OBSERVATIONS AND RAMBLINGS FROM A CRANKY OLD GUY (July 2022) -By: Jeff Spaulding
Written by Staff on July 15, 2022
No matter who you are, we all have certain “moments” in our lives. Some are expected, some unexpected. Some are happy, some considered “WTF”. All have some sort of meaning. These “moments start when you’re young and continue until you assume room temperature. If you think about it, your life creates “moments” for others, even after you’re gone. Let’s review so you understand what I mean. You may not relate to all, but I remember them in full detail
Your first word. Your first tooth. Your first day of school. Your first kiss. Your first boyfriend/girlfriend. Your first time getting laid. Your first adult drink. Your first joint. Your first marriage. Your first divorce. Your first heart attack.
Just to this writing I experienced another “moment” in my life. I was expecting it. However, I didn’t expect the reaction I had. This marked a passage, a time in my life that I call a “put up or shut up” moment. And I only had to wait 66 years and four months for this moment to happen.
I got my first ever (and hopefully first of many) Social Security check. According to the government, I’m “officially” a cranky old guy. I could have waited to get these checks. I’m still working and bringing in income. I originally planned to wait until I was 70 to take the max amount. I still have it on my bucket list to work until 71, to make an even 50 years in broadcasting. So why am I taking it now? I blame two people, in a complimentary way, my wife, and a co-worker who is a few years older than I am.
I’ll start with my wife. She finally retired from her full-time job, and has a pension. She is holding onto taking her Social Security in about four years when she hits 66 and 4 months. Since her pension is less than her regular salary, my monthly Social Security checks keep the income in check (pun intended) and then some. For the time being, finances are not a problem.
Now, my co-worker. He made a very good point. Yes, I could wait until I am 70 to get the max. However, what if I do that, and one month later, I drop dead? Think of all the wasted money on the table I threw away. So, it made sense taking it when I did, knowing our beloved government in Washington will take care of needy senior citizens in their biggest time of need. I will now give you a moment to (A) laugh out loud (B) shake your head in shame or (C) throw up.
So, all the while getting ready to get this first check sent to me, I simply thought of it as a perk, a bonus, a way to get a little extra scratch. Then I saw the check deposited in my account and it hit me, hard, this is kinda the first step to the box, the final “moment” in my life.
Suddenly, everything became clearer by the minute, and I started to ask myself some questions. Do I want to retire now? If I do, can I afford it? What will I do if I retire? Will I drive my wife crazy at home when I retire? Will I drive myself crazy at home when I retire? Will tomorrow be the day I can’t work anymore, as opposed to don’t want to work anymore? Is it too late to take care of my health?
Honestly, when I signed up for Social Security, none of those questions went through my mind. Remember when you left your parents and became an adult? You couldn’t wait to be on your own, drinking and smoking and screwing. Then the bills you never had to pay for started coming in. Then your paycheck runs out three days before you’re scheduled to get the next one. And then one day it burns when you pee and you have to take care of it on your own.
My closing point is, I am proud to hit the stage in my life where I can get Social Security. I’m also kinda shocked I made it long enough to get Social Security. Young or old, I’m an asshole till I die.
Be hearing you