I’ve always considered myself fairly intelligent even with my temperamental dyslexia which flares up at the most inconvenient times. I graduated from high school, attended business college, went on to earn an Associate’s Degree while working for a Fortune 100 company and raising a family at the same time. While my I.Q. isn’t a qualifier for Mensa, it’s high enough to get me where I wanted to go most of the time. So why am I feeling so darn dumb?
It’s because of the Continuing Ed class that I am taking titled, “Successful Retirement Planning”. Even though I’ve just started the class, I know I’m going to fail. What’s worse is the fact that all the time I thought I’d been fairly successful in life, I’ve been a failure.
We baby boomers are messing up the whole economical system it seems. There’s too many of us and we are living too darn long and are too healthy. Why does this sound more like a curse than a blessing, I wonder?
I also wonder why it takes fifty plus bar charts, certifications, designations and licenses, plus a degree in statistics to manage my retirement successfully? Some of these designations/licenses are obtainable in three-month easy installments plus a series of tests. Surely I could do that myself? Oh, I forgot. I’m slightly dyslexic. Plus my passion lies in the written word, not numbers.
All the doom and gloom of retirement made me think of my mother and the generation that raised us. I don’t know about everyone else, but money was a taboo subject in my house. It was considered uncouth to ask someone how much they paid for something, how much they made, and how much they owed. I knew my family was better off financially than some because when my mother bought me nice clothes, I was told that I needed to care of them so that they could handed down to the next family who wasn’t quite as fortunate as we were. We lived in a big house and we had a cottage on the lake. But I wasn’t spoiled as a child. If I had been, my mother would have given me that pony I always wanted.
My mother’s generation believed mortgages were to be paid off, furniture was to last a life-time and credit cards and the stock market were the devil’s making. Ahead of her times, she was the bread winner of the family. She didn’t work for a company for years; she started her own. That meant no pension plan; only tiny social security checks and herself to depend upon when she retired. But she never got to teach me how face the challenges of retirement. She died at the age of 46. She remains with me still, teaching me when I take the time to listen. And instead of reprimanding me for ranting and feeling sorry for myself, she is whispering, “Stop the search for a retirement genie and instead learn to trust yourself and your own wisdom.” Thanks, Mom, I needed to hear that. Love you.