Golden Years

timwilliams By timwilliams, 27th Oct 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>News>World

The future for all the Tom Hardwoods after reaching 65 those golden years probably won't be golden after all.

Golden Years

For Tom Hardwood his 65th birthday was a true right of passage from middle age into that lofty inter-sanctum of finally making it to the golf cart reality. The Autumn of his years have indeed arrived. But, like so many others that have reached that age plateau instead of a carefree future for his remaining years a foreboding sense of anxiety is always in conscious thought.

With the rest of the world poised to be set ablaze, where government intervention has stripped away the financial security Tom thought he had, and now with so much equity in his home just shy of a mortgage-less future the terror of foreclosure after all those years of robbing Peter to pay Paul to keep his humble abode, his tiny bit of the American Dream intact could be just in vain. Scratching his already thinning gray hair Tom is as perplexed as anyone can be at the thought that his golden years will not be golden at all. Realizing now that more banks are initiating foreclosure proceedings on homes with allot of equity is a jolt of reality to every homeowner. Banks seeing profits ahead of the diligent homeowner are being pressured by high roller investors who have tons of hard cold cash buying up foreclosed homes is the hard reality facing all the Tom Hardwoods who have put years of hard work into their homes. That hard work only to have the Banks more often than not succeed in forcing out original homeowners. Thinking back through all his working years knowing that someday a life of leisure would await only to find that someday is now and his days of anticipated leisure was just a dream.

Life in the United States in this the year 2014 many are like Tom Hardwood finding out that with just their Social Security income more hard choices now have to be made. With food prices rising faster than a speeding bullet, and the cost of energy today it is not so much of a wonder that Tom became such an expert at playing bill paying roulette.

The biggest challenges facing all the Tom Hardwoods out there, and there are millions like him all over the country is maintaining their health and vitality while entering what should not be the most stressful time of their lives. And, yet for those millions of seniors those golden years have already turned out to be one of if not the most stressful time of their lives. When Ton now sitting in his home office chair thinking back to when his parents retired. His childhood home was already paid off, his father received a lifelong pension for over 25 years service with the same company, and Tom's mother also received a pension for her 30 plus years in public education. Things were quite different back then. Not only were they set with enough disposable income to live out their golden years but, through-out their entire working life household disposable incomes was more than enough to pay each bill on time, buy food without any governmental assistance, take yearly month long vacations and still had enough money to send Tom and his sister to college without any student loans. Boy, how things have changed.

After realizing what was once the norm through-out his childhood and teen-age years and now faced with a totally irrational set of circumstances today where there has become a gross disproportion of wage earners is the hard reality of today. The middle-class stature that were Tom's parents today, they would now be classified as the working poor just like so many other millions that are now faced with so many obstacles that curtail that joyous time of their lives, retirement. As Tom ponders his predicament now facing reality as it is many a question has to be asked and answered. As he continues to realize that a sociological shift in employment demographics has taken place within the past 35 years. The major employers of the 60's which were the likes of General Motors. The strong manufacturing base economy where the United Auto workers were making about $50 per hr. by today's standard. Today, the biggest employer is Wal-Mart, a service industry, where the majority of workers earn less than $9 per hr. Gone are the days of Bethlehem Steel where once strong industries powered a nation to resounding economic prosperity.

Now, with looming not so golden years ahead Tom realizes like so many others that for the rest of their lives there has to be another source of income just to keep the lights on. Always wanted to start his own business but now finding out that upfront capital is needed to pursue this venture and make it successful only to find closed doors. Banks and lending institutions have virtually shut off credit to small and even midsize business ventures. Instead of granting capital in which more economic activity ensues Banks have purposely put so many stumbling blocks in the way for individuals to do so. Even with all the government bailouts and the QE funding by the Federal Reserves have done next to nothing to encourage small entrepreneur activity. Only the top 1% have ease of access to funding capital in which to invest. This makes it more probable that the income disparity gap is only going to grow wider.

Realizing that the financial world has stacked the deck in favor of few wealthiest Tom must now purse joining the rank and file Seniors who are already continuing their golden years in toiling away at laboring instead of relaxing in the golf cart reality that many still today can't afford. It is as though government, industry and our society have purposely made the golden years for millions of Tom's generation not golden at all.


Retirement, Senior, Social Security

Meet the author

author avatar timwilliams
I am a feature writer for The Tampa Bay Examiner and The American chronicle. Earned Ph.D in Economics

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
29th Oct 2014 (#)

Awesome post and interesting piece as well!

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