The “Baby Boomers” have arrived! We are now at the age at which our parents, grandparents, and so forth called retirement. But for us, that is a misnomer. We see life differently than did our ancestors; we always have – always will.
We grew up as children watching massive changes going on all around us, changes like people challenging the darkness of space in a realistic way for the first time in recorded history; people taking to the streets in masse to demand their rights as citizens; the change of our society from an industrially based economy to one of being technologically based, then later to being the world’s source for information and communications; and a political undercurrent pitting Republican rule by law against a Democratic power by the authority of the people philosophy slowly changing from being a major contender in world politics to being the leading world political system. We grew up with our teachers, friends, neighbors, spiritual leaders and even parents telling us of the importance of what was going on in our society’s current events and they encouraged us to get involved – and we did. And we still are.
We set out to change the world. We determined to make a difference in our surroundings. We wanted to use the science and technology being developed in the space race to help change people’s lives, to not only set foot on the moon as was Presidents Kennedy’s challenge to Americans when we were children, but to end hunger and poverty worldwide. But we soon found that not everyone was as fortunate as JFK in being able to set the societal wheels in motion to fulfill the dreams of lofty goals. We found that our dreams were often dashed by a society with established ways which forced many of us to comply or starve, and a world cowering under desks in training for the possible dreaded nightmare of a bomb too destructive to even imagine. So we complied and settled down into a socio-political system which, for many, has seemed to have grown more and more out of control, violent and corrupt.
But for the true “Baby Boomer” we have never lost our hope. We still remember what the teachers of the 60’s and early 70’s taught us about social justice, personal involvement, creativity and hope. Those are values that once a person learns them, and realizes that those values never change, they change the person forever. That is why the old way of looking at aging in our society is changing. Due to the way most “Baby Boomers” were taught to think and perceive life as a challenge, we are no longer willing to accept our senior years as a time where we sit around and wait for the inevitable to happen. No, not in the slightest. We no longer use the term “retirement” in the way our ancestors did in the late 1800’s and 1900’s where people were forced to “retire” because they had literally used up their bodies and minds in their jobs most often on meaningless tasks throughout their lives simply to be able to afford to care for themselves and their families.
Now the American society has successfully changed its method of providing its citizens’ basic needs from a base of drudgery to one of being intellectual merchandisers. What once was done by the sweat of one’s brow in this country is now done by machines, including computers, or farmed out for other countries’ citizens to do which, in turn, helps them earn a living. It all seems to be a remarkable, coincidental program but most of us know that the term “coincidental” is not quite right because this has all been brought into existence by a powerful, while invisible, group of planners working behind the scenes.
So now, my sister and brother “Baby Boomers,” what do we do with our senior years in a society where on the one hand we have fulfilled the 50+ years of working in the work-a-day world trying to be of worth to society as a whole only to be lead to believe that at the age we have or are arriving at we would be “set out to pasture” and allowed to place the workplace into our pasts? Society has changed, again, and we are now being told that we are too young, too healthy, simply too important to society to be allowed to quit working. And, because of our health, self-determination and, yes, youth we would have it no other way. Yet the very idea of politicians telling us the society cannot afford Social Security now, and the concept of people “retiring” is from laziness and instead of staying on the job we should have two or three jobs, angers many of us. I feel, and I’ve heard many others state also, that we paid into the Social Security and Medicare systems all of our adult lives that to say we do not deserve them is nothing less than a breach of contract by those politicians proposing those social systems’ demise. But the fact still remains that those systems’ planners designed a flaw into them which was not discovered until recently which we all must face. Due to population control, economic unrest and political misuse of the systems’ funds there is currently a budgetary crisis in Social Security and Medicare which causes it to not be as secure as we were once lead to believe.
So, what are we to do? “It must be nice to be retired,” my wife and I have had people comment. Well, not really. While it is nice to be able to move by a beautiful lake and to set up a home in a nice resort community with a lush green pasture in our backyard, this was not really our choice; not at this time at least. I wanted to work at least five more years but unexpected health issues with my eyes intervened and to be able to cope with that and not chance loosing funds we had in investments we chose to “go with the flow” and relocate to a more conducive place where we could have better control of our lives, protect our investment funds somewhat by buying a place to live, and create a space for us to work at home comfortably. But that green pasture soon did not look so luscious when we started observing the limitations placed on the cattle’s movements behind us, and hearing their bellowing when their calves were taken from them was heart rendering.
