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On Retirement

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"Hoover had passed the milestone of seventy-five years. There were heavy-framed eyeglasses on the tip of his nose, and a detested hearing aid in his ear. His voice was huskier and his cheeks sagged, making his mouth a permanent frown only slightly alleviated when he smiled what Time called 'his slightly pained and embarrassed smile.' His jawline was as impressive as ever. The receding white hair and ruddy cheeks gave his face a tenderness it has not conveyed since boyhood.

He spent increasing amounts of time high above Park Avenue at the Waldorf. The building, with its A-list clientele, 155 telephone operators, two hundred cooks, corps of interpreters, security officers, and service staff, met all of his needs. He called his four-room suite, 31-A, a 'comfortable monastery,' although it saw enough traffic to pass as a king's court... He worked at a large desk, keeping three secretaries, and at peak times four with an additional researcher, busy for twelve hours a day on his correspondence, speeches, and multiplying literary endeavors. The life of an ex-president, as Hoover arranged it, was a grind, and as he was the only living example, no one could argue with him.  He hated the idea of retirement."

—  From "Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times" (2017) by Kenneth Whyte.  See my review Here.

Never let age, however advanced, justify abandoning your meaningful pursuits and the drive to be of service to humanity (or your fellow creatures).  The moment people consign themselves to an existence spent in front of the television watching reruns is the moment they begin to shrivel up into just another whining nuisance.  Meaning and purpose are psychological needs, every bit as important to our well-being as our physical needs for food and rest.  Without them, we wither and die.

Age is Not a Number by AmericanDreaming  Strategies to Improve Personal Finances63% of Americans don't have enough savings to cover a $500 emergency expense without resorting to borrowing or credit.  Sixty.  Three.  Percent.  Many of you reading this are likely in this position yourselves.  It is true that there is not the same level of economic opportunity that their once was, or that there could be.  Jobs siphon into the abyss of sweatshops and automation, wages stagnate, benefits disappear, and the cost of living marches implacably on.  And yet, amid the trends and forces which jostle us against our will, we possess the power to drastically improve our financial situations on our own, wholly apart from legislative or systemic changes.  This essay is not a commentary on the problems of our current economic system, nor about policy solutions that might make it more fair or effec  We Clapped Our Hands Raw by AmericanDreaming

See more in my Quotes- Science, Philosophy, and Religion folder.
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anonymous's avatar
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ivebeenhereawhile's avatar

Who the fuck wants to work forever?

AmericanDreaming's avatar

If the work is menial, mindless, and miserable; no one. If the work is fulfilling, meaningful, and enjoyable; many people.

ivebeenhereawhile's avatar

And if you physically can't anymore?

starsatyr's avatar
The best way to handle retirement is to stay busy with a hobby or passion. By all means, take full advantage of the freedom to use your time as you see fit, but don't fall into the trap of just sitting in front of the idiot box with nothing else to occupy your mind and hands.
Dracoan's avatar
At the college I went to I noticed a lot of retired elderly people going to it. They didn't outnumber the young adults, but I found it a little strange that they were taking classes. I guess they just wanted something to do.
MrGryf's avatar
Now this is a philosophy I can live by.
Life is too short to retire.
Xquid's avatar
Psh! Joke's on you, Hoover! I've always been a nuisance on  mankind.

... wait.
painttoolsy's avatar
Yeah i know you have good intentions but im not taking advice from Mr. "im going to fix the economy by deporting those damn Mexicans and also fucking diminishing international trade and raising taxes" Hoover. there is a huge reasons why he is considered one of the worst presidents and i sure as fuck am not taking advice from the man who combated our depression with what HE thinks are band-aid solutions but were actually lemon-juice-on-the-wound solutions.
Orgazmo1's avatar
It's easy for the Ahats who never did any manual labor in their lives to deride retirement.  Let me know how you feel about not working after spending 30+ years humping sheets of plywood up to a roof, or fitting pipe and pulling electrical line in the confines of a pump house for an off shore oil platform.  It's easy to talk about not retiring when all you've done is push paper, gone to parties at the country club, played golf, and never had the crushing pressure of trying to make your next house payment.  It's sickening to listen to the 1%ers talk about how awesome life is because they've never experienced the hard life that the majority of humanity faces every day.  And when you're 70 years old and your body is pretty much battered and beaten after a life of manual labor tell me how much you want to go out and make the world a happy shiny place.   Ridiculous, pie and sky, BS.
Origihelm's avatar
Wow, someone got butthurt. I guess what you don't realize is that people who are not in manual labor jobs don't just "go to the country club" every weekend or play golf. What a way to stereotype! They're out there trying to make a living just like you, and the reason they aren't retiring is because with the rising cost of living they can't afford to. Perhaps you should stop your little superiority complex you quite clearly have and go do some research.
RonaldinhoTEN's avatar
In other words, SCREW YOU! we charge for water now too. Outdoors? Tsk! Booze is cheap though. 
Origihelm's avatar
Though I'm saving a pension, I doubt I'd ever be able to afford to retire. I honestly don't know what I'd do if I did anyway. For now, I'll work until I can't.
dave1331's avatar
find work you love and you will never dare retire good stuff
Masterix2442's avatar
Thanks for sharing this quote! I really like it as I am the type of person who hates being idle in normal circumstances. I really hope that when I reach my elder years, that I will still be someone that can lend a helping hand to others, and generally be the "nice old wise guy" trope. :)
Zoomer1958's avatar
In fact, more and more people are discovering that retirement isn't "all it's cracked up to be" (to coin a phrase); many, in fact, are returning to some form of work, even if it's only part-time.  The importance of waking up every day with a purpose can't be stressed sufficiently!
anonymous's avatar
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