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Old 01-25-2014, 10:51 AM   #21
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Alas, there is the classic dilemma. While young and physically able to do the more active vacations, money, available time, family obligations etc ......and saving for retirement often work against doing those vacations.
I joke that my current life is like an Alfred Hitchcock TV show: I can now watch Monday Night Football without concern about getting up early the next morning to go to w*rk. But, in general I rarely can stay awake past 10 PM!

On a serious note DW and I do take this to heart. We both have bad backs, but toughed it out for our glorious sightseeing trip to Italy last year (lots of walking tours). And this summer we plan to go to Israel. But we are also planning built-in "rest breaks" such as the occasional half day of touring vs full day.
Israel is a hot place in the summer. November-December is an ideal time to go, IMO.
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:54 AM   #22
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Like my old grandpappy said, "I may be getting older, but I refuse to grow up."
Or, as the bumper sticker says, "You're only young once, but you can be immature forever".
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:00 AM   #23
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As a concession to aging, at 71 I finally purchased a Pullman type suitcase, something I have resisted for years........last trip I had a large backpack plus a big, military surplus, duffel bag over one shoulder, (and still made it up airport stairs faster than those on the escalator).

I could still do it, but with osteoarthritic knees I'm going to cut myself some slack.....even though I'll feel like a total Wuss.
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:06 AM   #24
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I completely agree with the physical stuff; but, I have had exactly the opposite experience with the mental stuff: I was very driven, somewhat angry/aggressive, etc. during my 20's and 30's. Now, I am much more able to just roll with the punches and adjust to whatever comes along. I hope this trend continues as I age.
It does for some but my experience being around many 60+ folks (two different private golf clubs) is that the older retired ones do most of the complaining and bitching. You would think life would be pretty good when the toughest decision of your day is if you're going to play 9 or 18 holes of golf but some just have too much time on their hands and complaining becomes a bad habit.
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:07 AM   #25
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Old is always a few years more than your present age so it always stays fluid.
Very true. I showed a property to a couple of potential tenants the other day. I described the owner (who is in his very late 70's) as an elderly gentleman. One of the ladies I was with smiled and said, "That's not elderly - 90 is elderly. I'm 70 and I'm still young!" I replied, "You're right. I'm 50, but I'm sure my definition of elderly will change in a couple of decades!"

It was a good-natured exchange, so no feelings were hurt, but she was quite serious about not thinking of a gentleman who is almost 80 as being elderly. I mean, if almost 80 is not elderly, what is? 100?

As for the original post, I think about the timing (and finances) of travel quite a bit. I've done some international travel already, but am particularly keen to see more of the US, having spent the last 25+ years in California, with just 3 years in Nevada and a couple of days in Oregon. There was 20 minutes spent in Arizona once, but that hardly counts! I would like to see more of my adopted home country before I get too creaky and with early onset arthritis in both knees, I'd like to get going before too long. I can't believe I'm only 50 and already have soreness in my joints (one knee mainly). An advanced scoliosis and sciatica don't help much either. So it's a balancing game between my finances and time. Of course, if the joint pain gets too much, I could always use that as an excuse to sign up for medical marijuana and have myself one groovy time. There's a positive way to look at everything
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:26 AM   #26
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Good post. I could not agree more. Retire and travel young while you know you can fully enjoy it.
We looked at it a different way. We'd say "travel young, even before ER, while you can fully enjoy it."

We spent fairly generously (given our modest means) on traveling and active vacations all along, even though that spending delayed FIRE. While it's true, as in OP's example, you're likely to be more active in your 50's than in your 70's, there are also many things we did in our 20's and 30's we likely couldn't have done in our 50's.

