Tag Archives: money

Retirement Woes

Growing up, there was this unrealistic assumption that being retired was a goal to achieve in order to live the waning years of life in complete peace, tranquility and ease. Yet, as this age of life is finally here, the stark truth of retirement is realized and most of it is not entirely the way it was envisioned. Those that are not overly wealthy find daily worries, wondering about the amount left in an account after the last shopping trip and before another sum is credited into the account. With that, to some, not being enough worry, politics enter the picture. Most elderly people think politics does not overly concern elderly individuals because they have retirement money, social security money and other income, for some not all).

These monies are for housing (even if the house is paid there is maintenance, taxes and insurance), food and utilities (not counting clothing and mild entertainment). Then account for the insurance for any medical issue. Politics have a strong and lasting effect on all of this. As one catastrophic example, imagine a person depending on retirement money from a corporation. Then imagine politics forcing that corporation to declare bankruptcy. Now the corporation cease to exist and so goes the retirement money. And, in a domino effect, there goes the way of life for the retiree, that is if the retiree is not independently self sufficient. Also think about depending on work place health insurance. If you stop working, where does health insurance fit in?

As the political scene tease, change and outright stabs a person in their heart, the retiree, like me, wonders what will tomorrow bring. Will I have enough money for housing needs, food, medical care and, politicians don’t want to hear this, entertainment. Politicians have their way mapped out for them and they don’t worry about their future. We the people pay their way. People with money don’t worry because they have their life and they don’t worry or care about those without money. Sure, they give a little to this cause or that cause but for the most part it is only a drop of water in a very large bucket.

We all have to worry about our political scene as it is presented to us today not yesterday. We not only have to look at what is happening now but what will happen in the future when certain bills are passed and bestowed on us and our children. What hoops will our children have to jump thru to reach retirement (or will they be able to retire). The life of peace, tranquility and ease will be snatched away and replaced with doubt and angst.

I’ll throw one more wrench into the machinery and leave this train of thought alone for a while. Don’t believe being ex-federal (civilian or military) leaves you immune to all that is happening in politics. The politicians are attempting to not only put deep cuts into things non-federal but they are looking at the military (don’t believe everything that you have heard about the military), federal hospitals and everything else that is federal. It will be a little slower coming than the rest that is proposed but, if they have their way, it is coming. Everybody that does not have a large sum of money will be on shaky ground with no where to run. And remember one other thing, if you voted for the present administration, you either have what you wanted or you will get what you want. Oh well.

In closing, although this is not a woe, my wife and I, again, was able to enjoy an entertainment before cuts are made in my monies. Where did we go? The annual Hampton Jazz Festival in beautiful Hampton, Virginia. As usual, the artists this year were outstanding and, of course, I saw my favorite, Fantasia. The line-up look like this: (Friday Night) Jill Scott, Kem, Brian Culbertson, Gerald Albright & Jonathan Butler. (Saturday Night) The O’Jays, Fantasia, Anthony Hamilton, West Coast Jam featuring Richard Elliot, Norman Brown & Rick Braun. (Sunday Night) Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Patti LaBelle, Ramsey Lewis, Bobby “Blackhat” Walters. All of this was performed in the Hampton Coliseum and it was the 50th Anniversary for the festival.

This fall, across the street from the coliseum at the Convention Center, will be the annual Hampton Jazz Legion. We will be there also because, like I have said before, I love jazz and want to attend live performances. Both programs are always sold out well in advance and so are hotel spaces. In fact, people usually get tickets and hotels a year in advance of the performance.

Try to stay safe and cool. Have a great summer and be kind to others. See ya!!!

Coco Cay, Bahamas

I Am Retired

For the moment I will get back to talking about Imperial Plaza, not all of the happenings but as much as I dare for now. Since I have been here and have written about this place, I have found it quite intriguing, to say the least. Imperial Plaza have gone uphill, downhill and now uphill again. I was involved in some of it by being on committees but there have been some people that were quite radical about what they perceived as needing to be accomplished and how it should be accomplished. There is one or more that gives the perception of “my way or the highway”. There are others that will go so far as to jump the chain of command and go straight to the top.

