The other night, I got to spend some time with a friend and co-worker of mine. We went on a work related outing to a local winery to take a tour. We sampled wine, ate a delicious dinner, and had some time to catch up. You see, “Fred” is a friend of my parents and also works part time at the mortuary where we work. He drives the limo for us, works visitations, and helps customers. He is a quick witted practical joker who becomes friends with everyone he meets. Not only is Fred in great shape, but he works non-stop when he is on the clock. Fred is always the last one working and never stops until the job is done. He is always first to ask if anyone needs help. Doesn’t Fred sound seriously awesome? Trust me, he is! By the way, Fred is 90 years old.
90 is the New 70
Yes, you read that right. My friend and co-worker is 90 years old…and is still working 10-20 hours per week. He doesn’t need the money, but he likes to keep busy and enjoys interacting with people. He loves seeing his friends and co-workers, and he also volunteers for a few different local organizations. I often wonder if Fred is afraid to stop moving and intentionally keeps himself busy. At 90 years old, one has to begin wondering when the gift of good health will end. But, for now, Fred keeps trucking…..and he’s doing more than breathing and blinking. Fred is truly living!
Fred spent many years taking care of his sick wife until she finally passed away a few years ago. Since then, he has been out doing all of the things that he has always wanted to do. For his 90th birthday, he even took a two-week long trip to Alaska. His face lights up when he talks about all of the untouched wilderness that he saw, the animals that he encountered, and the endless expanse of beauty that is Alaska. Since Fred is 90 and able to afford to travel as well as his expenses, it got me wondering…
Am I Going to be Able to Afford to Live Until I’m 90?
I cannot even begin to picture my life at age 90. I am only 32 years old, and I (hopefully) have many decades to figure it all out. Who can even plan that far ahead? What will the economy be like in 60 years from now? How old will people grow to be in the future? What will the average retirement be like when I am 90? What will the planet be like 60 years in the future? Will I be able to afford to live like Fred?
Obviously, there are so many uncertainties that make it nearly impossible to plan a financial future for yourself 60 years from now. At the same time, I would like to be like Fred. I would like to be 90, traveling to places I want to see, and be able to afford to do the things that I want to do. I would love to be 90, working part-time because I want to and not because I need to make ends meet. I aspire to be 90 years old. I want to live that long. I want to see the world. I want to see my great-grandchildren’s faces.
So, I think we should all use Fred as an example of what can happen if we play our cards right. It’s a new year and the perfect time to reevaluate all of our spending and saving decisions. Hopefully, we will all be able to afford to live the life we want to live – even at 90. Happy 2013 everyone!