48 babies were born in a span of 41 hours at a single hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. That breaks down to about one baby an hour. Inside Edition brought some of the moms and dads together, and the new parents said they were unaware they were making history. The baby boom started on June 26, when the hospital staff at Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center quickly noticed a major uptick in activity. It was nonstop, and the baby boom didn’t end until almost two days later.
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Baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964, which means that they began reaching age 65 in 2011. Well before then, there were concerns that millions of them would not be financially prepared to retire. Those concerns are proving to be correct.
Experts point to a variety of reasons why many older Americans have financial problems in retirement. Stagnant incomes and rising health care costs are among them, but a trend dating back to the 1970s had a major impact.
Many years ago, a 40-year career with a business resulted in a monthly pension check for life. In this respect, retirement planning was simple. In the 1970s, however, the costs and legal liabilities of offering pension plans began to rapidly increase. So businesses began abandoning such plans for a new concept — the 401(k) plan.
Replacing pension plans with 401(k) plans meant that employees were now responsible for not only setting aside part of their paychecks for retirement, but investing the money as well. Unfortunately, it soon became apparent that many employees were not prepared to do either.
It wasn’t that employees were thoughtless or stupid. Many grasped the opportunity and are now living comfortable retirements. Others, however, simply didn’t have the training or backgrounds that were crucial for this new way of saving for retirement. They were at a fatal disadvantage.
So all kinds of mistakes were made. When changing jobs, it was easy to cash and spend a 401(k) plan for current needs. Some plans allowed for “hardship” withdrawals, which were too easy to obtain. Other plans allowed people to borrow from their plans to build a garage or take a family vacation … and there were few cautions that garages and vacations don’t provide monthly retirement checks.
As for investing the money, statistics began to suggest that workers were either taking too much or too little risk. Both resulted in diminished retirement assets, and “buying high and selling low” became a sick joke for many as they attempted to manage their accounts with little or no help.
Modern 401(k) plans address many of yesterday’s problems, but the pressure on government to help with financial deficiencies experienced by older Americans will continue to grow.
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Our daily roundup of retirement news your clients may be thinking about.
Baby boomers are ready to retire; their debt isn’t
Many seniors are carrying a bigger debt burden into retirement, according to this article on Nasdaq. The article cited stats from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that shows per-capita debt among 65-year-olds increasing by 48% between 2003 and 2015. They are advised to evaluate their debts to curb the impact of their loans on their nest egg by checking the interest rate and tax treatment of their loans, as well as the reason why they incurred the debt. “Once you’ve evaluated your debts, you can identify which balances need to be paid down first, or whether it’s better to invest your money instead,” states the article.
Midyear moves for retirees to rein in their tax tabs
Retirees are advised to assess their tax situation this mid-year, as their liability may change under the new tax law, according to this article from Kiplinger. Some of them may see a drop in their tax bill, while others may owe more this year because of the tax changes. “This is a year where people can be caught off-guard if not looking ahead at what their 2018 tax liability is,” says an expert.
The future is bleak for charitable deductions, early retirees’ healthcare costs
Clients who opt for the standard deduction cannot claim their charitable tax deductions, which they can get by itemizing deduction, according to this Q-and-A article from Los Angeles Times. Separately, although early retirees may opt to buy health insurance from the Affordable Care Act exchange before they qualify for Medicare, many financial planners urge seniors to continue working to ensure that they have the coverage. That’s because they cannot rely on the exchange in the future as it faces uncertainty.
How can I simplify my retirement investments?
Clients who want to simplify their IRA portfolio may want to switch to a target-date retirement fund, according to this article on CNNMoney. This investment option will enable them to diversify portfolio appropriately for various phases of retirement using a single fund. Another option is to get a robo-advisor, which will enable clients to rebalance their investments and help boost after-tax returns from taxable accounts through tax-loss harvesting.
Social Security’s purchasing power has declined 34% since 2000
An analysis by The Senior Citizens League has found that the purchasing power of Social Security benefits has dropped by 34% since 2000, according to this article on personal finance website Motley Fool. Despite a 2% increase in the benefits this year, the hold harmless provision resulted in a reduction, a 5% increase, or no changes in the benefits of 50% of the benefits, the study found.
Old Log Theater
Jul 5th 7:30 pm
Jul 6th 7:30 pm
Jul 7th 7:30 pm
“It’s like I was back there.”
“Tears were running down my face.”
“I remember it all.”
