Thoughts on Being Alone and Not Alone; the Poor Millennials and a Wonderful Banner Illustrating Both a Young and Old Alexis

I awoke (to rain, of course) read some emails, my blog that was posted overnight by wonderful Chris and pondered my fate. I am a single, self-imposed orphan, childless, with weak family ties. But there is a great deal of freedom in that. I do not have to worry about the fate of future generations, an infirm husband, or the incapacity of those who surround me but are not there for me. I can hire professionals and I do. So no one has to worry about me. I complained to friend Bruce a few weeks ago.

Me: But He is never there for me. When something goes wrong He is totally inaccessible!

Bruce: But then you do not have to be there for him.

Me: Thank you Bruce! I never thought of it that way.

Bruce: And if He is not emotionally supportive of you, you do not have to be emotionally supportive to him.

Me: That is so true also.

But I reconsidered my stance. I require those around me to be emotionally supportive, it is a requisite to ensure my productivity. And why have someone who is not there for you? I am capable of being there for people. So there has been a change in my thinking and in my relationship patterns. So there! So there! So there! One can hire professionals and I have the income to do so and I do and will continue to do so. So there!

The email that probably sparked this thinking came from the National Institute on Retirement Security mentioned in a prior blog. This is a new and different report, also authored by a woman. It speaks of the situation in the US but it has applicability to Canada. First of all, so that we are on the same page: (so to speak) ‘The Millennial generation – those born between 1981 and 1991 – is the largest generation, numbering 83.2 million. Millennials also are the most diverse generation in the U.S, thus, the structure of the defined contribution (DC) retirement system – which favors high-income workers and exacerbates disparities along gender, racial and ethnic lines – makes achieving a secure retirement an uphill climb for most Millennials.” Now, as if that were not bad enough, wait until you hear this! Two-thirds (66.2%) of working Millennials have nothing saved for retirement.

• Using the recommendations of financial experts, only five percent of working Millennials are saving adequately for retirement.

• Even though two-thirds (66%) of Millennials work for an employer that offers a retirement plan, only slightly more than one-third (34.3%) of Millennials participate in their employer’s plan.

• Millennials face higher life expectancy, lower income replacement from Social Security, and are less likely to have a traditional defined benefit pension. This means Millennials must save significantly more than previous generations to maintain their standard of living in retirement.

Now this is bad news and I suspect that the situation is somewhat the same in Canada. But it is not my worry as I have no children and weak family ties and that is extremely valuable as there is nothing I can do about it. Not one thing and it is not my problem. I am therefore sort of blessed. Now some people might say that I should be worried about it. But why pray tell? It would just make me depressed and it is my job to cheer people up. So there! So there! So there.

Attached to this blog will be the Alexis Banner. My wonderful professional Chris Jackson, on his own accord, put it together. It is a compilation of pictures of me that he gathered. Here is the most amazing thing. I actually am not only not aging but looking younger as I age. It is a miracle. The picture in which I look the oldest is one of me in a cap and gown. It was taken at my graduation from Dominican University in San Rafael, California, at least ten years ago, perhaps more. The youngest? Me wearing a pink beanie and carrying a pink umbrella looking like a prostitute on Granville Street (see prior blog). I think that was a couple of weeks ago.

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