We agree, RE and be active early in retirement. But, even more importantly, spend on age appropriate vacations, travel and activities all along, even if this delays FIRE by 2 or 3 years.
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:43 AM   #27
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I can't believe I'm only 50 and already have soreness in my joints (one knee mainly). An advanced scoliosis and sciatica don't help much either
Have you tried yoga? I have had similar issues and have less pain and am more mobile now than I was twenty years ago thanks to yoga.
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Old 01-25-2014, 12:03 PM   #28
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Have you tried yoga? I have had similar issues and have less pain and am more mobile now than I was twenty years ago thanks to yoga.
No I haven't but I've been thinking that some kind of exercise regime to build up muscle strength (other than riding a bicycle daily, which I already do) would be a good idea. I am not good at disciplining myself to do things that are not already part of my lifestyle, which is why riding a bicycle (my only form of transport) to do errands is my main source of exercise.

Thank you for the idea though. It may be time for me get tougher on myself and get used to the idea of self-discipline
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Old 01-25-2014, 01:30 PM   #29
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No I haven't but I've been thinking that some kind of exercise regime to build up muscle strength (other than riding a bicycle daily, which I already do) would be a good idea. I am not good at disciplining myself to do things that are not already part of my lifestyle, which is why riding a bicycle (my only form of transport) to do errands is my main source of exercise.

Thank you for the idea though. It may be time for me get tougher on myself and get used to the idea of self-discipline
I don't do it enough, but severe pain can be a great motivator. I found out the creaky knees - scoliosis - sciatica were all related by tight muscles zig-zagging front to back and side to side up and down my body, pulling everything out of whack.

Bike riding is great, but I think for me too much bike riding when I was younger and not enough stretching and full range of motion exercises were the start of some of my problems.
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Old 01-25-2014, 08:07 PM   #30
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We looked at it a different way. We'd say "travel young, even before ER, while you can fully enjoy it."
+1. I am the OP and this is what I have been trying to do more of before RE in 2 years. No time to waste.
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Old 01-26-2014, 01:40 AM   #31
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We looked at it a different way. We'd say "travel young, even before ER, while you can fully enjoy it."
Absolutely. Thankfully, we had some great times touring around, hiking and backpacking, white-water rafting, etc., before we both retired. Now we've both had joint issues in fairly early retirement. Trying to work on those with exercise and weight loss, but not kidding ourselves, we probably won't have the getupandgo we used to have.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:55 AM   #32
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We have three friends who have cancelled their trips to PV due to deteriorating health this year. They are paying the piper. Exercise is the only way to keep the piper at bay!
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Old 01-26-2014, 03:25 PM   #33
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In addition to the physical fitness aspect of adventure while younger/more capable, there is the issue of time decay - AKA progress. I have never regretted those early productive 'lost years'.
One of my favorite bike touring destinations was the Colorado Rocky Mountains. DW and I loved chasing/watching the Red Zinger Classic in the late 70's. At that time the roads had far less traffic and Colorado motorists a more supportive spirit towards cyclists. Brekenridge, Vail/Copper Mountain, Aspen were quaint little towns during the summer season.
In the early years of Mountain Biking, Crested Butte, Steamboat Springs, Durango were a pleasure. Its just not the same experience today. Alas, it is a Double edge sword. I imagine the younger people will think the same about the present time when they look back. I know the difference.
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:17 PM   #34
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The following is a snippet that my 79 year-old mother wrote in recent letter:
... I am so thankful to have very good health and energy. Of course, I do work at that by maintaining excellent nutrition and exercise. I try to walk six miles (very brisk) at least 5-6 times a week. When the weather is bad, I go up to the penthouse to use the treadmill (which I don't like very much), or walk the stairs here in the building (there are 13 floors), or I can always go over to the gym ...
Note that when she says "walk the stairs," it means that she walks up all 12 flights from the ground floor to the penthouse on the 13th floor. In previous correspondence, she wrote that when she is not feeling well, she just walks up the first 5 flights of stairs and then takes the elevator to her apartment on the 11th floor. (Of course, being the empathetic son that I am, I chastise her for being so lazy at times ... "I don't care if you have the flu. Suck it up, lady. Next time I want all 12 flights out of you.")

