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The Boomer Generation. If you were born between during the demographic birth boom between 1946 and 1964 you are part of it. So how are you feeling these days? Feeling a bit squeezed?
Our Parents Had it Made
If you talk to your parents, they will readily admit that during their working years, they contributed about $2,000 in total to the social security system. Now, in their golden years, they get a nice little Social Security check from the government and low cost health care through the Medicare program. Most people our parent’s age retired somewhere between the ages of 60 and 65 and, if they were lucky, also have a nice little pension check coming in.
We – the Boomer Generation – did well by our elders. The contributions we made to Social Security and Medicare during our working years has provided for a decent life for many of the older folks in our country. No, they are not rolling in riches and for many, their government check barely covers expenses. But still, the entitlements are there and in one form or another, they have been able to count on them month in and month out. We should fell good about this.
No Retirement on the Boomer Horizon
But what about us? Most boomers I know are still working and see no retirement on the horizon. Ever. Let me say that again: No Retirement Ever.
What does this say about us? Are we a bunch of workaholics who love our jobs? Not necessarily. Here is a typical profile:
- Early sixties
- Nominal debt or debt free
- Retirement funds – what is left of them after being decimated in 2008 and 2009 – returning little or no income
- Living on cash flow from current full or part-time jobs
- Health care, transportation, food and other costs through the roof
Think I am making this up? According to the 2011 Associated Press and LifeGoesStrong.com surveys:
- 60% of the baby boomers lost value in investments because of the economic crisis
- 42% are delaying retirement
- 25% claim they’ll never retire
The Big Squeeze
And now the frosting on the cake: we were good kids and took care of our parents but now we are being told it is time to sacrifice and take care of the next generation. We are being told that we need to suck up and live with less so our children are not saddled with debt. We are told that Social Security and Medicare may not be there for us.
I don’t know about you, but this does not feel right to me. As a Boomer, I am being squeezed from both ends with no end in sight. And this makes me angry. Angry and tired. Tired of the work ethic, tired of the politics, tired of the posturing, tired of the daily grind, and just plain tired of being so darn responsible.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not talking about being over-worked and I am not talking about being depressed. Heck, I am darn grateful to have a job and to be earning an income.
What I am talking about is being pressured by the powers that be to make the ultimate sacrifice of a reasonable retirement in order to insure that both our elders and our children can be comfortable. I am also talking about that insidious drag on our spirits created by the sour economy and sense of helplessness to effect change in a society where our civil rights are being challenged daily by acts of government.
The Baby Boomer generation was, by many, defined by the rejection of traditional values and the optimism of a newer, better vision for ourselves and our society. We thought we were special. But something happened along the way. A group of Super-Boomers took control of our government and in their efforts to elevate their elitist status, have reduced many Boomers to mindless followers (“Sheeple”) who do what they say, when they say it, in the manner they want it done.
And the rest of us? We hunker down. We retreat. We prepare for the unexpected and we seek joy in the simple things in life. If we are lucky, we still look forward to each day with optimism, love, and heart. But some days – every once in awhile – as strong as we are, we just feel tired and beaten. On days like that, I ask: “Just how much can a person take?” And “Is there an end in sight?”
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Backdoor Survival Tip of the Day: Here is an easy way to clean your coffeemaker. Mix up 1 quart of water plus 1/4 cup baking soda. Run this brew though your coffee maker once followed by another cycle with plain water. You coffee maker will come out sparkling clean on the inside and sweet smelling too.
From the Bargain Bin: Remember my favorite Kingston 4GB DataTraveler flash drive? Also, I am now starting to think about packaging a few items (dog food comes to mind) in the larger 5 gallon sized Mylar bags.
The following items were featured in Monday’s article on home security for the prepper. I especially want to mention the pepper spray which to me, is an indispensible and inexpensive part of any home and personal security toolbox.
For all of you cast iron fans, I will soon be setting up a page at Backdoor Survival dedicated to Cast Iron so if you are so inclined, be sure to send me your tips and recipes and I will be thrilled to share them.
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