Retirement is Wasted on Old People.


I spend hours thinking about some of the larger questions in the universe.

Heaven or Hell? Was President Obama cool when he was 12? Why do junior high boys feel the urge to shove each other in the hallway? Who is foolish enough to drink out of a school water fountain after 1st graders have put their mouths on it? And why do people complain about the quality of school food when the entire meal cost $2.50?

What do people expect for a couple of bucks? If the food isn’t moving, you should consider yourself lucky.

I am particularly interested in how the whole heaven thing works out for me. But that is a long term goal (hopefully long term).

My immediate focus is retirement.

Only 20 years to go! (barring some sort of incident where I am “encouraged” to leave school grounds and not come back… and mark my word, I will not be going quietly)

It’s not that I don’t like work, because I do. I just think I would like not working a little more.

If I am lucky enough to retire in the far away future, I have a feeling that I may end up being disappointed.

This is My Future.

My Future.

It seems that people retire at such a young age that many find themselves going back to work.

After all if you retire at 62 it’s possible that 1/3 of your life is left (if you are 62… this would be a good time to knock on wood). Your retirement years could last as long or longer than your work years.

The only downfall to retiring is being old.

Although old is a relative term. I used to think people in their 40’s were old. Now I see one of these old people in the mirror every morning and I find him youthful, vibrant, and breathtakingly handsome.

Not really.

I find him tired, grumpy, and slightly creepy (but I don’t want to bother you with my self esteem issues).

I can remember my dad’s 36th birthday party. For some reason one thing struck me that day.

This guy is a dead man walking. I didn’t think there was any way he would live to see his 37th birthday (yes, he is still alive over 30 years later).

Today when I see a 36 year old, I think they are childlike and shouldn’t be crossing busy streets by themselves.

So it turns out my thoughts about age depends on how old I am at the moment.

I am sure that when I turn 62, I will think I am young. Albeit, slightly tired, a little grumpy, and slightly creepy, but again that is a me problem.

While I look forward to my retirement in only two short decades, I do think the entire system is a mess.

I think the concept of when we retire needs to be discussed.

Presently, we attend 13 years of school and then go to college, the military, or work.

The first 65 years of our lives are taken up with these obligations.

Where is the time to have fun?

Where is the time to enjoy life?

Why is retirement dangled out in front of us like a carrot?

Why do we get the carrot when we are too old to chew it with our own teeth?

Retirement should come much earlier, like after you graduate college and earn a master’s degree. Or serve 8 years in the armed forces.

If you accomplish that, you should get the next 20 years off (retirement) and then go into the workforce at 45.

Then you would work until you die.

These days, many retirees go back to work only months after they retire. Why not get some time off when you are young enough to enjoy it?

Just think. If I retire when I am 62, my golf game will have deteriated to such a pathetic level that I won’t even enjoy playing.

Under this new system, I get to enjoy early retirement” while my golf game is still mediocre.

Let’s not kid ourselves.

Retirement is for old people. It should be for young people. And my golf game is barely mediocre.

I want to retire before I start setting the thermostat in my house to a balmy 84 degrees. Or before I am driving 27 mph on the highway (in the passing lane with both hands on the steering wheel looking straight ahead).

Of course, I am only offering this “new retirement idea” for a very limited time.

When I am 62, retirement won’t be for old people… it will be for me.

And by then I will be more focused on my heaven/hell issue than my retirement problem.

Plus, 62 isn’t really that old. It’s not like I will be 85.

But no matter how old I get, or where I end up spending eternity, I will never understand why people drink out of a public school water fountain.


4 Responses to “Retirement is Wasted on Old People.”

  1. Connie F. Joyner
    on Jun 6th, 2009
    @ 8:59 am

    Enjoyed the article. My mother, now 84, has lived with me since 1987. If observing the downward slop of the aging is not inspriation for the younger (and children caretaker) to take care of their own selves, and learn from the battles of their parents, as stated in your article, they are walking dead! Growing up is for the weeds, and they die seasonally! Loved the article! Thanks for composing. ~Connie of Eastern NC.

  2. Angie
    on Jun 9th, 2009
    @ 5:57 am

    Maybe you should move to France where everyone gets 5 weeks of vacation a year….oh wait……I almost forgot you’re an educator and already get Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break, Martin Luther King, Jr. day, and several weeks during the summer. But visiting France is nice. They have crepes.

  3. It’s Time for a Midlife Crisis. I Just Wish I Had Time. | PrincipalsPage The Blog
    on Jun 20th, 2009
    @ 8:03 pm

    [...] She say things like “You’re old.” And “You’re really old.” And the ever popular “Don’t hurt yourself old man.” [...]

  4. Karen
    on Mar 31st, 2010
    @ 5:28 pm

    I enjoyed this one especially since I turn 61 tomorrow and plan to retire July 1. I, however, am NOT old. Don’t look it (so I am told) and try not to act it. When I was 32 and teaching kindergarten we were at circle time one day when a student asked how old I was. Being the quintessential teacher I turned it into a learning moment. “How old do you think I am?” I asked in return. Around the circle we went “18, 27, 42…”.and on. Finally one child said “100″. The child beside him gave him a disgusted look, slapped his shoulder and said, “She’s not 100 stupid, she’s only 60.” Being 32, I was not impressed with that answer. But not that I am over 60 it doesn’t seem so old…..
    Didn’t ever think I would make it to retirement but here it is!

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