The day after Christmas I took the day off of work to spend with my son. We spent the day working on the guitar kits we got for Christmas. I had planned on cooking up some steaks on the grill for dinner but time got away from me, so we decided to order a pizza for dinner.
I place the order and the pizza was supposed to be there an hour later. The pizza did not arrive at the appointed time, it did not arrive at 15 minutes past the appointed time. It arrived 90 minutes after the time I ordered it. I was going to take it out on the delivery guy's tip. Then he appeared on my doorstep. He had to be in his late 70s or early 80s. He wore a "Korean War Veteran" ball cap—instead of cutting his tip, I tipped more than I normally do.
I do not know why a Korean War veteran is out delivering pizzas on a cold Wisconsin winter night. I do know that he looked tired. As he walked down my front steps I saw my late father in that man's stooped over walk. I saw my future in his walk. Jobs that used to fall to college kids trying to make a few bucks are now being taken by senior citizens trying to supplement meager retirement funds.
Pensions are going the way of the carrier pigeon and the bill of goods we were sold with the 401K turned out to be nothing more than a pack of lies. The future for many of us does not include a comfortable retirement. We will work as long as we can and if we lose our corporate jobs we will take what ever work we can—be it delivering pizzas or working weekends at Home Depot stocking shelves. The golden years that our parents had in retirement are not for us. My generation will have to work until we die.
It does not have to be this way. It has become obvious that corporate America cannot be trusted with retirement benefits. Hell, any entity entrusted with retirement benefits cannot be trusted (see the city of Detroit). We need our leadership to look at this looming retirement crisis and fix it. If I cannot get out of my student loans via bankruptcy then I do not want to see any entity getting out of paying pension benefits that were promised by declaring bankruptcy.
Social Security must be expanded—everyone should be able to have a comfortable retirement and everyone should be able to get full retirement benefits at 65 (or younger). If we can find the money to piss away away on two wars, then we can find the money ensure that every American can have a comfortable retirement.