Being a Senior Today
by Dan Seagren
Posted: October 6, 2019
Chagning definitions and experience…
Webster indicates: an instance of momentary forgetfulness or confusion that is attributed to the aging process. Not bad, but we have taken it to mean much more. Maybe used first in 1996 as we know it today. But now it has run into some obstacles like Seniors resisting to be called Senior. When the life span years ago was closer to 40than 65-75 senior-ism was no problem. With some 70 million baby-boomers retiring in the next twenty years, there will be more “seniors” than ever. Someone suggested encore generation; others want substitute terms for senior which poses a challenge.
Listen: The other man said, 'What's the name of that restaurant?' The first man thought and thought and finally said, 'What's the name of that flower you give to someone you love? You know … the one that's red and has thorns.' 'Do you mean a rose?' 'Yes,' the man said, then he turned toward the kitchen and yelled, 'Rose, what's the name of that restaurant we went to last night?' (anonymous). A Senior Moment?
We wonder, don't we, what our ancestors did before Retirement was invented. Is it an endless vacation? What if I run out of money? Why can't I live a couple of decades more in my old home especially if I can hire part-time help? Some retirees interviewed said they loved their freedom but missed the connections they had at work.
Talk of moving into a Retirement Residence does occur: Is it affordable? Am I too young or too old? Can I tolerate living only with older people? What if I make a mistake? Did we wait too long? Doubts emerge. That word Senior can be troublesome to more than Seniors. A Report revealed about 40% of households of those 55-70 years of age lacked the resources to maintain their standard of living in retirement.
With Social Security threatened, pensions on the decline, savings more modest than realistic, maybe the term Senior is more a threat than an honor and needs replacement? A recent book The New Retirementality suggested that Retirement is an illusion because those who can afford it are disillusioned by it and those who cannot afford the illusion are haunted by it.
Aging and retirement do affect “Seniors” (More experienced people, persons with higher standing or rank ). “Seniors”, maybe these definitions are more meaningful than old duffers. Maybe?
Dan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community.• E-mail the author (su.nergaesnad@brabnad*) • Author's website (personal or primary**)
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