Ice Storm on the Gulf Coast

As I have stated a number of times, I live in Mobile, AL.  We are situated right on the gulf coast aka redneck riviera.  We rarely get temps in the 20s.  If we do, they are at night.  For the past week or so, we have stayed in the 20s during the daytime.  Highly unusual for this area.  As everyone has seen, the south got blasted with an unexpectedly vicious ice and snow storm this week.  Atlanta was deluged to the point that drivers on the interstate into Atlanta just up and abandoned their cars.  Motorists were stranded from Birmingham Alabama to Atlanta, Georgia.  Thankfully, there were many businesses and just plain old good Samaritans who helped people during this time of need.  We knew we had potential for snow and ice this week.  But, the amount, along with the temps in single digits, caught us all by surprise.  Temperatures are supposedly going to increase today.  Things should be back to normal here (at least our winter normal temps) over the weekend.  As I looked out my window (this is being written up on Thursday morning), the ice is still packed solid in my yard and the roads are still hazardous.  I'm not venturing out in any case for at least two hours.  The ice looks like snow.  But, I don't think we got much snow.  Mostly, it was hard falling ice.

With the notion that a picture is worth a thousand words, here are three pictures to verify how incredible this week has been weather-wise. This is looking out my front door, backyard and my truck.  Honestly, I don't know how you people up north can deal with this kind of weather for months at a time.  If you click on each pic, it will expand the size to get a good idea of what it really looks like.


Retirement: Saving Money During the Golden Years

One of the few things that is rarely discussed during any discussion on retirement is how to save money as a retiree. All the discussion centers around financial planning prior to retirement.  Of course, if you plan well, saving money during retirement becomes somewhat a moot point.  But, since not all of us are able to financially plan a $400K nest egg, let's talk about some ways you can save money during your retirement.  One of the ways to save money was thrust upon me this past weekend.  My dryer was simply not drying my clothes.  I was having to set the cycle 3 or 4 times.  Even then the clothes were still damp.  So, what to do?  I got online and posed the question on Google.  What I discovered was that my question was answered by many articles.  I always cleaned the filter.  But, that had no effect at all.  The vent connection was removed and you would not have believed the amount of lint that was built up.  I got a new dryer vent connecter ($10.00 or so), cleaned out the screen inside the wall, checked the outside flapper and set the dryer to dry again.  Problem solved!  In all, according to an appliance dealer I talked to, I saved about $200 including the service call.  Not to mention, I also probably stopped a potential house fire.  Doing it yourself can save you a boatload of money.

As a senior citizen, you get many discounts that others don't get.  Movie theaters, pharmacies, hotels, restaurants, car rentals and auto repair shops offer senior discounts.  Even businesses that don't advertise such discounts will give you the senior discount if you ask.

Speaking of social activities, senior centers offer a great deal of events to the retiree.  Many senior centers offer groups classes on everything from computer classes to yoga to chess.  These centers are also a source of information on how to get discounts on practically everything. 

Do a reevaluation on your car insurance.  Since you don't drive to work everyday, as a retiree, they should reduce your rate on that criteria alone.  Also, in regard to life insurance, you can probably drop disability insurance.  Why do you need that now that you are no longer working?  Life insurance?  Drop or reduce it.  All you really need is burial insurance.

Most people had two cars when they were working.  Sell your extra car.  Think of the money you save on insurance, gas and maintenance alone. 

A reverse mortgage is another viable way to save money.  A reverse mortgage is a financial alterrnative that allows seniors to access the equity in their home without income or credit qualifications. Seniors must be 62, live in their own home and have equity in it. You do need to weigh all the pros and cons here on a reverse mortgage.  For some people, it might not be a good idea. For others, it would solve most, if not all, of their money woes in retirement.

These are some easy, cheap ways to save money during the retirement years.  Give them a try.


The Voice in the Wilderness

Guest Blogging today is John Malcolm.  John lives with his family (2 boys, 1 girl, wife is deceased since 2009) in OklahomaJohn is a website designer and part-time systems analyst for a large telecommunications company.  His hobbies are hunting, fishing, writing and enjoying activities with his family.

