We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Long-time readers know that my experience teaches me that retirement is often a poor state of affairs for the average American male. Many deteriorate physically and mentally. I have one 92 year-old client who goes to the office every day after swimming a half-mile at the Y. Work keeps him young. He does indulge in 4 weeks of vacation travel each year, however, and has great-grandkids around the house all the time. Nice, balanced life. First wife died, now on his second but she is not doing too well now.
A beautiful life, really, although he is not wealthy. He still has a mortgage, which I think is a smart thing to have. Bought his current home for $37,000, now has a $200,000 mortgage on it and it is worth around $700,000. today.
I have been updating his will and trusts for over 25 years, when he first thought he was getting old.
I work in a family business with two octegenarians. They are both still sharp and active. If they couln't come to work everyday.
A friend of mine is almost 90. He still has an active legal practice and works out at the YMCA every day at noon.
I believe you need a reason to get out of bed every day and a way to keep your mind engaged in something meaningful. It doesn't have to be work - but it should be something pretty similar. Golf, fishing, hunting, etc. don't count - they are not "meaningful".
I admire these people and hope I am lucky enough to still be productive and engaged when I am that age.
Not if you are an academic with tenure, unfortunately. In higher education, the ossified faculty are aging in place. Which is bad news for many younger academics who are just starting out and, as a result of the bottleneck caused by the lack of faculty retirements, cannot get a long-term position but instead must settle for a low-paying adjunct position with only a term contract. Whatever one thinks of the predominantly left-leaning college faculty in the US, that's not healthy for higher education. A continual turnover in faculty is good for the schools, good for the students, and good for the country.
yeah, but not good for the old passed gas profs who are turned over....that is what tenure is all about. and for all the old lawyers out there who are still clogging the arteries of the US legal system....even into their 90's...and are applauded for it....I say....try a blood thinner...
"I believe you need a reason to get out of bed every day and a way to keep your mind engaged in something meaningful. It doesn't have to be work - but it should be something pretty similar. Golf, fishing, hunting, etc. don't count - they are not "meaningful". "
Thanks so much for sharing JG I for one am so very glad your beliefs do not find certain activities or reasons to get out of bed meaningful. Good for you!
Now if you don't mind me saying so please never run for public office of any kind nor volunteer to be on any local planning and zoning commissions.
You obviously don't hunt, golf, or fish in any meaningful way nor understand the use of "etc.".
If it does not trouble you too much, I am going to spend the rest of the evening working on a few hand loads because tomorrow I must be at the city driving range at noon. I have had a rather relaxing day thus far reading but I best get something meaningful done today wouldn't you say?
Such a tragically meaningless day in your minds eye perhaps. However, I might get lucky tomorrow and run into someone your age out on the city driving range who gives me one of those "I wonder if that guy is retired" looks, and I will dutifully give him/her one of my "I bet you wake up with an alarm clock every morning you poor bastard." looks in return. Failing that all will not be lost as the senior ladies club practices on tuesday afternoons and I do enjoy watching them perfect their grips and swings.
If I forget my Advil and I do get a "I bet he is retired" looks from a "youngster" like yourself and he/she happens to have some in his/her bag I might even invite him/her and their spouse over next weekend for some politics, other conversation, BBQ, and beer on my deck and if he/she and their spouse drink just enough but not too much beer over the above, I might even let them drive my golf cart out to Back-40 driving/skeet/ rifle range/final resting place of yet to be recycled and or salvaged obsolete machinery and various motorcycle shrines an hour or so before sunset.
On the drive over (depending on the afternoons political and other conversations) I may ask them why Obama didn't man up with that skeet shooting photo he put out and instead put out a real photo. You know something like him trying to blast one of Hillary's pathetic chip shots that landed short of the green into a bunker two holes over with a fully auto .50 cal. mounted to his golf cart or something. Failing that at least a good hellfire missile drone attack on any of her shots that landed on the green.
At this point if my new friends give me a meaningless and or somewhat clueless look I will pull out a blaze orange golf ball, tee, and pitching wedge from my bag and hand them over. Then I will remove my abused 870 Remington from my bag and one shotgun shell and ask them if they would care to make a wager or two. Their cash vs. my wife's after dinner/ after range martinis. I will even give them odds if they like as I admittedly have more meaningful practice at such meaningless activities.
Oh yeah, this weekend I am putting in a few hours volunteering at the local library trying my best to help a few folks pay as little tax as is legally possible however meaningless of an effort that might be rest assured I will be pondering just exactly how I can further refine my fishing techniques come this spring in-between sessions and during them as they rummage through their paperwork.
Cheers, I wish you all the best JG and Don''t you worry, I will be praying that one day all that is meaningless becomes meaningful for you or at the very least you expand your personal definition of meaningful.
By God Man! You do know there are only so many hours in the day even when retired and it would be shameful not to refine a few meaningful skills with the time you have left.
As you get older you will slowly realize how important it is to pass along a few timeless skills and smiles to the next generation so they too can live a "meaningful" life.