On My Soap Box

It felt good writing my last blog on retirement rebels. Truth be told I’ve always been a bit of a rebel myself, and  I had to hide that part of me when I went to work for a big Bank, but from time to time it would suddenly pop out and get me in a little trouble. Most Corporations really don’t like it when employees write books or blogs because it might not align with the story that they are trying to convey. They get nervous when employees stand out and don’t fit in, when employees invent something that is outside of branding or corporate messaging. Brand is very important to all corporation, as it should be, but with a diverse work force it can stifle employees that don’t “toe the line” and who want to speak out and say what they are thinking. Thankfully I don’t have to live like that anymore.

Last week at a seminar while talking about the “big dip” someone said that they were concerned about what was in store for their children and that comment hit home as I’ve been thinking about that for a long time. While I don’t like talking about it, the fact is that I’m concerned for our children and grandchildren. People today including our children have a high level of stress and it does not look like it will end anytime soon, how are they are going to cope with it all.

When I first started out I was able to get a good job, with good pay and benefits and stayed there for the next 36 years. Today  our kids will have seven or more different jobs over the course of their career and our grand children will have seven different sources of income all at the same time. Don’t get me started on my anxiety over the prospect of our kids being able to own their own home. Bottom line our kids and grandkids are going to face more stress and uncertainty then we ever did, hopefully they have the personal tool kit to deal with the stress, but this stress is not healthy for them in the long term. We are going to have to keep a close watch over them and help them build the tools to deal with the change. It bothers me that when I think about a young person starting out in the corporate world, I worry about what they are about to go through.  Truth be told if I had a chance to go back and do it all again I would not. I wouldn’t want to live like that again a second time and that’s not right, I shouldn’t feel that way, something is wrong and we need to help fix it.

I don’t like politics and many of our politicians today, something I couldn’t say while I was working. Today many politicians set bad examples especially for our children. The majority lie and makes things up just to get votes. It’s all about the win for them and voting along party lines, instead of public service. They just don’t seem to care anymore about the common good and the people that voted for them. We are seeing a dramatic ground swell with our friends in the USA, people wanting to hold politicians  accountable. Hopefully our children will be able to hold their employers accountable for providing a positive, ethical and fair workplace. It bothers me to see record profits continue to be reported, when it is coming partially at the expense of the employees through lower benefits, no pension and part time vs. full time work. It doesn’t seem that long ago that these were table stakes when we first started out.

This blog serves as my soapbox and now that I have the freedom to speak I plan on taking advantage of that. The beauty of the internet is that it allows us to connect with like minded people.  I want to connect with as many retirement rebels that I can. The way I see it is that the retirement rebels hold a great deal of influence. We can choose to invest ethically in companies that do the right things for a better world. Ownership means influence, especially if we consolidate our voice. I want to invest my time in this noble pursuit and look for opportunities to push for a great cause. I am considering joining CARP the Canadian equivalent of AARP in the USA,  or I might just do it alone on my soapbox. Yes I’m bit of a dreamer there is no denying that, but it’s far better to be a dreamer and to at least speak out than to just sit there and watch a nightmare unfold before our eyes.

Our kids need us to help fix things before it goes too far the wrong way. Helping fix the mess that we helped create will let us  sleep better at night.

Time to send in the retirement rebels!

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