The View From Me: Living Happily Ever After
As a person of a certain age, I have started to worry, daily, about what my life will look like when I retire. I've read the books, done the math, listened to the rhetoric and become a believer: As a Boomer, whatever I have done to prepare, it isn't enough. I will be a drag on the people I love the most. I will be living on a shoestring with 18 roomates drinking wine that comes from a box.
This is not a good feeling. In the first place, I would like to live it up, and do all the things I've put off, like planting finicky Hellebores, or taking a slow food tour of Tuscany. I've earned it, having managed all the big responsibilities in life. Secondly, I resent the finger pointing and barrage of blame aimed at the direction of my generation, especially when at this stage, there is not a lot of time left to do much about it (and since I have successfully managed all the big responsibilities in life). I contributed, dammit.
Like most people, I wasn't thinking about "the end" when I was 20. I bought a house, had a family, paid off student loans and went to Disneyland.
Thankfully, now voices have started to come out of the woodwork saying: "Whoa - don't buy the spin, you are just fine", and I am drawn to them like beacons of light. We have these voices on this episode. Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page defied Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on the ability of the OAS program to accommodate "us" without drastic cutbacks. Actuary and retirement expert Malcom Hamilton says - it's not like we didn't know it was coming. We prepared, we planned, we're ok. Take a deep breath.
Here's a Boomer reference: These contrarian voices are the speck of dust speaking out against the overwhelming noise that claims otherwise in Dr. Suess's Horton Hear's a Who.
I don't blame the banking and investment industry for trying to sell me; that I expect and can reasonably and rationally counter. But I don't expect my government to take advantage of a faux, fabricated crisis, if that's indeed what it proves to be. I expect them to be a voice of reason, not fear mongering. Someone isn't telling the truth; either we're ready for the boom, or we're not. I guess time will tell.
To quote Dr. Seuss: Whether you like it or not, "We are here, we are here, we are heeeeeeere!" And this is not a generation that is likely to drift quietly into the night.
These views do not reflect those of the CBC.