December 28, 2009

USA: Baby Boomers - Could it Be Our Parents Were Right?

. DENVER, Colorado / Associated Content / Parenting / December 28, 2009 By Priscilla Clements, Contributor Grandmother, lives in Raymond, New Hampshire Credit: Priscilla Clements Is it Time to Head South - If Only for the Winter? In the 1940s and early '50s, our post WWII parents created us - the baby boomers. They tried to pass their wisdom down to us. They tried to lead us on a path to success. They were trying in vein because we knew everything. In the 1960s, our parents knew nothing - so thought the baby boomers. They bought the wrong cars, went to the wrong vacation spots, and hung out with all the uncool neighbors. In the '70s and '80s, they began visiting friends in Florida. Who would want to go to the land of the old people? Our parents, well-intentioned, but oh-so unhip. The '90s rolled around and our dear, sweet, elderly parents had become our responsibility. The baby boomers were now a mature segment of our society. We listened more carefully to their stories - the same stories we had heard for years. We realized their wisdom. We realized how much we had missed by not realizing this sooner. With the onset of Alzheimer's, many of our parents changed, sadly, from the people they were to the people Alzheimer's made them become. Their stories, on days when they could remember them, were fewer and with less details. Now, in the 2000s, what we baby boomers would give - to hear those stories, just once more, as before. The onset of 2010 finds me contemplating living in warmer climate, if only for the winter. Beware FL, TX, and NM, baby boomers are coming? Living in NH and wanting to stay near my adult children and grandchildren, I'll probably check out FL. There seems to be a pattern here. Social Security, for as long as it lasts, doesn't provide much security. Depending on the level of planning and success of said plans, baby boomers' options vary from barely existing to a retirement of luxury. Retirement, all too often mandatory, is not always affordable. Ten years before he died, my father calculated the amount of toilet paper, paper towels, tissue, aluminum foil, and plastic wrap, he and his significant other would need if they lived to be 95 years old and still in their own home. In an effort to be fiscally prudent, he purchased all those items in bulk. Before the advent of Super Walmart, Sam's Club, or BJ's, in our area, there was Spag's. In late January, during one of those snowbird ventures, a pipe burst in my father's basement in Boston. The following day, a neighbor called my father in Florida with disturbing news. It appeared that a giant marshmallow was in my father's basement. It took two dump trucks to haul out the wet paper products, foil, and plastic wrap. So much for being fiscally prudent. He went shopping weekly after that. It's time for baby boomers to consider life after retirement age. We can learn from our parents. Don't buy in bulk. Hang around with older people, whenever possible. It will make you look amazing, especially the single baby boomers, when compared to the rest of the senior population. Plan your own wake and funeral. Pay for it in advance. Divide your assets and put them in a will for your loved ones and friends. Baby boomers, don't leave any details for the state to handle. Your loved ones do not need the hassel and pain of dealing with your unfinished business. We're a generation of feeling invincible, but we are not. If you listen carefully, you'll hear your parents saying, "Work before pleasure." Our parents were right.[rc] © Priscilla Clements © 2009 Associated Content, Inc.