Getting old has a certain advantage. I’ve been working on the getting old thing through my 50s and now into my 60s. I found work which finally mattered to me in more than a few ways but it took to the end.
Walking into the social security office about three weeks ago was good. I sat for about three hours both impatiently waiting and secretly watching everyone else. Finally, I was called and met a knowledgeable and fun counselor who joked with me about getting old, told me the truth about how social security retirement works, and filed my retirement claim. By two days time I had been approved for retirement and I knew what I would get and when. Its not a lot of money by western standards but living in Asia for awhile will give me a financial reprieve and I won’t worry about running out of money before running out of month.
I also answered a few posts on Quora about getting old or reaching my 60s. The two are not the same by the way. I know people much younger that act old and I know people my age that act younger. The best compliment was from one of my managers who could not believe I qualified for social security retirement because as RS said,
you are young at heart
And yes. Perhaps the work did that and perhaps its because I knew when I started the job that I would reach the point where the debts were paid off andI had money in the bank plus monthly retirement which gives me all I could want to live on in places like Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam.
But here’s some things about getting old. Just my experiment of one mind you.
- Getting old does not mean you stop doing work or finding challenging work. You need the right employer and the right colleagues and the right work. You don’t have to go to a convenience store unless you want to.
- Don’t be afraid when you get old. Hit the road and be that vagabond even if its an Amtrak trip across the US. You deserve it now live it. Life is not measured in retirement cups of coffee in McDonalds folks. Its measured in risk taking and finding value in the things you have dreamt about. Don’t give up on the dreams and be afraid.
- The opposite of 2 above. Be brave. Take risks and you know because you’ve lived more and know more about how things work. Keep your edge using electronics and mobile devices. They can be a pathway to new places for you.
- Define the new thing and make it not like the old thing and then do the plan. Be the instrument of your salvation and learn that you are capable of fine and crazy things. Then do them!
Someone at work mentioned they would never be able to do what I have done and they would not. They have too much. You have to have less and then you can risk more. It sounds crazy, right? But the less you have, the more you can do. I live in a room that is probably 12×16 or so. Its been my home since 2015 and its seen me through all the things above and even more.
Getting old is not getting stale like a bag of chips or losing your edge and not knowing how to use technology to meet your needs. Getting old does mean that you have seen and done and seen and done more. Now, you can choose what are the things to maximize seeing and doing.
Be brave warriors and do the things you see. The world is your oyster like my mom used to say. Now say the magic words and tomorrow will open up.
The magic words are not difficult. They are,
I can do this
And its done.