I can't really afford to retire. My "pot" of savings still hasn't recovered from the 2008 crash, and now economists are arguing about the possibility of "deflation."
Medical advancements have added 20 years to my lifespan, but financial mish-mash threatens the way I live out those years.
The latest employment data shows 7.9 million women are unemployed (as compared to 9.7 million men) and another 1.2 million are considered "discouraged workers." They gave up on trying to maintain a perky attitude and have stopped looking for work.
I'm not among them, but I know too many who fit the bill. Some are friends, downsized from the newspaper business and still drawing unemployment. Many are women attending monthly meetings where women can network and hear about new ways to look for work and job opportunities.
New ways to look for work. A fresh approach to resume writing. Sounds good until a prospective employer asks what year you graduated high school. Ageism? Can't prove it.
Obviously, women who are 50 and older - worse, 60 and older - can't beat ageism. Few, if any, employers are looking for workers who cost more in health benefits (because of age), may not be up-to-date on all the social networking and have opinions and experience forged over 30 or more years of working.
Kick-back retirement playing bridge and taking line dance lessons looks like a perk of the past.
It's time to recalculate our goals, and I aim to help us all do that. But I need your input.
I need to know how you are coping if you are looking for work during these tough times. Have you been forced to move? Do you share expenses?
Are you working while your husband cannot find a job? Does the family depend on your weekly check to survive? How do you feel about that?
And if you are among those fortunate enough to have a job, how has the downturn or deflation impacted your life? Do you spend less and save more, for example? Worried about a possible pay cut?
I'm told 69 percent of the children of Boomers are hanging around the house, to some extent. Like flypaper, they're stuck to the walls of their homes. Sometimes they can't find work. Sometimes they don't even bother to look because their parents keep them comfortable. True? If your kids are still home, tell me why and how long you'll let them stay.
We are the gals who created a workplace environment for women. The number-crunchers say our earnings were 20 percent lower than men holding comparable jobs.
But we forged our independence. We were no longer possessions but equal partners in marriage, in life choices. Some 30 percent of us chose not to have children, for example, and 74 percent of the women responding to my earlier survey on marriage said they were not interested in a permanent relationship after age 50. (Although 42 percent suggested a man could "live close and visit often.")
After all this effort - juggling work, family, husband, personal time - it doesn't seem fair to get the short end of the economic stick.
Or is this just a pause that will eventually refresh us?
Millions of housewives answered the call to become "Rosie the riveter" in 1942, when men left the factories to fight World War II. Although most of these gals gave up their jobs when the boys came home, they knew they had proved a point: Women can do a man's job.
By 1970, the Women's Movement was writing new history in the workplace.
How are older Boomer women going to write the story today?