The Greater Challenge To Retirement Planning: Maya Prophecy, Climate Catastrophe, Or Living Big?

by John Laumer, Philadelphia

For many the idea of Retirement Planning has been derailed by a global economic slump and increasing health care expenses. Those who take seriously the December 21, 2012, Maya Prophecy about astronomical alignment obviously won't bother at all. (This latter force is hooey though: thrown in get your attention to the risk posed by weather extremes that prospective retirees must now consider.) Meanwhile, most of The English feel it will "not be feasible for people to stop work then live on a pension for up to 30 years." (According to this BBC story.)

What then is doable for the elderly person hoping to switch to a green lifestyle that may include some work for pay? How will climate change shape a thoughtful person's retirement choices?

In a sort of an homage to the book "Blink," here's my short-list of retirement planning trends we are likely to read about in the news soon. The idea is to go beyond the usual live-next-to-mass-transit and have bedroom-on-first-floor thinking.

The Reverse Snowbird - hoards of former snow birds move north to US states that line the Canadian border, were water is plentiful, hurricanes few, and 90+ degree days infrequent.

The "Jerry Brown" move- Legions of retirement age boomers decide to run for local elected office. They are focused on controlling local destiny to make their communities livable and green.

Merry Pranksters Revisited - A group trip around the nation, looking for a place to settle that is relatively stable in the face of so much freaky weather. Dust off those RV's while you can.

Retirement Kibbutz A short step past living next to the CSA. Kids will be welcome to visit. Might even take over some of those near-abandoned ghost towns in middle America. (ohhh wait...this already happened?)... read more story at