So said my Pastor and friend at Sunday service this morning. Actually, I must confess that he got that from me. He and I have discussed it several times over the years in terms of our own lives and futures. I don’t think it’s even controversial biblically. No one ever retired in biblical days, and God seemed to delight in calling people to great tasks at advanced ages – Moses and Abraham spring to mind immediately.
The context of this morning’s comment was in reference to a 79 year old mutual friend and mentor named Dow Robinson, with whom we just had contact. Dow maintains a schedule of teaching, learning and mentoring that could only be described as “whirlwind.” I’m not sure I could keep up with him, even though he is 18 years my senior. I remember the last time I was with him, I was relating my plans to start Platinum Years, and told the story of platinum wife Melanie always coming home from her job conducting sightseeing tours and telling me “we have fifteen good years left.” I was a little reluctant to use that particular story as he is more than fifteen years older than I am. But Dow looked at me and said, “I like to think I’ve still got fifteen good years left too.”
Can you think of a better attitude for someone about to celebrate an 80th birthday? And he lives his life with such energy and enthusiasm that I wouldn’t put it past him!
Anyway, back to “retirement.” You regular readers know by now that I don’t advocate staying in your humdrum job forever. Quite the contrary. It’s really about what you do next. That’s why “Life 2.0” won the recent contest for the word to replace the “R” word. And “Encore,” the title of one of our recommended books and platinum links, works just as well, too. And I just ordered a new book with the enticing title, “Don’t Retire, Rewire,” which has gotten good reviews elsewhere. It’s also probably why Retired Brains, a second career assistance website, is among the top ten boomer web sites.
Recently I got into a “comment exchange” with a gentleman who was taking some ill informed positions on social security payback on one of the major news websites. I called him on a couple of factual errors, and his response was to note that I am still working while he, on the other hand, was fully retired and leading a life of leisure. I was able to resist the temptation to start a “flame war” with the guy by pointing out the fact that yes, Warren Buffett and I are still working, and loving what we do. But clearly, he is in the generation that believes that full retirement is the culmination of the American dream.
So here’s my wish for all of us boomers:
- May your “good years” number freeze right where it is until you’re 80 or beyond, and
- May you have so much on your "Things To Do Before I Die" list that you'll need that many good years to accomplish it all.
And here’s a song for you, from Imeem.com, the free streaming music site. It’s the Platinum Years theme song, “Forever Young,” which I introduced as a Christmas blessing a few months ago, and expresses my sentiments almost exactly. – Bob
P.S. By the way, I am very thankful that, although retirement is not a biblical idea, VACATIONS ARE, in the concept of Sabbath and sabbaticals. Whew!