The kickoff has already started, and the teams are fighting it out.

Raconteur Report is hosting the game. The score so far:

  • The Greatest Generation (or their parents, for the younger ones) started Social Security. Because FDR wanted to buy votes, he allowed people to begin collecting the (then) tiny payments right away. SS never was self-supporting. There is no argument that the GGs made out the best with SS. They contributed very little, and successfully lobbied for raises to ease the pain of inflation, while NOT taking reductions when the economy improved. In essence, they set the standard for SS to function like a one-way ratchet.
  • The “Silent Generation” – again, a group that, overall, got a terrific return on their investment. Keep in mind that many of this group never did make the “Big Bucks”. Most made modest incomes. Few saved much for retirement, as pensions still existed. For the lucky ones, this paid off. If their employer went bankrupt, offshore, or shed workers, many of them lost their pensions.
  • Boomers – the current group of “old folks” are responsible. This is the view of many of the Millennials, who have seen their parents begin to collect SS (the older ones), and who are beginning to wonder where the money is coming from that will support them in their old age. Many of the BBs were childless. Some used that freedom to save for old age. Most did not. Expect to see a strong push for government action to keep them off the streets.
  • Millennials – they are whiny, ungrateful brats (well, for some, this is, in fact, true). They need to toughen up and tighten their belts. No, the government won’t bail you out. Be an ant, not a grasshopper.
  • Gen X – you ALL are pathetic.

That pretty much sums up the fight, but, don’t take my word for it – go there, yourself, pick a side, and root for your team!

My view? Every generation faces its challenging times. No time period has been absent some crisis, economic upheaval, or opportunity.

And, it’s that last part that is seized by the fortuitous. Opportunity.

If you lay down and wait for a savior – whether religious, temporal, or governmental – y’all gonna DIE.

Take action – ANY action. Try cutting expenses (yes, the beloved family home or farm should be on the block, if need be), increasing income, taking from the meager amount you already get to start building a savings fund for emergencies.

Don’t make enough to save?

Bullshit!

I was UNEMPLOYED, and managed to tuck away a few bucks each time I cashed those checks. I saved the amount I made by walking, rather than taking a bus. I took sandwiches to temporary jobs, toted my own water bottle. I bought clothes at Goodwill and Salvation Army stores.

It can be done. You just have to want it badly enough.

I’ll be 68 years old, in about 2 months. I’m currently studying for my insurance license. I saw an opportunity when I was choosing my Medicare Supplement. My husband stopped to talk to a woman in Walmart’s, who helped him choose a policy. She asked me what policy I had, and I explained that I’d spent several months looking over my choices, and was sure that I’d picked a good plan.

When she heard my choice, she nodded, and said, “That’s a good plan. So, you’re not going to be traveling with your husband?” (He’d mentioned his plans to travel). I said, no, I traveled quite a lot, to visit family and friends.

“So, you realize that this plan will charge you as out of network any time you leave the state? One out of town illness or accident could more than wipe out your savings?”

When I picked my jaw up off the floor, I realized that she was saving me from a big mistake. Right there, I decided to do what she did – help seniors make the best choice for them. She helped me get started, and I should have my license in the next month or so.

Like I said, you have to be open to opportunity. This is something I can do part-time, as available, and will supplement my pensions and SS. Yes, pensions, plural. I taught in 3 different states, and am collecting pensions from 2 of them – not full ones, but the partial ones, rolled together, are about 1/2 of a full one.

I’m not bragging. I made some bonehead decisions along the way to retirement. But, I did manage to save, put away some money in TSAs (like a 401(k), but for teachers), and pick up extra money when the opportunity arose. I didn’t sit on my ass and complain, which is my big complaint about too many people.

Yes, I know they’re already working, or sickly, or have too many responsibilities. Tough. Find a way. Make ONE little change to improve your life circumstances – even cutting back to basic on cell or TV packages, and saving the difference.

I can hear the anguished screams now – NOT THAT! ANYTHING BUT THAT!

Sweetie, I once sold nearly everything I and my family owned to get the money to make a new start. When we set up in the new house, it was a few weeks before our kids had BEDS OR DRESSERS! Yeah, we sold just about EVERYTHING.

You can do it. You just have to want to change badly enough.

Even retired people can make some changes. It might mean no prepackaged food, or starting a container garden. Whatever the cost of time and effort, it sure beats complaining.

Up till the time we take our last breath, we can change.

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