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Politically Correct Retirement
Old 04-14-2005, 04:19 PM   #1
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Politically Correct Retirement

Was perusing this little gem today. http://www.fortune.com/fortune/annie...048502,00.html

Got me to thinking about how this Board would react to this. Also got me to thinking how the Boomers are getting "pre-programmed" to accept the idea of working forever. Everybody keeps telling us we have to get used to working past 65 and that it's not a bad thing after all. It's going to be good for us. Keep the blood flowing and all that. Be Active! Be Alive! Be Sexy! Nobody wants to be around some old sourpuss who just plays golf, or tennis or wastes time fishing or traveling around. That's not going to be the "with it" thing to do.

Society is presently being softened up and pre-conditioned to not accept the traditional retired lifestyle as a legitimate state of being at any age -- early or late. It will be viewed as an almost sinful state for any healthy person of any age to be in. Can't you just see the stereotype building?

Watch for Hollywood to begin churning out "healthy lifestyles" propaganda instructing us in the "proper" way to be retired. It will be consumer oriented, definitely not LBYM, with everybody living high-on-the-hog, with no visible means of support. The prototypical cast (Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe Retiree and their happy pals in the "retiree community") will all be doing something remunerative, but socially productive, on a part time basis. Social work down at the "center" two days per week that pays $150K. All the retired women will be sexy, skinny, luscious, things who get their hair and nails done weekly and somehow get their tans in between part time work down at the "center" helping out all those poor unfortunates, of whatever ilk. The guys will all be at their playing weights. Kind of dumb, happy types who get into all kinds of scrapes with their foolish get rich quick schemes that their down-to-earth, no-nonsense wives will have to bail them out of. Those wacky boys! Everybody will be healthy, vibrant, and fit. They will all have a full set of pearly white teeth and a permanent smile. They will be pursuing INDEPENDENT, productive lifestyles. Nobody will get sick. Nobody will get "old" old. Nobody will die. Everybody will be happy, well adjusted, and, above all, WORKING at something productive. And the kids, God Bless 'em, lets not forget them. The kids will all call home once a week to seek mom's advice on some vexing problem concerning how to raise the grandkids. They will all have "professional" jobs not threatened by outsourcing. Vice President of Such and Such and on the fast track up the ladder. And they will all come to visit at Christmas. Kind of an older version of "I Love Lucy" with the male/female roles reversed. But without the Fred Mertz character. No, old slouchy, grouchy, unhealthy looking Fred will be definitely out-of-order in the brave new world of politically correct retirement living.

Can't you just see this stereotype-- and the marketing of this lifestyle-- coming a mile away? The financial industry already has the ads up and running. I love the one with the "Personal Financial Adviser" sitting on the beach with Mrs. and Mr Pre-Retiree (note the dopey husband as the minor character almost out of the picture altogether) and musing that "with a little tweaking of the portfolio we could build that beach house right here". We are really in for it over the next 10 or 15 years.

I hope Dory 36 can keep this Board cranked up long enough to serve as a counter cultural resource for "real" people trying to figure a way to a "real" retirement. Not only that, but, simply to get an appreciation of what a "real" retirement really is, or can be. Big Business, Big Government, Big Wall Street, Big Hollywood America cannot like what's going on here on this Board. A cohort of 77 million Boomers, augmented by millions of younger workers, educated about the attractiveness, merit, potential and "doability" of a LBYM, no credit, no mortgage, modest lifestyle, off the consumer track is not going to be acceptable. Dangerous to the bottom line, if you get my drift. They will fight hard to keep us working and consuming. Really vice/versa. They will do whatever is necessary through advertising, pop culture or otherwise to keep us consuming in order to keep us working in order to feed the bottom line. Traditional retirement? Wouldn't surprise me if they passed a law against it. John Galt, you don't realize what a truly dangerous man you are.

Thoughts, anybody?

Donner


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Re: Politically Correct Retirement
Old 04-14-2005, 04:50 PM   #2
 
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement

I have always lived 'out of the mainstream'. If the masses continue to work, I say fine. *8) - Some of us have to keep the leisure industries in business.

This in itself will 'solve' any social security problem (not crisis) that we may have.

I have always said that most boomers will die at their desks. None of the ones I worked with were saving any money or knew squat about investing.
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement
Old 04-14-2005, 04:51 PM   #3
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement

I'm not sure most people need much encouragement to spend their money foolishly. I don't sense a conspiracy to make people work more. People will have to work more because they made the wrong financial decisions earlier in life that leave them with nothing to retire on.

