As much an anecdotal meditation as an instructional guide, Dorenbush’s (Senior Online Dating, 2013) follow-up to his first book is a sensible, contagiously delightful look at the golden years.
After past events, including his wife’s death, had left him depressed, Dorenbush is now determinedly “grateful for any day above ground.” Writing primarily for his generation (he’s now in his 80s) and those lucky enough to have jobs with retirement provisions, he offers sound general financial advice: “An intelligent curmudgeon should not plan to burn through savings and income in just a few years.” Stay stimulated, he says; read the news; learn about computers, email and the Internet (“discard the old Encyclopedia Britannica”). Sly jokes abound, as does kind yet prickly sarcasm: “Should you still have the physical wherewithal for coping with print media, do it in front of the younger generation. They will be amazed at how clever you once were.” Retirement takes creativity, but it doesn’t mean hastening toward death. Consider the free time as a gift, he writes; don’t let it terrify you. Travel early in retirement, since mobility will decline. “If finances permit, try to fly business or first class,” he says. “As a curmudgeon, I tell you that if you do not, your heirs will.” Dorenbush often turns his wry sense of humor on himself, as when he crashed trying to revitalize his roller skating skills. “Relying on [his] keen sense of senior intellect,” he stopped. In addition to standard advice to the aging—stay busy (like sharks, we must keep moving), meet new people, learn something new (in his case, ballroom dancing), eat healthfully—there are also sartorial tips: A “spotted tie” signals a depressed senior, for instance. “You are above ground, the future still exists, although markedly changed,” he writes. Above all, live.
A quick, welcoming read full of infectiously positive retirement advice from a man enjoying it.