere else.” How much of it was just an individual decision away and how much of it is a collective society decision that needs to be far more creative and innovative?
Wayne: Glenn, there is a big movement right around the world for people to choose to retire into lower cost environments. And part of the driver for that is that the cost of living that Amanda was talking about in Australia flows through into that retirement sector. I’ve had a little research project on to try and find the cost of a retirement village and I have to tell you, having read the legislation in New South Wales and Victoria, I don’t think I’ve ever come across what looks, smells and feels like a bigger real estate scam in my life.
Dr. Drew: You better believe it, well stated Wayne.
Dr. Drew: They work purely on accommodation modeling and they are rotting the public.
Wayne: This is legislation that we need to put in the face of the ageing ministers or ministers for ageing.
Dr. Drew: Ken Wyeth in Australia.
Bron: Can you say that Drew, was that Ken Wyeth?
Dr. Drew: That was Ken Wyeth.
Wayne: I don’t know who did this deal for this legislation but man it is anything but balanced, fair and reasonable legislation from my casual reading.
Dr. Drew: Wayne, let me interject there because as you know you and I talked about this vaguely in our private space and I’m very much constructed in the zone advising in Thailand, advising in Malaysia and advising in Bali. Now the concept model is beginning but again, they are heavily going towards the real estate model because that’s where the dollar value is for the proprietor or the developer. The fact still remains. It is up to the Boomers, they’ve got to get their head around forcing the new models that give these retirees exactly what they want because at the end of the day, they will end up having every value of their pennies sucked into real estate with no way out and their care will diminish and this is the issue. As we age and if you read some of my works, my books, you will be impacted on by ageing, incontinence, dementia, diabetes, mobility. The actual ageing process particularly after 70 increases by 38% per annum and more every year after the age of 30 without proper exercise, fitness, nutrition and so forth, your body declines. No one gets out of it. Some of us fare better than others but for many Boomers, it’s that space. Where can I live? Have all that taken care of at the same time get my care needs met so I’m not putting pressure on anybody else. Now the Asian models are really nice Glenn because the cost of services is dramatically reduced. However, they’re quickly in the Asian model jumping to as Wayne says these legislative platforms that Australia is offering to the world, China for example, it’s going to be just as expensive to get into the real estate to forget about your care. So that modeling is got to be very smart. I’ve just come from a community in Australia that a group of Boomers, 300 of them have all put their money together and bought a retired golf course. And they are now restructuring that golf course into their own retirement community with shared housing, with veggie patches, with pools, with their own things, it’s a massive piece of land and they are doing this under their own finances with their own retirement money doing it their own way and this is where it needs to move. The innovation has got to come from Boomers, they are smart enough to do this.
Glenn: We need to be revolting.
Dr. Drew: Yes, absolutely.
Glenn: We’ve got to get the remaining Boomers and start the revolution. This is a Boomers revolution, we need innovative, creative thinking but the way that we live and combine together in a collaborative process beyond core years of life.
Wayne: So one of the things we’re seeing here in the Philippines is this idea of I guess I call it Airbnb on valium. It’s aimed at retirees who don’t have the close family connections – they’re divorcees, their children are not an everyday occurrence. Of course, the idea of an international phone call or an international videoconference is now cheap and easy. And so around the Philippines, in some very nice cities, you can rent a very modern Western-style, 4-bedroom house for about 2,000 Australian dollars a month. And for about another 2,000, you can put all the services on there – water, electricity, internet, all of that sort of stuff. But the big difference is the cost of labour particularly care labour. So to have, here they call them Maid, House Staff, call them what you will, you’re going to pay probably about let’s say 10,000 pesos a month. So at about $300 or $400 a month, you’re going to have a full-time live in very well-paid, I mean at that price you would have a line up around the block to work for you, very well-paid housekeeper who will cook, read your stories, rub your feet, talk to you when you’re lonely, go away when you’re not lonely, basically like a family carer. Now if you couple that with a bit of professional care, what’s happening is people are renting these houses in groups of four and everyone’s got a master bedroom and an ensuite and room for a lounge chair and their own TV. But they’ve also got a common dining room and a common area. And so it’s a shared housing deal and you might stay 6 months, so you might stay 12 months and then you might wander off somewhere else. So that’s a trend that I think will take off a lot more than it is now. I’m also fascinated and I’d love to hear from anyone out there who has just decided to live on a cruise ship. I’m told there are retirees who are just living cruise to cruise, to cruise, to cruise and if there’s anyone doing that and they’d like to talk to her to us about it on air, we’d love to hear from you. Please reach out.
