What Do Retired People Do All Day?

A List for Aging Wisely

It's probably happened to you sometime over the years - a computer crash leaving you without the documents you rely on every day while trying get by on an old machine that normally sits gathering dust in a back closet.

You should have recycled the damned thing a long time ago but, like me, you're lazy and thank god for that now. You're glad it's there while your main computer is being repaired.

Even so, in addition to the lack of any reasonable speed, there are subtle differences in the spacing on the two keyboards so you spend half your time fixing whole lines, even paragraphs of typos.

You say a lot of impolite words and, if you are anything like me, you cut your online time way back – it's just too frustrating.

That is by way of explanation for today's post which I did not write. It turned up in my life this week and gave me an excuse to take a day or two off from TGB.

It is an old post at the website Big Geek Daddy, a place from which I get some of the videos I show you on Saturdays in Interesting Stuff. The title of the document is A List For Aging Wisely.

There is a book, Aging Wisely, published a couple of years ago and a lot of other material with that name. I have no idea if this list is from or related to any of it.

The list contains 21 items. I question or disagree with only five or six of them; the rest are mostly things we all know but need to be reminded of now and then.

So take a look. Click over to the website for more explanation of each item than I have quoted here. Then let us know what you think. Agree with some? Disagree with others? Have you got some of your own worth adding? Let us know in the comments.

* * *

  1. It’s time to use the money you have saved. Spend it and enjoy it.

  2. Stop worrying about the finances of your kids and grandchildren, and don’t feel bad about spending your money on yourself.

  3. Stay healthy without a lot of physical effort. Do moderate exercise, like going for walks every day, eat well and get plenty of sleep.

  4. Always buy the best and most beautiful items for your significant other. The reward of enjoying your money with your partner is priceless.

  5. Don’t stress over the little things in life. You’ve already overcome so much in your life. You have good memories and bad ones, but the important thing is the present.

  6. Regardless of your age, always keep love and romance alive. Love your partner, love life, love your family, love your neighbor, love your cat or dog.

  7. Be strong and proud, both inside and out.

  8. Don’t lose sight of fashion trends for your age but keep your own sense of style.

  9. ALWAYS stay up-to-date. Read newspapers, surf the Internet, and watch the news. Make sure you have an active email account.

  10. Respect the younger generation and their opinions. Hopefully, they will return the respect. They may not have the same ideals as you, but they are the future and will take the world in their direction. Give advice, not criticism, and try to remind them that yesterday’s wisdom still applies today.

  11. Never use the phrase: “In my day.” Your day is now. As long as you’re alive, you are part of this time.

  12. Some people embrace their golden years, while others become bitter and surly. Life is too short to waste your days on the latter.

  13. Do not surrender to the temptation of living with your children or grandchildren (if you have a financial choice, that is).

  14. Don’t abandon your hobbies. If you don’t have any, make some new ones.

  15. Accept invitations, even if you don’t feel like it. Try to go to baptisms, parties, graduations, birthdays, weddings, and conferences. Get out of the house and meet people.

  16. Be a conversationalist. Talk less and listen more. Some people go on and on about the past, not caring if their listeners are really interested. That’s a great way of reducing their desire to speak with you.

  17. Pain and discomfort go hand in hand with getting older. Try not to dwell on it but accept them as a part of the cycle of life we’re all going through.

  18. If you’ve been offended by someone – forgive them. If you’ve offended someone – apologize. Don’t drag around resentment with you.

  19. If you have a strong belief, savor it. But don’t waste your time trying to convince others.

  20. Laugh. Laugh A LOT. Laugh at everything. Remember, you are one of the lucky ones. You managed to have a life, a long one.

  21. Take no notice of what others say about you and even less notice of what they might be thinking. They’ll do it anyway, and you should have pride in yourself and what you’ve achieved. Let them talk and don’t worry.

REMINDER: There is more explanation of each item at the website which you can check out here.


That list reminded me of one of the things I love about you, Ronni - your laughter. You do laugh a lot and with real joy. It's a delight to see on your videos and a delight to hear for those so lucky. For that , you are my inspiration.

I need to remind myself that I cannot convince others of my opinions. I am not always right and should learn to listen more.

So sorry about your computer crash. I don't know of anything more frustrating. It's always a shock to discover how dependent we have become on the technology. I hope the techie guy hurries in getting it back to you.

