Purely personal. Down to clean out the last of my father’s things from his home in Virginia. Hardly a joy ride, and I break out in hives on trips south.
While my parents weren’t physically able to do much for most of their retirement (thanks to tobacco), they didn’t have much to worry about in terms of money–both of them had the kind of well-paying jobs with gold-plated pension plans that are practically unheard of these days. Jokes about IBM aside, the old IBM was called the Golden Handcuffs–once people were vested, it was virtually impossible for them to move to other jobs and match the benefits and salaries they were leaving behind. Mom died a few years after IBM decided they didn’t have to be THAT generous. Ditto for dad–he got the heave-ho from a company that had uprooted him and dumped him in Jersey, but he found another place to work and got pensions from both places. The jobs he held in his career don’t pay wages like what he made once adjusted for inflation. And the jobs these days sure as hell don’t have the kind of long-term medical benefits that made Mom and Dad’s medical care damn-nigh free.
But (as we all asked back in the trippy 70’s) were they really happy?
Compared to what?