A little over a week ago I turned 54 years of age. With that, I reached another milestone. My age and combined years of service at work (80 years) enables me to retire with benefits. I may retire. It doesn’t mean I can. Certainly doesn’t mean I will.
Yet I was a bit miffed that my milestone came and went unnoticed by all. I expected some workplace communication of congratulations, maybe some offer of options, a retirement seminar--SOMETHING to tell me that I no longer HAVE to work there. But no, nothing.
Since I’m become fond of conspiracy theories lately—my wife says I’m just becoming paranoid—I believe there is a concerted effort to prevent this generation from retiring. AARP is among those behind it. Quoting from their most recent newletter: “AARP research shows that 70 percent of people who have not yet retired plan to work into their retirement years or NEVER retire (scare caps mine). Almost half indicated they envision working into their 70s and BEYOND (again, scare caps mine).”
What’s wrong with these people? Not retire? Ever??!!
Anyway, I checked out the AARP website it advertised for older workers seeking employment. There were jobs in retail, in healthcare, in temporary help, in assisted living, etc. In otherwords, pretty much the same jobs you find in the want ads of your daily newspaper.
However, it appears that these employers are more willing to offer part-time and seasonal employment to their workers. At least that’s what they say. That might be a big benefit if someone were going to semi-retire. But that paranoid, er, conspiracy theory side of me also is guessing something else about these jobs I see listed. They would pay less and offer fewer benefits than the job I have now.
So I will continue on here. Part of the reason is that there also seems to be a conspiracy out there trying to convince us baby boomers that we need a million dollars set aside in a pension fund in order to safely retire in comfort. After all we, as they say, “Can’t depend on social security.”
And then there’s inflation, higher medical expenses, and of course long-term care which runs about $50,000 a year right there in itself. My pension fund people say that a $1,000,000 pension paid out at 5 per cent a year, their favorite figure to use, will produce a $50,000/year annuity pay-out. Of course, I’m nowhere near having $1 million in my pension.
Oh, well. Why worry about it? It seems like I’ve paid about a million dollars in taxes so far in my lifetime, I figure. Why can’t the folks I’ve been paying taxes to most of my adult life worry about it? Makes sense, doesn’t it?
So I have a new motto for us baby boomers: live long enough to become a burden to your government.