I remember years ago talking to my first boss back in Michigan, Chris, in Bath in the 1980s. He said that the plan for him and the other owner of SysDaComp, Roger, was “55 and out.” He told me with a glint of slight greed in his eyes about something new called a 401K that would make this work–events happened and I know that they worked into their sixties. But I always remembered that discussion with Chris and his suggestion that I, then twenty-two years old, should plan to make “55 and out.” Well, I am now that age and I will not stop working tomorrow.
My family store
Roger and my dad were good friends and they are fishing together in Heaven. In Heaven the fishing is always good, but who gets the best fish is what it is all about. I imagine there in Heaven they chat about how they had to work into their sixties to support their families and of course to pay for their fishing boats. Bob’s is called The Blue Streak, my sister uses it now. Roger’s was unchristened, and Bob called it Rock Finder when Roger was not around–last I heard it sank (Dad loved a good story and most were true). I believe they both would talk about how they could not stop working at 55, but at least they got to fish most weekends and many nights in Michigan’s Summers and Fall.
For me it is not the money, I think I could make it work having worked for a well-known shoe company for more than twenty years. Our family would have to cut back and not eat out and would have to travel by car for holidays and find cheap hotels, but I could make it work. Unlike Chris, Roger, and Dad, I am working for health insurance at 55. At $2000 a month for my wife and me and that without Dental, it just too costly to retire.
Of course, if the stock market goes up, and the shoe company keeps doing well and they don’t suddenly notice the over-50 reasonable-compensated computer guy that could be replaced by two or three young folks or many many out-sourced folks (I am still pretty good), and I stay well, I could retire at 58. Yes, Susie–the wife–would be 59 1/2 then, and we could use the IRA for health insurance cost and… I can and will make this work. And maybe the president will do something about the costs…
Yes, I am hoping to stop before something stops me. Bob and Roger did not get real old. They left for the happy fishing grounds too early, and they are missed. I think I would like to see more before I join the fishing. So yes I will try to stop at about 58. I am cutting the sugar. Getting the late on-set diabetes under control. Lost 25+ pounds. Yes–I want to get real old. I have all those robots to build. There is that AI thing. And all those models I bought and not put together yet.
So not “55 and out,” but working on staying so long that 55 will be well like 25. I am just getting started!