Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Retirement Pro and Con

    I'm kind of in the middle of the boomer population wave that swept the country after WWII.  My dad participated in that war, along with many other boomers' dads (and some moms). 
    Age 62 now, I received my second ever Social Security check today.  I'm thrilled to have it, so happy to be free at last.  But this morning, there was more bad news from our Congress.  The latest budget proposal provides for upping the retirement age for medicare and social security to 67.  And for cancelling the Affordable Health Care Act.  For many folks, this means they won't have health insurance if they can't last at their jobs until they reach their late sixties.  Do you have a job that you will be able to perform into your late sixties?  Will the nations employers be able to provide health insurance for these extra years?  Many employers kick their employees and retirees off their health insurance rolls when they become eligible for Medicare.  They can't afford to do otherwise.
     I became embroiled in a Facebook brouhaha this morning about this issue, futilely arguing with some former high school classmates about what they call 'entitlement' and 'job creators'.  I have fondness for some of these people, happy childhood memories and all, so I'm sad that I am not skilled enough to get them to consider a different view.  I'll never convince some of them that their best interests are not being served by corporations or by our current tax codes, or by the endless bloody wars.  It all devolves into a silly argument with aspersions about teleprompters, vacation days, and the price of the president's suit. 
     Retirement has given me some time to reflect on these things, to look things up and educate myself about what is happening in our country.  This is a blessing and a curse.  I can't go back to being a person who does not pay attention, and I can't stop myself from trying to give good information to my old friends when I see that they've got their facts wrong. 
      The lesson I have learned today is -- volunteer to register voters, help out at your local precinct and don't get involved in political arguments on the Facebook.  We'll see if I can manage to do that!