Retired? By societal designation only. I took Medicare at age 64 and Social Security when I reached the designated full “retirement age” of 66 which has made our lack of income for the past two years tolerable, but its supplementation is not sufficient enough to cover the basic living bills and the high costs of health insurance due to runaway costs of medical services worldwide, so we have to find other income in various ways. But we are content, happy that we are able to pay our basic living expenses and we feel like we still have a degree of control over our lives even with the turmoil of the forced changes in our lives. But retired? Not really. I joke that since I quit working for the other guy that I have worked harder than I ever have in my life. It’s true with the financial control I’ve had to make over our money, the move from one state to another, the challenges we’ve had trying to get me medical assistance and my personal attitude of coping with suddenly finding myself physically challenged with extremely poor eyesight from being a senior who before was rather well compared to others I knew prior to the awareness of my eyesight limitations.
But, yes I’m going to say it, if we can “retire” with limited income and not work for the work-a-day employer and still be comfortable, so can you. And we can help you lean how if you want us to.
There are six basic areas needed to be built into anyone’s successful senior years plan, which summarized are:
- Spiritual – Everyone needs to recognize their spiritual base, what is yours? Who is your God? What spirit controls you? How do you find peace, comfort? How do you express life experiences and wisdom?
- Mental Challenge – You must keep a positive frame of reference to be a successful senior. Are you staying mentally active? Are you keeping up on current events? Are you learning new skills? Only the inactive brain becomes the irreparable mind.
- Health –Healthy or challenged you must keep yourself on the road toward health and live in a way to prevent accidents and disease. What does this mean to you? Do you eat healthy? Do you exercise? What do you do to prevent health problems?
- Financial – Comfortable or challenged by money, its control is key to senior success. Do you have a budget? Are you able to stick to it? Do you know how to build one? Are you able to discover ways to earn creative income? What is creative income?
- Social – In our senior years our social interactions become more important, who are your friends, family? Do you know? How do you respond to conflict? How do you react to others’ expressions of love, concern, or attempts to control your actions?
- Diversions – What are your hobbies? How do you have fun? You may find that what you enjoy doing most can become the most important area of your life and even a possible source of income. Now you have time to develop these, if you will allow yourself.
As personal lifestyle coaches, Rogene and I simply help you review each of these areas to help you prepare for the time when you are able or need to quit your career or job and enjoy the fruits of your labors. But this is always easier to do if some prior planning has occurred. With our business, psychological and educational training, and our own personal experience with being forced into early retirement, we can assist you in your own personal review to make your transition from worker/professional to being a successful senior citizen with less effort and fear than you may think possible. Our charges for our coaching are comparatively low and are based on a pro-rata system which is fair to all income levels.
You can have access to many of our ideas and concepts by visiting our blogs regularly. Click to follow Rogene’s blog at Espirational.com to receive daily inspirational quotes and ideas on diet, frugal living and other ways to keep a positive frame of mind. Follow Espirational.org for more in depth articles about things concerning spirit, politics, investments and other things of interested to the successfully aging person. These blogs may, of course, be read free and we enjoy making the information and our thoughts available to you, however our expenses do still carry on to get this information to you so the revenue from our bookstore and other sales goes toward these expenses.
Rogene and I enjoy helping people. While we realize that not everything we say will necessarily be welcomed by everyone, sometimes it is best for you to hear (or read) these things so the challenges can be faced before they become major problems. That’s what we want to help you do. If you would like us to provide some personal successful senior coaching, please contact us via email at EspirationalFaith@outlook.com today and we’ll start your plan to be a successful senior citizen.
Also you may want to check out the new page on this blog called “Successful Seniors” where I plan to put tips and ideas to help you find ways to enjoy your post industrial years. And, by the way, check out Espirational Books & Gifts store: