Early retirement: Threat or menace?

By Danny Tyree, Special to the Katy Times
Posted 4/20/22

I haven’t run away and joined the circus, but I am nearing the age when a financial safety net admittedly has the allure of the Sirens of Greek mythology.

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Early retirement: Threat or menace?


“But I’ll keep workin’/As long as my two hands are fit to use…” – Merle Haggard

I haven’t run away and joined the circus, but I am nearing the age when a financial safety net admittedly has the allure of the Sirens of Greek mythology.

Yes, before long, yours truly could conceivably abandon the rat race and apply for early Social Security benefits.

I would have to adjust to the reduced income very delicately. If I restricted my “riotous” lifestyle any further, it would be six feet under

But who am I kidding? I am reasonably healthy and hope to stick with my day job for another five to seven years. Why jettison a job you lo…a job you lo…let’s be friends, job!

I’m no quitter. Other than part-time positions, I have never voluntarily left a place of employment. (Or have I? Things are still murky about that stint at Concussions R Us.)

It’s not for me to question the judgment of those who do retire at the earliest opportunity. Many make an honest assessment of their genetic predisposition before they accept reduced benefits. (“Gimme the money! Considering Mom’s side of the family, there’s a 98 percent probability that I will hock up a lung and die at age 64.”) Oh, the hijinks that must ensue when you get half a dozen of these sunshine boys meeting for coffee at McDonald’s every morning!

Honestly, I do not begrudge my peers the chance to travel, spoil grandchildren or take up low-impact puttering. More power to them if they have worked hard for decades and choose to “take the money and…hobble.”

I simply realize that there’s more to retirement than fishing trips and sleeping until noon. Remaining gainfully employed gives you the perfect excuse for dodging endless requests. (“I’d love to straighten that picture frame for you, Ma; but, hey, those pencils aren’t going to sharpen themselves!”)

When I teased about early retirement, my wife lovingly presented me with a stack of books. Great! A nostalgic feast of lazily re-reading the complete World Book Encyclopedia! No, wait – it’s a bound collection of “honey do” lists! (“Hey, boss – any prospects for 25-hour workdays this week?”)

Speaking of my wife, I think couples appreciate their “together time” more when most of the week means commuting and laboring. Quality over quantity. Familiarity breeds contempt. There’s a fine line between “Precious and few are the moments we two can share” and “Hit the road, Jack, and don’t you come back no more no more no more…”

I realize I am just kicking the can down the road, but I am not in a hurry to join the “fixed-income rant” brigade. I don’t want to be known for muttering things such as “Back in my day, Fonzie had to ski through five miles of snow before he could jump the shark.” No, sirree, Bob! (Oops. Not okay, Boomer.)

Yes, I’ll keep on keeping my nose to the grindstone. (Hey, free exfoliation!) I have my inspirations. After thousands of years, the Sirens haven’t given up. I just saw one in front of an auto parts store beating up an inflatable dancing tube man for his job.

Ooo! That had to hurt! Hey, I’m suddenly having a flashback to when I got caught raiding the office refrigerator at Concussions R Us. Never saw the fruitcake coming until it was too late!

Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at tyreetyrades@aol.com and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”


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