Saturday, January 25, 2014

Feeling Too Young for Social Security?

My most recent article published in February Boomers Today
Feeling Too Young for Social Security?

            Well, here we are again. The old year is gone and a new one has arrived.

            For some reason, I just had a flashback to that old Tennessee Ernie Ford song from the 50’s. It said something about being another year older, and deeper in debt. The getting older part is undeniably true for all of us, but let’s hopes we were smart enough during the holidays to not go deeper in debt.

            I’ve been looking forward to 2014 year for quite awhile now. It’s the year I’m eligible for social security retirement benefits, if I want them. I started working in a nursing home kitchen when I was sixteen, so have been contributing to that fund for forty six years now. It sure seems like it would be wise to start collecting some of what I’ve put into it. (By the way, it’s not an entitlement; it’s a savings account I foolishly allowed the federal government to administer for me. In 1968, I thought I could trust them.)

                But now that my long anticipated year is here, I don’t feel old enough to sign my name on that particular dotted line. Actually, I feel shocked that it’s time. This moment has come too soon, and I may decide not to do it. I still have a lot of energy, and I continue to have the potential to make money, so why would I want to spend my savings? Just because you can, doesn’t mean you have to, right?

            As I think about my options, I’m reminded of a story I heard a couple years back. One of my writer friends told us about a woman he interviewed who was 102 years old. When he called her for an appointment, she said she was busy so could only give him one hour for the interview.

            Apparently, she had been busy her whole life. When she was in her 50's, her doctor husband died, and since she was his nurse, she lost, not just her husband, she lost her job too. She said she sat around for awhile, then decided to get up and "do" something.  When she was in her 50's, she went to school to be a teacher.  In her 60's she decided to go back to school again to become a social worker, because of all of the trouble kids she was seeing as a teacher. In her 70's she bought a huge farm and turned it into a home for troubled teens. When she turned 100, she decided it was time to start writing about what her life had been like for the first 100 years! I guess we are never too old to try something new!

            In Psalms 71:18 we are told that God has a purpose for all of us when are old. The verse says this, “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.” 

            What a comfort to know that even though I live in a society that says I’m old enough to retire and collect Social Security, God can still use me to talk (or write) about what He has done for us me. I can continue to allow my life to be a testimony of His grace. I pray I never get too old to do that.

© 2013 Brenda J. Young


1 comment:

  1. Love it, Brenda! And I agree. Thanks for the reminder, especially of Psalm 71:18. Will speak it today!