Retirement? Do I look like I need to retire? Fun photo of me by Rachel Lauren Photography
Full disclosure: The concept of planning for retirement has completely escaped Parental Unit. In fact, she's already cashed in two small retirement savings, so at this point, she'll be working...well, for a really long time. But enough about us! There are lots of smarter people out there who can and do retire, and increasingly, they want their pets with them.
This recent article in The New York Times is full of statistics that back up a trend that's been building for nearly a decade: retiring baby boomers are budgeting to include Fido and Fluffy in their golden years. One certified financial planner interviewed for the article said "He now includes pet budget lines in his financial plans for retirees." And that's just the beginning. Retirement communities are increasingly allowing pets, and for those taking off for the open road, RV style, campgrounds are adding pet-friendly accommodations at a breakneck pace. A spokesperson for Kampgrounds of America said that not only are all of their 485 U.S. sites pet friendly, about half now include Kamp K-9s, which include off-leash areas and agility courses—they've added 50 just in the last year.
RV enthusiast, Roxy, with his Parental Units. Photo by Jeff Swensen for The New York Times
The landscape of pet ownership is changing for the better, we think. We're becoming closer with our four-legged companions and treating them as full-fledged members of the family, soaring vet bills and all. When you think of yourself sailing off into the sunset, relaxed, happy and financially secure, do you envision your faithful dog beside you? Let us know!