In everything, like the government, there are parts of a problem that is not seen by the average person. In other words, the whole picture is not seen, therefore, the problem can not be solved as it is seen because one must first see the whole picture (the big circle…). There is always another element to look at unless you are at the top and definitely know the whole picture. Then, alas, there may be an element of that picture that is hiding something, for whatever reason, which makes the picture cloudy and a commendable resolution difficult if not impossible.

There are a few people at Imperial Plaza that come from a world where they are the boss and are used to people complying to their every whim but now they are into a world of retirement. They still have the mindset that when they say something, everyone must jump to do whatever it is without question. They also have it in their heads that they know the best way to do things only if they can get people to get on with the task they have alluded.

Since the previous head of Imperial Plaza got the boot (some say not), the new person have done a great job getting things moving without too much conflict and discontent. There is still a hic-up here and there but nothing is perfect and never will be. There was a large shift in the dining facility and the food and wait staff got to be pretty bad. With the new head chef and quite a few new wait staff, things are beginning to look up. I hope so because I have stopped eating there.

The one thing that have, on one hand, gotten stagnant and, on the other hand, gotten bad is the entertainment. I know most of the seniors want old music (thirties, forties and so on), but, it is always the same old thing. There are two or three bands that always come here and I can tell you the line up of the music. I know what tune is next, because there is very little deviation from that line up, and usually what comment the lead person will make. There is a very good man playing good music in the White Squirrel but he have been relegated to twice a month, he was playing every week for months. He would fill the place on Tuesday and everyone was eating, drinking and dancing. The new group that replaces him every other Tuesday does not take requests nor do they fill the place. Alas, you can’t fight city hall. It’s the dining facility’s lost and I keep my money in my pocket. I either stay in my apartment to eat and drink or I can go out to eat. My wife and I are mobile and I don’t care what we do for that day. There are always choices and I try to take advantage of them because I am retired and I’m not nailed down to do anything I don’t want to do.

I’ll stop here although there is so much more to talk about but I don’t want to make this too long and boring. I want to continue this at the next writing and go into other parts of what is going on as well as, hopefully, getting into my travels. As I said before, I am retired and I love writing, salt water fishing and traveling. As time permits, I’ll write something else soon. Be kind to your neighbors for you’ll never know when you’ll need them. Also, insure your words are soft and sweet, you’ll never know when you’ll have to eat them. By the way, the photo is one of the jobs I retired from.

 

Eric_on_Night_patrol2-428x266

Parallel Thoughts

I am reading the book “Playing The Edge” authored by Michael V. Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency and CIA as well as a retired Air Force four star General. I’ve only read about an eighth of the book so far, I’m purposely being slow as to really digest the material, and it is an inside look at political wranglings. He writes about how politics hampered the efficiency of the NSA and, later, the CIA. How, when everything is going good, there is a demand to cut personnel, work and money. However, when things are bad the question becomes an accusation about why the job wasn’t done and why there wasn’t enough personnel to do the job. Also, from Congressmen, “it wasn’t me that hampered you. It was the person here before me.” Plus, it’s always to get the job done with less and less until the mess hits the proverbial fan.

In a way, so far, certain words in the book can be replaced with words meaning Brookdale Imperial Plaza. A lot of the same thing has happened and is happening here. There is always the undercurrent of activity that causes things to go awry in that psychotic way. There are always people that overtly try to control the system and there are those that attempt (and they have been pretty good at it lately) to covertly control the system to their way of thought and/or idiosyncrasy. Many, many things come into play in order to control the multitude of jobs to be performed at a large place such as Brookdale Imperial Plaza. Those that attempt to have it their own little way and/or think they see or know the entire picture have a lot to learn and, really, if they only knew. They don’t have any idea about how to run a place such as this and it can not/will not run the cut and dry traditional way.

There are budgets, staff, headquarters, residents and unforeseen catastrophes that plays havoc with the little money and personnel available. Now all is done and up pops that individual or individuals with their own agenda(s) that slows everything to a crawl. Constructive criticism is welcomed everywhere but when there is always destructive criticism, the house starts swaying like an unsteady house of cards.

