A gentle rant to the well fixed retired among us

Was at a charity garage sale the other week and watched the unedifying sight of a retired professional – indexed pension, dental plan, Sproat Lake house, the full meal deal – haggling over the price of a $5 item. How much is enough? Actually that leads me to one of my pet local peeves. This is a simple one having to do with the number of retired professionals, many of whom have made great livings from this town (often on the tax payers dime), who give more or less nothing back to the community. How many retired administrators from schools, mills etc, who are supposed to have developed some management and financial abilities along the way are more interested in propping up the golf club bar than in volunteering their time to local non profit societies? Or in talking about their last trip abroad and their next as well? Note bitterness here with no trip this winter.
One thing we do know is that the local volunteer sector is having a hard time in attracting quality board members. While I admit that we probably have far to many societies doing good works, a hangover from a younger more vigorous community, and that some should probably look at some form of amalgamation, at present we have them and they are by and large needed. Board experience is also a valid form of resume building for younger people as well. Of course one must be careful about just how the board operates – is it a 'policy board' or a 'management board' – the latter generally means much volunteer effort above and beyond the board meeting. Does the society have paid staff is also a consideration ... can lead to much extra management effort on the part of board members. Enough.
 Back to the original point – how much is enough for some of these well retired folks anyway? My mate Rudy claims to have never seen a Brinks Truck following a hearse, nor have I come to think of it. Sure predictions are difficult to make, especially about the future, as the wise man told us; but for the moment the threat of major inflation (excluding BC Hydro, Ferries etc) seems a ways off, but really why are some of the well retired so tight? Seems clear to me that ones expenditures decline with age, at least they do for me.
The very next day another retired wrinkled made the point to me that do we have the moral right any longer to be flying hither and yon for our 2 or 3 weeks of seaside winter pleasure given the volumes of carbon these trips contribute? Sure the growth in Chinese tourism is already starting to dwarf our contributions to GHG's, but have we perhaps already enjoyed our allocation with our trips over the years Mexico, Hawaii, South Pacific, Europe ...maybe we need to 'know our limit and stay within it' as the numbers racket sign at the casino admonishes us.