If you have a story to share relating to the paranormal/supernatural, click HERE for details.  Also, to answer many questions, there is no charge for guest posting on the topic of the paranormal/supernatural.


My story takes place in the rugged, mountainous region of north-central Arkansas.  We lived about 50 miles south of the Missouri state line.  There was a lot to do there if you enjoyed the rugged mountain country as my dad and I did.  We often went hunting in this area during hunting season.  We would be gone for days at end.  But, if you weren't familiar with this wilderness area of Arkansas, it isn't the place for you to be without someone to guide you.  Some people have gotten lost here, never to return.  Others were found deceased due to exposure or starvation.  So, never venture in this area of the country without a guide who is intimately familiar with it.  I lived here until I was 18.  For many years, my friend Dexter and I would go scouting around this area.  We knew northern Arkansas like the back of our hands.  It was a great way to spend a weekend camping and just enjoying life.  We frequently would go fishing and eat what we caught.  The first time I ever camped overnight was with my father. I was 12 years old.  He warned me not to be fearful of the sights and sounds that I would encounter on this camping trip. I was puzzled by this.  I soon found out what he was talking about.

That first camping trip included my father, me, my previously mentioned friend Dexter and a co-worker from my father's company.  We all greatly anticipated this trip.  My mother was not as enthusiastic.  She thought Dexter and I were too young.  My father wouldn't hear of it.  He always went on these trips armed with a rifle and sidearm just in case a wild animal got too close to us.  So, on an early Saturday morning, we all went off in my father's 4-wheel drive Jeep Wrangler.  We got to the region where even the Jeep couldn't go.  Father parked the Jeep, we gathered up our supplies and headed north into the wilderness of Arkansas.  Dexter and I were so excited we could barely contain ourselves!  There were sights of the wonderment of nature that occupied our time.  The region started becoming more mountainous and rugged.  We lost our excitement about two hours after we headed out.  We were beaten.  We settled in across from a creek flowing down from this huge mountain.  The sight of all this was simply amazing.  Even now, I get the tingles just remembering my first experience of this area.  Dad and his coworker brought tents they both carried.  They were enough for two people to sleep comfortably.  We all went fishing in the deep, wide creek.  Dad said he had caught many Spotted Bass and Flathead Catfish in this creek.  They sure weren't biting much on this particular day.  We did finally manage to catch 3 Bass and 1 large Flathead Catfish.  That catfish was hell to clean.  But, it was fried fish for dinner in the huge skillet my father had brought.

After dinner, we sat around and talked the talk of life in Arkansas.  Dexter and I shared what we wanted to do when we grew up.  At 12 years old, I still wanted to be a cowboy.  Dexter was more practical.  He wanted to be a lawyer (instead, he found himself on the other side of the law).  After a few stories, we all were tired and sleepy.  I slept with my dad in his tent, Dexter slept with my dad's co-worker.  He was a small, friendly guy.  He just talked too much for my liking.  So, about 10 PM, we all went to sleep.  We were going to go as far as we could up the north slope of this particular mountain.  I was looking forward to it.  I guess I had been sleeping about 2 hours when I heard "The Voice" for the first time.  I thought my father had said something to me.  He was snoring away.  I just blamed it on a dream or the wind outside.  As I was about to lay back down, I heard it again.  "Hello."  This time, I knew it was not my father.  I got out of my sleeping bag and stepped out of the tent.  The wind was blowing pretty good.  It could have been the wind whispering through the trees and my overactive imagination.  But, I heard The Voice again.  "Hello," once again rang through the wilderness of that area where we were camped.  This time, my father's coworker also heard it as he got out of his tent.  We both looked at each other in amazement.  I said, "Hello" back to whatever it was out there in the pitch darkness of the night.  There was nothing said for about two minutes.  Then, I got a reply, "Who are you?"  This could not be explained away as wind whispering through the trees.  We got a sentient answer.  The Voice was not particularly loud.  In fact, it was just enough to where you could hear without actually straining to hear.  This woke my dad and Dexter by this time.  My father did not seem surprised.  In fact, he was the only one not surprised.