While people experience a variety of physical (and mental) circumstances, many beyond their control, I believe much of the aging process depends on: 1) how you perceive yourself, and 2) how you care for your body. While this may sound trite, and it is not meant to minimize the real physical problems some people face, you are only as old as you act and feel.

In my opinion, if you think you are too old to perform a given activity, then you probably are too old. So do not give up. Change your self perception. Do not use age as an excuse. This is entirely different than acknowledging real physical limitations, either inherent or those caused by health issues. I will never run a 4 minute mile, but I am never going to tell myself that I am "too old" to run a 4 minute mile. And at age 54, I am fairly confident that I can still run a 5 minute mile. Yes, it first may require several months of losing weight and a lot of interval work on the track, but age will not be a factor.

You are never too old to exercise. I know many people in their 60's, 70's, and 80's who bicycle 50-100 miles. Interestingly enough, while bicycling today, I passed a retired woman from my workplace who was out running. She is ~60 years old, yet was on a run of at least 10 miles. In the hills. Nice form. Relatively fast. While this level of activity may not be for everyone, there is some form of exercise for all. But do not hesitate to think big.

I believe the OP's post is reflective. It is true. It is unlikely that any of us will live forever, at least on this earth. Take advantage of your opportunities when you can. This means ER for many of us. But I am disappointed to hear comments like, "there are only 15 good summers left." This sounds defeatist, at least to me. Yes, things may happen. That part of the body may stop working like it used to. And there may not be much that can be done to change the situation.

But I plan never to be too old. I do not believe my 79 year-old mother does either.
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:24 PM   #35
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In addition to the physical fitness aspect of adventure while younger/more capable, there is the issue of time decay - AKA progress.
Seize the moment so to speak. Once things are gone, you can't come back to it even if you want to. For instance, by the time I got around to visit Yellowstone for a week, it was well after 1988 fire which destroyed a lot of beautiful trees.
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:31 PM   #36
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We ran in to many 70 and 80 yo couples on extended sailing trips in the Bahamas. If you can put up with those rigors, you can handle a bus tour.

The keys are diet, physical fitness, and mental attitude. Of course, good genes are helpful too.

But, I agree with the OP sentiment.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:11 PM   #37
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ERing while still young (55) and healthy was a significant factor in my ER timing. First thing I did was joint a gym to get physically healthy and started taking classes to stay mentally sharp.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:35 PM   #38
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. But I am disappointed to hear comments like, "there are only 15 good summers left." This sounds defeatist, at least to me. Yes, things may happen. That part of the body may stop working like it used to. And there may not be much that can be done to change the situation.

But I plan never to be too old. I do not believe my 79 year-old mother does either.
I agree 100% with your entire post, and especially this part. I sometimes wonder where the hell people who say things like this spend their time, or what an extremely constrained life they must live. There are extremely active and competent people all around us at almost any age. A condo building I know has a 90 year old woman who has been widowed for30 years. She walks all over her lakeside community every day rain or shine, for many miles. My former wife's Auntie went climbing in the Peruvian Andes at age 83. If health fails, you die. There are many worse things.

Ha
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Old 01-27-2014, 07:56 AM   #39
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But I am disappointed to hear comments like, "there are only 15 good summers left." This sounds defeatist, at least to me. Yes, things may happen.
I use thoughts like that as a motivator to get out there and do things now while I am able to, even if it means going alone. We can eat healthy diets, exercise regularly and have strong relationships with family and friends, but that is no guarantee we will have a long and healthy life.

Shawn, your Mom sounds like a really great person!
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:01 AM   #40
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Have you tried yoga? I have had similar issues and have less pain and am more mobile now than I was twenty years ago thanks to yoga.
I started yoga classes last Fall and it feels like the fountain of youth. I wasn't having joint pain, but my muscles were tight from hiking and backpacking. I feel more fluid when I move now. There are people in class in their 70s who are more limber than I am, I find that very encouraging.
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