For those who made this mistake, I hope they do find some comfort and interest in continuing to work past 50, 60, 65, or whatever. They made their bed, now they have to lie in it. One might as well make the best of their situation.

I don't plan on following that path, though I might lie in my bed just because I don't want to get up early.
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement
Old 04-14-2005, 10:04 PM   #4
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement

It may be a chicken or the egg question. Could it be that "they" recognize that no one saved enough to retire at a normal age, so now they see an opportunity of making money by making people feel o.k. about it. Like sitcoms where the Dad delivers packages or hangs dry wall and money is tight but everything is fine because this zany family has that working class pride and love big enough to house all ten of them.... "it's not your fault, call us to restructure your debt....you need that plastic surgery to heal your emotional scars from childhood, no really it's not about vanity". They give you a way to rationalize, and you keep the treadmill running. -o.k. this reads like I'm drunk, but really I'm just tired... :P
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement
Old 04-15-2005, 02:55 AM   #5
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement

Once again, I am with C-T on this. The ER "type"
requires a little more brains, a little more motivation,
and a little more creativity than most people possess.
I think we will always be there as a smallish group, regardless
of what kind of propaganda is pitched at us.

JG
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement
Old 04-15-2005, 06:14 AM   #6
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement

It reminds me of generation x being convinced there is not going to be any social security for them so who cares, go ahead a cut it or make private accounts.

I think it stinks that people can work for years making a piddly wage and raising a family and then have to work in their late 60s or 70s because they can't retire. I know a number of women in that position. They have children, they earn seven to ten dollars an hour, have no retirement plan at work. They do the best they can and should be able to retire someday.

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Re: Politically Correct Retirement
Old 04-15-2005, 06:17 AM   #7
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement

Donner that's a perceptive post, and it's a trend that I noticed myself. We're being told that retirement is a recent development and that past generations worked until they died. And there are countless articles depicting the joys of working.

Always follow the money. A leisure industry has sprung up to keep everybody happy (and spending, BTW). Financial advisors abound to "help" us save, for a fee of course. Use and throw away is a cultural norm, as is live above your means. Whether we decide to retire or to keep working, the U.S. economy will be there to collect.


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Re: Politically Correct Retirement
Old 04-15-2005, 07:18 AM   #8
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement

Was on travel and went out to dinner with co-workers. This guy is 74 and still working - 4 divorces - and complaining about the cost of an adult beverage on the menu .... all I could think of was " that will not be me, that will not be me ...".
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement
Old 04-15-2005, 07:24 AM   #9
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement

Walmart buggy caddy and part time cab driver. We talked yesterday when I went shopping.

Four ex wives, didn't save spit. Made the big bucks(jobshopper) for the twenty years I worked with him on and off. Me? a lot lower pay but plunka, plunka - DCA index 500 fund in 401k for the same twenty years or so.

Lives in a trailer park with his 5th(working) wife. Nice guy though.
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement
Old 04-15-2005, 08:33 AM   #10
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement

Quote:
Donner that's a perceptive post, and it's a trend that I noticed myself. We're being told that retirement is a recent development and that past generations worked until they died. And there are countless articles depicting the joys of working.
One could argue that in earlier generations, very few people lived long enough to be able to retire. However, my grandfather was an early retiree for his generation. He was a stone mason and retired at age 58 in 1954. He then moved to Miami, FL and lived until age 92.

Quote:
Everybody keeps telling us we have to get used to working past 65 and that it's not a bad thing after all. It's going to be good for us. Keep the blood flowing and all that. Be Active! Be Alive! Be Sexy! Nobody wants to be around some old sourpuss who just plays golf, or tennis or wastes time fishing or traveling around. That's not going to be the "with it" thing to do.
One thing to consider is health. Both of my parents started to get major health problems around age 70 (stroke for my father and Parkinson's disease for my mother). If I would keep working past age 65, odds are that the healthy portion of my retirement would be quite short in duration. For me this provides plenty of incentive to work towards FIRE status.

