By Wayne Schatz
All of us have traveled down Wyoming’s highways. Some of the stretches of road are mighty long! Have you ever considered how many hours of work have gone into making today’s highways what they are—smooth, signed, and efficient for our travels. We know how far it is to the next community, how fast we can drive on this section of road, and if there is a good chance that wild animals may be on the road ahead. Many times we take for granted the conveniences given to us.
The same is true for our retirement. Someone ahead of us has worked many long, hard hours to smooth out the retirement road for us. Wyoming is now in the process of evaluating our retirement road. We have people-Wyoming Retirement System folks- who travel around Wyoming sharing workshops helping individuals plan for successful retirement. They encourage our feedback on their efforts to adequately make sure that Wyoming retirees are headed down a road with fewer potholes and obstacles . If you are interested in having one of their workshops in your community, give them a call and see when the next set of workshops are scheduled.
We need to help our local, state, and federal government leaders understand the importance of having a thriving retirement program in Wyoming. Retirees should be offered a fair monthly income which lets them live a comfortable lifestyle and lets them be an active part of their communities and state.
There is a story about an old man that was traveling along a road. He came to a break in the road. He began to go around it and decided to stop his trip and fill in the large hole in the road. Another traveler saw what he was doing and asked him why he was wasting his time filling in the break in the road when he was able to get around the break and go on. He replied that filling in the hole was something that he could do and it would save a future traveler from having the broken road become an obstacle to his continuing travels.
Today we have the opportunity of filling in possible road blocks for future retirees. Interested people have recently followed the events of our legislative session as they considered changes in the Wyoming retirement system. They decided to leave it as it was--for the time being. This is not the last time that state leaders will look at our state retirement program. Another debate may well be held again when the legislature meets next year. By the way, have you thanked your legislators for their hard work in this last session? You need to stay informed and keep visiting with them during the upcoming months to let them know that their efforts are paving the road for you to have success in your life as a retiree.
What you do today may not seem critical to other retirees in the state, but our state’s leaders must be aware of retiree's issues and concerns. This is our way of smoothing out the road ahead, posting warning signs, and setting speed limits for retirees in Wyoming. Because of our work today, the road will not be nearly as long and the trip more pleasant for those who must travel it later.