Thursday, February 20, 2014

Rant #1,348: It's Over

No, I did not win the lottery.

Someone in California did.

My lottery dreams, apparently, were 3,000 miles away.

Today, I am going to talk about someone who has won the lottery over and over and over during the past 20 years.

Derek Jeter officially retired yesterday. A partial clip of his news conference is attached to this Rant.

During a press conference, he made his prior Facebook announcement official. He is going to be retiring from the New York Yankees after 20 years of service, 23 years with the organization including time spent in the minor leagues.

2014 will be his final season.

Last year, during a season that he only played 17 games, his body told him that the time had come.

Father time has also come, as he is about to hit the big 4-0.

He has done everything on the ballfield, helped the Yankees win five championships, and he has made lots and lots and lots of money.

It is time to move on, he said. He has many ventures, including a new publishing arrangement.

He should be not only set for life, but for 20 lives, one for each year he was a Yankee.

I look at my situation, and it is just the opposite.

I am 56 years old, going on 57.

I am as worn out sitting behind my desk as Jeter is on the field,.

However, all I have is my 401K plan, which thank goodness, is doing quite well, believe it or not.

I have nothing else, and my wife doesn't have much else either.

If I work until age 67, I could have a nice amount of money in that plan, enough to probably get me by for a year or two.

After that, I am done. Social Security will be nice, but even if it still exists, it won't help us out that much.

And 10 more years of work? Heck, I will be lucky to make it that far.

And unlike Jeter, people aren't lining up looking for my participation in other things.

So, the way I look at it, I will probably have to work for the rest of my life, at least doing something to help us get by.

Jeter deserves what he has gotten. The future Hall of Famer has been probably the best player on my favorite team in my favorite sport. I certainly do not begrudge him for that, or for anything.

But I do begrudge a society that forces people to work until they can't stand up anymore.

My father, at age 82, still drives a cab. He had an episode this week, and it was scary. Happily, he is fine.

But he is 82. Why is he forcing himself to work like this?

Because he has to, that's why.

For most people, there is no such thing as retirement anymore. People need to work to exist nowadays.

So I applaud Jeter for his decision, and he is going out on his own terms.

But for people like me, I am not going out on my own terms. And I don't think my father is, either, even though he enjoys what he is doing, to the extent that you can enjoy your job.

I am not going out at all, and that is not what life is supposed to be about.

And to me, and to millions of others, that is a real, real crime.

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