My father said to answer the question of "Who are you" to the voice.  I was fearful now.  Dad told me to go ahead, he was there beside me.  I said, "My name is Johnny.  What is your name?"  I got no answer for several minutes.  We were about to settle back in for the night when the reply came.  "I have always been here.  Always," came the reply.  I was literally shaking.  My father decided to take matters into his own hands now.  "We mean you no harm.  We are simply passing through, " said my father.  Again, silence for several minutes.  "Fare thee well," came the ghostly reply from The Voice.  "We won't be hearing anything else for the rest of the night or probably for the rest of our trip here.  I've heard this many times during my life here.  No harm will come to anyone. So, don't be afraid.  I have no idea what that is.  Nor does anyone else who has heard it.  Stories of it go back at least a couple of centuries, said my eerily emotionless father.  My father was right, we didn't hear anything else from the voice in the wilderness for the rest of that night and the rest of our trip.  I was ready to go home after that.  But, we stayed for another two nights with nothing unusual taking place.

My father told me the next morning he had heard this same voice ever since he and his father had hunted up in this area of Arkansas.  My grandfather never discussed it with me.  But, he did sing a song quite a bit that now makes sense.  The song?  Fare Thee Well was the song he has sung almost every time I ever saw grandpa.  "Fare Thee Well" is an old English folk ballad that has its origins back in the early 18th Century.  It is what a lover says as he or she bids farewell before setting off on a journey.  My dad said the entity that we heard that night might have been the spirit of a long-dead lover who never came back from his (it was definitely a male voice) journey. I heard The Voice several more times, on camping trips up there, before going away to college in Oklahoma.  It was never threatening or alarming after that first night to me.   I haven't been back there since I was 21, some 22 years ago now.  But, each time we spent the night, it never failed we would hear the mournful "Hello" from The Voice in the wilderness of north-central Arkansas.

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Time to Trade in My Honda Civic

I've spoken quite often about my 2006 Honda Civic on this blog.  It has been both an enjoyable experience owning and a bit of a curse as well.  I traded in my 2004 Jeep Liberty after Hurricane Katrina damaged my Jeep Liberty.  I had been having trouble with the Liberty (almost flipped it over on I-65 one time in a rainstorm) prior to Hurricane Katrina.  My Honda Civic has saved me enough in gas to where it basically paid for itself (well, not quite, but you know what I mean).  It's been a good little car.  It has a very attractive color and styling for a compact car.  It is the EX style of the Honda Civic class.  It only has 65,000 miles on it.  I attribute that to having used my '95 Nissan truck quite a bit over the past eight years as well.  That helped keep miles off my Civic.  Plus, not having a job to go to each day keeps miles off a car as well.  I have had a series of problems with this Honda Civic as of late.  The latest adventure was the ECT sensor had to be replaced.  The Civic's temperature display indicated it was running hot.  But, after checking under the hood, the car was not running hot at all.  It took some doing, but I finally convinced the Honda service rep there was something wrong.  The price tag to replace the ECT sensor was $426.  That isn't the catalyst for trading in the Honda Civic.  It's eight years old and it is becoming more and more difficult to get in and out of the car.  I am 6'1.  That made getting in this little car an adventure, as well as getting out.  I have a bad back as I have discussed several times here.  All in all, it's time for me to move on to something else.

