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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015

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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

Sixty, Sexy, and Secure

Why should a man or woman of sixty have to spend the "duration of their sentence" at hard labor in a dead-end, uninspiring job? Granted, there are people of that great age who are actively involved in creative and exciting occupations or avocations that engage them mentally and physically every day, that build up their relationships with family and friends, and that allow them to make a contribution to society that goes above and beyond making a better operating system. But how many people are there who approach sixty dreading the weaning away from work, the reduction in lifestyle from lowered income, the constant fear that they will make it to 65 and retire only to die or lose the one closest to them or end up in poverty and dependent on people who don't care? In my experience, the number is staggering.

I once talked to a neighbor in a small town in Indiana as we watched an old man across the street come out and push his lawn mower around the yard as he did every Saturday morning. I was new in the community and my neighbor explained (gossipped) about the old man. He worked for the railroad for 45 years and retired at 65. Six months later his wife died and the next year his only son passed away. He had lived alone, growing deafer with time, for 37 years. He was 102 years old.

I believe that this should be the best time of a person's career, life, and opportunity. I know - now that I'm 59 and a half I'm thinking about this. Why didn't I think about it when I was fifty, forty, or thirty? Forget about twenty - only one part of my brain was engaged at that age. But what I'm sure about is that I don't want to spend the next five years "earning a living" while I hope for the ultimate reward of a retirement in the future.

Here is my manifesto: The next five years will be spent
  • doing what I'm passionate about

  • building my relationships with the ones I love

  • making the world a better place for my having been here

  • exploring, discovering, creating, communicating, and living

Who knows: If I can succeed in that, perhaps when I reach 65 it will have become a habit!

Comments

It's a great manifesto for any age. P and I have talked about it after watching his grandfather and father and have stopped thinking about retirement as a goal and only thinking about it as something that might happen. We have also tried to really figure out what would be an occupation that would ideally keep him happy at that point, but it seems like it would be the same sort of thing with just more time off.
good for you!!! My mom is nearing retirement, and I think she's excited, money or no money, to be able to pursue what she loves to do on her schedule.