Sunday, March 8, 2015

Gringos Worry Like Crazy About Retirement!

To be an American is to perpetually worry about having enough for retirement.  Really, it's so incredibly tiring and depressing being constantly bombarded by financial articles telling me I'm not saving enough, won't have enough, should just kill myself now and get it over with, etc.  What's with us?  We read all of these damn articles too!  That's part of the problem.  It just begets a series of even more written articles by bloggers (me too!), authors, freelance writers, correspondents, you name it.  This retirement worry culture has made living in America about fear, and not life!

My upper-middle class Gringo friends, the rest of us blame you.  You see, we want to be like you ($).  We believe you.  We think you have some great common sense when it comes to money, and living happily ever after in the greatest country in the world.  Duh!  And your cultural text about retirement financing spreads like wild fire to the rest of us.

We can all agree that the wealthy (not rich, wealthy) don't worry about retirement financing because…they have a crap load of mula!  That leaves everyone else to worry.  The multi-billion industry that is Finance starts the fire.  They light up the posteriors of the upper-middle class, forcing the Book of Retiring to be written by their lackey horde of typists and clerks.  These lackeys then saturate the media, fueling swarms of companies with fodder to feed us, the livestock.  We eat it all up!

Nobody is saying that one shouldn't plan for retirement.  With pensions having disappeared over night in America, leaving us all to fend for ourselves, of course we need to have an ongoing, editable, retirement plan.  But living poisoned by the ongoing nauseating delivery of the same message is no way to live!  This takes me to my next segment.

I got this guy to go crazy with me at a Genoptix (now Novartis) Holiday party Jessica and I crashed in San Diego, circa 2011.  I told everyone I was the janitor.  They bought it!

Do We All (Ethnically Speaking) Worry The Same About Retirement

As an americanized, college educated, investing mindset Mexican, I probably worry more about retirement financing then most of my gente.  I've had many conversations with my father about retirement; he's already retired, living in San Jose, CA, one of the most expensive cities to live in.  He does it on a Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) pension.  He has no other income streams.  He lives in a 2-bedroom condominium with my mother, and youngest (Millennial) brother.  He still has a mortgage that eats up about half of his monthly income.  And he wants to move, leave San Jose, but my mother doesn't.  Somehow my father is better able to cope with the fact that although he's retired, there are no European vacations, fishing trips, sports cars, etc., coming for the rest of his days.  It doesn't kill him inside.  He's like many Boomer Mexican/Mexican-American people I know, at peace with retirement living, enjoying life nonetheless.

Do Hispanics worry as much about retirement as other ethnic groups?  Apparently, we're overconfident about having enough money for retirement.  Check it out: More-americans-worry-about-financing-retirement/.  Hispanics were 65:33 versus 59:39 for Whites.  How can this be?  Are Hispanics just more unrealistic?  Are we more optimistic?  I can assure you that it is all cultural.  I can't pinpoint exactly why this is, other than to suggest maybe that for many Hispanics, worrying about money is not as important as worrying about family.  Worrying about money is not as important as worrying about God.  Again, I'm hypothesizing.  Maybe we have the notion of returning to our home countries one day (if we were born in Latin America)?  Maybe we just want to enjoy life, fiesta when we can, and put our troubles in the hands of Jesus or La Virgen?  

My Grandma, aunts, and cousins in Mexico.  They'd invite you to eat if you were a friend.

¿quiĆ©n sabe?

In conclusion, plan for retirement, but don't worry so much!  Look, my Gringo amigos, there's always living abroad to make your money last and enjoy living away from this frenzied American pace.  Thanks for reading.  Don't forget to subscribe to this blog, or join my following at Twitter: @COsvaGomez. 

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