Dr. Drew: Amanda, did you had something to say there?
Amanda: Well I would say it’s really interesting. I had a client recently, she was a daughter of a late Boomer and the problem was the Boomer had bought like a retirement home we’re going to say. So in a little retirement village space and so she bought this retirement home, signed all the paperworks, but then her health had rapidly declined. And unfortunately where she purchased because she wanted to die where she wanted to be was actually quite far away. So now, she requires 24-hour care which is not available where she’s at. So she’s had to be relocated closer into where the daughter is and they’ve gone to attempt to sell this retirement house that she bought and 30% of whatever price she sells it at has to go back to the real estate agency and this is really in the contract.
Dr. Drew: And this has something to do with the individual contracts. It’s an insidious thing to watch in the retirement village zone and it really needs to have the Boomer market as Glenn said, there needs to be an absolute revolt from these 900 Boomers. At least this goes for Australian 6 million Boomers now and the 87 million Boomers in America. They need to push back hard at their governments and put them in their spot. I’d like to move the conversation a bit forward to the concept to put into your head of SKI living (SKI) which literally means ‘Spending the Kids’ Inheritance.’ And I’d like to know your concept of it because it’s a well-established phenomenon in the Boomer industry and it’s very well established amongst the language of the cohort of 65s and aboves because they’ve now learned through being frugal that their younger generations underneath them because of the work they’ve done, they’re the youth behind the Boomer has actually got everything at their feet. Everything is being structured and lined up although difficult for them to get into housing and so forth. The advancements the youth are making into getting access is a lot different to where the Boomers sit or the Boomer did sit 30 years ago. So spending the kid’s Inheritance is a concept that I deal a lot with my Boomers when they’re looking about legacy, what they’re going to leave and what they’re going to use. And the slogan sits well. In Australia, they’re commonly known as the ‘Grey Nomads’ and these are the people that Wayne is probably referring to. I find a lot of them are expats, ex-military or self-sufficient with distant family or they’re not as close to their family unit. They don’t have the nuclear family image and they’re quite happy to travel around and use their money to live and make their money work in different countries, in different places, in a Humvee, in a mobile home until they so that they can live longer and live better their way. Spending everything they can as frugally as they can, knowing that what’s going to be left for the kids is anything they don’t need, don’t want anymore and they’ll just enter into a hospice or a nursing home and end their life and let their life end. I’m interested in your concept. Me, I love the whole concept. I inform my children every day. My wife and I tell them that when we get to a point and they’re old enough, we will give them their inheritance when we’re able to see them use it or advance with it. After that, we’re spending the rest into our death. I’m going to spend the kids’ inheritance after, I’m actually going to give it to them first – gift, wedding whatever but then what’s left is mine and I’m using the lot all the way to the end.
Glenn: I speak as somebody without children but the influence that we try to put on, my mum and dad who both lived until 85, 86 years of age. But for them to not worry about us – my brother and my sister, myself. To use their money whilst they’re alive for the things that they enjoy as well as creating that this lifestyle they could. And like Brian, they didn’t have a lot, when they were gone, they didn’t leave a lot behind but they wanted to, they wanted to leave something for their kids. We almost had to convince them to “No, use it for yourself now.”
Brian: I’m not bothered, my kids actually want anything that I’ve got. I mean obviously they love money, they’re not getting any. Again, it’s something that doesn’t really concern me. I talked to my children about it. They both got really well-paying jobs and they look after themselves. I don’t think they were expecting me to kick this mortal coil and leave them family heirlooms, I mean there aren’t any.
Dr. Drew: Brian, let me say something and Amanda as a counselor too, I want you to interject with this. A lot of the people I sit with in long term care often speak very clearly about their anxieties and their frustrations and their anxiousness about how they lived their life up till this point hoping that they could leave a legacy for their kids to inherit to go on. And now, they are very disappointed sitting in an accommodation space in a lifetime which they see is negative, is disappointing, they disapprove of it and they feel they’ve had no choice to be stuck in this nursing home, or this village, or this space and they’ve got no other way out and this is where their anxieties build and the depression comes and the downward spiral towards end-of-life comes very rapidly and the illness begins to take ahold. And Amanda, I’d like your feedback here but I sit a lot of time in this space working with the depression of the older Boomer and the older generation to have them to understand they’re in this space because they didn’t plan effectively using emotional intelligence to understand the day they got here, that’s what they should have played for, how this day forward was going to be. They’ve very angry, very frustrated and very depressed about where they end up.
