“Nobody lives forever.The trick is to stay out of heaven for as long as possible,” advises George Rider, an 82-year-old, first-time author of the “Rogue’s Road to Retirement: How I Got My Groove Back After 65 and How You Can, Too.” He’s also a retired Wall Street trader with a sense of humor.
Lots of books on retirement cross my desk and most of them are tedious, but Rider mixes good advice with some laugh-out-loud lines.
Here are some highlights:
- Keep looking for worthy challenges. Rider likens the search for retirement satisfaction to advice from Eugene “Big Daddy” Lipscomb, an All-Pro defensive lineman who won two championships with the Baltimore Colts: “I just wrap my arms around the whole backfield and peel ’em one by one until I get to the ball carrier. Him I keep.”
- Action beats paralysis. Keep moving both mentally and physically.
- Be kind to your adult kids. You may need them. Rider says he and his wife Dorothy are, “Class A babysitters (for grandchildren), dog sitters (for granddogs), and plant waterers when they need us. I don’t mind a bit, but I am keeping score.”
- If it no longer meets your needs, get rid of it. “Selling the family home is a life-rattling, heartbreaking affair. There’s no sugarcoating it. But time marches on, and life moves on, and so can you,” Rider says.
- Take time to mentor your grandchildren. “It could change their lives and it will definitely make yours better.”
- Stay out of Lonelyville. “I may not be the lady killer I once was, but it doesn’t hurt to look,” Rider says.
- Be grateful for the status quo. “I used to be a big shot with a team of people reporting to me at work, but at 82, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that my triumphs now are minor. But hot damn, it’s pretty great to be old with the remote control in hand, heading off to a long, lazy nap with no alarm clock in sight.”
“You can be whatever you want in your old age,” Rider concludes, “Just don’t be boring.”
More good advice: Live on less, save more.