Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 1/02/2023
The Social Security Act was signed into law by President Roosevelt on August 14, 1935. In addition to several provisions for general welfare, the new Act created a social insurance program designed to pay retired workers age 65 or older a continuing income after retirement.
Life expectancy was about 64. There was a 42:1 ratio for employed vs retired, which today is 3:1 with current life expectancy 78. By 2050 it will be 2:1 or less. Three people pay into the system for every one retired person for far longer than the original 42 paid in for just a few years.
Historically, we attributed decline mentally to mirror decline physically. We assumed weakness. The Boomers brought in a youth movement. (Now I’m the eldest of the Boomers!) The 60s ushered in new music, new values, no values: Woodstock, Beatles, assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, moon landing, cities burning, Cuban Missile Crisis, Viet Nam.
When I was very young we all listened to the same music, parents and kids! Then came doo-op and rock and roll and Dick Clark.
What are some of the most powerful images of your youth? Are they still valid today? Have some of your beliefs changed?
Some considerations for the year(s) ahead:
• You may be comfortable, it’s claimed, on one million in the bank at “retirement.” I doubt that.
• The average for the professional adult today is about $324,000 in savings.
• The need is NOT to surrender control.
• We have to embrace new resources. (There are people who don’t use email today.)
• I’m better than ever, and you can be, too:
° Your life experiences enrich your perspective.
° Your family’s growth adds to your maturity.
° Nietzsche: “You’re not a man until your father dies.”
° Learning is easier than ever.
° You can’t shy away, you can’t be afraid.
° I can’t run as fast as I once did, so I don’t race, but I can think better than ever so I do debate and argue.
° Mental and physical fitness are synergistic.
° Do math in your head as an exercise.
° Correct grammar in your head as an exercise.
° Practice remembering longer passages and numbers.
° Do acrostics, crosswords, and word games.
° Read history, biography, science, contemporary fiction, classic fiction.
° Learn how to deal with bullies, disdain, passive aggressive people. (“I’m old? THAT’S YOUR BEST SHOT? Then you’re an idiot. And you won’t outgrow that.)
These aren’t “resolutions,” just my “recommendations” for a long and happy life.
Aging has a wonderful beauty and we should have respect for that. —Eartha Kitt
Aging can be fun if you lay back and enjoy it. —Clint Eastwood
No one can avoid aging, but aging productively is something else. —Katharine Graham
Age is inevitable. Aging isn’t.—Marv Levy