The Super Bowl has come and gone, and Groundhog Day as well. And what do I have to show for the winter?
It’s been, first of all, a lazy winter. That would be an objective report.
However, I prefer to look at it as a winter of reading, thinking, planning. I haven’t done as much blogging as I’d like. On the other hand, I’ve finally joined Twitter, and I’m even beginning to see its usefulness. Feel free to follow along on Twitter @BJohnHayden.
I’ve joined the local gym, and I’m showing up on a regular basis. That’s important, because I’m now beyond denial. I recognize that if I want to do any useful work in the years I have remaining, it’s imperative that I exercise and conserve my health.
Mostly, I’ve been thinking about and preparing for retirement, which is certain to become a reality in the not-too-distant future. I’ve discerned that I want to do more than read, think, and blog in the years ahead. (Golf holds little interest.)
After a life of constant work since age 16, I’m talking about major change! We don’t always have to be feverishly working and striving. Nothing wrong with a little down time! Rest and relaxation is good. Also, nothing wrong with the pursuit of simple pleasures, such as art, travel, books, films, hobbies.
For baby-boomers with children and grandchildren, retirement often opens time for devotion to the next generation. Young people need all the guidance and mentoring they can get, and who better to provide it than grandparents?
For those of us without grandchildren to spoil, retirement years could become empty and meaningless. I will choose to be of some use to society, as long as my health holds out. I’ve been thinking a lot about that this winter.
I’ve also been studying the details of Medicare and supplemental health insurance. Thank goodness for Medicare! Eligibility for Medicare will remove a burden of uncertainty. Even with premiums for Medicare and supplementary insurance, I’ll be paying less than I am now. Is this a great country, or what? (It’s imperative that we find a way to preserve Social Security and Medicare, without driving younger, working people into poverty and hardship. I fear the very real danger of intergenerational conflict. We must figure out how to preserve a good standard of living for the younger generation.)
Besides making sure that Medicare and pensions are in working order, there’s the issue of where to live in the coming years? Throughout my adult life, I’ve followed jobs back and forth across the state of Maryland. Work has dictated where and how I live. Retirement opens up choices. Personally, I want to live where my roots are deepest.
Having long since downsized to a simple lifestyle, only minor additional right-sizing will be needed. The important thing, I think, is to make decisions for simplicity and frugality over the long-term.
Plans for where and how to live are falling into place. I won’t be penniless, but I will need to live frugally. The important thing is to use the retirement years wisely, not to be part of the problem, but part of the solution. Still working out the details.
What are your thoughts about the years ahead?
— John Hayden
- Your corporate boss thinks you should work until you’re 70 (dailykos.com)
- Insights for 2014 from Today’s Most Successful Exchanges (brycewilliams.wordpress.com)
- Looting Social Security (seniorsforademocraticsociety.wordpress.com)
- Goldman, Other Welfare Queens Tell Us Forget Social Security-Medicare Until 70 (prn.fm)
- Personal Finance Guide for Seniors (medicaresupplementalinsurance.com)
- Retirement income hits new low – Confused.com (confused.com)
- Happy Retirement! (reenasramble.com)