Shirley Franklin on the anxiety of growing old

The final paragraphs from a fine post by former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin at Blogging While Blue, on growing old:

Like many seniors who expected to retire, many of us are continuing to work and in many cases competing with younger people for the same positions. If we aren’t competing, we are working side-by-side. Did you notice the man who bags the groceries in your neighborhood store is no longer a teenager? Or the clerk at the dry cleaners? Or the usher at the movie theater? These are not high-paying jobs and sure old people enjoy the social engagement of work but most are working because they need the money. Today in Atlanta, one in nine residents is over 65-years-old and the ratio is declining. By 2030 the Atlanta Regional Commission projects that number will be one in five.

The collapse of the financial markets compounds the challenges the aging population face. Savings and retirement funds accumulated for a lifetime are diminished or wiped out with little chance of recovery. Women who earned less than men are living longer. More women are living in poverty as they age. Every aspect of government services and community life faces consequences with the explosion of the 65 and older population. These startling facts are my new reality.

As a “baby boomer”, I hope for a successful career beyond 65-years-old as long as my brain and body are healthy but these last few months of waiting for an economic recovery plan from the White House and Congress haven’t helped my anxiety any.

Don’t stop here. Read the whole thing.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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10 comments Add your comment

Mr Chips

August 23rd, 2011
4:05 pm

I am 60 years old car salesman. I can sell more cars than anyone, including other baby boomers, the Y-Gens, the X-Gens, and even the Y-bothers. I’m lucky to have my health. Some of these hot days makes the cars ovens, and I do get a little light headed if I let myself get dehyrated.

A person can have fun at life at any age. It really is a choice to enjoy life or not. I’ve found that nothing is an obstacle to fun unless you make the choice to let it be an obstacle. Let people be themselves. They’ll dissappoint you, but so what? Never interfere with someone else’s ideas about what fun is. If it contrasts with yours, then move on. Let people learn by themselves.

Time itself is wealth. The baby boomers are in their last act. And what an act!

Little Engine

August 23rd, 2011
4:12 pm

We old folks are going out in style for the most part and will keep working because we love it.

Centrist

August 23rd, 2011
4:24 pm

Evidently the quake today occurred on a little known fault line outside of DC called “Bush’s Fault”.

Dianne

August 23rd, 2011
4:43 pm

I retired from my job after 39 years of service. I feel great at 63 years old. I have the abitity to work with students, adults, and still be productive regardless whatever the job may be. I believe in the saying” come to work and when you get there Work.”

Bob

August 23rd, 2011
5:11 pm

Just wondering how much of her anxiety is the result of a guilty conscious?

Centrist

August 23rd, 2011
5:20 pm

If you need more sappy posts – here is “Knitting while Blue” –
WARNING!
This Is Probably The Sappiest Post I Have Written,
And Not At All What I Sat Down To Write
The Spirit Must Have Moved Me
You Have Been Warned. http://soupgirls.typepad.com/knittingtheblues/2008/11/there-are-friends-in-all-of-our-lives-at-least-i-hope-foryou-that-you-have-at-least-one-of-these-friends-whose-friendships.html

Jack

August 23rd, 2011
7:56 pm

Enjoy your 50s and 60s. The 70s suck.

I sang Dixie...As he died

August 23rd, 2011
7:57 pm

Enter your comments here

I’m 43 and plan to work til’ the day I die. From what I’ve seen, once a person stops working, he or she deteriorates fast. My dad would love to be alive today working, but he died of cancer at 63. He was still doing deals from his death bed the week he died. An inspiration to me and my brother.

Ralph

August 23rd, 2011
8:15 pm

I’m 60, healthy, busier than ever in my life, work 60 – 80 hours per week, and have no plans to retire. I clearly recall my father in his 80s saying, “son, never retire, it’s the worst thing you can do.” However, when the folks half my age go out howling at the moon, I call it a night.

Burroughston Broch

August 25th, 2011
3:56 am

Ms. Franklin is not exactly on the bread line and having to work to eat. She’s pulling in a pension from the City of Atlanta, plus she’s on the Board of Directors for Delta (used to be $25000/year plus shares), and she may be eligible for Social Security.

She would probably still have a job in politics if she hadn’t expended her political capital keeping a daughter out of prison.