It was Kodak moment, a YouTube opportunity: At Marilyn’s recent farewell dinner for Bob (his wife was returning), there we were—Fenton, Snyder and Bogart, discussing a mature topic…maturely. Stuart, (who retreated from the workforce only to return), Bob, (who arguably has been on vacation since college), and me….discussing retirement. Our trio sustaining a serious conversation! (Not that there’s anything wrong with it).

It didn’t last long, of course. Stuart skimmed his Social Security printout and discussed options, Bob talked of supplemental needs…and me? I cut to the chase, revealing what my closest friends had to know: that I couldn’t afford retirement….that I’d “die with my boots on…”.

“Your wife can retire,” said Fenton. “You two should get together again—”
“EX-wife,” interrupted Bob, correcting our host. (EX-husbands always pick up on that).
“…If only for the medical insurance,” Stu continued, “And besides, it’s the kind of thing George Costanza would do—you could pull it off! No one has to know. C’mon B, do it.”
“Monkeys should fly out of your ass!” said I, abruptly ending the discourse.

Fact is, I really do ponder retirement—either slowing down or, better yet, getting out of the rat race and doing more of what I’d like to do. The landscape of my future, though, is somewhat limited; options are slim.

Anchored in Cleveland—there are few  other places I’d even consider calling home: New York or Chicago (the kids), Columbus, Vegas (not realistic), or Florida (Jewish side of the state). Still, I’ve somewhat eliminated the south and west. I am what I am and, frankly, I don’t see me really pulling that trigger.

None of the other four venues is truly unthinkable. I would move, I would stay…if only I could support the ultimate dream: to spend more time doing things that pique my passions: To write, to act, and all-the-while interact with family and friends. (For me, the rest is all bullshit). A vision of working 20 hours a week, sitting on coffee patios, acting or writing, holding grandchildren….Not a bad way to go.

BUT…I’m sixty years old…and after all these years there’s only so much I’m qualified to do. Practice law (of course) …Or I can sell, (but it’s too late to start THAT career)….or teach. So I’ve got to stay real.

George Costanza, a bit younger, had a similar problem. “I like sports,” he mused, suggesting he might general manage a pro team. When Jerry noted “That could be tough to get,” George said he would be the announcer. “People always say they like my comments…I make good comments,” he asserted. “They give those jobs to ex-players, “said Jerry…to which George concluded “That doesn’t seem fair.”

Life, of course, isn’t always fair. But it’s pretty good. John Wayne once said that “Life is tough, but it’s even tougher if you’re stupid.”

I’m not stupid. Moreover, these days I do try to keep it real. With a cadre of good, solid friends, a support system of caring family, I’m giving serious thought to reshaping my future.

Stuart once told me I could do anything I put my mind and heart in…
Ermine’s said I’ve always been too insecure. Walt tells me if I’ve got the cards I should just play them.

This summer I’m weighing my future…and reading my hand.

3 Responses to “WHEN I’M SIXTY-FOUR”

  1. Stuart says:

    This is not a Dress Rehearsal; time to do you what you want.

  2. Stacy Bohrer says:

    do it.

  3. Mark Ermine says:

    I can’t wait to retire. If Lisa will work until she is 75, I can retire and play golf daily. The problem is I can not get her to commit to work another 15 years. So the long and the short of it is, I will work until the day I turn 66. SSS, I only hope will still be around.

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