This Is The End…

Although there are still a few weeks left in 2013, this year will stand out for me as the year of “the end” because I’ve experienced a number of various endings.

The biggest ending of course was retiring in July.  When you’re 22 and just graduating college, the idea of retirement seems so far off.  But when I look back at the 40 years since then, it seems like the time flew by.  I guess that’s because we cannot remember 40 years of living, just certain highlights such as a new job, moving, getting married, etc.  Retirement is both an ending and a beginning and I’m looking forward to the latter.

Related to retiring is the end of house payments.  When we bought the house in 1989, I realized there’d be significant savings by paying extra principal in the early years when most of the payment is for interest.  Just a few hundred dollars a year could reduce the loan period by a year.  Rather than pay closing costs to refinance at a lower interest rate and begin a new 30 year loan, we just made additional principal payments and paid the loan off in 24 years instead of 30. That saved thousands of dollars which we put towards all our travels.

This month I ended the only credit card I had with an annual fee.  It was a Southwest Airlines rewards card that I had for a good 15 years and was the oldest credit card I owned.  Now that I’m retired, we probably won’t travel as much as we used to and I couldn’t justify the $69 annual fee when I was no longer earning a free ticket each year as I used to.  I read somewhere that your credit score is partially based on the “age” of your credit card history and so you should not cancel your oldest credit cards.  But, I’m not looking for new credit cards;  I have four “no annual fee” rewards cards and all the credit I can imagine ever needing.

My status as a “senior” is resonating with me because this is the end of eating with all my own teeth.  I lost a second rear molar a few months ago and will soon have a partial denture. Thank goodness I have dental insurance. The savings amounts to about 30 months of premiums.

Another ending is 62 years without surgery.  I’ve been diagnosed with underactive bladder (which is not as common as overactive bladder).  It may be complicated by a benign enlarged prostate so I’ll be having surgery for that in the next few months.  The hope is that relieving the flow constriction caused by an enlarged prostate will allow my “lazy” bladder to empty enough to resolve the “retention” problem.

I’ve been healthy most of my life.  I hope these two health issues are not the beginning of an annoying trend.

On a bittersweet note, this year is also the end of my high school alumni group’s formal existence. We decided that the principal reason for our organization – regular reunions – has disappeared.  Which is good news.  Good news because planning an “all classes” reunion every three years was a tremendous undertaking.

I’ll claim partial “blame” for the organization’s demise.  After attending my first reunion in 1995, I was in a group of 70’s alums who didn’t want to wait three years for the next reunion.  I volunteered to organize a reunion for the 70’s classes in my second home – Vegas.  We began doing these every other year and they included a few three- night cruises.

Other classes took note and began organizing their own “decade” reunions. Soon, the classes of 60’s, 70’s and 80’s were holding their own reunions at least every other year.  The classes of 45-55 hold a reunion every year.  Even the “overseas” alums went into reunion mode with a number of “Euro reunions.” There also have been a couple of reunions “down under” (Australia and New Zealand.)

As the group’s webmaster, I’ve decided to continue the website as a clearinghouse for reunion information and other information of interest to alums.  Since the alumni website is already hosted on my personal website server, the only additional cost is the annual domain name fee and that is negligible.

Take it away Jim….


3 responses to “This Is The End…

  1. Having dental insurance is great, ours is gwtw. I’m just hoping that the gazillion hours of root canal, crowns and a fixed bridge hold until the undertaker gets in there:)

    As for the beginning of an annoying trend, well it;s all part of aging.

    I am happy to report that I am still healthy enough to venture into the enemy’s camp and have my Nole SUV peppered with Gator Oranges and not be intimidated. Bad knees and all. Then last week I drove the 700 miles to Charlotte. I do have to modify my diuretic intake so that I only have to take 4 pee breaks along the way.

    I did take a year off after my aortic valve replacement just to be on the safe side. I’m sure you will be fine as well.

    At any rate good luck with it.

    • My dental is Humana and I am using COBRA to keep it through 2014. Even though when I was working I paid 100% of premium, it is a special plan and rate for State employees and Humana will not let me keep it after COBRA. I have to get one of their “public” plans, which is probably not as good.

      So are you headed out west for the national championship? The news here mentioned how packages were $2,000+ (air, hotel and tickets). For that money, I’d take a European vacation.

      I still have enough miles for one free ticket to Europe on USAirways (earned from Piedmont). I expect that I will keep those miles after the merger with American. Not sure who is swallowing whom, although I read there will be a period the two operate separately so there’s no post merge snafu like what happened after one of the other mergers.

      I remember when there were all those other airlines…Braniff, Eastern, Air Florida, National (which I flew from SFO to MIA in 1970 when I arrived in the U.S.)

  2. I could make the trip for $1500 ++. But when I sat down and looked at the budget I decided to continue next years booster and game expense and forgo the extra hit. If we were in the real Rose Bowl with the accompanying parade I would do it as I have always wanted to see the tournament of roses in person. But no I will watch on my big screen home stereo. Next years home schedule is why I upgraded seats this year anyway, and since I have never been to Louisville (who we play there next year) I chose to go there. It’s derivable from my daughters home in Charlotte and she’s as big a fan as I am.

    This year has been an unanticipated bonus already. Really a marvelous year.

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