A joke among financial planners says that the baby boomer retirement plan is “learn to enjoy walking and reading.” It’s a joke that plays on the common finding that boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, haven’t saved enough to afford a comfortable lifestyle in retirement.
That joke has a couple of elements of hidden wisdom, however:
- “Learn to enjoy walking and reading” reminds us that we do have some control over our own preferences. Walking is inexpensive and good for our health, and — thanks to libraries and Project Gutenberg* — reading is inexpensive.
- Thinking about walking and reading can help us focus on this: It’s not the money we spend that makes us happy.