My three-year-old grandson, Kru, loves his purple “lankey” (that's blanket in Kru’s language). Like the Peanuts character, Linus Van Pelt, Kru’s lankey gives him a feeling of security. Security gives us a sense of hope and it's hope that many people desire.
According to Elyssa Carr of the publication Elite Daily, "feeling secure isn't an avoidance of fear but knowing you will get through the moments of difficulty. It’s that one thing that soothes your shaking hand and helps you to feel strong in moments of struggle."
What does a purple “lankey” have to do with generosity?
When people age they tend to hold back on their charitable giving for fear of not maintaining their standard of living and having enough to see them through life so as not to be a financial burden on children and family. There is a tension today among baby boomers as to how much to save for retirement versus giving to charity. Many of my friends struggle with this issue. They want to be generous but are concerned that they are not saving enough for later years.
As the number of retired baby boomers grows this could adversely affect the resources available for charities. For example, if the 75 million baby boomers reduced their charitable giving by 20% charities would receive $26.8 billion less representing a loss of 7% of total giving in the U.S.
Does money become our purple “lankey” in our elderly years? It appears that we may not have as much of a need for that “lankey” as we may think.
Bloomberg news recently reported that baby boomers, who are already part of the wealthiest generation in US history, have experienced S & P 500 investment returns of 269% since it's March 2009 low. Bloomberg reports that researchers from Texas Tech University found that 60% of retirees ages 65 to 70 (years 2000 to 2008) had surplus income above expenses ranging between 8% and 53%. And the top 20% spent nowhere near the amount that would place them in danger of running out of money. In fact, the average financial assets of wealthy retirees increased during this period.
We all desire a hopeful future. Money often gives us that sense of hope and security. We hold onto it like a purple “lankey.”
Generosity is what allows us to give others that same sense of hope and security. How do we maintain our future security and at the same time give generously to others?
Have you calculated and identified an accurate assessment of what your needs may be for retirement so that you can continue giving generously? If we take the time to do our research and seriously consider our retirement needs and goals, we may feel more comfortable in continuing to serve and give to others.
Caring for ourselves and our families while at the same time offering hope and security to others allows us to experience the joy of generosity throughout our lifetimes.
For more thoughts on generosity pick up a copy of the enjoyable book, “An Unexpected Legacy: Strategies of Generosity.” Click here to place your order.