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Gratitude, How to Appreciate the Purpose of Life

  |   Baby Boomers, life after retirement, purpose of life

workshopsI read an article titled No Savings? No Problem. Three Alternatives For Retirement, about options for living with little retirement savings.  The ugly truth is that a lot of boomers will need a major lifestyle adjustment – but not all at once.  It requires a new outlook on the purpose of life.

Let me share a story from another generation. Louise was born in 1925 to an upper middle class family, one of 7 kids. Her father’s business suffered greatly in the Depression, and they lost their house, but they survived in smaller quarters. Eventually, they returned to an upper middle class life after the war.

Louise married a nice guy, Neil, who was a hard worker in the food industry. They led a middle class life, because Neil was a Teamster. They never needed anything more than they had, even if they wanted more. Louise survived two bouts of Tuberculosis and had 4 kids, leaving her with a life-long heart condition. She and Neil simply soldiered on until Neil’s unexpected death at age 61. Louise’s finances were in a perilous state (two children were out of the house, but one was  in high school another in college).

Louise got creative: she invested Neil’s modest life insurance payout to create a one BR apt in the home for rental income. She survived on that rent plus part-time jobs, as well as Neil’s modest pension and Social Security. When Louise’s last two kids had finished college, she sold the house and lived in a modest townhouse. When she could no longer afford that, she got a simple one-bedroom apartment. She lived on her own, on that modest income from 1982 until 2013, when she had to move to a nursing facility due to her ailing health.

She remains there today and will turn 90 later this year. Louise is without question the one person I know most at peace with the world and her place in it. Her little secret: Gratitude. It is the best gift we can make to ourselves.

Feeling anxious of what we don’t have, or have lost, or worse, what others have that we do not is a fool’s game.  It is no way to experience the purpose of life.

Gratitude will allow us to survive almost anything that life throws at us. It is the one thing I suggest all Boomers embrace.


If you’d like to see how ready you are to make a major life transition, please click below to take the free “How Ready Are You? Assessment.  click image below to download for FREE, or click here.

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