Redbuds and forsythia at sunrise signaling a new season
A Short History of Later Living
I’ve neglected this blog for some months, but I’m now ready to revive it.
Back in late 2011 when I started, two motives dominated. First, I wanted to see if I could write a weekly post or column (it’s not easy). Second, I wanted to figure out retirement for myself (how should I live in retirement?). Continue reading →
“I cut my own firewood,” said Frank. “Helen likes a fire in the winter. Of course it’s messy, what with the dirt on the wood and then the ashes, but she likes a fire. And truth be told, I like to cut and split the wood.”
It was a bright cold day, and I had stopped by Frank’s place to plan some deer hunting. We were out back of his house at his log pile, in the middle of his 4-acre woodlot.
Many retirees are having a ball. They receive pensions and Social Security, own their homes, live in the moment, indulge hobbies, travel, and worry only a little about the future. Of course there are some who are struggling, some still working, but on the whole, seniors are doing better than at any time in modern history.
On the other hand, our working children are facing hard times, even though many don’t fully appreciate it.
Old people don’t like responsibility, but we fear its loss. Those ideas may seem disrespectful, yet once articulated, they’re often obvious. Responsibility has been on my mind lately—I’m liking it less and less. Dogs can sleep for hours, day or night, with no guilt.
Old-age gurus, like Cicero, about whom I wrote so admiringly a few weeks ago, encourage seniors to fight against inevitable decline and loss of responsibility. Cicero captured my mood then, but now, just a few weeks later, his message resonates like cheerleaders near the end of a game—a little beside the point.
Our investment posts have come to a natural break point. In 2011, I began writing about investments in retirement, and some days ago I posted a piece describing how much young workers need to save for retirement. Let’s review and celebrate ideas about investing. Continue reading →
Learning some new procedures from a young staff member at Meals on Wheels
For retirees volunteering usually beats work. Volunteers are not usually competing against co-workers, are not facing pressure to make economical use of time, are not usually micro-managed or given impossible deadlines and are not ordinarily forced to accommodate oversized workplace egos. Instead, volunteers can focus on the work experience itself. Continue reading →
Last week we said that leaving work makes us temporarily smaller. Even if it is welcome and voluntary, leaving work involves loss. Retirees will serve themselves well if they think through the loss and review some foundations of life, thereby preparing for new ventures. Continue reading →
The first job of retirement is to leave work behind—to let it go. Leaving it can’t be done well unless we recognize work’s importance in our lives. Work identifies us, especially men—but now increasingly for women. Continue reading →