That "something else" is going to be another Jeep.  I really miss that Jeep Liberty I had.  I didn't miss the gas mileage.  I feel I overreacted to the rising gas prices after Hurricane Katrina.  The Jeep I have in mind is the 2014 Jeep Cherokee.  I have built and rebuilt that SUV online about 50 times, I think.  I had originally thought about the beige color exterior.  But, I remember I had an '85 Ford Escort the same color.  No matter how much I washed that car, it still always looked dirty.  So, I am about to settle on either blue or red.  I'm leaning toward the red color.  The 2014 Jeep Cherokee, while not being a true Jeep Cherokee, is getting rave reviews around the world.  I love the front grill.  A lot of people hate it.  I don't understand why.  It looks really good to me.  People will probably ask why am I going to a Jeep with terrible gas mileage after having a Honda Civic with great gas mileage.  Well, the Honda Civic did have great mileage at one time.  But, the gas mileage keeps going down.  After this latest episode with the ECT sensor, it has gotten even worse.  I'm not going to take it back to have the Honda service department take another look at it.  I'm convinced they are not very competent.  I am taking the 2006 Honda Civic for one last drive on I-10 for about a 30 mile drive.  I will examine my gas mileage afterward.  If, as I suspect it will, the gas mileage is still not normal for a Honda Civic, then my decision will be made.  Time for a new vehicle.  It will be back to the future for me, a 2014 Jeep Cherokee.


Prostatitis - The Return

I stated in a June 2012 post that I had my first bout with the much feared Prostatitis.  It was a terrible experience that lasted approximately five months.  Yes, that's right, five months.  My doctor greatly sympathized with me.  But, there is no cure for Prostatitis.  You can take antibiotics such as Backtrim and Cipro.  But, for the most part, you have to tough it out.  Prostatitis is defined as "...inflammation of the prostate gland. Inflammation is swelling, redness, and pain. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland in men that surrounds the urethra. It produces a fluid that is part of semen.  There are four different types of Prostatitis.  Category 1: acute bacterial—least common of the four types, but the most common in men under 35Category 2: chronic bacterial—not very common, but most common in men between 40-70 (which is what I suffer from).  Category 3: chronic nonbacterial/prostadynia—most common type, associated with chronic pelvic pain . Category 4: asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis.  That's probably all you need to know.  Prostatitis is caused by bacteria that comes from the urinary tract or rectum.  It can also be caused by chronic inflammation of the bladder.  I suspect that is my problem.  I have had a history of UTIs most of my life.

Unfortunately, Prostatitis has come back to visit me once again.  It has been going on for at least a month now.  I have had periodic episodes with Prostatitis since that June 2012 post.  But, they last no more than 1-3 days.  It appears this episode is going to be tough as the original.  I've learned a few things since I first had Prostatitis. Avoid coffee, tea or anything with caffeine. That seems to irritate the prostate even more.  I've discovered that a herb called Cranberry and Buchu helped dissipate bacteria in the urine.  For the most part, that has helped me in the past.  I've seen little in the way of benefit since this latest episode of Prostatitis.  But, I'm continuing to take it.  I've also learned that Apple Cider Vinegar is a big help with Prostatitis also.  I was so bad Sunday night, I took two capsules of ACV.  It helped almost immediately.  But, the next morning, the slight burning, urgency to urinate was back.  I continue to take ACV.  One other thing I might share; taking two Advil helps with the pain of Prostatitis.  Nothing takes away the frequency, the urgency to urinate or the burning sensation of Prostatitis.  But, you just take medication and try to outlive the bacteria that is causing your life to be so miserable.  That's all you can do.  I am praying this episode does not last five months.  But, there is nothing I can do about it even if it does. 


Disappearance of Jodie Weston


Today we have Michael Matson guest blogging.  Michael is from a mid-sized town in the southwestern part of the USA.  He is 47 years of age and a firefighter for 26 years now. He is married and has three kids.  In his spare time, Michael enjoys playing golf, fishing and working on his '58 Oldsmobile.  

If you have a story to share relating to the paranormal/supernatural, click HERE for details. 


My story is probably going to be short in comparison to the first story here on the paranormal.  I don't have any real supernatural or paranormal experiences to share but this one story.  This took place in a small town in Arizona.  I was 14 years old at the time.  One of the things we enjoyed a great deal back then was exploring the surrounding area.  It didn't matter if it was rocks, hills, valleys or anything that struck our fancy.  My best friend in the whole world was another 14 year old named Jodie Weston.  I was really attracted to his 16 year old sister.  But, she considered me just a punk kid not worthy of her.  But, that didn't stop me from vying for her attention!  Jodie and I enjoyed playing baseball and really met that way.  We soon discovered we had a lot of things in common.  We both enjoyed exploring.  Jodie often told me we probably had ancestors who were aboard the Mayflower centuries ago.  Jodie and I lived near the northern part of Arizona, pine-covered high country of the Colorado Plateau in the north-central portion of the state.  It was in direct contrast with the image most people have of a desert, arid Arizona .  This was high country and pine trees galore.

