Subject: Retirement





For those of you contemplating retirement, I would like to share retirement
experiences with you, which I hope will be helpful.

Fifteen years ago my wife and I moved into a retirement development on
Florida's Southeast coast. The last time we saw our grandkids was on
Grandchildren's Day when they were dragged down by their parents. We were
living in the Delray/Boca/Boynton, Golf, Spa, Bath and Tennis Club on Lake
Fake-a-hachee. There are 3000 lakes in Florida, only 3 are real. It would be
great if the kids came down to visit us this winter, as there is so much
going on.

Back by popular demand, the feisty, Hip Replacement Tappers Club will be tap
dancing to the Flight Of The Bumble Bee. It promises to be quite a
production with lots of singing and dancing. This year I am not in the cast
but will be standing by with the defibrillator volunteers.

Our biggest retirement concern was time management. What were we going to do
all day? Let me assure you, passing the time is not a problem. Your days
will be eaten up by simple, daily activities. Just getting out of your car
takes 15 minutes. Trying to find where you parked takes 20 minutes. It takes
1/2 hour on the check-out line in Wal-Mart and 1 hour to return the item the
next day. Then of course, there are the visits to the doctor's and dentist's
offices.

Let me take you through a typical day.

We get up at 5:00 AM, have a quick breakfast and join the early morning Walk
and Talk Club. There are about 30 of us and rain or shine we walk around the
streets, all talking at once. Every development has some late risers who
stay in bed until 6 AM. After a nimble walk avoiding irate drivers out to
make us road kill, we go back home, shower and change for the next activity.

My wife goes directly to the pool for her under water Pilates class,
followed by gasping for breath and CPR.

I put on my 'Ask me about my Grandchildren' T-shirt, my mid-calf shorts, my
socks and sandals and go to the club house lobby for a nice nap. Before you
know it it's time for lunch. We go to Costco to partake of the many tasty
samples dispensed by ladies in white hair nets. All free! After a filling
lunch, if we don't have any doctor appointments, we might go to the flea
market to see if any new white belts have come in or to buy a Rolex watch
for $2.00.

We're usually back home by 2 PM to get ready for dinner. People start lining
up for the early bird about 3 PM, but we get there by 3:45 because we are
late early bird eaters. The dinners are very popular because of the large
portions they serve. You can take home enough food for the next day's lunch
and dinner, including extra bread, crackers, Sweet-and-Low packets and
mints.

At 5:30 we're home ready to watch the 6 o'clock news. By 6:30 we're fast
asleep. Then we get up and make 5 or 6 trips to the bathroom during the
night and it's time to get up and start a new day all over again.

Doctor related activities will eat up most of your retirement time. I enjoy
reading old magazines in sub zero temperatures in the waiting room, so I
don't mind. Calling for test results also help the days fly by. It takes at
least half an hour just getting through the doctor's phone menu. Then there
is the hold time until you are connected to the right party. Sometimes they
forget you are holding, and the whole office goes to lunch. Many of the
receptionists are quite rude. They keep you standing at that dopey little,
closed glass window, totally ignoring you. After 1/2 an hour, I ignore the
'Do not tap on the window' sign and tap on the window. This always drives
them nuts. If you do, they put down their Egg McMuffin or their copy of the
Enquirer, and fling open the window, ready for a fight. I lie, explaining I
tapped on the window accidentally because I have Parkinson's.

They claim they are required to keep the window closed because of the
privacy law but l don't believe it. Are they afraid if I were to overhear
Sol Lipshitz has hemorrhoids, that I would blackmail him or sell the
information to a foreign government? In Florida everyone has hemorrhoids!

Should one find they still have time on their hands, volunteering provides a
rewarding opportunity to help the less fortunate. Florida has the largest
concentration of seniors under five feet and they
need our help. I myself am a volunteer for 'The Vertically Challenged Over
80.' I coach their basketball team---'The Arthritic Avengers.' The hoop is
only 4 1/2 feet from the floor. You should see the look of confidence on
their faces when they make a slam dunk.

Food shopping is a problem for short seniors or 'bottom feeders' as we call
them because they can't reach the items on the upper shelves. There are many
foods they have never tasted. Whenever I see one of them struggling to reach
a jar of gefilte fish, I rush over to lend a hand. After shopping, most
seniors can't remember where they parked their cars. They wander the parking
lot for hours looking for their car while their food defrosts.

Choosing a development with suitable amenities is an important decision. The
various clubs in these communities provide most of the activities. Our
development has over 300 clubs. There's something for everyone. Clubs like
the kidney donating club, the Taliban Club, the East meets West club, not to
be confused with the West meets East club, etc. A truly active community is
one where the ambulance is there several times a day and is part of the
Travel Club.

Lastly, it's important to choose a development with an impressive name.
Italian names are very popular in Florida. They convey... world traveler,
uppity sophistication and wealth. Where would you rather live..... Murray 's
Condo's or the Lakes Of Venice? There is no difference. They are both owned
by Murray who happens to be a cheap bastard!

The Italian names appeal to those name-dropping, phony snow birds that are
out to impress their friends up north. I once heard someone say ...we
spend our summers in the Catskills, but we winter at Villa Borghese in
Delray Beach'. I have been to Villa Borghese. There are 1,200 Jews and 2
Italians!!

I hope this material has been of some help to you future retires. If I can
be of any further assistance, please look me up when you're in Florida. I
live in The Leaning Condos of Pisa in Boynton Beach.




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