A few reasons turning 65 is actually pretty awesome!
Turning 65 is daunting – a definite tunnel at the end of the light – but the more I think about it, the more I can identify the pluses (and not just plus sizes) that accompany this milestone. Here are a few.
- You get discounts at almost all movie theatres and many drug stores and groceries. (Some discounts require you to finally join the AARP, after dodging the invitations they’ve been sending you since your early 40s.)
- Your life expectancy is still a respectable 17.9 years (down from 18.3 a year earlier – a mere 4-month drop!).
- Your birthday is finally divisible by 5 and 13 (This won’t happen again until you are 130.)
- You’ve probably paid off your whole life policy, which finally provides more incentive to live than kick the bucket. (You can also stop paying for term life, to avoid diluting the grief you really want your heirs to feel at your demise.)
- There are more opportunities to spend time with friends. (Although this is often in hospitals and cemeteries, or at wakes and shivas, free food is often involved!)
- You can stop feeling badly about getting up nightly to pee, even if it’s more than once (which I’ve been doing for the past 5 decades, i.e., since I stopped wearing diapers).
- You no longer have to apologize for your faulty memory (though, as I learned, you still get in trouble for forgetting your children) (I’m not mentioning names, but some young people are SOOO self-important).
- You don’t have to give up your seat on the subway, but if you do, you can feel fit and self-righteous!
- On the flip side, if you’re on a sinking ship (like the Titanic), you can claim a seat on the lifeboat after women and children. (Or are you supposed to let healthy young people board first, on the theory that you’ve had your turn? Damn. Skip this one.)
- Well, you can definitely sit in the bus and railway seats reserved for the elderly and infirm (if you don’t mind branding yourself OLD for all to see).
- When things get tense, you can reach into your pocket, pull out your eyeglasses and say: “Permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country.” (When an aging George Washington did this, he saved the fledgling U.S. from insurrection – imagine how proud your kids would be if you did the same! They might even forgive you for forgetting their names.)
- Medicare! Yes, rich or poor, after all those years watching social welfare taxes deplete your pay stub, it’s finally your turn. (Many friends recall receiving their Medicare card as a sacred moment, accompanied by bright lights and a heavenly chorus, like when I learned my friend Steve’s father had a subscription to Playboy.)
- The wisdom, understanding and knowledge you’ve acquired these past 6-1/2 decades have prepared you to enter the treacherous 2nd half of your life (though at any given moment it’s 50/50 whether you’ll recall some particular tidbit of learning).
In short, bring it on!