Tag Archives: retirement

England’s Prince Philip To Retire At Age 95

Buckingham Palace announces that Philip, Royal Consort and Duke of Edinburgh, will retire from his official duties in August. It isn’t that he’s had a tough career. He wasn’t sweating in the mines, loading cargo nor pushing a plow. His 70-year career consisted mostly of shaking hands, kissing babies and watching people scrape and bow to his royal spouse.

On second thought, it must tough every morning to crawl out of the royal bed and get all gussied up in a fancy uniform. He and his personal valet must remember where the buttons, braid and medals have to be tacked on. He has to ask himself: does today’s parade require me to wear my Army, Navy or Royal Air Force uniform? Or just a tuxedo and top hat? Not likely he can relax in a torn Beatles tee shirt and jeans with fashionably ripped knees.

Along with all his princely grandeur, it must be a bit humiliating at all the ceremonies to walk a step behind his wife. Many people believe most of Philip’s life has been similar to being a toy soldier. Seriously, let’s not forget he served bravely during World War 2 as a combat officer in the Royal Navy.

Bask Happily Into Your Sunset Years

The time of life when you hit your 60s, 70s and beyond is often called sunset years. The meaning can be both sad and happy. Sunset is at the end of the day, and so may be darkly considered the inevitable end of life.

More positively, sunset can also the most beautiful time of day. To find happiness and fulfillment in those years, seniors should strive to make the most of them. Consider a few hints from someone who has so far made into his 90s.

Prepare. For many decades before you’ve earned relaxation and watching the sunset, actively anticipate your needs. Financial security is utmost to be able to enjoy worry-free income. Savings plans, pensions, investments and other forms of future financial security should be well-established with regular contributions to support the senior years.

Educate: Apply continuous learning in ever-changing financial matters, as well as heed advice from experts. Set up and maintain the pot of gold for making the most of it at the end of your working years’ rainbow.

Health: In addition to establishing robust financial resources, preparing for physically healthy senior years is equally as important. Regular daily exercise and weight control by sensible eating habits are essential.

It’s no secret that heavy smoking and drinking have a more damaging physical effect as you age. To make the most of those anticipated golden years, the intelligent senior will be sure the time won’t be diminished by noxious clouds of tobacco and obnoxious boozing.

Enjoy: Sail on cruises, bask at beaches, roam foreign lands, climb mountains, visit Vegas. After all those years working the daily grind, you’ve earned it!

Family: Financial and physical health in the sunset years can be greatly enhanced by a sunny disposition for a loving family. It’s the time to enjoy the accomplishments of a long and fruitful life. Grandchildren are among the most blessed benefits for fulfilling senior years.

Just having them around will bring well-earned moments of joy. Their enthusiasm and happiness will greatly influence your emotionally healthy attitude.

Volunteer: With most seniors, the golden years offer well-earned rest from the daily grind of a career and raising families. It’s time to sit back, relax and let everyone else meet the deadlines and work schedules. However, as Dylan Thomas wrote: “Do not go gentle into that good night.”

When a senior has special skills, decades of experience and the enthusiasm to contribute, it can be fulfilling to volunteer. Get up from the virtual rocking chair and out to be a positive influence on others. It’s the best kind of mental and emotional health a senior can practice.

Consider in a hospital, homeless shelter or other community activity that needs wise counsel or just some daily efforts. The willing senior pitches in. The work and responsibilities will have a positive effect on feelings of self-worth and lifetime accomplishments.

Attaining Age 90: Noteworthy Nonagenarian Opinions On It  

  
It seems in this year of my attaining nine decades, there are well-respected entertainers who share the same celebration. Here they are, and all you young whippersnappers of age 70 or 80 should heed their sage advice:  
Angela Lansbury (October 16, 1925): The great movie, TV and stage actress won a 2015 Tony for her Broadway performance in Blithe Spirit. As long as I can put one foot in front of the other, I will continue to act. Age should not stop you from keeping on.

Dick Van Dyke (December 13, 1925): TV, stage and movie star. Baby Boomers once screamed, ‘Hope I die before I get old.’ That line should be, ‘Hope I die before I feel old.’

Jerry Lewis (March 16, 1926) TV and movie star: I don’t want to be remembered. I want the nice words when I can hear them.

Don Rickles (May 8, 1926) Comedy club star: Young people ask me about my secret of staying around for 90 years. There’s no secret. Every day is a new adventure.

Mel Brooks (June 28, 1926) TV and movie star, writer, director, composer, producer: I’m still a horse that can run. I may not be able to win the Derby, but what do you do when you retire? People retire and they vegetate. They go away and they dry up.

Five New Year’s Resolutions for New Retirees

    

This nonagenarian retired several times, first at 65 from a career job. Again at 70 after five years as public relations manager at a city community center. And again from the same job at age 75 after another five years as a volunteer PR specialist. 

Then, at age 80, I began posting daily online. Now 90, I’m not quite ready to unplug my Mac. I still write, cartoon and photo at least a dozen articles a week.

Decisions I made at my first retirement are listed below as suggested New Year’s resolutions for other seniors. Especially those who’ve recently or are soon to enter those anticipated sunset years. 
1. Wait! Don’t quit just yet! Before you retire, check out the best deal you can get in pension and other benefits. If another year or five on the job will earn you a higher income and/or added health coverage, hang in there. Consider waiting for Social Security, too. It’s minimum if you retire at age 62, so consider staying beyond 65 to get higher monthly SS checks. The amount increases at the rate of 8% per extended year until age 70.

