The older generations, including retirees and those still working and planning their exit, have a vast collective voice that is often ignored or relegated to background noise by the news media, big tech, political parties, and others. The older generations have ways to effect change to a greater degree than most realize.
No matter what news program or commentary show you watch, they lead with a story to keep you hanging on to the end; we keep listening, and as Paul Harvey would say, “stay tuned for the Rest of the Story.”
Retirees and the older generations have many things to be concerned about and can voice their support or dissatisfaction with their participation when necessary, and most importantly with their wallets and feet. Most, busy with life, can’t run the streets as those who spew discontent in our cities and elsewhere. Yet, we can’t fight every injustice and must focus on areas of interest; hopefully others will pick up the gauntlet and work to make their voices heard.
Seeds of change go both ways, some good and others downright dangerous. Let me preface this discussion by saying this is meant for everyone, conservatives to liberals and everything in between. This isn’t expedient for just one group.
What can we do to effect change and make a difference? We can’t expect someone else to save the day, all must play a part in the grand scheme of things to express their dissatisfaction with whatever they perceive to be unfair or could cause us all harm down the road. Many feel compelled to speak out about perceived injustices, policy matters, especially with the political divide we suffer through on a daily basis, yet so many stay silent and expect others to save the day. Some express the sentiment, “What can I really do to make a difference, I’m a small fish in a large pond.”
I realized a long time ago that I may be a small fry when compared to CEOs, high flying politicians, the uber rich, and so many others; collectively (the small fries) have a RESOUNDING VOICE that will be heard. We all must become activists in our own way.
Those who followed me for decades know I’m getting on in years ̶ thought I’d never say that ̶ and have to use more subtle ways to get my point across. I express my point of view, dissatisfaction with a course of events, corporate CEOs, politicians, and others by either telling them what I intend to do or already have emphatically done about it or suggest how they strayed from what I expect of them.
For example, when Twitter and Facebook began censoring free speech and banned certain individuals from using their services, I immediately closed my Twitter accounts. Initially we kept our Facebook account open to keep in touch with close family and friends. However, I refuse to click on any ads placed on Facebook and if you have the same concern about any web site you visit refuse to click on their ads. That is how they generate income and the more people that click the more they get paid. If enough people stop clicking, the advertisers move elsewhere. Recently, they shut down a gold star mother’s account because she criticized the President for the death of her son during the Afghanistan fiasco. She has every right to express her opinion, she lost her son!
Recently, I discovered that a national bank that I use instituted discriminatory un-American, and politically motivated practices that I highly disagreed with. I wrote the CEO to advise him that I was moving all of our investments to another brokerage house, cancelling our credit cards and advising him that he should expect many others to withdraw their funds as the wasteful spending and these practices are exposed. Many companies are becoming political activists instead of corporate fiduciaries as they should be. Yes, it took time and patience to change to a new broker but for me it was worth it.
When I find a company that is more concerned about political activism instead of their products/services, employees, and shareholders, I go elsewhere. Yes, it’s a small step but collectively it can and will make a difference over time. This goes for restaurant chains, big box stores, and many others. We have to speak with our feet and wallets to get attention and we have the power to do it.
If I own stocks in a questionable company and decide to maintain the stock position for whatever reason, I vote against the CEO and officers that support the issues in the proxies they send out before their annal meeting.
There are many ways to make our voices heard.
- Pick you battles and approach them based on what you can handle, baby steps at first to get your feet wet and then expand from there. If you try to take on the world, burnout and frustration will soon follow.
- Join and support associations and groups that will fight for all of us. I contribute regularly to certain groups that I know are fighting the good fight.
- Withdraw support by boycotting corporations, big tech, and the media that are going in what you believe is the wrong direction or misleading their customers.
- Participate in local school board meetings to check that the curriculum being taught meets with your values as a parent or grandparent. Many parents discovered during the COVID epidemic that the schools were moving from education to indoctrination and worse in some cases.
- Make your representatives aware of your feelings about the way things are going in your community and nationally. Even though they may not support your positions they represent us and if enough come forward to complain it will get their attention. If that doesn’t work, help to vote them out of office next election.
VOTE – if you can’t get to the polls, apply for an absentee ballet. Some states are sending out mass ballets. Take advantage of them; send them in if you have any doubts about getting there on election day or vote early if that is possible in your state. Many states don’t require an ID or proof of residency when sending in ballots so shred or tear up the ones laying around the house so they won’t be used illegally.
Participate with your local party to get the vote out, obtain voter registration lists and go door to door in your immediate vicinity to help anyone vote that may need it; let them know just how much their vote counts. Most getting out the vote initiates are left to huge phone banks that repeatedly call the same number over and over again. They should devote those dollars to support volunteer visits to as many residences as possible in their district to provide voter guides and to get out the vote.
Many may feel detached from the problems. For example, you may not be in one of the border states that local residents claim are being inundated with illegal immigrants, many infected with COVID, or far from the cities rampant with crime. Complacency isn’t the answer.
Helpful Retirement Planning Tools
- The Ultimate Retirement Planning Guide 
- TSP Guidance 
- Medicare Guide 
- Social Security Guide 
- Master Retiree Contact List  (Important contact numbers and information)
- Annuity Calculator (FREE Excel chart estimates annuity growth)
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