Thursday, September 29, 2016

Here's to interdependence

Yesterday I mentioned a book on retirement that's been helpful to me and to others: Women Confronting Retirement: A Nontraditional Guide.

Two of the 38 women whose stories of retirement fill the pages, Nancy Dailey and Kelly O'Brien, highlight one of their discoveries about baby boom women: "We rejected dependence and sought independence—through education, paid work and pursuits outside of the home, within our marriages, or through divorce. Ironically, what may serve us best in retirement is interdependence. Our economic progress through entry into the paid labor force has not guaranteed us financial independence by any means. Rather, what has been created is financial interdependence—with our spouses, our extended families, our children, and, for many women, with a close social network of friends. ...The notion of interdependence will be a dominant theme for baby boom women in retirement for every significant aspect of her life: economic, relational, physical, and psychological.

"The real risk for baby boom women is not in making bad investment decisions. Rather, our retirement prospects hinge on our ability to 'age successfully' by gracefully embracing interdependence and building relationships that will stand the test of growing old."

I like those thoughts. Interdependence may well serve us best as we age. It makes sense. And building relationships is something we women value anyway. The skills we have in that area will serve us well into retirement and beyond.