While Beehive clearly connects with its baby-boomer target audience — the people who can sing along with the Green Giant jingle that plays at the show’s opening — it has less to offer audience members who weren’t around for that eventful decade.
“Musical” is barely even an accurate designation, as that generally denotes both a score and a book. Beehive has little dialogue outside of the dozens of vintage songs performed by its seven-woman cast. Impresario Larry Gallagher gets a “created by” credit for the musical, which debuted Off-Broadway in 1985.
Gallagher, who died of encephalitis just three years later at the age of 41, might have been gratified to know that his featherweight creation would prove surprisingly durable, still going strong as the world marks a half-century since the tumult of 1968.
Part of the show’s enduring appeal lies in the way it triggers nostalgia vicariously. Although the cast members are all young women who go by their real names (they introduce themselves, natch, by way of Shirley Ellis’ 1964 novelty hit “The Name Game”), they chat about the ’60s as though they were there.
They remember those British cuties in floppy haircuts, and those tall white boots all the women were wearing. They were in school when the news of JFK’s assassination came over the radio, and then they joined the crowd of half a million at Yasgur’s farm. It’s apt that the show includes “Woodstock,” a wistful song Joni Mitchell wrote about a festival she didn’t actually attend.
Director R. Kent Knutson’s slick production easily vaults over the modest bar this material requires. Erik Paulson’s set, with colorful lights glowing behind a mid-century geometric motif, forgoes the campy flourishes that often accompany this show: other productions have featured giant jukeboxes and towering cans of Aqua Net.
The performers whip through the 90-minute production with amiable professionalism, transitioning from the girl-group stylings of the Shirelles to the iconic soul of Aretha Franklin to the gritty blues of Janis Joplin. The show portrays the rising importance of personal expression, with Gracie Kay Anderson’s Joplin serving as apotheosis and climax.
For most of the rest of the show, though, idiosyncratic flourishes are whittled away in service of a consistently cheerful sheen. The decade’s legendary voices become ghosts, with neither the singers nor musical director Natalie McComas’s instrumental quartet able to capture the force and flavor of the original recordings of songs like “Be My Baby” and “Son of a Preacher Man.” The same goes for Sara Wilcox’s costumes and Hair-O-Smith’s ever-changing wigs: They gently evoke ’60s style without calling particular attention to themselves.
In a program note, Knutson writes that the women of the ’60s were “crying out then as they do today…#MeToo.” However, that says as much about what Beehive isn’t as about what it is. The show is superficial and antiseptic, with nary a “nasty woman” to be seen.
That said, simply deleting the men from the ’60s hit parade is worth something. Beehive revisits the decade without the need for a Mick Jagger impersonator growling “Under My Thumb,” while the Ike and Tina Turner Revue discreetly omits Ike. No one misses him.
IF YOU GO:
Beehive: The ’60s Musical
Old Log Theatre
Through October 13
Know thy classmates! Know thyself!
Culminating in: The great comebacks
DebK of Rosemount reports: “These days, I’m hardly ever the youngest one in a crowd. But at Sunday’s gathering of Taxman’s high-school classmates, I was the (comparative) spring chicken.
“I enjoyed that status — and my role, which was to prepare the evening meal for the reunees (which isn’t a word, but should be) while Taxman and his co-host, St. Roger the Farmhand, kept folks hydrated.
“Having extensively observed attendees through my kitchen window, I am able to report that members of the Class of ’62 are holding up well. Oh, there have been changes since the last reunion: hair color, certainly, and a reported increase in familiarity with the medical establishment. But their essential qualities are unchanged. Which is a very good thing.
“Taxman’s graduating class was always a small one, owing to its coming into the world during the final years of WWII, when many young men of procreative inclinations were otherwise occupied. The hardships of those war years, or the Polish and Czech immigrant tenacity, or the lessons learned from living close to the land — perhaps a combination of all those factors — produced first-rate human beings whose behavior in one area is utterly predictable.
“They bring food.
“Mom did the same thing, though her habits were shaped more by the Depression than by the War. We Dunns were known to be people who stayed ‘to home,’ but even we would occasionally go visiting — by which we meant dropping in unannounced on a close relative. These visits generally occurred after a heavy rain, when field work and gardening were impossible. It was inconceivable — and therefore unexpected — that one would fritter away good money on the cost of a long-distance phone call to alert Aunt Florene or Auntie Phyllis that we would arrive on her doorstep in a half-hour or so. In recognition of the surprise factor involved in such visits, farm-folk decorum required that those paying the visit would come bearing gifts of an edible nature. Mom brought cake — baked from scratch, of course: usually Peanut Cake with Brown Sugar ‘Fudge’ Frosting or Maraschino Cherry Cake (with nuts) topped with flamingo-pink powdered-sugar icing. (For the record, neither Mom nor any other drop-in visitor ever brought food — except perhaps a jar of freshly skimmed cream — to Grandma Bobzien’s, where incomparable desserts appeared in the loaves-and-fishes manner.)