This is great.......the very first one was a bit of a challenge.......never having known much about money, and that still being the case, I'm timid about spending a bundle. I mean, the new roof was a bundle, the car's timing belt was a bundle. The tooth, dog, plumbing, taxes. Still, if the beloved cat will ever give it up (she's 19) I'm definitely taking a vacation.
The people idea.......well yes and no. People are wonderful, I love them, and they require lots of energy, especially as I've really been working at being a better listener. But the dear soul who seeks me out at the market to start droning on about his and his wife's ailments......NO, I'm done with that.
Anyway, thanks, Ronni, sorry about your computer, and I love this list. It's a keeper.

I like this list -- except maybe his exercise prescription because apparently as I age I find doing as much exercise as I can totally enjoyable. But that's just me.

We are way too dependent on technology. But, whatcha gonna do in a world running on tech?

I applaud your bravery in hauling out your dinosaur while the gazelle is being repaired.

My little OLD, non iPhone phone went kablooy Wednesday morning. I was freaking. Land line was disconnected years ago. Only way to reach the outside world was on the PC or iPad.

I rushed to the phone store. Alas the 10 + year old phone was a goner. So, a nod to 1,2 above, I left the store hours later a bag filled with tech goodies on my arm.

Now I’m back in the phone loop. Kinda get how you’ll feel when your gazelle comes back! 🙂🙂🙂

I have reached the age where I don' t need to be given a laundry list on how to live. These are all "opinions".
You aren't saying they work, they're just your opinion. And who could remember this list? Am I supposed to add this list to the zillion others given to me during my life time? What am I trying to do, get an "A". And from who? This reminds me of college when I had to take notes and learn all I could. Here's a real question, "what does anyone reading this remember from their college days?" I suspect at the age most of your readers are, they have done whatever they're gonna do. To be fulfilled at this stage in life, you needed: talent, luck and timing! Not many got all 3. And our age, we know what we got or didn't get!

I like most of the list and am at least neutral or positive about every item in it save one:

I really really think #13 is not only dead wrong but toxic.
Living with family in multi-generational housing is generally a huge benefit, not a weakness or something that must only be done out of financial shortfall.

I could go into a whole rant about how capitalism wants us all to live as atomized individuals so that we need a complete separate kit of goods for each adult (or, at worst, each pairing). It's absurd. Especially for people of means, who have the wherewithal to make shared living spaces flexible enough to offer both private spaces for retreat and shared spaces for connection.

I want to go on and on but I'll stop.

The money part ... no, not worried in the least about saving it for my son, although I don't want to leave him a lot of debt either. But I worry a lot about spending money when I'm not sure how much of it I might need 5 or 10 years down the road. Sure, there are a lot of nice new things I'd like to buy now while I can enjoy them, but what if I need the cash later on? Too much analysis paralysis on my part, probably. A bad lifelong habit.

Ronni, my deepest sympathy on the computer thing. I once ordered a new one to replace a dying one, and the subsequent ordeal with the new one, which turned out to be a total lemon, made for several posts about "the alien." One simply cannot "stay up to date" (#9) these days without a working computer.

Sorry about the computer Ronni. Reminded me to backup my stuff.

I also took umbrage with the multigenerational housing advice. The official plan is for me to live by myself if and until it becomes physically or financially undoable and then there's a bedroom and a bath in my youngest son's house for me. Fortunately it's a large house with 9 kids in it currently. My daughter-in-law suggested it. It may not happen but still it's a good alternative for me. I've nested more than one fledgling family in my house over the years and for me it was a happy thing.

Several years ago I was concerned about losing important documents/photos on my computer. My wonderful nephew sent me an external hard drive: small, high capacity, and fairly inexpensive. I connected it to my computer and set up automatic backups.

I haven't had to use the backups to retrieve lost data. But when I went from a PC to a Mac, it was to easy to upload data from the external drive to my new computer.

Many of the items in the list for aging wisely pertain to most any age. But no list can really tell us how to live; especially if one doesn't take responsibility for one's life. I have lived in 4 senior apartment buildings over an almost 20-year period. I have met so many people who have largely lived their lives in avoidance of being responsible, informed, curious, and pro-active about how to help themselves as they age.

We can’t go wrong taking these thoughts to heart. I have no plan to move in with my children, partially because they live in winter’s colder climes, but also think their living only with their immediate family nuclelus is a special arrangement I’d like them to experience. I had that opportunity with my mother preferring to live independently as did my MIL though she might have been inclined otherwise, but my husband would not have welcomed that. Some families do choose otherwise and all seem pleased with the arrangement, or they make adjustments — different strokes....as the saying goes.

