If we baby boomers don’t retire, it’s only because we work until we die! And Hawthorne New Jersey’s Alan Paul sees no reason to go that route. So he’s now retired. Happily retired. And he makes no apologies!
I’m retired. There … I said it. You got a problem wit dat..?
A lot of people, it seems, do have a problem with retirement these days. Used to be that when you were getting close to retirement age you looked forward to it. It represented a goal that was a kind of reward for having worked hard all your life. You earned it.
And besides, you paid for it. Back in the day, 62 was the official retirement age, but like everything else that has anything to do with the federal government, Social Security has been tinkered with, retooled and, let’s face it, screwed up to the point where it bears very little resemblance to the thing it was designed to be.
Now, for a Boomer like me, who was hatched in 1948, my “full retirement age” is, they tell me, 66. The policy-makers still urge people born in my time to work until they’re 70, though they’ll allow you to retire at 66 if you must. Slacker!
So fine, call me a slacker; I’ve been called worse. But after having been retired for a couple years now, I still don’t see the downside. My wife and I discussed my pending retirement maybe two or three years before the blessed event, and during the countdown year we scaled back our spending. It wasn’t so bad. When it comes right down to it, there’s a whole lot of stuff you don’t really need, don’t really want, and don’t really miss, if you don’t have it. Especially when you reach a certain age.
We’ve got a little money in the bank, and a couple of relatively small retirement funds to draw from, and we own our house. But we have nowhere near the $1.4-million or so that all the investment promos say you need to retire in the lifestyle to which you’ve become accustomed. Granted, we haven’t got a lot of trips to Europe planned; I’ve come, grudgingly, to terms with the fact that I’m never going to own a Lamborghini; and we don’t have a beachfront house down the Jersey Shore. But, again, I try to practice the pre-retirement, spring-training mantra: “…don’t really need … don’t really want … don’t really miss.”
So … a downside? Monetary concerns aside, I still don’t see it. I could never understand those people (and there are a lot of them) who say, “Why would I retire? What would I do with myself?” In the past when those questions were posed to me, I would generally answer: “I can think of a thousand things I would do if I didn’t have to go to work every day!”
Now, while I understand that about 867 of those things require more money than a retired person would, in good conscience, want to spend, that still leaves at least 133 things you can do in your retirement (and you can probably think of a few that I haven’t.) What would you do with yourself? Please! You would do just about anything you’ve ever wanted to do with yourself!
I’m retired. There … I said it again. And I ain’t got a problem wit dat.