Monday, June 24, 2013

Navigating 60

"They" say
Friends since grade school  Cali visit 2008
  •      "It's just a number" 
  •      "You're only as old as you feel" 
  •      "Looking good is better than feeling   good" 
  •      "Confidence is everything."

My number is 61.  Of late, I've been feeling substantially older and there's no trade-off for not feeling good.  Confidence?  It lies somewhere between a good day at work and how well my makeup goes on in the morning.  

I'm on that precarious balance beam between aging and OLD AGE.  No matter how often I walk toe to heel up and down the beam, I lean in towards the tired and decrepit side.  Yes.  I "lean in" but not the way Sheryl Sandberg advocates.  I'm tired and mad as hell and I don't want to play any more!

Pitty party petulant?  You bet.  Envious of my retiring friends with money saved?  Yes again.  Fear of the future?  Definitely.
Class of 1969 H.S. Reunion held 2008

What to do?

Possible options:
  • Plastic surgery
  • Frequent facials
  • More exercise, less food
  • More time spent with old friends
  • Create an exit strategy for when you retire or get fired
Of course, applying work strategies to personal problems may or may not be the best solution.  But it is a dispassionate approach.  I can already rule out the plastic surgery.   I'd have to dip into retirement funds and that ain't gonna happen.  I was getting frequent facials for a while and they helped.  They're expensive, however, at $60 per.  That means something else has to go and it's not going to be my hair cuts & color every six weeks.  Those will be the last thing I ever give up.

More time spent with old friends my age is the most appealing.   We can talk without flinching about things forty years back, an uncomfortable elephant in the room when meeting new people not clued in to our exact decade in life.  Being a "Sixties" kid is not what it used to be.  I like the camaraderie of shared experiences.  It binds and comforts us.
Party in Westlake Village, CA  2008
My husband and I are thinking hard about our next act, where to live and how to afford it.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and/or experiences on the subject of retirement planning.  Even if you're not there yet, you probably have ideas along the lines of what you'll do.



PerthDailyPhoto said...

Geez CG just been reading last three've had a wee bit of a tough time lately, that may be putting it mildly from your perspective :) I hope the re vamped hip is working well, as for the bleeding finger I nearly passed out reading much blood, that can't be good for you! As for aging, I'm not sure which one of these three ladies is you, but as far as I can see all three here are blooming gorgeous. There is no one tougher on us than ourselves right :) You need to come over and stand in the queue for the jazz club with me, you'd love it :)

bill lisleman said...

"...dip into retirement funds..." - oh good that you are not going to do that. Comparisons can be tricky. My mother taught me long ago that I'll always be able to find those better off and those worst off. The fact that you have retirements funds at all is a great thing. I have read that too many over 50 don't have money saved. I've been concentrating on growing my retirement funds. I believe learning more about the markets and investments is good useful knowledge for the long run.

bill lisleman said...

Hey I just noticed this one on pinterest. Had me thinking of your post today.

California Girl said...

Perth DP: The operation affected my mood, no doubt about it. I am indulging somewhat and probably saying out loud what many of us think but don't want to admit.

Thank you for the compliment. We are a lively group of friends. I'm the one with the big laugh in the last photo & the one on the left in the bathing suit photo & the one holding onto my childhood GF in the reunion photo.

Actually had my hair bobbed, highlighted & lowlighted this wknd. Feeling better which is why I said I'll give up the hair stylist last.

Would love to queue up with you for the club.

California Girl said...

Bill, Daddy always wanted me to invest in dividend paying stocks and funds. We would have a great deal more saved had we not needed a huge amount right around the milennium for various reasons. What remains is off limits.

California Girl said...

Bill, visited the Pinterest site & it's funny AND true.Sending it to my GFs or should I say "my BFFs"?

DJan said...

