I’ve been thinking. I’m pretty sure the people who read my blog have in some ways been affected by this countries “Economic Down-Turn” “The Recession” “The what-the-heck-happened-to-all-my-money?” situation. Crisis. Issue. Call it what you want, it still stings a little. Okay, a lot. It seems to me and I’m only a couch-philosopher, that this economic hardship in America has a silver lining.
This is how I see it; it brings back a simpler time when families were close-knit, helping each other in a time of need, looking after elderly parents. Little ones being raised with two generations (it takes a village concept) getting to know their heritage. Building relationships; caring for others. (cue violin music) Seriously, does that sound all that bad? Certainly, to live like that now, communally-multi-generational, would have to include technology. I’m not saying we return to “Little House on the Prairie”, but it takes a lot to run a smooth household with two adults and kids and work. Working outside the home for most women today is not a choice. I’m not gonna go soapbox on you regarding how hard women work; at home and outside the home, raising children and making things run smoothly on the home-front. I’ll save that for another time.
What I am saying is, so many baby-boomers; people born between 1946-1964, planned their retirement around their houses/real estate, once considered the biggest asset the average adult would own. Well, guess what? That ain’t so true right now and the baby-boomers are retiring. Millions of baby-boomers lost money in investments, 401-k plans, deflated real-estate, over-inflated real-estate, what’s left? The threat of there being no money in social security? WTHeck are they gonna do? I have an idea. Surely you saw that coming.
I’m calling it the “Platinum Pyramid Plan”. It has all the elements for an exciting retirement life. It certainly has some kinks, I’ll work them out later. But I thought I’d share the ‘3 P’s’ with you as it develops. I just thought I’d plant the seed. The major criteria of the plan requires you to have a desired skill/trade/vocation. The added bonus element of this plan is, it helps keep your brain sharp and your body mobile. Picture a pyramid divided horizontally, of course Platinum is at the top followed by Gold, Silver and Bronze. The second criteria is; you should have younger than you people in your life, kids, grand-kids bowling teammates, ultimately, younger people and of course, they have to like you. ( No Grumps Allowed!)
So here’s the plan; you get these younger people, the ones who like you, to sign up for one of the levels of the pyramid and commit to a time period of which you can stay at their house. If you have a recreational vehicle, a home away from home, if you will, then you have to be able to park it at their place. So let’s say, the family picks the Bronze level and your skill is being a great cook and you love to cook. Let’s just say they have children and both parents or a single parent works outside the home. It’s difficult keeping up with everyday life; child rearing, meal planning, grocery shopping, paying bills, dog walking, you get the picture. Well, that’s where you step in. The family chooses the Bronze Package, that package includes, you staying at their place for one week with no money out of your pocket. However, in return, you will plan meals, grocery shop and prepare the meals for one week and you get to eat the food you prepared. Bronze also might include some laundry duties. Get the picture? The old barter system. All-righty then, If you’re not a cook but you can repair a cabinet, replace a toilet, do windows, cut hair, dog sit, can vegetables, any skill you have that someone else wants relief from or help with. Maybe just boredom. Maybe someone would take you under their wing for a week just to have company. Who knows?
The Pyramid is built personally by you. What are your skills worth? Are you willing to stay a month at your cousin’s brother-in-law’s mother’s house in Montana for room and board and you repair her fence and muck out pig stalls? That would definitely be on the Platinum side of the pyramid. Well, for me it would. Actually, that would not be one of my strengths. That would be a deal breaker. One of the kinks; know the job before you sign on the dotted line! So without defining exact bartering rules right now, just try to grasp the age old sayings; you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. Gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today. Just think, if you are not spending what little income you have coming in and can save it up for when you need a break from ‘retirement’ you can take that money and put it towards a little vacation at an all-inclusive resort! I’ll have more on that subject in plan B of the Platinum Pyramid Plan.