Saturday, August 27, 2011

Retirement for baby boomers

One of the things most of us over fifty think about, even more than sex, is retirement. Retirement is the future for most of us (the alternative is an early death) and it will be different for us than it was for the greatest generation. No, sadly, just like most baby boomers had a harder time of it (once you discount fighting in World War 2 and the depression) than our parents, retirement will be different for us than for Mama and Papa. Once back in civvies, the greatest generation bought homes in the suburbs and big sedans while gas and home prices were still cheap. They had cute if challenging children. When they retired, comfortably in their early sixties, they could travel, move to Florida, go to nice restaurants, stay in nice hotels, and visit the family cross - country.

For the the baby boomers, retirement will be a different story. Homes will not have gone up in value as was true in a pleasanter time. Energy costs will be more. There will be more demand for government services for the new seniors. And most baby boomers will have a rather small retirement allocation. This will cause some problems, especially for the grasshoppers amongst us, but may present some advantages to the ants.

If you need a job, things will be tough. Just like baby boomers had to compete with all the other baby boomers for jobs when they graduated college, so competition will be fierce for part time retirement jobs. Our children will not be in a position to help us. This is America, not Asia. Health costs will go up. At age 65, most of us will discover that we are diabetics.

The good news is that for the ants who may have a few dollars, life won't be so bad. At a 20% unemployment rate, there will be lots of maids and helpers as they get older. Restaurants and hotels will be cheap, since most people will be too poor to afford them.

One thing you can be assured off, all the baby boomers will hang out with Face book friends and talk about the good olde days. Or have omelets on senior days at the diner.

Top: Retirement housing for baby boomers

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The big earthquake of 2011

In 1983 I was on vacation in Aguascalientes, Mexico. I was sitting in my hotel room listening to the radio (there was no tv or aerocondicionado). Suddenly I heard this rumbling sound and the ceiling fan started swinging and the bed started shaking. Then everything stopped. It was my first earthquake.

For years I've told my earthquake story and impressed people since most people who live east of the Mississippi have never experienced such a thing.

On earthquake day of 2011 it was my lunch hour and I was walking, possibly crossing the "Trenton makes bridge", and felt nothing. Later I heard everyone tell their earthquake stories. Sounds like it was exciting. But I missed the whole thing. And no-one will be interested in my Mexican earthquake story anymore. Such is life.

Editor's note: The old college try blog implied that Qaddafi would remain entrenched in Libya. Well I was wrong. Score one for perseverance.

Friday, August 12, 2011

We can always be guests on talk shows

In high school, on the last day of English class, the teacher decided to kill time by asking the class what the future would be like. I raised my hand and said that all jobs would be eliminated and all workers would be replaced by machines. I (quite the high school wit) added that the only job that would still exist would be that of being a contestant on a game show.

In the future as the class saw it, life would not be so bad, though. There would still be a few things for people to do. Work hours could be drastically reduced, though, and we would all make plenty of money, thanks to the advances of automation and government spending.

So far only the elimination of jobs has happened. The rest has turned out to be as likely as the cigarette trees sung about in the big rock candy mountain.