“Taxman’s classmates seem to favor salads and bar cookies and bean-based casseroles as their famine-relief strategies. Given that I had known for weeks that the reunees were coming, and given that I had signed on to prepare dinner for the assembly, I was surprised by the arrival of so much food, which precipitated a Refrigerator Space Crisis. We have three ‘fridges at St. Isidore Farm, but one is dedicated to egg storage, and another is reserved for the cooling of beer (and an assortment of non-intoxicating fluids— but mostly beer). The food ‘fridge — the one in the kitchen, that is — was already groaning, stuffed as it was with items I had prepared. Ice-filled coolers were pressed into service, so all was well — until after dinner, when we were confronted with the problem of leftovers. There was some discussion of flagging down passersby to assist in disposing of our excess. Alas, our gravel road is lightly traveled. So we were left to the usual strategy: filling every available plastic container (cottage cheese, yogurt, Schwan’s ice cream) with food and foisting them off on the (mostly) willing.
“As is so often the case, some of the salads ended the day rather worse for wear, which posed another difficulty. As we debated the fate of a very nice taco salad, one of the ladies of the Class of ’62 suggested that it be given as a treat to the retired hens. Reflexively, I objected: ‘No! It’s too good for chickens.’ Without skipping a beat, the woman set to packing the salad in a large Tupperware bowl. ‘OK, then,’ she said, as she finished. ‘Now, you just tuck this in the refrigerator, and by Thursday, it’ll be just right for those chickens.’”
Then & Now
Phonograph Records Division
Gregory J. of Dayton’s Bluff: “While going through phonograph records I inherited from my parents, I came across a particularly intriguing one. It was an old (is there any other kind?) 78 of ‘Look Sharp, Be Sharp’. It was recorded in 1954 by the Boston Pops Orchestra with conductor Arthur Fielder.
“The song (or, more correctly, march) was the theme music for ‘The Gillette Cavalcade of Sports.’ I remember watching this show on Friday nights with my father and brother back in the 1950s, but I don’t recall any sport other than boxing.
“The record label includes several interesting facts. Besides ‘SPEED 78 R.P.M.’ is the statement ‘START OUTSIDE,’ because apparently some 78s were played from the inside to the outside, unlike the 33s and 45s which eventually replaced them. But even better was the statement: ‘This record has been specially prepared for the employees and friends of The Gillette Company.’ This explains why we had this record. My dad was a chemist at the Toni Co., which by the 1950s was a division of Gillette. I assume employees were given copies or were able to purchase them for a minimal price.
“Another oddity is that this record is one-sided. But rather than the back side being blank, it has an interesting pattern pressed into it, on top of which is ‘RCA Victor’ and the old RCA logo of Nipper the dog listening to ‘His Master’s Voice’ coming from a gramophone.
“One doesn’t see this kind of attention to detail today.”
Then & Now
StreetRodder writes: “Subject: What goes around, comes around.
“In 1955, I played little league in St. Paul for the CUBS. In 2018, my great-grandson is playing tee ball for the CUBS in Cottage Grove. I find it to be a really cool coincidence.
“He looks at my picture and can’t imagine it’s me. It’ll be awhile before my little man will grasp how old I am, compared to him.”
Not exactly what she had in mind
Norton’s mom of Eau Claire, Wis.: “The perfect gift for a centenarian? Perhaps not a magazine full of dead people.
“Norton’s dad and I have delivered Meals on Wheels almost every Wednesday since we retired in 2003. It’s been such a great experience . . . well, except that one time when a younger, mentally challenged recipient startled me by roaring (like a bear) at me from across the room — but that was an exception. I have gotten to know people that I would never have had the chance to meet in my daily life. They gave me a sense of what it would be like to live to perhaps my 90s or even 100s — a little window into what the future could be like. They live each day with a sense of humor no matter what life has thrown at them, an appreciation for the ‘now’ and the possibilities of the future. I try to give little extras back to them when I can, and that’s what this item is about.
