Updated: May 9
Ladies and Gentlemen this will be a long one so bare with me......
In less than 5 weeks, I will be turning 65 years old. A bit apprehensive but more so excited. Excited because I will be able to take care of some items on my bucket list which have been growing for the past 25 plus years. Am I financially well off to do all of them , no, but will I be able to achieve them? Not sure but.....it doesn't hurt to try or to dream of trying. But actually that's something the political parties in this nation will have to take a closer look at, especially when it comes to the standards of living not only for me but for my sons and his contemporaries. Meaning addressing such issues as cost of living, attainable housing, affordable healthcare and so much more.
As a so called Baby Boomer, like many in my age group, are perhaps living on some sort of fixed income with a side complement of retirement incomes/pensions etc., in order to live a bit above poverty levels . In other words comfortably, but not like when both spouses worked full-time bringing in at least a combine salary of 200k plus a year. But surprisingly enough , not many are financially well off to at least to survive / retire comfortably. I know of some of my age group that can not even afford home insurance! Having many opting to continue to work pass their minimum age of retirement at 62 years old. Some working as far until for health reasons they can not continue to do so, meaning work.
I myself started working at age 13 for The Fresh Air Fund in NYC during the summer months , under the guidance of two 18 plus adults and a community leader. Making a whopping $49 a week. I did this for two summers straight. Then of course the seasonal retail jobs until I graduated from college. This obviously helped with those currently living on Social Security and those about to retire in the future. Like my parents. Of course the cost of living was somewhat tolerable with challenges but those on their own got by. But today my
friends is a different world. A world where my Millennial son and his contemporaries are struggling with non-stop challenges every single day. Sounds familiar? The struggle is real .... for all of us.
So you're probably asking why are you comparing these "two" individual demographics/ age groups? One, that I am the parent of a Millennial and foremost unlike the other generations such as The Silent Generation and The Generation X population, my generation and my sons generation are neck in neck in population. Almost a 42% of the population combined. That's a huge voting block. A combination of two age groups that can truly make change for the betterment of both groups and this country. Additionally helping those coming down the road is why we should join hands in this battle.
But my concern here is not just the participation of the vote by these two very strong voting blocks , but it's the misconception that many Baby Boomers have about Millennials. My generation stressed so much to our children about getting a college degree , to get a great job so they can move out and learn to become independent etc etc. In other words kick start their lives. Especially by simply stating "your generation has so many advantages than mine did back in a day. You all have technology, your world is at the touch of a click". I hate to be a Debby downer , but its not what you think it is. And here is where I wish to share my relationship with my sons and his friends growing pains in trying to survive in
today's stagnant growth for a demographic that maybe the generation that will have a bigger and stronger voice at the ballot booth in every single election for the next 20 years (5 election cycles going forward).
What areas do these two demographics share in common (and many other groups as well):
1. Baby Boomers - spent much of our youth fighting for peace and fairness . Equality and the right to choose and the right to live as we fit
2. We're both for Social Justice and Environmentalism - at least those that I know personally. Yet some of us in our youth were more into the "ME Movement" and the Yuppies groups , putting aside concerns with decades of disregard for the climate ,allowing unfair policies , an excess of everything to disregard those in our future lives. But now we're very much concern in fighting for a better life ahead.
3. We're both impatient - during my youth I was extremely impatient in getting ahead and making more money than what my parents made. And I guess I have pushed that onto my son as well. In other words we're pushy and that has made us extremely frustrated with where we are today. Fiscally, physically and emotionally . But still fighters to fight the good fight.
4. Cost of living- for us both presently is extremely challenging. Having to live within budgets that sometimes are revised constantly and at times non existent. Having even more than one roommate so that we can live in a safe secure community with amenities to
live like human beings
5. Unfortunately I started saving late ,not because I didn't have the funds to do it, but because I wanted to live, to travel ,to enjoy my youth thinking that the Social Security benefits program was going to be my cushion when I went to retire. Not a good start and it a good idea. But I woke up in my late 20's and got on the road to prepare myself. Generating extreme "debt" in order to show what I was able to accomplish, not ,letting others know m y worries of such debt. Phew! Yet with many ups and downs, I somehow survived. And now for my sons generation their current contributions to the Social Security system will be in the negative or non- existence according to those in Washington (2034). One that our generation currently and that one of his grandmothers are living off from . So why is Washington not working on something to help my sons generation when they reach their retirement age? Afterall they're the ones paying into. Why is a particular party organization proposing to cut Medicare and Social Security benefits including through privatization and raising the eligibility age ( according to Whitehouse.gov). And if this is to happen then allow my sons generation to vote for a different program. Time for change and wipe the slate clean especially with those who have come up with this doozie of an idea. Together our demographics need to stand up and these DC individuals need to stand down.
6. Housing - rents have gone up close to 9% per year since the 1980's outpacing wage inflation by a huge margin. This according to www.ipropertymanagement.com . For
example rents from the 1970's to 1985 (@ an average of $430) jumped 10% plus. Currently 2022 an average rent is somewhere around $1300 (a jump of 67%) and at times where these properties are as old as 35 plus years with very little upkeep. These prices are also reflective in 50 Plus Communities. Having your home (owned by you) on a small lot where your rentals go up as soon as your yearly COLA ( Social Security;Cost Of Living Adjustments). This needs to be looked at. Why not allow section 8 adjust those lot rents and the rents of hard working Millennials?
While many parents and grandparents bombard our young adults to get a job , get a place of their etc ,etc. , why don't you realize that it is easier to state this than even actually achieve it. And erase this notion that the young adults of today like my son , are in their parents basement playing online games is a total fallacy spoon fed to you by politicians who are not in touch with today's challenges for both Millennials and Baby Boomers alike.
These bullet points that I have pointed out for you , are not even close enough to what both generations are struggling with. Some will say things like "your generation left us this and some will say oh your generation is better off than ours". Unfortunately "ALL" generations are being affected by the lack of work of those we have voted into office. Paying for years via our federal taxes for salaries of those political leaders we placed our trust in who in reality are too busy playing football politics in order to just get a win for their party. I'm not good with that! So to you the political "so called professional" ,get your behinds in gear and start to do what we voted you in for.
My suggestion is that we embrace one another and fight for the future of those here presently and of those down the road. It is our responsibility.....the responsibility of ALL generations to make sure we vote out those who violated their oath to us and to this nation. "Support and defend the Constitution" , not your party.
Wake Up Washington...NOW!