I grew up in the Florida Panhandle, then moved back there for 12 years as an adult with children. I love the water and the scenery, as well as the tropical weather. I can do without the lines.

I’m not talking about Disneyworld; we didn’t spend time there. I’m referring to the grocery store, the gas station, and anywhere else that consumers of different ages meet.

A Retirees’ Schedule

The retired set seem to operate on a different time schedule, or rather, no schedule at all. They often seem taken aback when a clerk presents them with a bill at the counter, then they dig for their wallet or pocketbook, as if paying is a surprise. Meanwhile, the rest of us wait.

I don’t think it’s old age. I think it’s intentional.

I deal with many people in their 70s and 80s, and a handful in their 90s. They tend to be sharp and well-read, quick to offer a salient point or counterargument that comes from many years of living. These people aren’t suddenly struck with a stupid stick when they walk into a grocery store.

I think their slow walk through the exchange is an act of rebellion, or maybe a flippant “to-heck-with-all-of-you-impatient-people” sort of thing.

After years of hustling, having to move ever faster to keep up with the changing pace of commerce, I think that retirees take advantage of their status to call a timeout and demand that people pay attention to, well, people.

They might have somewhere to be, or not. They could be late for something, or just dawdling. They get to choose.

They’re retired.

The rat race doesn’t matter. They won, because they made it out alive.

I’m jealous.

Retirees on Labor Day

I know the history of Labor Day, but to me it’s merely a day off, which I welcome. A day with no conference calls or deadlines. I definitely take things a little slower.

I wonder if retirees stayed in bed a little longer this morning, skipped their daily work out, or had a big, fat-filled breakfast as they prepped for a barbeque and beer fest?

Maybe. Maybe not. They get to choose. Because they’re retired.

I Look Forward to It

The over-55 set is the fastest growing segment of the American labor force. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that between 2012 and 2022, this group will increase by more than nine million people, which is more than the overall growth of the labor force.

I’ll join the age group soon, although retirement’s not quite on the horizon yet.

But when I get there, you can bet I’ll spend a little time “figuring out” the checkout screen at Home Depot, or deciding what to order at the deli counter, and generally annoying the younger, not-yet-retired people that have somewhere to be.

And I might still celebrate Labor Day. Or not.

Enjoy the day, no matter how old you are.

The content of our articles is based on what we’ve learned as financial journalists. We do not offer personalized investment advice: you should not base investment decisions solely on what you read here. It’s your money and your responsibility. Our track record is based on hypothetical results and may not reflect the same results as actual trades. Likewise, past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Certain investments such as futures, options, and currency trading carry large potential rewards but also large potential risk. Don’t trade in these markets with money you can’t afford to lose. Delray Publishing LLC expressly forbids its writers from having a financial interest in their own securities or commodities recommendations to readers.

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