2. Confer with a family business adviser about investments. With today’s volatile market, you may want to convert risky stocks to fixed-interest accounts. Then enjoy regular monthly income to supplement company pension and SS checks.

3. Volunteer: If you’ve been lucky enough to complete that working career with good health, pension and bank account, show thanks by helping others. Offer your brain, energy and skills at a hospital, homeless shelter, community agency, church, synagogue or other place where you’ll be needed and appreciated.

4. Get in shape: If working years were spent sitting at a desk, don’t go into sunset years shaped like a moon. Get a complete report on your physical condition. If overweight and sedentary, start serious daily exercises and sensible diet.
5. Dump the weeds: If still smoking and old enough to retire with both lungs working, you’re a medical miracle! Now’s the time to escape from the tobacco addiction and its costs. How many packs a week do you puff @ $6 x 52? Once clean, you’ll not only be healthier, but can use the savings to pay for an annual luxury cruise or island vacation.

Finally, making New Year’s resolutions to begin a meaningful and healthy retirement should be taken with an upbeat and positive attitude. Don’t consider it an ending, but a beginning of what could be the most satisfying years of your life.

Gov’t Beancounters To Seniors On SS: Screw You!

  Recently announced by the Social Security Admin.: no cost-of-living increase in senior benefits in 2016. The news is not great for American retirees who struggle daily to survive with limited income while inflation keeps rising.
When I retired 25 years ago, a gallon of regular gas was $1.15. Today it’s $4. and more when the greedy oil robbers jack up prices. Just about everything else, including food, clothes, transportation, medical services and housing, during that quarter century has had annual inflation rates of 5%, 10% and up. Totally, the cost of living since 1990 has risen at least 200%!

My modest one-bedroom apartment’s ever-increasing monthly rent in 1990 was $550; now $1,700, a rise of 300%. During the same quarter century, Social Security total payments were increased by less than 40%. The latest raise was 1.7% in 2015, with a big fat zero announced for 2016. 

When Washington beancounters made this decision to screw retirees out of a 2016 raise, they chose to ignore the fact that we retirees are not beggars (yet). Social Security is earned, not welfare. We each paid into the fund from every paycheck for 40 or more years, anticipating the investment would help provide for comfortable and independent retirement. We realize now how very wrong we were.

California Governer Jerry Brown just approved a bill for physicians in the state to help terminally-ill patients commit suicide. Anyhow, most will be elderly, and considered by Jerry and other kind-hearted politicians to be an excess baggage drain on the budget. 

Let’s hope this news doesn’t give Social Security beancounters even more evil plans. They may plan to kill off the elderly as a way to save government money. Then they can use it for absolute essentials, such as congressional pay raises, presidential golf vacations, cash gifts to (Death To Amereeeka) Iran and never-ending foreign wars.

Japanese Official To Elderly: Hurry The Hell Up And Die

  
In a recent speech, with that shocking hint, the senior health minister lectured his nation’s older citizens. He implied that by living longer they’re a financial drain on the economy. Because of Japan’s traditional respect for its elderly, the man’s statement comes as a cruel blow to many of the world’s seniors.

It’s not just happening in Japan. California Governor Jerry Brown just made it legal for doctors to help elderly and terminally ill patients to commit suicide. Four other U.S. states already have that law. A serious concern is that this may happen in hospitals and nursing homes as an excuse to hurry the dying process. 

We’re experiencing troubled economies, and medical care beancounters must find ways to cut back on spending. It wouldn’t take much incentive for them to pull the plug on those who can’t defend themselves. It could especially target patients who’ve run out of private money to keep paying the ever-skyrocketing costs of elder care.

My ultimate questions are: if (actually when) I become bedridden and totally helpless, will some doctor and/or bureaucrat arbitrarily decide I’m no longer worth keeping alive? Will this kind of procedure become the norm in healthcare?

However, although the Japanese minister’s statement is offensive, there is logic in his attitude. Some of my own experience can let me get beyond the morality and face reality. I’m not a medical nor geriatric care professional, but was a volunteer with the elderly for two decades. 

For years, I spent several hours every Sunday at a nursing home where my aged mother was a patient. During that time I also created a program of weekly lunchtime workday visits to nursing homes. I participated regularly with groups of my company’s volunteer employees. After I retired, I continued to work daily with seniors at a community center. 

There were many moments when I saw first-hand the reality of day-to-day services provided for the elderly. When I was present, with few exceptions, they were adequately cared for. However, there was always the depressing atmosphere of the inevitability of death.

Now that I’m in my advanced years, I recommend that every elderly person do what I’ve done to protect my family from unnecessary emotional pain. I signed a legal document, a living will, to cover that inevitable moment.

My wishes require that there be no heroic measures. That means the hospital or nursing home must not attempt to resuscicate nor keep me alive artificially when there’s no hope for reasonable physical and mental recovery. The difference between someone else choosing to pull the plug is that I’ve made the decision myself. 

The description of providing for those final moments is expressed as dying with dignity, and for the patient to be as free of suffering as possible. Of course, families with religious and other constraints must deal with the situation based on their beliefs, along with the reality of the deteriorating condition of their dying loved one.