Aging Gracefully

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By Rebecca Barnes

By the year 2030, the number of adults ages 65 and over in the Commonwealth of Virginia will have doubled from 900,000 today to more than 1.8 million, according to Older Dominion Partnership, ( In a 2011 Virginia Age Ready Indicators Benchmark Survey, older adults ages 65+ in the Prince William area are more likely than the statewide average (51% vs. 38%) to be financially prepared for retirement. And while we can be proud that many of us have prepared for retirement, what about those who haven’t?

“The biggest risk our aging population faces is not living too long, it is running out money,” said Whitlock Wealth Management’s Advisor Bennett Whitlock. While every retirement situation is different there are steps can you take now to prepare:

  • Set a goal. Ask yourself what type of retirement lifestyle you want.
  1. Increase your savings. Max out your retirement plan at work.
  2. Track your investments and progress.
  3. On at least an annual basis, review all your expected sources of potential income for your retirement.

While each and every one of us has the capacity and ability to do this on our own, consider seeking out a trusted professional who can help you.

“I always ask my clients how they would prefer to spend their time throughout retirement,” said Whitlock. “Would you rather spend your time continuously watching the stock market, tracking the economy and monitoring your portfolio, or spend quality time at the beach, traveling, on the golf course or with friends and family?”

Matt Thornhill, who, with John Martin, runs the Boomer Project, which is on a mission to help educate and enlighten marketers how to best communicate with Boomers today, was a speaker at a recent Prince William County Economic Development Alliance luncheon. According to Thornhill, each year, more and more baby boomers (individuals born between 1946 and 1964) will enter “older adult” status. “The aging chart is no longer a triangle, with younger people at the base of a pyramid and older ones at the top,” said Thornhill. “It is now shaped more like the Empire State Building.” Thanks to advances in medicine, we are healthier and live longer. So it is imperative that we look plan for our future.

We all know the old saying, “people do not plan to fail, they fail to plan.” And, as the aging population will continues to grow, the need to plan is more important than ever.

Looking for more information to help you plan for your future? Whitlock Wealth Management’s site has retirement calculators and other great tools. Visit them on the Web at For more information on aging, visit


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