Monday, May 21, 2012
Many long years ago, I was a Senior in High School. The term "Senior" meant that you had reached the point where you were ready to go off into the world, and make your mark, leave your legacy, or at least get a job and subsist. You were considered special, someone to be looked up to by the underclassmen. A Senior had successfully navigated the high school curriculum. You had Senior Proms, Senior cut days, and other perks, because you earned them. You only had a one year stint as a Senior, unless you couldn't get enough credits to graduate. After graduation, you either went on to college, or entered the work force.
Life passed, and many of us raised our own Seniors, and watched with pride as they too, entered adulthood. As a parent, one could again relive those years long ago.
Sadly, there's a second time in life one turns a Senior. There's no bragging rights in this version. After the age of 50, you are eligible to join the AARP, an organization for Seniors. Instead of proms, and bragging rights, there's pity.
You are a burden if you're still working, blocking the younger set from advancement, by still being on the job. In many jobs, the senior man receives higher pay than the newer employees, as pay scales tend to go down these days. Your wisdom, and clear thinking are a threat to those new folks in the workforce. They want you retired, so they can get your job!
Quite a Senior perk, isn't it? As you age even more, you are looked upon as an entity to be exploited, not exulted. There are a myriad of "Senior friendly" products marketed towards you. The general idea is that somehow, after making your mark on society, you used up all your intelligence, and have now become a doddering old fool. You need a special cell phone, because the one's the young folks have are just too complicated for your rusty old brain. Or there are super simple computers offered to Seniors, which don't require any knowledge to operate. "Keep it simple, and charge more, because they're old and don't know any better!"
The idea that you were smart enough to hang on to your money through life is the basis for this.
Aging makes you a prime target for the health care industry as well. One trip to the doctor after age 55 or so, will result in an endless list of tests, pills, and more doctor visits. You become a cash cow for the medical profession, all in the name of keeping you alive for a few more years, so they can take more money from you. Even Medicare can't keep them from your savings, as they prescribe things that aren't covered. MRI's, CAT scans, power chairs, and those $20,000 bathtubs with the doors in the side, are all either offered, or prescribed. Your "Golden Years" have made you the goose that laid the golden egg!
Scammers too appreciate you. You are the target of various cons to give up money, or personal information. There have been may seniors who have lost thousands of dollars due to these vermin preying on the elderly.
Retirement, if you can still do it, is no longer fun in the sun, it's fretting over paying for your sub-standard life style. Social Security payments barely cover the cost of living, and you are fearful every day that the legislative asswads in Washington, will take that away too!
There isn't much we can do about this sad state of affairs, except to not accept it. Why must we follow along like sheep? Let's get out there and act up like we did when we were young. Let's show the vultures that we ain't done yet, that we still have a fire burning inside us! The ultimate graduation for folks our age ain't a pretty one, so let's not go too soon. If you are told you are too old to do something, DO IT! If you are told not to eat or drink something, do it anyway. Stand up for yourselves as the Senior Class should do, for there still is one last person after your money when you go; The undertaker.
Make him wait!