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Some random thoughts about life and retirement as we age
Old 06-08-2013, 10:59 AM   #1
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Some random thoughts about life and retirement as we age

I turned 65 today. I don't feel 65; this is old! But now that I am here, turning 65 sure beats the alternative. Turning 70 will be even older than this and I'm not THERE yet. I hope (and presume) that I will be one day. Anyway, I thought I'd jot down some thoughts about WHAT IT'S LIKE to be 65 and retired, for me, anyway.

I have been retired since I was 61, and these have been the finest years of my life. As Frank Sinatra sang, "I did it my way"; I paid off my home in full, invested in a simple and conservative portfolio (with even some bond funds, oh the horror), and worked an extra two years past FI in order to be eligible for federal retiree health insurance and tiny pension. I will be delaying my SS to 70, since all my bills are on automatic bank deduction and this way my automatically deposited SS check will be enough to cover them even if I get drifty in my old age. While this may not be the exact same road to retirement that anyone else chooses, it was mine and I feel extremely happy with it. I knew what I wanted and went for it, and doing so has been a good life plan, not just retirement plan, for me.

It has been surprising to me to discover how very important health and physical fitness are in retirement for most of us. I have been lifting weights every MWF to stay strong, and I can lift more now than I could when I was ten years younger. So far, I haven't observed any age-related decline in strength at all. I do tend to get athletic injuries more easily than I did ten years ago, so I am more careful to avoid them.

One of the best aspects of being 65 and retired, is that for the first time in my life, nobody can tell me what to do. This is a positively amazing experience and I wish it for all of you.

I never, ever get bored for more than a minute or two, because my (dear, now deceased) mother taught me to take care of that problem on my own, rather than expecting to be entertained. Here's how she did it. When I was a kid, if I went to her and whined that I was bored, she would give me tedious, exhausting chores to do. So, I learned quickly never to whine about being bored, but instead to look for something interesting on my own. I still have that skill. I always have a few activities in the back of my mind, that would be interesting if/when I have time for them.

Friendship has taken on different dimensions. I no longer feel the need to be validated by my friends; I know I am an OK person and appealing enough without being surrounded by people telling me that. Now, I am more likely to appreciate a friend for who he is, and for the depth and complexity of his personality and intellect.

Some people (even my dear brother!) are avid travelers at this age and are busily completing a bucket list of travel destinations. That is fine, but my outlook is different. Instead of traveling, I love staying at home, in an familiar, predictable environment that I control and that is exactly what I want. I do appreciate the wonders and beauty of the world, but to me that is what the internet is for. I'd rather enjoy the comforts of home than travel right now. My home is strikingly beautiful to me, filled with paintings, sculptures, stained glass, and Persian rugs. OK, most all of this stuff is cheap fakes and copies, but ones that are good enough to please me and I feel that I am surrounded by beauty. Sure beats the view while standing in a TSA line at the airport, IMO, though YMMV.

For now, I have run out of thoughts!! I hope all of you who are younger than me can look forward to a wonderful 65th year when the time comes, that those older than me are enjoying life tremendously, and that all will chose to share with us those thoughts you may have as your life unfolds.

"You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." - - - C. Columbus
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:09 AM   #2
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Happy Birthday, W2R!

Loved reading your thoughts on life.


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Old 06-08-2013, 11:17 AM   #3
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Happy Birthday W2R, and may you continue to enjoy life for many more of them.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:26 AM   #4
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Yes, Happy Birthday to you! You have what to me seems best in life- contentment. And well you should. You live in a very interesting city where you have ties. You have plenty money. You have an attentive and loving boyfriend who seems to be after the same things that you are. You have a good relationship with your child. You eat well and enjoy your time, either out or at home.

Congratulation on achieving all this.

Sometimes I briefly survey my life, and I think how did a somewhat impulsive, pleasure loving idiot like I can be, arrive at such a happy place? So many things are really exactly what I would like them to be, with no needed or even desired adjustments or tweaks.

And W2R, best wishes for continuing contentment and fun and happiness in your life.

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Old 06-08-2013, 11:27 AM   #5
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Heart-felt congratulations. I'm proud of you.

San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.

