By Alane Cunningham, Contemporary Retirement
It is the time of year when we tend to look back at what has taken place in our lives during the last year and decide upon what we want to change.
Unfortunately, these changes usually require that we also change our behaviors and those of others and not much becomes of them.
The year got off to a rocky start with the earthquake in Japan. And while we can’t control the weather, we watched with admiration and awe at the tenacity and humaneness of the Japanese people. I think we watched with a little envy too at their ability to rebuild things in weeks, while our road construction and construction projects usually take years to complete. Then, when we got over the Japanese crisis, we faced a premature winter with unusual storms throughout the Northeast. Again, people showed resilience and patience as crews worked to restore power. No we cannot control the weather but our ability to adapt is inspiring.
The year also showed the financial crisis of the housing market is more far-reaching than we originally thought. It will take time to reconcile all the mortgage foreclosures. If you are close to retirement, or retired, the return of a good housing market may not happen in our lifetimes. We also learned that we are part of a global economy and what happens in Europe and elsewhere has a direct effect on us here in the USA. Unfortunately all these events and others have resulted in the decimation of our retirement incomes and future prospects. So what are we to make of all of this and what are we to do?
For those of us who have our good health, we need to make a point of enjoying every day. We live in the best country and probably are the generation that will prove to have the best living standards historically. While some of us lament at what’s happening in our world today, let’s look at our lives and remember that we are probably living in the best times that will be experienced. Then, instead of being depressed by today’s events we should rejoice that we got to live in the best of all times!
The year also brought the fall of some of our heroes, like Joe Paterno and many of our politicians. Things that you could not have imagined, happened. We are all a little more jaded because of it. People often disappoint us and can change our view of things.
While many of us feel that we cannot change the world, do not despair. Together we are the most influential generation of all time. Yes, we also are the strongest voting block in the U.S. and we need to assert our voting rights in the next election to make sure our concerns are heard.
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