Okay, it time for another birthday. I was kind of excited when I found out I would be on the air on my birthday. I checked to see how many years it would be before my birthday would be on a Sunday again, and it won’t be until 2016. I think this is because of leap year, since it should happen in seven years instead of six. But I don’t know what I’m going to be doing in six years, so we may as well celebrate it together. I don’t want phone calls or congratulations, because I have officially become an old fart. We don’t like to be reminded of our age. I’m fifty-two, and I don’t need another solicitation from AARP to join. I don’t need any more gray hair, and I don’t need more nose and ear hair, but it seems that is what is destined for the future. I don’t want to be asked if I want the senior discount, and even worse, I don’t plan on retiring. Ever. There are a couple of reasons. I don’t expect Social Security or even my pensions to be around when I’m old enough to collect them. I know my wife won’t let me retire, and to tell the truth, I don’t think I’ll let myself retire either. The Social Security promise was made when hardly anyone lived to be 65. Now almost all of us will make it. What does that mean? As there are more of us retirees, it will take more people working to support us since none of the money is actually saved for us anywhere. Back in the fifty’s, 16 people paid for one person’s retirement. Now it’s down to about 3.3 workers paying for one person. Soon it might be 2 people working to pay my retirement. I hope those two people are making lots of money. I feel the same way about my pension. It’s much too tempting for fat cats to run off with that accumulated money. Call me a pessimist about retirement, but it really doesn’t bother me. I’ll just keeping working. My wife will make sure of that. I have been informed she wants to be living in the future in the “manner to which she has become accustomed”. This doesn’t really leave much room in my future for retiring on a reduced income. I know that when we are home on the weekends I spend a lot more than I do when I am working. Here’s an example from last Saturday. I had an audition and invited my wife to go along to the big city. I thought maybe we could have lunch. The audition took so long she called the daughter who lives there, and invited her to come eat with us. Her friend was also invited. That was a seventy-five dollar meal. Then mom became worried our daughter is a starving student, so we then made a trip to the grocery store. Sixty-eight dollars. We had to get gas for the car, and stop at that excellent bakery on the way home. Thirty more dollars. I’m not brave enough to total the cost. When I spend the day at work, I might spend a couple of bucks for gas, a couple for breakfast and a couple more for lunch. I might even earn more money than I spend. At least that’s the way it’s supposed to work. But when we are out and about, the money disappears. Retirement would only be a daily drain on the cash. Finally, I really don’t want to retire. I really do hope to be able to do the things I do now until they carry me out of the room. I teach, I act, I write, and generally perform every day of my life. Why would I want to stop? I know I will slow down, and I might not be able to do all the things I “used ta could”, but I am amazed at how productive my life has become. I have heard that your fifty’s and sixty’s are supposed to be your most productive years. So far, well, at least two years in, I do believe I am the most productive I’ve ever been. At least I feel like I’m working harder than I ever have before. I feel kind of like that rat on the treadmill. The only problem is the treadmill seems to trail forever behind me, and I’m falling behind a couple of inches every day. I wonder what happens when I fall off the end? So I probably won’t retire. I really don’t want to, but we don’t always get what we want. Between financial demands and the need for attention, I think I could do this for another fifty-two years. Well, maybe just fifty.
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