2014 will shortly be history and within 3 months I'll be eligible for free prescriptions.
When in my 20s and first considering the age at which I should have been retiring (60, in those days), it seemed so far away. Now I'm within 3 months of the date I should be retiring, as per the original plan, I can't even contemplate retiring.
My father was 2 years younger than I am now when he took early retirement, and could well afford to, and spent very nearly the next 30 years in a state of semi-indolence, funded by a pension Ponzi scheme.
A few bad pension investments (made by the pension companies and not me personally), coupled with overall poor performance of pensions in general, have left me wondering whether putting cash into a pension scheme was worthwhile or whether I'd have been better sinking the money into property. Actually, it's a no-brainer - property would have been a far more solid investment.
There again, two divorces and buying a boat didn't help either.
All things considered, I couldn't actually imagine being retired. I know so many people who are retired and claim they are so busy being retired that they wonder how they ever found the time to work in the first place. That's fine if you were lucky enough to retire on a final salary scheme and paid off your mortgage in your late 40s or early 50s.
When I think back to when I was in my 20s, people in their 60s looked, dressed and acted old. That is no longer the case, although I am starting to prefer looser fitting clothes and now dress for comfort, not really giving a damn for what others think (much to Hay's occasional annoyance).
It's a sad fact of life that much of one's life is spent trying to impress - that's what fashion is all about, portraying an image. In fact it's what mating rituals are all about. Beyond a certain age the preoccupation turns to 'looking good for one's age' - chasing eternal youth, rather than being happy in your own skin and being true to yourself.
Enough of the rambling - may I wish any remaining readers a Contented and Comfortable New Year, whether in work or retirement.