ProfK, my newest favorite blogger on the block, offers a perspective informed by maturity that is needed in the Orthonomic discussions. Months ago I wrote a post, Retirment: Goyish or Jewish?, which generated a fair amount of healthy discussion.
Prof K offers her own perspective and I think she is right on the money! The idea that retirement is "un-Jewish" is not an idea being floated by the older generations, it is an idea that is being floated by the younger generations our educational institutions and communal organizations. Why? Simple. They know from where the gravy flows are shaking in their boots that the gravy train could pull into station.
A scary, but true fact she brings forward is that many grandparents are broke, passing away with debt (no yerusha). No mystery to the budgeting experts. It just is impossible to pay for (or pitch in for) the major expenses of each family. And, yet, tuition assistance forms now insist on grandparents being asked before the school. I've been reading more and more in general publications about young families on their own two feet scared by their own parents financial habits and if/whether they should be planning a contingency plan for if/when their own parents go belly up. This subject, which I believe could also be of interest to frum families, takes on a different angle if the parents have been providing money for tuition, contributing to debt issues.
Another related discussion is the highly valuable services being provided by parents or expected to be provided by young people. A quote from ProfK's post:
One woman, older then I am, spoke many years ago about the things she and her husband would do when they retired. She doesn't speak of retirement any more. As she put it "Sure, my kids can't wait for me to retire. That way they won't have to pay a baby sitter any more if the wife is working. I can rotate going between all their houses, watching the kids, cleaning up, doing the laundry and the shopping and all the other things they are "too busy" to do. No thanks."
This is another discussion on the topic of dependence that needs to be addressed, and I hope to open up a forum for it very soon. In the meantime, head on over to ProfK's blog. If you like good blog reading, that is a place to find it.