Dogwood Ramblings

What do you do when you can’t sleep?  Do you pray, or reminisce, or count sheep, or worry about the state of things?  Well, counting sheep does not put you back in slumber land.  Prayer is a wholesome way. Worry just aggravates the mind and body and doesn’t cure anything.  How about turning on the computer and writing down thoughts?  Bingo!  No sleep, but it is an outlet that is great for clearing the thought processes.

How about ice?  I remember back when we didn’t have refrigerators but we did have ice boxes.  The ice truck in a city was always welcome by the children because if one asked nicely, the trucker would chip off a piece of ice for you to slurp on.  In the north many would cut big chunks of ice from a river and pack it in straw underground.  I’ve mentioned progress before – refrigeration is certainly one of the major pieces of progress in my lifetime.  I would guess there aren’t many of us who remember what life was like before refrigeration and certainly more recent generations cannot imagine not having cold drinks at hand or frozen foods to quickly thaw and heat.  Fast food places did not exist and of course, there was the Great Depression.

Today, we have generations, some of whom appear to think this world owes them everything and if older people don’t share those past hard times (unbelievable of course!) the youngsters won’t realize the sacrifices that have been offered and suffered. Goodness, many of the younger ones (and too many of our leaders) have no real idea of our Constitution or of the hard lives that have made and still make life so easy for them.  Many are not taught of wars that have been fought, of events like the Holocaust, and don’t forget the thousands of our military who have given their lives or parts of their bodies – for America, for us!  Unfortunately, many are not taught about faith or morality.  Many of today’s generation worry how they can get fuel for their vehicles or make money without flipping burgers, and some are concerned about where their next “fix” is coming from.  I won’t even mention reproductive behavior.

I hear that those on Social Security will get a 2% raise this year.  Big deal!  Of course the legislators have been receiving raises while we older folk do without.  If your offspring want to do well in life, suggest jobs in legislation as those folk can vote increases in their income.  Meanwhile we older folk are blamed for being greedy even though we paid in to SSA and Medicare for many years and are now considered as lowly welfare recipients and a drag on society, thanks to the Johnson Administration that put SSA funds into the general fund for legislators to spend, and not prudently.

If you calculate the future value of your monthly investment in social security ($375/month, including both you and your employers contributions) at a meager 1% interest rate compounded monthly, after 40 years of working you’d have more than $1.3+ million dollars saved!

This is your personal investment. Upon retirement, if you took out only 3% per year, you’d receive $39,318 per year, or $3,277 per month.  That’s almost three times more than today’s average Social Security benefit of $1,230 per month, according to the Social Security Administration. (Google it – it’s a fact).  And your retirement fund would last more than 33 years.  The government is now referring to our SSA as a Federal Benefit Payment but it should be called Earned Retirement Income!

No news locally, unfortunately.  However, I have heard of some large dogs running wild in this county and behaving threateningly.  This is the time of year when seniors are shopping for insurance.  Shop wisely!  Take time to give thanks for the rain we received.