To those categories of products, services, and creatures might be added financial services firms.
Increasingly, they are developing extreme anxiety in all generations, ranging from iGen to Silent.
They are doing that by hammering the message that all of those human beings could run out of money before they run out of years. Here is the typical scare-tactic article published in MarketWatch.
The reality is this: No one knows the future - not on the macro level and not on the level of the finances of each human being.
Yet, usually with great authority the financial services firms predict millions of dollars will be needed for retirement or semi-retirement. And, even with that kind of nest eggs, the aging could wind up homeless.
Meanwhile, here is life as it is being lived and probably will continued to be lived: Many of those who did not pay much attention to building a nest egg or lost much of it in the two economic downturns in the 21st century essentially are managing to do just fine. There are exceptions of course. But usually their dire poverty or homelessness results from factors other than aging and not having a portfolio of five million dollars.
For 27 months I lived among those who were essentially dependent on Social Security. The setting was southwestern Arizona.
They had had the financial common sense to relocate from more expensive areas of the U.S.
When they arrived they hunkered down in studio apartments and often got on waiting lists for government subsidized housing for the aging. In the common rooms of those residential complexes were items they didn't need, which they left for others who would find them useful. That sharing reminded me of my counterculture youth.
I didn't hear a peep of envy from my neighbors about the other half who had paid attention to the nest egg and lived in posh retirement communities in Oro Valley, AZ.
The pilgrims mastered the wonderful bus system in metro regions such as Tucson, Arizona. Cars weren't necessary.
Because age bias is less in areas such as Tucson and Phoenix, they were able to land part-time employment at the local Fry's Supermarket and Home Depot. When I was consulting at the latter, the staff was celebrating a clerk's 80th birthday.
No one, including myself, has their undies in a bunch that Social Security monthly payment might get cut by about 23% by 2034. The MarketWatch article sternly warns readers that will happen sooner than they think. But, what about not thinking about it, at least not as a form of daily angst ritual!
Yes, the lifestyle in southwestern AZ has become more expensive, very recently. That's because of the influx of those from California who are fleeing that state's high cost of living.
But, those I had spoken with held out the option, if AZ got too pricey, to relocate to Mexico, Ecuador, or Belize. In parts of those nations, it is possible to get by on $700 a month. That's about half the average Social Security monthly payment.
The above is what I know. I lived it.
So, if the financial services industry doesn't back off with the statistical theatrics then some of us should find a clever plaintiff law firm. We should play around with the idea of filing a class action lawsuit. In it we would contend that the promotional tactics constitute a public nuisance.
We request two things.
One is injunctive relief: Totally halt the scare tactics.
The other is damages for harm done.
The harm done to us and those who love us has been significant.
Before I realized I was doing jolly fine, I had lost many a night's sleep, gained 50 pounds from antidepressant medications, and, get this, had moved all the way to AZ from Connecticut.
I moved back east, as least as far east as I could afford, when I recovered from the panic triggered by all that marketing material distributed by financial services firms.
Of course, I could run low on money. Any one could. If so, there are myriad expat living options.
But it won't blow away our trust in our ability to financially cope with whatever.
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