Tag Archives: Baby Boomers

What Happens To Social Security Owed To Folks Who Die Young?

Retirement is good. I haven’t felt like going to work a single day this week. I’m thankful that I don’t have to. Been there, done that. Enough!

When I say, hear, or read the words “Social Security” or “Medicare,” my reaction is:

“Thanks to God and the Democratic Party.”

Some say Social Security benefits need to be reduced because people are living longer.

Really?

We’ve always had old folks — eighty years, ninety, one hundred, and even higher. Nothing new under the sun. But are more folks living to advanced ages than ever before? Probably, because the population is larger than ever. But just because nearly everyone knows someone very old, that doesn’t mean that everyone is living deep into old age.

“Are people living much longer in retirement? Or is the truth, now and always, that a few people with good genes and good luck make it to old age?” — From “Me And The Blog”

I personally have known more people in the Boomer generation who died at 60, 62, or 66, to pick a few numbers. Boomers are dying in their forties and fifties. All the folks who die young paid into Social Security every week since they began working. They’re never going to collect a penny. Those who die in their sixties draw benefits only briefly. Who gets the money?

Who gets the uncollected old-age benefits of the masses of people who die young? Seems to me that more Baby Boomers are dying in the fourth, fifth and sixth decades of life, than will make it to the eighth and ninth decades.

Seems to me that the many who die young balance out the few who grow old. I’ll leave it to an enterprising young auditor who understands actuarial data to figure it out.

— John Hayden

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Filed under Aging, Social Security

Retirement Ennui

Folks who earn their living in a seasonal beach town get an adrenaline rush during the whirl of summer. Naturally, letdown and loss follow when the music stops. By Christmastime, the “Wait till next year” anticipation sets in. Anticipation is good to have during the dark night and the cold winter.

This October, the music really stopped. For the last time. Retirement. Fin de siecle.

The motel will reopen in May, but it will reopen without me.

The initial experience of retirement is bittersweet for most lifelong workers, I would venture. You don’t know whether to laugh or cry. It’s disorienting, unbalancing. But probably not as bad as quitting smoking cold turkey.

I’m making too many changes, more quickly than is advisable. I’ve been thinking about and planning the changes for a year, at least. And heaven knows, I’ve experienced plenty of other changes along the way.

Equilibrium will return eventually.

— John

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Irritable and Impatient

After one day of the work week at the beach motel, I’m ready for a day off. I’m too easily irritated. My reservoir of patience — never great — is about used up.

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August 9, 2013 · 2:21 pm

Rethinking Retirement

An incandescent light bulb.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nothing that went before prepares you for retirement.  That light bulb has just clicked on in my brain.

From your first day of school through all the years of work, you’re taught to prepare, to strive, to advance, to make money and accumulate stuff. Always pushing on, always goal-oriented. Always another mountain to be climbed.

Nothing prepares you for retirement. (Except maybe golf. Should I have taken golf lessons?)    Continue reading

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The Old, The Young And The Machines In The 21st Century

From our perspective here in the early 21st century, the world is full of contradictory trends, projections and predictions. You can’t help but be confounded by the tidal wave of information. At least I can’t.

Here’s a counterintuitive situation: We have graying populations in major countries, and at the same time, widespread unemployment among young workers? How can that be? Continue reading

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Filed under Aging, Democracy, Economy, Life

Life After 65

When I started this blog in 2009, I called it “Life After 60.” Then I realized that life after 60 is not all that interesting. Not as interesting as books, politics, the economic crisis. Now, as of yesterday, I could call the blog “Life After 65.” Boring. Think I’ll stick with “Work In Progress.” Still trying to simplify, still obsessing about political and economic mysteries. Long live Medicare and Social Security!

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June 17, 2013 · 2:13 pm

“My Independence Seems To Vanish In The Haze”

The Beatles on the human condition . . . youth . . . aging . . . illness . . . life and death . . . and the song goes on . . .

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May 9, 2013 · 1:04 pm

Thinking About Retirement (What To Do With The Rest Of My Life)

retirement

(Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

The Super Bowl has come and gone, and Groundhog Day as well. And what do I have to show for the winter?

It’s been, first of all, a lazy winter. That would be an objective report.

However, I prefer to look at it as a winter of reading, thinking, planning. I haven’t done as much blogging as I’d like. On the other hand, I’ve finally joined Twitter, and  I’m even beginning to see its usefulness. Feel  free to follow along on Twitter @BJohnHayden.

I’ve  joined the local gym, and I’m showing up on a regular basis. That’s important, because I’m now beyond denial. I recognize that if I want to do any useful work in the years I have remaining, it’s imperative that I exercise and conserve my health.

Mostly, I’ve been thinking about and preparing for retirement,  Continue reading

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Filed under Aging, Frugal living, Life, Simple Living

Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake in “Trouble With The Curve”

You want romance and character development? See Bull Durham.  Justin Timberlake and Amy Adams in Trouble With The Curve aren’t in the same league with Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon in Bull Durham.

Trouble With The Curve is all Clint Eastwood. The romance is fluff. Baseball is only the setting. Trouble With The Curve is about life and loss, failure and decline, maybe even aging gracefully. Not that I’m calling Clint Eastwood graceful.

Trouble With The Curve begins as a baseball movie that only a grumpy old man could love. But it fools you like a curveball in the dirt, and turns into, of all things, a chick flick. It might be the best baseball/romance combination since Bull Durham. Both movies are about life-changing events, about going with the curveballs life throws at you.

How do you get away with casting Clint Eastwood and Justin Timberlake in the same film? You add Amy Adams as daughter of the old man and love interest of the young one.

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Filed under Aging, Life, Movies

Raise the Social Security Retirement Age? Huh?

English: Demonstration in Barcelona on January...

Demonstration in Barcelona on January 22 against raising the retirement age (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People are living longer, therefore the U.S. needs to raise the Social Security retirement age.

The above statement fills me with despair. It can be spoken with a straight face only by a young person or a rich person who doesn’t understand:  a) What it feels like to be sixty-something in the 21st century, and b) The place of the American worker in the market for human labor,  given the new-normal, flat-world economy.

Full disclosure: I come at this retirement age question from a Baby Boomer point of view. I celebrated (?) a 64th birthday in June. For which I’m grateful. It means I’m one of the survivors. I am now enjoying my 65th summer on the planet Earth, which is one of my favorite planets.

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Filed under Aging, Economy, Social Security