“Our basement got a decent amount of water in it from the recent rainy spell that Mother Nature decided to send our way. As I was sorting out and moving the storage boxes (plastic; one of my better decisions), I came across some movie magazines from 1959 and 1960. I checked to see if they were worth anything on Ebay, and was then going to throw them in recycling, when I thought: ‘Why don’t I see if any of the Meals on Wheels recipients would like to look at these? They might really enjoy them.’
“I decided to offer one of the magazines to our 100-year-old Meals recipient, a very with-it, lovely lady who smiles and laughs a lot during our conversations each week. As she looked at the cover photo of Debbie Reynolds, she asked: ‘She’s still alive, isn’t she?’ No, she died. She flipped through some of the pages: ‘Shirley Temple . . . she’s alive yet?’ No, she died awhile ago. ‘How about Elizabeth Taylor? She’s living yet, isn’t she?’ The lady’s in-home care person was also there, and she started helping me with these answers, our voices getting a little more solemn as we kept saying: No, he/she died.
“After going though six or seven more celebrity names, all of them deceased, I decided that maybe a magazine from the past featuring now-deceased people wasn’t the best thing to give to an even-older-than-me person, but as I left she was happily paging through the magazine, so perhaps it wasn’t too bad. Maybe just a little ‘Oops.’”
The match game (self-responsorial)
Booie of Cottage Grove writes: “On October 22, 2002, you printed a submittal of mine for the category ‘The match game,’ on how you met your spouse.
“June 15th was our 50th wedding anniversary.
“While I am sure it is true in every marriage that some days are not diamonds, I still do not regret one second of the 3-1/2 hours I waited for my drop-dead beauty.
BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: Happy Anniversary!
Here’s Booie’s original note, which ran under the headline “How long would you wait for a drop-dead beauty?”:
“I got discharged from the Army in 1967. I’d had two good friends before I went into the Army — John and Jerry — and when I got out of the Army, Jerry was in the Army, and John was married, and his wife was pregnant, so I didn’t have much in the way of people I could play with . . . and use up some of my accumulated testosterone from my time in the Army.
“I think John’s wife soon got tired of me dragging him out of there and hanging around their house, so she started to fix me up with her girlfriends. The first couple I met were, you know, nice people, very attractive — but there wasn’t anything in the life-partner category that clicked for me. I went out with them a couple times and then stopped.
“John’s wife then told me there was one more girl she wanted me to meet — her best friend in high school, and her Maid of Honor — and said I should come over to their apartment on a . . . Saturday or Sunday, I don’t remember which. I did — and I walked into their apartment and into their living room . . . and I lost my breath. There was a very attractive girl sitting on the couch — but she was extremely pregnant. I honestly didn’t know what to say. Probably ‘Hi,’ or something like that.
“And then John’s wife said: ‘This is my friend’s sister, and she’s here because my friend doesn’t drive.’ I hope the sister didn’t hear the sigh of relief that I probably let out.
“And then John’s wife’s friend came into the living room — and, my God, she was drop-dead beautiful! Whatever breath I’d gained from seeing her pregnant sister, I immediately lost.
“I am not a very good conversationalist, and we probably got to the ‘Hi. How are ya? Where do you work? What do you like to do?’ kind of stuff. We made arrangements for a date on the following Monday. She worked at a financial institution downtown St. Paul, and I told her I’d pick her up after she got off work, and we’d go to a movie, and I’d take her home — or something like that.
“I am compulsively punctual — punctual to the point where I get to places early. I will take this to my grave: She told me she would get done at 4:30 — so I was probably outside her office at 4 o’clock, waiting for her, because there was nothing I was going to do that was going to screw up any opportunity I had to get close to this girl. I mean, she was absolutely beautiful!
“So, 4:30 came and went, and I figured: ‘Well, she’s late, and there’s people still going out of the place.’
“”Five o’clock came and went . . . 5:30 . . . 6 . . . 6:30 . . . 7 . . . 7:30 — and I’m not going to give up! I’m gonna wait for her till this place closes! There’s people still going in and out.
“Finally, a little after 7:30, she walked out, and we said hi, and she said: ‘Been here long?’ I don’t know if I told her then, at the time, what time I’d actually gotten there, but I’d been waiting about 3-1/2 hours.
“We went to the movie. I took her home. And things . . . transpired after that: We got married in June of ’68 — and we will have been married 34 years this month.
“During the time that she was my fiancee, and subsequently, I had a Super 8 movie camera, and I took lots of movies of her and my family — pictures of our wedding and our family parties and our children as they grew up. I had all of that converted onto a DVD recently — and when I looked at it for the first time, I thought: My God! How could this beautiful, wonderful woman have selected me to be her husband?