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Re: Politically Correct Retirement
Old 04-15-2005, 10:36 AM   #11
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement

All I can say is that if any of these perpetual workers wants to call me any names, they're gonna have to wait until after 10am...
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement
Old 04-15-2005, 11:19 AM   #12
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement

Quote:

One thing to consider is health. Both of my parents started to get major health problems around age 70 (stroke for my father and Parkinson's disease for my mother). If I would keep working past age 65, odds are that the healthy portion of my retirement would be quite short in duration. For me this provides plenty of incentive to work towards FIRE status.
One of the reasons I retired is because a co-worker described how her father retired and had 10 good years; then her mother developed alzheimers and, of course, everything revolved around her and doctors appts and medicine, etc.

Live in the present, I believe it is called. With DW and I, or any couple for that matter, it is likely that one of you is gonna develop a chronic medical problem. When/if that happens, you will remember woulda, coulda, shoulda, but, it will be too late. I was paranoid about me being wheeled out of MegaCorp on a gurney, with an oxygen hose in my face, looking up at those flourescent lights or at my worried co-workers off in the distance at the cube farm.
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement
Old 04-15-2005, 01:00 PM   #13
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement

Another friend of mine, 56, passed on 55 and out cause he wanted to 'upgrade his sailboat' to a newer bigger one before reitirement. Had a stroke at work last year - and will be 'under care' for the rest of his life.

P.S. - I DO know several who went at 55 or sooner - and are glad they did.
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement
Old 04-15-2005, 04:07 PM   #14
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement

Don't wait you people! I'm telling you that the money is not important. You can almost always make money.
But time? That you can not replace.

JG
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement
Old 04-15-2005, 07:41 PM   #15
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement

I giggled all the way home tonight from work because I found this website called "iquit." Printed off some sample resignation letters. One wrong move by management, and my letter goes on their chairs.
Here is funny incident. A staff member submitted his resignation letter last Monday and his last day was scheduled to be a week from today (Friday). He comes back with an additional demand todday and wants two days off before he quits.
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement
Old 04-15-2005, 07:57 PM   #16
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement

Quote:
All the retired women will be sexy, skinny, luscious, things who get their hair and nails done weekly and somehow get their tans in between part time work down at the "center" helping out all those poor unfortunates, of whatever ilk.
The problem with articles like this is that they never provide names, phone numbers, or addresses.

I took the quiz and apparently I'm barely within standards.

"Your final score: 47 of 60. Results:
You're doing pretty well, but may want to make a few adjustments to improve your chances of a happy retirement."

But let's look at the research quality again-- the reporter's a working journalist on deadline, and the researcher's "cut back" to four days a week. What if they had a 4% SWR-- would they still be showing up part time??
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement
Old 04-15-2005, 10:05 PM   #17
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement

Quote:
Everybody keeps telling us we have to get used to working past 65 and that it's not a bad thing after all.
The question is, working at what? From what I read and see, companies still are pushing older workers -- and their higher salaries -- out the door. Add in the decline in manufacturing jobs, and I have to wonder just what past-65 folks are supposed to do. Wait tables at Denny's?
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement
Old 04-16-2005, 12:11 AM   #18
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement

Yes I agree that retirement seems to be dying (not to talk about EARLY retirement) mainly because many will not be financially able to stop working anyway due to over consumption.

As mentioned; the brain washing have started in order to keep people in the Matrix of producing+over consuming.

I am however happy about that as I will need the wheels to keep spinning while I hang at the beach with my pina colada 8).

Cheers!
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement
Old 04-16-2005, 03:49 AM   #19
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement

DW and I were discussing a related issue last night, i.e.
her employment prospects, now and in the future.
She opines that her (office) skills are dated and that
her last job search yielded very little fruit. She suspects
this is due to her age (56 now). She may be right.
Not something I ever had to worry about as once I got old enough to suffer age discrimination I was gone.
Even if I had still been working though, it would only have been for myself. Once I got into that mode I decided
I could never have a boss again. Irrelevant now.

JG
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement
Old 04-17-2005, 05:48 AM   #20
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Re: Politically Correct Retirement

Quote:
Once I got into that mode I decided
I could never have a boss again. Irrelevant now.

JG
Solidly the #1 effect of entreprenurialism... afterward you are mentally unemployable! Irrelevent now fer sure.

Hey, JG what do you say to you're new pimply faced manager-in-a-paper-hat who is yelling at you because nametag is askew on your red vest?

BUM
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