On a late April day, Jodie and I were in my backyard throwing a baseball, just talking the talk of young teens.  Suddenly, we both saw a bright light about 5 miles north of us.  It was even brighter than the sun.  We both just knew it had to be a meteor.  But, neither one of us saw it streaking down from the sky.  At the time, we didn't/' think about that. It was about 3:30 to 4PM when this happened.  Mom always warned me to never go up into the pine-covered hills after noon.  But, Jodie and I could not let this go without investigation.  So, off we went to God knows what.  It took us about 45 minutes to get to the approximate area by dirt bikes that we had.  It was rocky going that route.  When we got there, we heard a slight chirping noise, not unlike that of crickets.  But, this was louder.  Suddenly, I remember seeing a bright light, an incredibly bright light that knocked me unconscious.  Unfortunately, that is the last thing I remember of what happened.  I don't know exactly how long I was out.  But, when I regained consciousness, Jodie Weston was gone. Not a trace of him in fact.  I thought Jodie had left to go get help.  Maybe he couldn't wake me up.  That was my thought at the time.  But, that is not what happened.  I screamed for Jodie for several minutes as I continued to look for him in the quickening darkness of the day.  After about 20 minutes, I decided this was fruitless.  I took my bike home in the hope Jodie was there.  That was not to be.  I advised my father of what had happened.  Dad called the Sheriff's office and a search and rescue was soon underway.  But, after 5 days of searching, no trace of Jodie was ever found.

To this day, Jodie has not ever been found or any trace of him.  Nothing, not one thing has been found. Jodie just disappeared completely off the face of the earth.  Suspicion was on me for many years afterward.  But, I was never charged.  Nothing was ever discovered from the bright light that I related to law enforcement that day.  Nothing was seen on radar at nearby military bases.  I have nightmares about Jody even to this day.  I see him floating, reaching out to me from strange places that defy description.  Jodie is always asking me for help.  In those dreams, Jodie is always 14 years old.  I've gone to many doctors about this.  But, the nightmares continue to this day.  Was it a UFO? Was Jodie abducted?  I've thought that many times in my life. I have no idea.  I have no memory after the bright flash.  I've undergone hypnosis several times.  But, each time I get to the bright flash and I immediately wake up. I fear I will go to my grave never knowing what happened to my childhood friend who disappeared that one fateful April day.  But, that appears to be what is going to happen.

Addendum:  I decided to use false last names for myself and for Jodie to protect surviving family and friends of Jodie.

Enjoyed this story?  To read a similar story, click HERE!

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Goodbye Comcast, Hello U-verse

After 8.5 years of high cable and internet prices, frustration with service and equally inept customer service, I cancelled Comcast cable and internet service this past Monday.  It was not an easy thing to do.  The customer service rep tried desperately to keep me with Comcast.  I have to admit, that surprised me.  He offered me all kinds of discounts to stay with them.  I'm thinking, why not offer me discounts since I was a long time (and suffering) customer?  Now, it was too late.  I had already switched to U-verse.  Comcast started putting data caps on my internet usage at 300 gigs.  They accused me of going over 300 gigs in the first three weeks of last month (December 2013).  There is simply NO WAY I used that much data in three weeks.  It's just not possible.  Be that as it may, I still didn't like the idea of limits being placed on my internet usage in any event.  Perhaps U-verse will eventually do that as well.  If they do, I'll be moving on to something else.  Maybe before that happens, everyone can have their own "internet hotspot."  I believe Comcast placed the data caps on customers to try to save the dying business model of cable TV.  Lots of people are getting their entertainment via live streaming on the internet (Hulu, and Netflix to name two).  They should know by now you can't hold back technology.  You can't stifle innovation which the internet breeds each day.  But, Comcast is going to continue to try to do just that.  Plus, Comcast continued to price gouge me with everything they could.  They stated they had not been charging me for two other outlets I had in my home.  My final cable bill was $207.  That's practically a car payment.

