Former child star and current Social Security spokeswoman Patty Duke turned 65 this week.
I used to watch the Patty Duke Show -- in black and white with lots of fuzz. But I didn't care; I was a fan.
Now, 48 years later, I have a perfectly clear, flat screen TV, fuzzy eyesight and a continuing admiration for Duke -- I'm ready to follow her retirement planning lead.
Duke, who has done a whole series of public service announcements for Social Security, celebrated her 65th birthday by making a video of herself signing up for Social Security. You can watch it here on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/socialsecurityonline.
Duke was assisted by her husband Michael Pearce. She introduces the video by saying:
"Hi. After years of telling folks to apply online for Social Security in their pajamas, this is the day that I get to take my own advice.
"This is my husband Mike. Because of my -- not illiteracy but awkwardness -- with the computer, he's going to assist. (In the previous public service announcements) I didn't tell you to get an assistant, did I? Well, do if you like," she said.
After a little bit of confusion about how to get started -- and a lot of laughter -- Duke wiped the tears from her eyes and said, "My heart is beating fast. Isn't that crazy? I had no idea this would be such a momentous occasion."
After a few more minutes of typing and making some simple decisions, Duke clicked the send button, blew her nose, dabbed at her eyes and announced she was finished. "All this time I've been telling you to file online, I never knew what an emotional, triumphant, somewhat melancholy experience it would be," she said.
"So, once more, file retirement online, SocialSecurity.gov.
"Thanks. Bye. I'm retired. Yeah!"
I wanted to cheer, too.