Amanda: And I think that there’s a major disconnect because like you guys were saying earlier. It’s the older generation wants to leave something behind but the younger generation like you were saying Glenn, it’s just like, “No mum, dad enjoy whatever you have left and spend it on yourselves. I’m actually pretty good.” So there’s a major disconnect between what the younger generation really wants of their parents and what the older generation of the parents have actually said, “No. But now I’m feeling guilty.” And that is true. That’s where this depression comes in. “But I worked all these years for what? I have nothing to show for it, I can’t leave anything to my kids and it’s just spirals out of control.
Dr. Drew: It’s all being spent on care, it’s all being taken into the nursing care and the healthcare and I’ve got nothing left.
Amanda: Exactly. And so we hear this quite regularly but their kids are going, “Mom, dad, we don’t want it. We’re happy to help you pay for your care. We’re happy to help pay for a retirement village or an on-call doctor. Whatever you need, we’re happy to help you.” But the parents are like, “No, no, no. I don’t want help. I’ve got this.” Yet they’re sitting there completely depressed or anxious about what’s going to happen if they do pass away.
Dr. Drew: One of the common statements they inform me is they never ever considered themselves that old to think about this position that they’re in.
Wayne: The Nile (Denial) is not just a river in Egypt. Denial is the lifestyle and my preferred position on many of these things. I deal with this by not thinking about it. I deal with this by going, “Oh there’s enough money for this week. That’s all that matters and next week will look after itself and I’m not afraid.”
Dr. Drew: Your pragmatism is outstanding Wayne.
Wayne: I’m not so sure I’m alone. I think this is a reasonably common stance.
Dr. Drew: Is it the right stance?
Wayne: Well it’s the wrong question in my view because it has been the stance and I see no point in reflecting on it going well. I screwed that up at 40 I should have been planning my retirement, at 40 I was buying a new motorbike, at 70 I might be falling off or killing myself, who knows. I just understand the argument in favor of this careful planning and careful preparation. But at the end of the day, I’ve never done that in my life. I have taken each opportunity as it comes along. And I suspect one day I’ll be a complete menace to society and an absolute drain on my friends and relatives as they have to buy adult nappies to deal with my incontinence.
Dr. Drew: Will you feel happy to be there Wayne?
Wayne: It will happen as it happens.
Dr. Drew: I usually have six critical questions for my elderly in this space. One, how much do I need for me yearly? Two, how much do I need to leave behind? Three, how much do I need to die with dignity, my way? What is my plan timeline to late stage of living? Where do I want to die? And what is Plan B?
Wayne: What a depressing bunch of questions.
Brian: What’s your plan B?
Dr. Drew: Well your Plan B is your Plan B. Brian, I’ll say this. Plan B, you fall down one stair, one gutter which is very common. A fall over, do a hip, an elbow and a knee and boom. You could be 65 and I’ll guarantee you the rapid decline and the cost and the emotional stress it takes throughout the circle of influence of a family is absolutely phenomenal to be a part of and watch.
Brian: Yes, fair enough.
Bron: One of the things that you mentioned Drew is about the emotional intelligence and moving into this part of our life with emotional intelligence and I see that that’s probably where some of the disconnect comes to. Is that if we’ve only been looking at what can we physically or financially leave our children and we haven’t been looking at what is the legacy that we continue to leave and influence those around us in terms of who we are, and what we speak into the lives of our children and grandchildren, how we continue to build the relationships with them. For me certainly they’re the things, because I know I will not have a financial legacy to leave my children and my children don’t expect that of me. My boys are all building their own lives and doing that quite well. However, the things that I want to be able to leave my children and continue to do that with my grandchildren is be the example to them of saying that life doesn’t end when you get to 60 but you can start something completely new. Don’t limit yourself, keep working at your potential. I think there’s so much more that we can leave those who come behind us whether it’s friends or family, and I think maybe that’s the space that we need to help people sit as well not just focus on what we can physically leave behind.
Dr. Drew: Bunnings, if you’re not aware Bunnings is a big warehouse, it’s a men’s K-mart. It’s a home shop for men. If you let a man lose in a Bunnings store.
