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(Not) Going in Style

(Not) Going in Style

September 25, 2023

Going in Style is a 1979 American heist comedy film written and directed by Martin Brest and starring George Burns, Art Carney, and Lee Strasberg (in his final film role). It was Brest's first commercial feature film. The movie tells the story of Joe, Al, and Willie, three senior citizens who share a small apartment in Queens, NYC. In the midst of the late 1970s inflation spike, the three do not have much in the way of financial resources or opportunity to enjoy the finer things during their retirement years, and their days are mostly spent on a park bench.


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One day Joe suggests that they go on a "stick-up". They have no experience as criminals, but after some reluctance, the two others agree. Al “borrows” three pistols from the gun collection of his nephew, Pete, who lives with his wife and children a few miles away. The trio, disguised with novelty glasses, pulls off the heist, netting $35,000, which was a significant amount of money for three seniors in 1979. For those of you who would like a nostalgic reminder of the classic movie, the trailer for the film is found on the YouTube link below.

Going in Style (Official Trailer)

A recent survey conducted by New York Life Wealth Watch found that many people in their 40s and 50s are having the same financial struggles and limitations that Joe, Al, and Willie had in our movie above. The study found that GEN Xers reported the highest levels of anxiety and lowest levels of hope compared to the generations coming before or after them. Nearly 40% of them feel that they will not be able to attain the financial goals of a successful and independent retirement.

One of their biggest concerns is high levels of debt. The combination of the high cost of homes, cars, and financing either their own or their children’s college education is forcing them to use their financial resources to pay down debt rather than save for their future retirement. The report stated that 53% of Gen Xers do not have any retirement savings or a strategy for their future transition from work life to retirement life.

As a result, many Gen Xers are planning to work longer and retire later than they had initially hoped. Many of them expect that they will have to continue working part-time in the early years of retirement to cover their financial shortfalls.

Even though there has been much written about their baby boom parents amassing, large amounts of wealth that will ultimately transition down to the next generations, only 12% of Gen Xers expect that a future inheritance will help fill the retirement gap.

If you have friends or family members that you know are facing this type of anxiety and despair, the team at Impel Wealth Management is here to help. The first thing we can help people do is assess their current financial position to give them a better understanding of their future potential income and asset resources. We can then help them develop plans and concrete steps to start creating the additional funds needed to enter their retirement years “Going in Style”.


While Joe, Al, and Willie resorted to crime to give them the money they needed to break out of their lives of retirement boredom and repression, we would like to suggest a more constructive and legal route. As our clients know, your financial plan should be your NorthStar and should guide your future financial decisions. The CFPs of Impel Wealth Management are here to help you and the ones you love.

© 2023 Jesse Hurst

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