Paying Attention

Sometimes life gets in your face.

There I was, sitting peacefully in a cab in Washington, DC, on my way to an appointment. At a traffic light the driver looked at me in the rear-view mirror and asked, “How old do you think I am?”  Without waiting for a reply he blurted out,  “I’ll be 71 next week. My wife and I can’t live on what we’ve got, so I’m driving this cab every day to make up the shortfall. I can type great–I learned in the Army–but I don’t even know how to turn a computer on. I should have paid attention sooner.  So here I am doing what I do well: driving.”

The cabby’s story is increasingly common. My 62-year-old friend Michael put it this way: We’re doing career planning at a time we thought we’d be retiring, only for most people that “career” is most likely a “job” we may not want but need to have.

I was early for my appointment, so I went into a coffee house to check my email.

The woman in front of me in the line carried a huge shoulder bag emblazoned with this message: “All is well for those who end well.”

The cab driver has learned this the hard way.  And Michael knows he can’t even begin to think about retiring until his mid-70s, which we both hope will be the beginning of his ending well.

What about you? What are you doing to ensure you’ll end well?

I’m very interested. Please let me know by leaving a comment.


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