How much is enough money to just spend freely without consideration? I probably could only acquire that approach if I had in reserve the equivalent of one of those big lottery jackpots in the billions. This is especially true now knowing that in a worst case scenario I likely wouldn’t/couldn’t readily resume full time employment. Always before I was confident I could always take some sort of job, even if a type of labor I wouldn’t like. Now, I recognize this body does present me with some limitations.

Have long had the sentiment Live, Love, Laugh posted on my computer desk. The Geek references our L.A. TV Weatherman/standup comic with links I, too, found humor in for sharing some time ago, following his appearances in some So Cal communities.

I live with really slow .... slow .... speeds all the time due to my system’s internet connection — experiencing faster hookups occasionally elsewhere I can easily see how frustrated you must feel. Hope you’ll be back in business soon.

Several years ago I had bought a new computer, but couldn't get something (don't remember what) to work, so ended up calling tech support, which, like most of them, was in India. The young man I talked to tried to fix it for more than an hour, with no luck, but we did have a very nice conversation. He asked about my life, and I about his, and it was more like two people getting to know each other than talking to just a techie. Even more surprising was that, knowing how frustrated I was when I called him, he called me back the next day to see how I was doing. I took the computer back to the store for a refund.

I have no children, am financially comfortable, and am spending on travel. I don't care for stuff, but love to see the world.

What living with family is like, depends entirely on what your family is like.

How much to worry about the finances of your children and grandchildren, depends, it seems to me, on what their finances (and yours), are like.

To cherish a partner you don't have to spend money on expensive belongings. Once in a while, when it matters to both of you, and if you can afford it... yes, sure, go ahead and splurge. But, priorities! One perfect rose is as romantic as a roomful. Finding a thrift shop treasure is exciting. Learn to share delight in small things. You'll get a lot more delight from the world.

I agree with most of the items on the list. Just a passing note about item #17. I think we all expect aches and pains as we age. I did. What I didn't sign up for--but got anyway over the past couple of years--is chronic neck and back pain at a level that saps the joy from life and at times interferes with what I can do to an extent that I did not anticipate. Remaining functional and living independently are of prime importance to me, so this turn of events is unsettling.

Unfortunately, this issue came into my life at a time when The Orange Baboon in the Oval Office and his weasel of an Attorney General (aka: KKK; aka: the Keebler Elf), Jeff Sessions, have doctors scared of losing their license if they prescribe sufficient medication to be effective against pain (these meds are not usually misused or abused by older people with legitimate medical issues). I am doing my best to adapt.

87 years old. That is 31,777 days. I am in very good health. I take no medications. I sleep 8 sometimes 9 hours every night. I do not eat anything before 10 am....a cup of coffee...not after 6 pm. I am widowed. Was madly in love with my best friend for 63 years. I was caregiver for her through 8 years of AZ. i kept her at home with the aid of hospice. She took her last breathe with me holding her hand. Now, I feel as though I have nothing left to really drive me. Oh yes, I volunteer to visit hospice patients 3 or 4 times a month. Sometimes, look after my great-grand daughters who are identical twins 6 years old. I have no health problems, no financial problems.....so why do I go to sleep saying " Lord it is ok with me if I don't wake up."
I have traveled far and wide. I have flown higher than the eagles. I have seen death too many times. Life is much like the Bard says, "Tomorrow and Tomorrow creeps in this petty pace til the last syllable of recorded time."
I am not whining. I am just writing an one old man's feelings. It scares him to think he might live another 10 years. The last 2 or 3 strapped in a wheel chair parked in the hall way of a nursing home that is under staffed .
Vanity of Vanities, all is vanity.

I love lists like this, they prompt me to Check out my own opinions ( but I guess that’s the point). I’m with the folks who like multigenerational living, but that’s a bit out of sync with mainstream. For me, it’s cheaper and offers many more hugs, laughs, and people who can reach that itchy spot on my back when I can’t. Or maybe I’m just addicted to picking up dirty socks.

I am with John Gear; the whole list assumes certain values., some of which I do not hold. Re living with family, and spending money, and even the advice to “ accept every invitation”: this is someone’s idea of what to value.

Thanks for posting it as it spurred me to examine my own beliefs.

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