Tag Archives: retire

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

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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

New Developments

Things have really changed since my last writing.  For those that do not know my background I will say this…..it was colorful and varied and I really enjoyed all of it.  I am retired from the air force and have had many careers since then with another retirement included.

I decided to apply for a part-time job, that was seen in the papers, to have a little extra spending change and to take up the rest of my free time (I know I am crazy).  I have been training all week and will be on my own next weekend.  The job will have me working midnight shifts Friday and Saturday nights, every other weekend.  That’s not bad and it will give me a little change in my pocket and it won’t take up all my time or all my weekends.

The second thing that happened is the message I received from one of my EX-air force comrades.  I had no idea anyone was looking for me and I did not know there will be a reunion of the guys I worked with in Germany.  These were great guys although they were not K-9 (smile).  I worked with these guys as their security supervisor and, if I may say so, we had a great time.  There was always something happening (I should write a book about the things that happened).  There were a few guys that came to North Dakota where I became the First Sergeant.  Again we had some good times together although not as much.  I was invited to the reunion but I cannot go to Chicago because of other commitments during that time frame.

Needless to say, I haven’t had time to ride my bike but I will tomorrow.  The weather will be good and I shouldn’t have anything to do.  RICHMOND AND HENRICO LOOK OUT BECAUSE HERE I COME!!  The temperature should be low (around 75’) and it will have a light wind from the north.  That will be great for riding and Richmond is becoming safer for us on bicycle.  I am glad to be here, in a city and county that is bike friendly and will be more so as time go by.

Not forgetting Imperial Plaza, tomorrow is WII day in the White Squirrel and Wednesday is a trip to the Eastern Shore.  TAKE CARE!!!!  Don’t forget to click “like” and/or “follow”.  BYE-BYE!!!