“To this day, I have never, ever regretted, for one second, the 3-1/2 hours I waited for her, or the following 34 years of marriage.
“That’s my story.”
Band Name of the Day: The Spring Chickens
Bulletin Board appears most Sundays in the Pioneer Press. Many other days, you can find new stories and pictures at BBonward.com. Sign up there to follow it and receive email notification whenever anything new is published.
I am 70 years old, part of the baby boom generation. I received a note from my sister, who is of the same generation, worrying about the future direction of this country. She sees the possibility of the end of democracy, and the establishment of a totalitarian state.
Here is my answer to her.
I disagree. As long as people like you and me and our friends stand to power and call bull—-, this country will never become a totalitarian state. If we collapse, retreat and do nothing, what will inspire that younger generation to stand tall and vote their conscience? If we are not willing to lead, whom can we expect to follow? Yes, we, as a generation, have lost our spark. We need to reignite it, to claim our support, for the more humane future we all envisioned.
Wait for the midterms. Stand tall. Help locally. All politics are local. Stand tall. Vote your conscience. Support, and actively work for, people you support.
Millennials get made fun of a lot by the older demographic. In turn, there’s a lot of things our parents do that don’t make sense to the younger generation anymore. Let’s take a look at some of those differences and see which ones you do, too.
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8. The Newest Fashions
That brings us to fashion. Ever since clothes became a thing, we have been judging each other’s clothes. With your presence on social media, people are looking at what you’re wearing more than ever. Baby boomers might even post photos of their outfits, too–but how much do you want to bet that those posts aren’t filled with hashtags of the brands they’re wearing followed with the obligatory “# O O T D.”
7. Living With Roommates
When it comes to parents of millennials, the idea of roommates is limited to mostly your mid-twenties when you need the help financially when moving out of your parents’ house. Yet millennials are showing that you can be over 30 years old and it’s still okay to live with roommates, especially with the economy. With adults getting married later in life or even married couples renting rooms out, it seems the idea of living with roommates isn’t limited to just young, single people. Even people with higher paying jobs may still want to roommate so that they can save their money for other things.
6. Working For Travel
Speaking of saving money, one of the biggest priorities for a majority of millennials is to travel. What other pictures are you going to fill your Instagram profile and Facebook photos with? On a less sarcastic note, experiencing other cultures and being more wordly has become a huge part of youth culture, especially in America. Back in the baby boomer days, you went to school, maybe partied a bit during college, graduated, worked, and had a family who you went on vacations sometimes. Now, travelling with friends or on your own has become more popular. Plus, with things like AirBnb making lodging for affordable than hotels, travelling is more accessible to even those with a smaller budget to work with.
5. Movies The Kids Are Watching
We don’t see as many Rom-Coms in theaters the way we used to during the 80s up to the 2000s. Instead, what’s taken over the box office are comic book movies, shared universe or franchise movies, remakes and reboots, and last but not least: weird, artsy movies. When seeing Oscar-contender type films, you’ll notice that the audience in the movie theater are either really young people or really old people, with the in-between demographic closer to our parents’ age usually missing.
The art of taking a selfie can be a complicated one, contrary to what your parents might tell you when you’re trying to take a selfie but the rest of your family have already started walking away. Makeup, like we said before, factors in big time when it comes to taking a selfie and posting it on social media. Your contour must not look ridiculous, the lighting needs to be perfect, and you need to figure out the right face to make before you press the “take photo” button. This culture might seem bizarre to older people, but at least this dad tried his hand at what his son goes through when trying to take the perfect selfie.
3. The Foodie Life
Posting pictures of what you ate that day is also commonplace on social media. Some may scoff at you raising your iPhone or Canon camera over your table to take a picture of that kitschy and cute arrangement of toast the waiter just delivered to you. It’s interesting, isn’t it, how eating at all the cool places doesn’t make a lot of popular vloggers fat since working out is also so popular? Surely there’s a good message in there somewhere. In a study by Maru/Matchbox, about 69% of millennials take pictures or videos of their food before they eat.
2. Millennials Vs Food Chains
You might have remembered those news articles a few months back that accused millennials of killing food chains in the nature of Applebee’s, TGI Fridays, and Buffalo Wild Wings. These casual dining chains just aren’t bringing in a certain age demographic–but why? It seems many millennials opt for cooking at home since it’s much cheaper and will limit going out to eat when it involves more trendy eating establishments.