Amanda: In North America, it’s Home Depot.
Dr. Drew: Home Depot. Well in Australia is called ‘Bunnings.’ I’m constantly fascinated when I go to Bunnings and I try not to go there because I spend too much. But most of the staff are middle-aged, they’re in semi-retirement and extremely happy and I question them, “What do you do? How many days a week? Why are you doing it?” “Well I’m semi-retired but I still need to work, I love this job. I get involved with the customers.” Their happiness. And one of the central things I get out of questioning him and they all see me coming, they know who I am. But they say to me, financially it gives them security to enter the third stage of life. They’re quite happy financially to do this, to give back, to have balance, to do something they love, to be involved with the community and people and yet still know they’ve got enough financial security. The interesting factor is these are the people the employer is looking for.
Amanda: Well because they’re dedicated to their job. It’s so nice to actually have someone who wants to come to work, who actually knows their staff is willing to engage with customers and enjoys being there.
Dr. Drew: And happy to take the pay.
Amanda: Yes. Bring them on, I’d employ them too.
Brian: It has nothing to do with multinational wanting to pay as little as possible for their workforce. So you’ve got a bunch of retired, semi-retired people, they’re not that worried about having X dollars an hour. They’re just happy to do something.
Dr. Drew: Next time you go into one, just ask them out and you’ll see I’m telling you the staff across the board are happy, smiling, complacent people. I stopped them in question of course because I do. But now tell me, why they do it is for financial security into their later stages of living and they know if they do the right thing by this company, they will hold a job and it will give them enough.
Glenn: A need for human beings is to have a feeling and a belief that they’ve got sort of some sense of control and it’s interesting at Bunnings because they did not have that sort of major turnaround when they said to their staff and started to employ staff who are older rather than teenagers. And they said to them, “You’re in charge of this aisle. This is your aisle.” And they become the aisle specialist that’s why, Amanda they know what’s in the aisle, they know the price listings. They know how to use those things. Often they come from a trade background, the men and the women working there. And so it’s given them a sense of control, or a sense of belief, and the sense of belongingness and the sense of purpose. And I think it has really hit that. The interesting thing that it does is the flow of things on what Wayne and Bron’s speaking. These are philosophical beings as well as pragmatic beings. And it’s almost you got to have a little bit of a mystical in life, you got to have a bit of a philosophical. Things will pan out or work out or will find its way at the same time as that pragmatic approach and that practical approach you’re talking about Drew. But my concern is that sometimes, we get so caught up in that and it becomes an anxiety. And ahead of their time, for the last 10, 15 years of life, people are living with anxiety because people keep pushing their beer button so much. So having a sense of purpose, a sense of being, but also a sense of bit of the mystical, philosophical that goes out here. I worked alright so far and now, it’ll be okay when I’m shitting myself. (Crosstalk) It’s getting a massage at the moment so he’s doing all right.
Brian: It’s interesting Glenn that you talk about somebody being in charge of your life. This can backfire on you in a major way. We were in the States some years ago and we want you to buy some chapstick, whatever they call it in the States. So, we’ve gone to this major department store and asked everybody and some they said, “Oh, 493”, whatever it was down there. We went there and the woman said, “Oh, I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Now she said, “Just a moment.” And in the end in each of their aisles because the shoe belong there, they have a phone and they’re really no senseful office or whatever they do. And although somebody here looking for a chapstick and ought to put on your lips to stop from cracking, “Oh yes, that’s right. Right. Oh really? I didn’t know that. Okay thank you so much.” She hang up the phone. She walked into the next aisle and on the first shelf of the next aisle were chapsticks. She said, “I had no idea they were. I never come in this aisle.” I’m like, “What?”
Dr. Glenn: There’s a whole state of places in the globe if you were asking for a chapstick. I wonder what would turn up.
