A few days ago, a couple of my grandchildren were visiting. They know that I’m in the financial services profession and that I write a column. When I asked them if there was a particular topic they wanted me to write about, one suggested Zambonis and the other said garbage trucks. Don’t worry, neither has a place in a personal finance column, but it reminded me that, years ago, my firm hosted the late Art Linkletter at one of our retirement education seminars.
In the early days of television, long before HD, Mr. Linkletter had a
show with a feature called “Kids say the darndest things.” He was also
one of our nation’s first retiree advocates, and famous for the quote,
“Old age is not for sissies.”
Connecting the dots between the innocence of youth and retirement are
the many years of being in the workforce. For many, working is a task or
a chore, done for a paycheck. For others, like me, it’s not so much
work as it is a passion or career.
In other words, work is more than just a paycheck. If you look beyond
the news reports that show unemployment numbers going down, you’d find
that there are a staggering amount of Americans who would rather be in
the workforce than wringing their hands and giving up.
As parents and grandparents, we have to do our very best to prepare our
families for a world that will be far more complex than we could ever
imagine. When Art Linkletter first aired, there were only a few
stations. Television pictures were fuzzy and in black and white. One can
only imagine what TV technology will bring into our homes in the years
I recently came across a study published by bankrate.com which indicated
that people would not only move out of state to take a job, but also
that four of ten young adults factor in health care benefits in the job
I mention this because there’s an image of 30-year-olds living in the
basement, dependent on the Bank of Mom and Dad. Uncle Sam is about to
spend millions encouraging youth to sign up for health insurance
coverage. I’m a bit baffled because the bankrate.com study already shows
that health care coverage is important to young adults.
What doesn’t get written about often enough are the young adults who
boldly leave the comfort of home for their jobs rather than live in the
basement. Most of the young adults I know are driven and have no desire
to remain dependent on their parents.
For example, my youngest son graduated from college in a very tight job
market. He left the comforts of home to find work in Texas. He soon
found it, and worked around the clock for a low wage doing some of the
dirtiest jobs in the Texas oil fields.
It paid off. In just over a year, his talent and work ethic were
recognized and now, just a few years later, he has climbed the corporate
ladder. He’s doing so well, he can now afford to fly mom and dad in for
a visit. I would like to tell my youngest son, the Texan, how proud I
am and wish him a Happy Birthday.