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Opinion

Early retirement looks like fun

Joe Hager

October 4, 2007

I’ve been thinking more and more about retiring. Sure, I’m only 23 years old, and I’ve got my whole life stretched in front of me; it’s like my own giant smörgåsbord of opportunity. Think of the wonderful experiences I’ll have as I progress through the stages of life. But I’d rather focus on what’s really important: relaxation. And that means retirement. That’s definitely the life for me. No more homework, no more stress, no more expectations, no need to wake up before noon, and most of all, no work! I can see it now; I will routinely fall out of bed at 2:00 p.m. only to eat some muesli for breakfast, watch the afternoon news (wait, is there such a thing? Ahh, CNN!, and promptly begin my afternoon nap at 3:00 p.m. And then it’s dinner time.

My grandchildren can visit often enough to make me remember my youth. I’ll sit around and talk about the good ol’ days, back when gasoline was only $3 per gallon, back when the Iraq War was only four years old, back when free speech was still hanging around—oh the stories I’ll tell my future grandkids. And they’ll have respect for their elders, which will actually be an important value in the future because—face it—how else will I fund my awesome lifestyle? Certainly not Social Security.

On weekends, my wife and I will lay in bed all day and watch Fox News, which won’t even use conventional language then. It will consist mainly of episodes of irate men yelling incoherently at the camera while they punch a variety of children and infants. Bill O’Reilly Jr. will be our favorite, since the senior edition will have since passed away from heart complications due to anger. Once O’Reilly Jr. finishes ranting and punching kids, we’ll head to church to learn about love, tolerance and peace.

I’m sure that from time to time I’ll have some health problems. I’m not too worried about these at this point. Naturally, I’m assuming that medical science will have found a cure for everything by then. Diet and exercise? Screw that. I want to eat Turducken (a chicken stuffed in a duck stuffed in a turkey) every day. Remember: retirement equals relaxation. I just can’t relax if I’m jogging or chewing on asparagus. Nothing stresses me out more than leafy greens. If I need a few operations here and there, who cares? I don’t need universal healthcare; I’ll have my rich kids to pay for that stuff. Things will be great.

Yep, it’s retirement for me. Bring on the creaky knees and liver spots—it’s worth it if I can live the ultimate lazy man’s life. Maybe I won’t even wait until I’m in my nineties to retire like everyone else; maybe I’ll just call it quits now. Joe Hager: the world’s first 23-year old retiree. Now where did I put my Special Cough Medicine?

Joe Hager is a student at UW-River Falls.

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