Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Great Moments In Euphemism

As a member of Generation X, I spent my entire young adulthood hearing the media tell me my generation would be the first in American history to have a lower standard of living than the previous one (read: Baby Boomers), which makes me feel especially disenchanted to read stories proclaiming the devastation the economy hath wrought upon Boomers’ retirement plans.

Behold this one in USA Today. Or don’t. Chances are you’ve read this story already, with only slight variations: lots of Boomers who appeared to be in good shape a few years ago (or as recently as last year), now find some combination of lost jobs, lowered wages, reduced retirement plans, and all the housing-bubble fallout have forced them to keep working (assuming they can even find jobs) rather than start their long-anticipated retirements anytime soon.

But the last three paragraphs stood out:
Christine Neilson, 58, a teacher in Indialantic, Fla., had planned to retire at 62. Now, she expects to work until she is 65 or 66 because her salary has been frozen for two years, and her retirement savings have taken a nose dive.

"We have to look at retirement differently," she says. "They always say that if you are going to work in retirement, do the things that you love to do. So I'm not going to complain. I love teaching."

Baby Boomers such as Neilson may change retirement. "They may re-create themselves so that they can do something that is productive and still earn a paycheck," [financial planner Sheryl] Garrett says.
In other words, not retire.


Blogger jen said...

I picked up the hard copy of USA Today yesteray - this story was on the cover. I thought about crying, but then remembered - it does no good.

2:14 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Well, a few tears are an excellent way to remove an errant lash from your eye. But otherwise ... yeah, I think the country's in bad trouble. One or two people poor enough that they must work until they drop dead -- strictly speaking, you could say "That's their problem." But an entire country full of such people is a national problem. I don't know where to draw the line between "Lots of people with individual problems" and "a problem for the country as a whole," but wherever that line is, I fear we're on the wrong side of it.

6:49 AM  
Blogger Caveman Lawyer said...

Considering the bubble was built upon the delusions of the Boomers I'm not going to cry for them.

4:53 PM  
Blogger WJW said...

The best GenXers can hope for is to die on the job. It's either keep working, or be forced to abandon all your savings and personal posessions in order to qualify for Medicaid. Usually, I'd say dying at home is better, but it sickens me to imagine myself as a ward of the state in the twilight of my life.

Meanwhile, we'll all be snacking on Soylent Boomer at the end of the ration line...

1:51 PM  
Anonymous GenY said...

Considering the bubble was built upon the delusions of the Boomers I'm not going to cry for them.

And what kind of "bubble" are you deluded old GenX people going to build?

3:40 PM  
Blogger Caveman Lawyer said...

Who knows. Maybe a garden and chicken coop bubble. Seeds and hatchlings are already going up in price.

8:04 PM  
Blogger Jorgen said...

postponing retirement from 62 to 65 or 66 is hardly working until you drop dead. Recessions lower peoples' standard of living, and force them to adjust their plans. I don't think we're at the point with this one where a whole lot of people are doing very badly, rather than just doing worse than they were a few years ago.

9:43 AM  

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