This weekend I participated in an event to raise funds for the opening of the Barack Obama Freeway. It was essentially a garden party at the home of a man I don’t know well but admire. He went to college, started a business, created a product which he sold, and as the younger generation says, he got paid. He has served on the board of one of America’s best known and well respected Black Historical College. That is what you call taking care of your family and then giving back.
At the event, there were a number of retired people who follow the model of the man I opened this column with. One family has parents who are retired educators. They have three children. All are professionals, including one engineer for a major automobile company. He doesn’t sell them, he designs them. These parents volunteer for community organizations working to improve the status and lives of our children and our future.
Another parent at the event was also a retired educator whose whole life is dedicated to helping
the young people in the community. She is ninety three years of age and her husband is ninety four. They are still giving back.
A note about retirement: some retired persons are on a ﬁxed income or maybe dependent on others to take care of them, and who worked for a government agency, a teacher, the health industry, the Post Ofﬁce, the water company, the electric company, the courts, or anything that is government controlled, are the ones whose career led them to get paid. They are in a position to give back!
Be careful with your earnings, invest in something that you understand like real property. What do you know about stocks and bonds? I’m guessing not much. A friend of mine is a retired janitor from a school district. He gets his retirement and collects rents from real property that he invested in years ago. Another man, a retired janitor worked for the County of Los Angeles. He bought one property after another. The purchases have made him a rich man. Being a janitor was his beginning and his security blanket. He also has a handicap, but with his wealth he’s able to support his church and other charities and live a good life.
These stories are examples of being careful about how to prepare for your later years when extra medical care and a roof over your head are primary needs. Traveling and enjoying yourself are the beneﬁts of life after your basic needs are met. Another of life’s enjoyment are your grandchildren and watching their progress in life.
A young man told me recently that his father had been a gang banger. He is not a good role model and derides his son and doesn’t encourage him. The young man said for him a life of gang banging will only lead to either prison or an early death. However, there is no retirement program outside of a casket or early grave. I have said those things a bunch of times, but I don’t think they mean much to a lot of people. I hope they mean something to this young man.
With regard to the freeway, we are moving toward the placement of the signs designating the now 2 Freeway to its new name, “The President Barack Obama Highway” by Cal Trans. The dedication will be held in the next few months. The community is patiently waiting for that day when we will have a permanent symbol of progress for all to see and point to as a role model for our children. We have State Senator Anthony Portantino to thank for making this effort happen and thanks to the many people who supported it.