I am 70 and have been retired now for five years. I started putting away more money for my retirement in 1999 when my income grew by 25%. I put the whole amount into my TIAA-CREF and once I got to retirement (just before the big crash), I had enough to double what I would get from social security. Between the two, I am not rich, but I have enough to be able to pay my bills and have a little disposable income. It makes all the difference to have that retirement income. In a decade, I might feel differently, but for now I'm happy.

California Girl said...

DJan, so, if I'm understanding you, you doubled up on your savings when you were 56. You already had a retirement account. How did you avoid the big crash in '02? TIAA-CREF, which I've heard of, must be a pretty good fund. The majority of our savings are in two Vanguard funds which I invested in years ago. My husband has a small number of Apple shares which, when it hit $700 per, we should have sold. It dipped below $400 today. However, my husband only paid $10 per share and they've split a couple of times. Hindsight is 20/20 on selling, isn't it? Thanks for your input.

diane b said...

As soon as our kids left home we put as much as we could each pay into our super funds. Luckily we have just enough to live comfortably now we are in retirement. However the crash did cause the funds to lose value just after we retired that was a deflating experience. We are not that clever with money so we have a financial adviser to look after our funds.
Don't worry too much about looks but keeping fit and healthy is important and as you have discovered maintaining friendships is vital for a happy retirement.getting involved with groups is good too. Whether it is sports, movies, dinners or learning groups. Find something that interests you.
Good luck in the future.

California Girl said...

diane b: thank you for your constructive comments. I'm not always such a whiner. I try to mask it with humor or sarcasm. I went through the financial planner stage, the investment broker stage...I am keeping tabs on our money and my husband has become fiscally prudent in his sixth decade. Our kids have left home, come back, now they're living in AUS. We had a hard time saying "Get out!" when they were saving for their year long trip to AU, NZ, etc. They left in Dec and haven't asked for a thing since. It's such a relief! I miss them terribly but I don't miss their financial instability.

Please come again!!!

Outlawyer said...

Good luck! It is very difficult these days. The main thing I think is to try to stay active, but not easy. k. (This is using a mobile device!)

California Girl said...

Thank you for visiting and commenting Outlawyer I do stay active which is part of my frustration at present. I have been weight training 3 years, initially to get in shape for a knee replacement 18 mos ago. After that surgery I was doing fantastic, felt strong, no pain. When I found out I needed my original hip replacement revised (blog post "Off the Grid") I had 3 wks to prepare mentally & I'm now 5 wks into recovery, exhausted, losing strength & pissed off. Again, I'm whining. But that's why. I'll get over it.

Judy said...

Although I haven't had any surgery at this point..... I do share your struggles with the aging process as I have not been feeling very energetic/well this spring. And spring is usually my top energy months. I'm trying to figure out what's going on with my body. Thinking I need my thyroid checked perhaps? Anyway- I just keep trying to walk daily- I do want to stay mobile as I walk into the nursing home :)
Thinking of you- love from Iowa!

Outlawyer said...

That us terrible! I don't think you are whi'ning. Replacement surgery is a pretty big deal and it is hard not to feel singled out. Good luck! This is Manicddaily on Wordpress. )on a mobile device.).

California Girl said...

Hi Judy! Happy 4th one day early. I appreciate your thoughts. It's hard to feel the creaks and aches and realize I took my once excellent physical condition for granted.

Get your thyroid checked. More women than men have hypothroidism & it's a cheap easy fix: 1 pill daily. Yes. I developed it around the age of 47. Btw, it runs in families.

Terra said...

My number is close to yours and I am retired and love it. As my husband says, on any given day, he rides his bicycle and I go to the health club for exercise in a warm water pool. Now that is bliss. By the way, lots of people with hip replacements exercise in the pool and tell me it is helpful for them.

California Girl said...

Terra, thank you for a very nice comment. I just returned from a massage and my MT said I should start swimming again. I haven't done so for 15 years, since we left CA. There are no private pools up here, only resort pools for guests & kids. I may have one outlet to investigate and I'm going to see.


by Cole Scott