As of today, the government considers me a senior citizen.  So many places have their own age cut off, AARP only requires you to be 50 to join their ranks.  My favorite local natural foods store doesn’t require a membership once you reach 60.  Hardee’s will give you senior drink prices at 60, Kroger requires yet another age to get their weekly senior discount and the movie theater requires age 65.  Social security age varies depending upon the year of your birth and whether you are taking early or regular social security.  Medicare is a set 65 unless you have a disability.  Before you start wishing me a happy birthday, I still have a few weeks to go, but Medicare starts on the first day of the month you turn 65, today I no longer have to cough up nearly $800 a month for my insurance.  Hubby’s supplement and Rx supplement and mine together do not come close to what I was paying for my insurance alone.
     One reason I returned to education after retiring the first time, was the cost of insurance for us.  When I retired the second time, I was already eligible for early social security to go with my retirement system funds, and hubby was already on Medicare, so I was only paying for me, only a couple hundred dollars less than it cost to insure hubby, youngest son, and me a few years ago.
     Most of the time, as I am digging in the garden, saddling and riding the horses at lessons, skiing or kayaking, I don’t feel like a senior citizen.  In fact, I continued buying a membership at the natural foods store for a full 3 years after I no longer had to do so.  Today, after 6 days of frigid cold, rain and then snow and flurries, gale force winds, I feel old.  Going out to the garden to again tie down the frost covers, walking out to the paddock to bring in Squirt, the bay I rode today, saddling and riding in the ring that is roofed, but has 4 huge open doors, one on each side, chilled me to the bone, reminding me that I have arthritis in my hands, wrists, shoulders, and knees.  Making me realize that I am no longer as young as I remember myself.  Now I understand why my Dad is bothered to realize that his eldest daughter is retired, graying of head, and now eligible for Medicare.  I hope I live as long and healthy as he has.

My Dad on the right, now 89 years young.