U-verse, thus far, is head and shoulders above Comcast in so many areas.  Don't believe what they say on the Comcast commercials about inaccurate download speeds on U-verse high speed internet.  We get more channels and faster internet speeds.  Our bill is about half of Comcast for the next 12 months.  Even when the discounts end after 12 months, we will still be saving between $30-$40 a month.  I suspect I won't be the only one moving away from the cable companies to U-verse or some other TV/internet provider.  Google and Microsoft are about to enter the TV and internet arena.  They are spreading out to select cities right now.  Comcast can do nothing to stop that either.  I may eventually leave U-verse for either Google or Microsoft someday.  But, for right now, U-verse is a very good alternative to the cable industry.  A very good, viable alternative.

DISCLAIMER:  This is not a paid endorsement for U-verse-AT&T.


Police Abuse #6


The more things change, the more they remain the same.  Or something like that.  On December 19th (last month), a SWAT team entered a manufactured home with a "no-knock warrant."  The warrant was to search for drugs and illegal guns in the home.  Henry Goedrich Magee, the owner of the home, was there with his pregnant girlfriend when the 8-member SWAT team entered unannounced as they knocked down the door.  Magee grabbed a nearby rifle and fired at the intruders, not knowing they were law enforcement at 6AM.  Struck was sheriff’s deputy Adam Sowders who was killed.  No one else was injured.  Magee was taken into custody and charged with capital murder, which is punishable by life in prison without parole or death by lethal injection. Ironically, and tragically, it was deputy Sowders who requested the no-knock warrant on the residence of Magee. According to Magee's lawyer, the only thing the SWAT team found was four guns, three legally owned by Magee.  The other gun was owned by his mother.  They also found a small number of marijuana plants which would have amounted to a misdemeanor offense.  District Judge Reva Towslee Corbett is the judge who issued the now hotly debated no-knock warrant on Magee.  Magee does have a felony conviction for drug use.  In Texas, a resident may own and keep a firearm in his house if five years have lapsed since his conviction. There was no word if Magee has served that five year window for owning a firearm.

To begin, Magee is obviously a low-life scum.  He has convictions for DUI and drug use.  But, was a no-knock warrant really necessary to arrest this man?  He was no real danger to the general public.  There was no evidence that he was violent (as of this posting).  So, why did Deputy Sowders request the no-knock warrant?  What was the foundation for Judge Reva Towslee Corbett to issue the warrant in the first place?  This no-knock warrant was issued in Texas, of all places, where everyone is armed.  What did they expect to happen?  What could possibly go wrong with breaking into this man's house, without announcing who they were, by breaking down his door? We have the answer now with the life of one Sheriff's Deputy.  I have always been highly critical of law enforcement on this blog.  I see a militarization of our police in this country since the attacks of 9-1-1 and the Patriot Act.  This warrant was totally unnecessary to take down this man. It seems police today suffer with an acute amount of what I refer to as the "John Wayne Syndrome."  They think they are complete badasses and no one should ever want to cross them under any circumstances.  That attitude cost Deputy Sowders his life as much or more than anything else.  If Magee was a terrorist, a member of the Mexican drug cartel, then that no-knock warrant makes sense as dangerous as it still seems.  But, the SWAT team thought this would be an easy take-down with minimum risk.  In short, Magee was seen as an easy target.  I've seen this attitude from police several times over the years.  They would rather hassle law abiding citizens then take the time to truly go after the real criminals out there.  Magee is NOT a law abiding citizen.  But, he isn't a terrorist either.

