Column: Future worrisome at any age

A recent survey pointed to the fact that most older folks are not worried about aging. It appears that youngest people are more worried.

A recent survey pointed to the fact that most older folks are not worried about aging.

It appears that the youngest people taking part in the survey are more worried.

Young people under 25 worried about aging? Preposterous?

Maybe not. Those under 25 have good reason to be worried. When they reach retirement age, will they be able to count on the government to ease their financial burdens? Highly unlikely.

So yes, they should be concerned – so concerned, in fact, that they are probably already starting to put money aside in RRSPs. Kind of sad, really, to have to be thinking today about one’s life 40 years down the road.

Those of us who were children of the 1960s and ’70s had the opportunity to try all kinds of things before we settled down to raise families and contribute to society. We got to play first.

Our generation was fortunate in that we never had to fight in a war like our parents or grandparents. We didn’t have to worry about recession and jobs and being able to afford a house.

It was the late 1960s and the whole world was open to us. We travelled and hitchhiked around Europe, joined communes, found jobs in areas that appealed to us and generally did as we pleased. The jobs were out there for anyone who wanted to work.

Yes, there were protests, but it was most often the authorities who abused their power, not the public. Protests were about race, politics, social inequity and justice.

While some things have changed, others remain the same. The young are restless, as they have always been.

But young adults who graduate from university or college can no longer be assured of finding a job in their chosen field. They are inexperienced and in debt and often have to resort to poorly paid jobs – many still live with their parents because they cannot afford to live on their own. Their world isn’t looking like such a good place and they have reason to be anxious.

It’s different for much of the older generation (their parents).

They are still able to tap into their company pensions – adding in their government pensions, life is pretty decent for them. They can travel to sunny destinations in the winter and indulge themselves in golf games and shopping. This may well be the last generation able to enjoy a relatively carefree retirement.

But while the survey states people between 55 and 64 aren’t worried, I believe many individuals in that age bracket are.

Not everyone wants to spend their remaining healthy years at a part-time, low-paying job to supplement their meagre Canada Pension Plan or Old Age Security cheques. What they did manage to save won’t go that far.

The government does not owe us a living any more than our parents do. What you didn’t do (like save) during your working years may come back to haunt you. Who knew?

The world is changing rapidly and the technological age is shrinking the job market, rather than expanding it. Jobs are disappearing while the government tries to revamp Canada’s Employment Insurance to ensure Canadians get whatever jobs are out there.

We can no longer count on the public service to provide jobs with life-long security. Public servants and bureaucrats have sunk some countries by being so top-heavy and weaving so much red tape that it is impossible to escape going under. It’s a worldwide phenomenon, so we can’t even escape it by moving elsewhere.

This is worrisome for many folks. So really, I disagree with the survey. I think everyone is worried, no matter what their age.

As Bob Dylan once sang: “For the times they are a-changin’.”

Pirjo Raits is the editor of the Sooke News Mirror.

editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Just Posted

Saanich crash victim leaves behind pregnant wife and young son

The death of a Saanich man has left behind a grieving widow,… Continue reading

PACE concert raises $6,500 for Langford family

Cathy Shotton recently donated her kidney to her daughter, Nicki

Cigarette butts the main culprit in lagoon beach cleaup

Thousands of butts were picked up by the Greater Victoria Green team recently

West Shore fireworks courses start next week

Course required for mandatory permit

VicPD officers hurt in separate weekend incidents

Both altercations involved aggressive individuals encountered by police

Popular Halloween costumes of 2017

The Joker, Game of Thrones characters and more are on the list as some of the most popular costumes in Victoria.

Nanaimo man assaulted, tied up and robbed at his home

Incident occurred about 7 a.m. Monday, Oct. 23 at a home on Beverly Drive

B.C. school trustee calls LGBTQ school program ‘weapon of propaganda’

Chilliwack’s Barry Neufeld, a representative for the BCSTA, published the comments on his Facebook page

B.C. casino accused of illegal activity follows rules: operator

B.C. had launched review after concerns about money laundering at River Rock casino in Richmond

Opponents of LGBTQ program to file human rights complaint against Surrey School District

District denied Parents United Canada right to rent Bell Performing Arts Centre for rally next month

Red hot Vikes women to host playoff opener

UVic Vikes This Week: basketball season kicks off at home

Ex-employee describes alleged sexual assault by B.C. city councillor

Complainant was a teen during the alleged 1992 incident

Amazon gets 238 proposals for 2nd headquarters

Submissions were due last week. Online retailer has said tax breaks and grants would be factors

Sean O’Loughlin named Victoria Symphony’s Principal Pops conductor

American composer has built a career working with some of music’s biggest names

Most Read