This is the latest in an occasional series of blog posts commenting on impending retirement.
“I keep opening my mouth and my mother keeps coming out.”
I saw that saying once and laughed when I heard it. I never thought I’d be living it.
What do I mean? Well, my father had this habit of adding years to his life. It seems that whenever he celebrated a birthday he would start referencing his next birthday whenever the question of his age came up. The next-year reference wouldn’t start on the day of his birthday, but it would commence about a week or two, maybe a month later.
I’m not making this up.
Dad died just a bit past his 59th birthday, on Sept. 7, 1980.
I’ve since gone a good bit past that point in my own life. I’m 64, about to turn 65.
And what I’ve discovered myself doing is referencing my next birthday.
I don’t say that I’m 65. Instead, I usually say, “I am going to be 65 in December.” I’ve been saying that since, oh, this past June.
Why am I sounding a bit like my father? It might have something to do with the anticipation I’m feeling toward retirement.
I become eligible for Medicare benefits when I turn 65. I’ll start collecting a small pension from a previous employer effective on my 65th birthday. I’ll become fully vested in Social Security when I turn 66, so that date is looming quite large as well.
As for Medicare, I learned some time ago that my Veteran Administration health care enrollment makes it unnecessary for me to sign up for any of the supplemental coverage that Medicare offers — and I had that notion reaffirmed by a friend of mine who works extensively with elderly medical patients.
It’s not a bad thing that I’m sounding more like my father. He was a good man with a fairly compelling and outsized personality.
Perhaps I should take some advice that my mother offered many years ago. I’d say “I can’t wait” for something to happen, or “I wish it was the weekend.”
Her response: Don’t wish your life away.
The older I get and the closer I get to retirement, Mom’s advice is coming in loud and clear.