THRESHOLD: The First Days of Retirement by Alan H. Olmstead

THRESHOLD: The First Days of Retirement

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a daybook of the first six months of retirement after Mr. Olmstead reached that arbitrary double digit and stayed home, in their old home, in his small Connecticut town. What his book offers, most genuinely, are modest reflections from week to week in which every day is Sunday rather than those unalluring restricted options-will it be Florida or California, a condominium or Heritage Village, bridge or golf? In the beginning Mr. Olmstead's tone is more disconsolate (even unto ""the far side of the vale of tears"") but he does have honest doubts about his ""new life"" which may be a ""slow death"" and being ""landlocked into a state of diminishing consciousness."" Or forced into listening to the vacuum cleaner which he loathes. Even if he no longer faces the former ""petty exigencies"" there are practical problems: the reduction of an income from $16,000 to $7,000 and ""belated pinching of pennies""; accommodating himself to one car or going to a matinee. In time he finds that it's not so bad if you can be ""poor in private""--if you can be a ""pensioner"" rather than a Senior Citizen--if you find all that free time not as heavy as anticipated. And with so much ""subtracted"" as it is from this phase of life, still he seems to be managing to convert it into a long Indian summer with many pleasant hiatuses. . . . Grow old along with him--you'll find much that is reassuring without any of that hokey Golden Age recycling.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1975
Publisher: Harper & Row