Dr. Drew: I can’t ask myself because I don’t know about the rest of you, I know Amanda does but I deal and leave in these crisis zones. So, my experience as a gerontologist is to always keep that pragmatic, horrible, complacency around the dark side of ageing because I confront and face what most of you are talking about moving away from. We’ve got Wayne who is belligerent to emotions and it’s quite happy at the end of their day say, “Roll over and wipe me clean and get another nappy on.” And some of you seem to be moving more towards the spiritual zone of life and that’s okay too and other things and I understand this but I do ask and I stress to Boomers. We discuss on this pin a lot, emotional intelligence and we’ve got a lot of conversations to come because what I love about our diversity, A on this panel and B in the baby Boomer cohort, there is a lot of stuff to discuss I can tell you because I can assure you one thing, you come and spend a few weeks, a week with me in a nursing home, in a retirement village, in a chronic disease management unit and I’ll guarantee you guys, the medical side of the health as experts we can deal with it. It’s that circle of influence that sits around the outside, it’s that shocking fact that we can get confronted with them when we meet these families let me tell you where it becomes a very in-your-face aspect for someone like me who then goes on to teach and platform other elderly to plan, Glenn to have that fear and to be a bit scared. But of course not only to have the fear and be a bit scared but to plan for that fear to be emotionally gone away. You can control that emotion, you can remove that fear, you can control that fear, whether you do that through meditation or whatever you want to do, that’s great. But you have to, it has to be one element of ageing and one aspect of getting old that has to be considered and it’s crucial. In a Western society, if you’re in a first world country, you need money and you’re not going to survive or have a very good time without some form of financial support. We don’t look after elderly in our homes in Australia anymore unfortunately, we put them into institutes.
Amanda: I totally agree.
Brian: Look, I agree Drew with what you just said there. I had a very dear friend who was 87 in fairness when he died and he lived on his own up until he was kind of 86 in three quarters and he had a couple of falls. So his family decided they would put him in a home and he went into a home that’s run by one of the churches and he would have aged 10 years in 6 months because suddenly he had nothing to do.
Dr. Drew: Of course decline. It’s very standard Brian.
Brian: He did not do anything. He just aged and he died within I think about 7 months.
Dr. Drew: I just want to reiterate. I just posted this morning on my Facebook side ‘Dr. Drew, A Big Man Talking’ but there’s been a great editorial video and commercial put out by Forbes on behalf of the American Congress because they’re of course ahead of us in this thinking and strategy. They are showing the financial statistics of the impact of an ageing population of Baby Boomers. What they are showing very clearly is family carers mainly daughters and the impact financially it’s having on them, their jobs and their lifestyles trying to balance work, raising a family, supporting their own life and looking after and caring for an ageing parent. The statistics are extraordinary and congress in America has now passed some new bills this in the last month and they are pushing heavy to get some financial support to the community because people, families are hanging by a thread and they are not coping with the money that is actually being used or needs to be used to support their Boomer parents. Boomers need to think about this and I post it this morning. I advise everyone to go and have a little look at this stuff because they’re now bringing statistics out and they’re showing particularly women in the family under great burden of trying to balance work, life and family and economics of now caring for an older parent.
Brian: Equally Drew, is it not true that if we were paying our eldest daughter or whoever it might be to look after an ageing parent, it’s much cheaper than having them in some dreadful retirement village.
Dr. Drew: I totally agree Brian, it’s the same argument. We could pay our Baby Boomers to be childcare support for the younger generations who’d need to go to work. So this is where innovation – Glenn spoke about it – this is where Boomers need to start pushing hard back innovation of a society that the Boomers have created. They need to own this because we’ve still got another 30 years of getting out the other end.
Brian: So the only thing that used to happen of course was certainly I mean when I was kid, there were lots of grandparents around and the extended family went the other way. They were there to babysit and conversely at the end, the babies were there to babysit their grandparents. And that doesn’t happen anymore because the families have just split up all over the world. Amanda is here from Canada. I presume most of your family Amanda is still over in Canada. I don’t know.
Amanda: All of them.
Glenn: The number of cousins that people have has dropped off and also the cousins of burden spreads. So, it’s not just that fact of your immediate family. You used to have an aunt and an uncle that if you’re having a fight with mom and dad, you go at the auntie’s place and uncle’s place. These days are going to only do it online. But I still think that, I don’t know if it’s part of it Drew, that there’s a part of the human psyche that has to fear death. But I think there could be some really innovative and creative thinking around that to say “Well hold on, my life has been pretty decent up to this point. I don’t have to be too afraid of death and dying.
