Voting for Quality of Life

Voting for Quality of Life

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According to the Commerce Department’s third quarter report the U.S. economy showed modest 2 percent growth, indicating at best a light at the end of the tunnel. But in reality, it just shows continued struggles for everyday citizens and ignores the challenge around the corner as aging baby boomers turn 65 and really begin putting pressure on age-related entitlement and health spending. The report comes just in time for a surely historic election day tomorrow. As Americans take to the polls, they are looking for relief from a financial crisis that has left many of them desperate, without jobs, homes and the retirement they had planned for. Ironic, isn’t it, that this congressional election carries the highest price tag in history? That tag comes in at around $4 billion.

While Americans are looking to politicians to cure their financial woes, why not look to corporate America instead? For instance, Bank of America Merrill Lynch is developing a program focused on finding financial security in living longer. It abolishes the traditional view of "retirement" in favor of a concept they call "Second Act." Last week, at Bank of America’s Retirement Symposium attended by hundreds of financial planners, head of retirement services Andy Sieg announced an improved service offering: "life coaching" in place of "financial advice," so that baby boomers and millennials alike can prepare for living longer, working longer and saving differently.

If you’re looking for innovative solutions to secure our financial future, cast your vote tomorrow and cross your fingers. But the better bet will be on those who have their own commercial and strategic interests aligned with yours.

Executive director of the Global Coalition on Aging, Michael W. Hodin, Ph.D., is also managing partner at High Lantern Group and a fellow at Oxford University's Harris Manchester College.