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Readers Write: There is life after retirement; Political finance is a bipartisan issue

Letters to the Editor for Oct. 13, 2014 weekly magazine:

Weeden: Just because people retire doesn't mean they can't contribute to society

Mcintire: Political finance is an issue we should all be worried about

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    Cornell Woolridge of Windsor Mill, Md., demonstrates outside the Supreme Court in Washington on Oct. 8, 2013.
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There is life after retirement

Regarding the Sept. 15 Monitor’s View editorial “In aging societies, redefining ‘old’ ”: Ros Altmann is right when she says, “Too many people retire when they are still capable of making a strong contribution.” That isn’t the whole picture, however. It suggests that retirees step into lesser lives, when in fact many make strong, if different, contributions after leaving the formal economy. They go forward toward something they have dreamed about. They aren’t always pushed into negligible lives.

As governments and businesses move away from providing social and cultural services, many retirees step in to provide those services. Retirees volunteer at nonprofits, help build libraries or performing arts spaces, and care for those with disabilities. Many retirees move from a job where their skills are replaceable to a niche where they can make different, largely irreplaceable, contributions.

Bob Weeden
Salt Spring Island, British Columbia 

Recommended: Retirement planning: Six myths, busted

Political finance is a bipartisan issue 

I’m glad to see the Sept. 10 D.C. Decoder article “Why Ted Cruz channeled Dana Carvey on Senate floor” covering legislation that would combat the influence of money in politics
 (CSMonitor.com). Across the country, many voters, both Republican and Democratic, believe there is too much money in politics and that decisions like Citizens United were wrong. 

This article perhaps contributes to the sense of polarization, when there are serious issues for the future of our democracy that deserve to be brought forward. Those issues go beyond money to the more basic flaw of declaring that corporations are people. The proposed bill’s amendment to the Constitution would not lessen the protections of the Bill of Rights; rather, it is an attempt to preserve the protections of the Bill of Rights for living, breathing citizens by removing the dominance of corporations and dollars from our elections.

Jerry McIntire
Viroqua, Wis.

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