This will happen more often as the USA becomes more of a police state than it already is. A man has a right to defend his life and property. Was busting into a home, whether or not he had illegal drugs or guns, worth the risk of someone losing their life? Was it worth a pregnant woman being shot? The judge who issued this warrant should be questioned about allowing this to happen. The police should be questioned about the evidence presented to the judge that necessitated the no-knock warrant.  I suspect that evidence is now "lost" for all of eternity.  If the man was a danger to the public, I agree about the no-knock warrant. But, a couple of MJ plants is not a risk to the general public. As usual, law enforcement overreacts.  Only this time, it cost the life of one of their own. 

a resident with a felony arrest may own a weapon IF 5 years have elapsed since the felony conviction or end of parole.
Read more at http://www.westernjournalism.com/swat-team-deputy-killed-serving-knock-warrant/#VEzKR4fsGTZJf8Ay.99
a resident with a felony arrest may own a weapon IF 5 years have elapsed since the felony conviction or end of parole.
Read more at http://www.westernjournalism.com/swat-team-deputy-killed-serving-knock-warrant/#VEzKR4fsGTZJf8Ay.99
a resident with a felony arrest may own a weapon IF 5 years have elapsed since the felony conviction or end of parole.
Read more at http://www.westernjournalism.com/swat-team-deputy-killed-serving-knock-warrant/#VEzKR4fsGTZJf8Ay.99
a resident with a felony arrest may own a weapon IF 5 years have elapsed since the felony conviction or end of parole.
Read more at http://www.westernjournalism.com/swat-team-deputy-killed-serving-knock-warrant/#VEzKR4fsGTZJf8Ay.99


Retirement Not Likely for Some Baby Boomers

I read with interest an AP story about how some blue-collar baby boomers will not ever retire.  The reason  they are unable to retire is because they just don't make enough money to sock it away for retirement.  The story gave anecdotal evidence of this with the subject being a logger from the state of Washington, Tom Edwards, age 53.  The logging industry is in a slump, and Mr. Edwards is unable to put any money into savings for retirement as a result.  "It's never going to happen. By the time I reach retirement age, there won't be Social Security. There's not going to be any money," Edwards said. "I'll do like my father did: I'll work 'til I die."   There is ample evidence Mr. Edwards is not alone in this belief.  Approximately 78 million Americans, born between 1946 and 1964, have either retired or are still working out of necessity.  Most are blue-collar workers like Tom Edwards.  Many baby boomers now expect to work the rest of their lives.  Most fear that Social Security will not be enough to fund their retirement years.  So, they think they will work until they die as Mr. Edwards stated about his father. The story goes on to state that many baby boomers do not have the financial literacy skills necessary to prepare for retirement.  This is very true.  I have discussed this very subject at length on my retirement blog, The Retirement Life

While I disagree there will be no Social Security (which is the popularly held belief) benefits when the rest of the baby boomer generation retires, I do think it is possible that people will face reduced benefits.  That may include those of us currently on Social Security as well.  That is a real possibility and danger that worries me.  But, while I totally sympathize with those whose financial situation precludes them from saving for retirement, I must continue to say they can't afford not to save for retirement.  Now, I know you can't squeeze blood from a turnip as the old saying goes.  But, these people who say that retirement is a fantasy need to remember that as you get older, your health starts to deteriorate.  I never took any type of prescription medicine until I turned 50.  When I turned 55, I started having severe back problems (I had back surgery 10 years prior that didn't not help me at all).  At age 60, I had emergency gall bladder surgery that nearly ended my life.  Just last year, age 62, I had to be hospitalized for Diverticulitis.  I have had an assortment of problems since my mid-50s.  Chances are people such as Mr. Edwards will also.  It will be a difficult chore for him to work if he has back problems (which will happen since he is a logger).  My point is that people who say they can't afford to save for retirement may not be able to work even if they wanted to in their 50s and 60s. Saying I'll work until I die is easy to say when you don't know what your health will be in a year or five years. I don't know the answer for these people as they continue on in their working lives without saving for retirement.  But, ignoring the problem will not fix it.

Even if they could only save $100 a month (just $25 a week), that would be a big help to these working baby boomers.  They simply can't realize this right now.  But, they will realize it when it's too late.  Can't afford to save for retirement, my fellow baby boomers?  I say you can't afford not to save.  

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