Yes, I have my own agenda and that is to stay retired, travel and live in peace. I’ll leave the administration of Imperial Plaza to those that get paid to run it. Of course, if something doesn’t seem right, I will voice my disapproval and opinion. Only if it is catastrophic and then I’ll have to think about it. However, I will not attempt to micromanage a place I am not paid to manage or work. When I was in control of my own thing (military and civilian) I never micromanaged anyway. Why should I now? I found that to be counterproductive early own and have lived by it. If there is a good person or people in place to do the job right and there is trust in them to do it without supervision, there is no problem. Most problems are handled without you intervening and you are free to do your thing.

I guess I am being cynical because things that are happening is not affecting me. However, am I my brother’s keeper? In this case, no. Myself nor my wife is adversely affected, therefore, why bother and get myself in a lather? What will it do for us? What will it do for anyone when I don’t have and will not have control over anything that is done at Imperial Plaza. Sure, there are committees but they can only advise, not dictate. And, these committees, well most of them anyway, try just that and have accomplished not a thing.

I say, sit back, relax and remain retired. Don’t stress yourself out and have a heart attack over something you can’t control. Leave politics alone, at Imperial Plaza anyway, and live a carefree life. Or, you can get back into the rat race, come out of retirement and offer your services to Brookdale. Maybe you may be hired to get the mess in order. Good Luck..

 Electrical Storm, Arizona

Deep Thought

I really try to avoid discussing politics and/or religion because of the potential arguments and animosities it causes. However, as I watched television when it reported on the Paris incidents, I began to say to myself, as I have said to myself in the past, these perpetrators are not the true Muslims as they want to be seen as. I will attempt to have you see some of my reasoning.

I ask this question which would require a definitive answer. How can a person be a true Muslim if they partake, sell or make drugs? How can a person be a true Muslim if they drink alcohol? It is my humble understanding that none of this is ever done and be able to go to Heaven. My mind is going in circles trying to come to an understanding. This is what jolted my mind into numbness.

The Paris murders were carried out by so called Muslims, at least that is the report that is given. However, upon the French Police entering their lair, drugs and booze were found. Allah would be furious about this revelation of a devout Muslim being like the Infidels. I may be wrong or I may have missed something but this is what I see on the television. Something is wrong here.

Then I thought about their cash crops in their homelands. Opium, or should I say Poppies. There are only three things that can be done with these flowers. First, have beautiful flowers for sale. Second, take the gum and make morphine. Third, take the gum and make opium. There is more money in opium. The people in the lands that produce opium, Muslims, were upset that other crops we tried to get them to grow did not provide as much money and they wanted the go ahead to grow poppies again.

There is another drug that they are using and pushing heavily. They are even fighting over the profits coming from that drug. It’s called captigon. It’s like crystal meth in pill form and very additive. It lasts for a long time and suppose to make their fighters think they are all powerful and nothing can stop them. However, they are the pure and righteous Muslims (so they say). This also have a smell of Capitalism, something they and the Communist are strongly against.

From what I see, these people want the world to be Muslim, to live like they did in the days before Jesus. They want all women to be servant or at least to have an air of servility. They want to shed the blood of anyone that is not of a particular clan or sect or whatever. They want the monies but they did not make it or do anything that would make the money. They don’t want anything that is modern although they will use it to attempt to gain whatever ends they are aiming to get. Should I mention the internet, vehicles, telephone, radio, television, etc. Don’t get me started on the oil production.

All in all, it all adds up to be one big smoke screen, if you will, for world domination, maybe. Or, it could be just an excuse to kill and kill some more and wield power over those that are not in the inner circle. This sound like a 007 movie or anything else out of Hollywood. But, this is not make believe, this is real. The bullets and carnage is real. We all have to be careful and see beyond the lies and politics.

I am through ranting and will not approach this subject again, I had to clear my mind. I imagine, if I probe deeper into the subject, I could come up with other reasoning things and none would be good or make an ounce of reasoning. I will just go about my business as usual but keep my eyes and ears open. More than before. In this area there are too many places worthy of striking and it could happen at any time. I don’t want to be among the ones in the way. I can’t move like I used to and I just want to live in peace.