The Globe have an article today that talks about the debate at the PMO about OAS. Will they extend the age of eligibility from 65 to 67? Unlike the CPP - OAS is not funded. It comes from general revenues. With so many boomers it will cost more than $100 Billion a year.
OAS offers most seniors about $500 a month. For many here on PEI it is a life saver for few have corporate or government pensions. For a couple it is food and heat.
Part of me wants to protest and the other part of me has to start to plan for this reality. For the reality is this. There will be just too many of us old folks - ESPECIALLY in Atlantic Canada.
So what can we do? Surely first of all have a conversation about why we cannot expect government to pay for health care and our pension as we expected. Look at Europe and countries like Greece who are the early birds in what will have to happen given our demographics - the deal we all signed on for that government would look after us has to be broken.
I feel that the wrong use of my energy is only protest. My real need to is fill the gap that will take place.
This is why my first move has been to get control of my health. To go from a pre diabetic 60 year old weighing 205 with a lot of visceral fat, knees that are giving out and early arthritis to a 61 year old weighing 165 lbs. No visceral fat, knees back in good working or and no signs of arthritis. I am now set to be fit and active for the rest of my life. For as we all know - without our health we can do nothing. I also can avoid being a burden to Robin and my kids.
The next move is harder to pull off - but I think that many of us will have to go here. It is to live once more in a the full extended family setting. Where at the core there is a deal. we the old ones do most of the heavy lifting with our grand kids - maybe home-school - certainly carry a lot of the rearing part. Where we save by being able to share big ticket resources such as cars, appliances taxes etc. Where by having such a job, we remain actively employed with a real purpose and a need to care and get up every day.
This is hard because we have all placed independence so highly - we have lost the cultural norms of how to do this well - how to be close yet apart.
But I cannot see another way of getting through the next 25 years. I have no pension to speak of but decent savings - but not enough to make it on our own. Our kids are fully stretched just coping with work and kids as most young couples are. We have capital but less of a chance to earn an income. They have no capital but good earning power. The kids suck all their income up. There is a deal in here somewhere.
So what about you? Will you depend on the health care system to fix you when you are ill? Do they get you well today even when you are ill? Can you afford to have a chronic illness?
Do you have a pension? Can you really rely on this over the next 25 years? Look at the Nortel example. Look at what governments are being forced to do to pensioners.
Are you like me and have no pension? Do you have a lot of savings? If so good but what are they invested in? Is even money a safe bet over the next 25 years. Look at the many countries where the currency has collapsed in value.
What if you have small or no savings and no pension? What is your plan? Can you trust that government will look after you? Look at the numbers - they cannot. They will tell you that they can - if they told the truth, you would vote them out! but In your heart you know they cannot make up the gap.
Over the last 4 million years humans have developed a very good organization for coping with uncertain times. It is called the Family or the Tribe.
I think that we can do well to explore how to bring this back for each of us - for I know no other way that I have any chance of making it without them.
Tell me why I am wrong!