Dr Drew: I agree Glenn and I very rarely talk about fearing death. Death should be work welcomed into our lives with more warmth. Death is something that is a natural transition. If anyone is spiritually connected to universal energy, you would understand this very clearly. But we do have this image of death being a negative thing and I think it’s a society fear where we don’t want to grow old and die and we want to keep going where we’re at. One of the statistics I’ll add to that conversation and that Brian just raised and this is I want something all Boomers listening to the show to understand something. And any of the family members who are not Boomers listening about this Boomers show. Now in a modern world, living longer and living older and having more life, you’re not dealing anymore with one parent. If I go back a few years, our parents, my parents, my aunts and uncles all died pretty young because of health and wealth and welfare, all post-World War 1 people. Now we’ve transitioned through, many older Boomers and many older parents of the Boomers, we’re now dealing with two cohorts of families where each husband and wife has two parents still alive. So there’s four elderly to think about. It’s no longer, “I just got mum or I’ve just got dad.” It’s now “I’ve got mum and dad and you’ve got mum and dad.” And now we’ve got a transition between who do we at that time and money and resources to keep both mum and dad or if dad fails and mum still going, how do we separate mum and dad? And how we’re doing this on four sides of the family? These are elements that not a lot of people like to face because of the emotional intelligence component of it, but these are elements given the numbers of Boomers and I’ve reiterated it. There are millions of them. The longer we transition and the more that the impact comes to society, our councils, our businesses, our institutes have to start dealing with this very quickly or it is the Boomers who are going to frail and suffer in very vulnerable ways and for me, I’m not putting up with it. I’m not having a go. I’m going to get louder and louder until we start building better models, start protecting the people who need the biggest investment to the third stage of life because we’ve put the biggest investment into now.
Wayne: And we have to have a little bit of faith in Boomers. We are the generation who in the 1960s when this getting pregnant every time I have sex has flies on it. We need pregnancy control and fertility control. And in our 50s, the men went, “What, you mean my erection will no longer knock down walls?” Fix this pharmaceutical company and we got not one pill but three or four. Seriously, if women wielded the power in the marketplace that men do, hot flashes would be a thing of the 1930s, it wouldn’t exist anymore. We, as a generation have always demanded the world that suited our need and we spent the money to get it. I don’t think Drew it’s going to be much different in retirement. I think there’s a lot of us. I’ve got a Zimmer frame and I vote, so you better pay attention to me because I still vote and I’m going to vote until I die. So, I think the Boomers will be a much more aggressive ageing population in their needs than our parents have been.
Dr. Drew: Yes and I believe Wayne, they need much more spaces like this, this podcast and people like us who are prepared to speak on their behalf to advocate their right and those of us with enough intuition, innovation and push to have an influence on them. I mean on this panel alone right now, there’s enough people here that are already spreading the news, educating, developing for their philanthropic ideas and a new concept. Boomers are very quickly being connected to the internet let me tell you. You go past an IMAX or an Apple Mac store at the moment, it is wall-to-wall gray hair sitting at those big tables with the young ones trying to teach them how to use an iPad and how to get connected to the universe because they want it, they want it easy, they want to know how to master it. On the offset of that is I agree. I don’t think that we’ve used much of the intelligence that the Boomer population has been developing for some 30 to 50 years now Wayne. A lot of the stuff that Boomers have been the forerunners in or the trailblazers in is yet to actually come out. There’s still a lot of information that Boomers have created. It’s just being shelved and it’s probably time to pull us some of that information down, blow off the cobwebs and start looking at what Boomers have actually been doing and creating, and making and not listening to the Millennial generation per se although I love them and they have their future ahead of them. But let’s not swing the pendulum again. I think Boomers are going to play a great role in changing the structure of the future of the world because we are going to need to have our own balance.
Wayne: And on that note, let me draw your attention to the time because the clock has again beating us and at our age, we should be used to it by now, time waits for no man. So can I thank today our panelists – Brian, Glenn, Amanda and Bron for being with us once again.
Brian: Thank you.
Bron: It’s great to be here.
Wayne: Dr. Drew Dwyer, thank you for being with us today in sharing your wisdom. You’ve been listening to Booms Day Prepping, the podcast about getting older and the next third of your life and being a baby Boomer, made for you by for Boomers, for Boomers. If you’d like to read a transcript of today’s episode, it’s available on our website and you can listen to the podcast from our website or from iTunes or SoundCloud. Please subscribe. Please click the ‘Like’ button. We need to know that you love us and if you have questions, by all means reach out on the website and email us. We’d love to hear from you. Our website is boomsdayprepping.com. My name is Wayne Bucklar and we look forward to talking to you in our next episode.