As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:37 AM   #6
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Happy Birthday..and thank you for sharing your thoughts.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:39 AM   #7
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Happy Birthday WTR. Although you are only five years older than me, I look up to you as a role model on how to look at retirement and just life in general. I hope you have a great day.
And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.- Desiderata by Max Ehrmann
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:50 AM   #8
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Happy Birthday. My DH is also 65 and retired 3 years ago this month and is very happy with it.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:59 AM   #9
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Happy Birthday W2R and best wishes for a long and healthy life. As I get older (77 come September) I long to be with my family more and more. The things that I wish for most are health for my wife and me.

Again, happy 65th.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:59 AM   #10
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Happy birthday and happy retirement.
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:26 PM   #11
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Great observations and happy birthday, with many more to come!
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:41 PM   #12
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65? You're just a junior senior citizen...
Numbers is hard.

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension

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Old 06-08-2013, 12:47 PM   #13
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I would say you have become what Maslow would call, self actualized !

A self-actualizer is a person who is living creatively and fully using his or her potentials. In his studies, Maslow found that self-actualizers share similarities. Whether famous or unknown, educated or not, rich or poor, self-actualizers tend to fit the following profile.[16]
  • Efficient perceptions of reality. Self-actualizers are able to judge situations correctly and honestly. They are very sensitive to the fake and dishonest, and are free to see reality 'as it is'.
  • Comfortable acceptance of self, others, nature. Self-actualizers accept their own human nature with all its flaws. The shortcomings of others and the contradictions of the human condition are accepted with humor and tolerance.
  • Spontaneity. Maslow's subjects extended their creativity into everyday activities. Actualizers tend to be unusually alive, engaged, and spontaneous.
  • Task centering. Most of Maslow's subjects had a mission to fulfill in life or some task or problem ‘beyond’ themselves (instead of outside of themselves) to pursue. Humanitarians such as Albert Schweitzer and Mother Teresa are considered to have possessed this quality.
  • Autonomy. Self-actualizers are free from reliance on external authorities or other people. They tend to be resourceful and independent.
  • Continued freshness of appreciation. The self-actualizer seems to constantly renew appreciation of life's basic goods. A sunset or a flower will be experienced as intensely time after time as it was at first. There is an "innocence of vision", like that of an artist or child.
  • Fellowship with humanity. Maslow's subjects felt a deep identification with others and the human situation in general.
  • Profound interpersonal relationships. The interpersonal relationships of self-actualizers are marked by deep loving bonds.
  • Comfort with solitude. Despite their satisfying relationships with others, self-actualizing persons value solitude and are comfortable being alone.[17]
  • Non-hostile sense of humor. This refers to the wonderful capacity to laugh at oneself. It also describes the kind of humor a man like Abraham Lincoln had. Lincoln probably never made a joke that hurt anybody. His wry comments were gentle proddings of human shortcomings.[citation needed]
  • Peak experiences. All of Maslow's subjects reported the frequent occurrence of peak experiences (temporary moments of self-actualization). These occasions were marked by feelings of ecstasy, harmony, and deep meaning. Self-actualizers reported feeling at one with the universe, stronger and calmer than ever before, filled with light, beautiful and good, and so forth.
In summary, self-actualizers feel finally themselves, safe, not anxious, accepted, loved, loving, and alive, certainly living a fulfilling life. Additionally, Schott discussed in connection with transpersonal business studies.
Normal is an illusion...what is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:50 PM   #14
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Happy birthday and thanks for the words of wisdom!

Just turned 55 on the 31st and was having a little of the "woe is me" crap and your post snapped me right out of it.
Wherever you go, there you are.
(In other words, no whining!)
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:50 PM   #15
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Whatever we are waiting for...peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple will sure come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.

Sara Ban Breathnach

Looks like you've been there for a while now.

Happy Birthday.
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:56 PM   #16
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Happy Birthday!
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:57 PM   #17
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Happy Birthday and thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. We are aligned in many ways.

Life is a Holiday!
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:02 PM   #18
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My warmest wishes for a Happy Birthday!

You are a pleasure to have in and an asset to this community. From your very first 'welcome' post to me till now, I've enjoyed your contributions.

Here's to being a young at heart 65.
You may be whatever you resolve to be.
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:08 PM   #19
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Let me add another Happy Birthday!!
Always enjoy reading your thoughts/comments.
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:26 PM   #20
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Happy birthday W2R! Have a great day. It seems they are all great days for you now. How cool is that!

“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” John Muir
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