The Sunday paper featured a full-page ad celebrating seniors. I was like, wow, how’d they get my name?
Upon further reflection, I realized they meant graduating seniors. Not older folks like us. Bummer.
Don’t get me wrong. I love young people and can’t imagine how hard this year has been for them. Hell, yes, celebrate their achievements! No generational warfare from me.
While some may find retirees disposable, we make important contributions to the economy – contributions that help support everyone. Even without a job, we still pay income tax on the money we withdraw from our IRAs. If we own a home, we pay property taxes and fees associated with funding schools and other community assets. Even on a fixed-income, many of us support local food banks and other charitable causes.
Not to mention the many contributions retirees make by volunteering, sharing their knowledge, connecting with their families or just being cool, interesting people.
The economy needs us, but we need the economy to thrive, too. Not just for us, but also for all the young people who have miles to go in their journeys through life. I support careful re-opening as we learn to manage the risks associated with COVID-19. A vibrant economy is good for all of us, but that doesn’t mean older people have to be first ones in the pool.
Dale and I have loosened up a bit on grocery store visits – quick trips with masks and social distancing. Plenty of hand-washing afterward. I’m playing golf – outdoors wearing a mask when I use the restroom or anticipate a close encounter. No chit-chat. Plenty of hand-washing afterward.
No mass gatherings, no travel, no restaurants.
Some people have asked why I wear a mask. I have a new response that is working well. I say, “I don’t mean to be rude, but I’m at higher risk than many.” I’m not even sure that’s true, but it stops almost everyone. Only one person asked why, and I said medical history. No more questions after that.
Donna Pekar is an aging badass (for real) who lives in California and writes Retirement Confidential.