The Indy Life Cycle
What are indy folk to do when they get old?
First, I think the idea of retirement is out. That’s maybe for folks who chose to divide their life into "on" and "off" years. Or work years then spending years.
A lot of folks who go for the pension route make a calculation. The worse the job, hopefully the shorter the years til you can collect a pension. The military tends to be pretty short. Jobs with lots of bargaining potential sometimes can strike (and hold communities hostage) for short, generous terms, and win, since their jobs can't be offshored. More power to em, of course, but don’t forget inflation and, as Jack says, a fattening hog ain’t in luck. There’s no free lunch even if you stick me up to give it to you. What goes around, etc.
At any rate some folks decide to work with no strings attached to anyone not even themselves.
At the same time they better plan or think ahead. I guess. ...Think ahead. Can we do that?
Well, let’s look to the past then.
Indy is how everyone lived until the idea of a career was invented. Yet there’s always been a social network. No man is an island. Indy doesn’t mean disconnected. It means more connected.
Anyway, indy oldtimers lived with their kids. So that’s one thing. I suppose they didn’t live long either, beyond their functionality. Ah, but in the Caucasus and India they stay/stayed helpful til they were a hundred. There are things that oldsters can do, maybe even things that only they can do. Just like kids can contribute to life as real people, too, if juveniles.
At any rate, the indy way won’t have cruises. It won’t have much ownership at all. Very few cars. One will have to economize. Use the library card. Walk to the store.
I picture the chance for a group home of some kind. Maybe with the kids. But maybe not. It’s up to them. We know several other indy folks, too.
I see a big house where oldsters can have rooms. A public area. A shared kitchen. A yard garden. A garage, storage. One phone. No cable. We'll share our overhead. The house would be a co-op, some kind of nonprofit, an institute. We’d have to avoid taxes. There probably won’t be much income tax to worry about, but we’d have to be careful about property tax. Otherwise we might have to move to a no-property-tax state. Now, there’s no reason why we won’t be able to keep running our websites, media shipping and fabric art sewing til total infirmity blocks that.
Indy folks are obliged to live healthier. They’re less disposable. They aren’t commodities. They haven’t traded their lives for wages. They’re more like 3rd worlders. The book I publish about 3rd world boats highlights the differences here: western shipping evolved with the crew being literally expendable and with a luxury/profitable orientation. 3rd world boats evolved with the priorities being: easy repair, cheap/fee materials...and a totally Unexpendable crew. Speed be damned, we gotta get the crew to shore. They’re NEEDED.
The indy “retirement” will be similar.
We’ll have to take care of ourselves. Be proactive. To avoid docs and illness. (Of course you can't live to avoid cost---you have to live for life or you're sunk.) Yoga. Veggies. Grow our own food. Catch and hunt our own meat.
Hopefully the arthuritis won’t get us, as Martha's gramma says.
We’ll only have catastrophic healthcare policies or Medicare.
It just might work, though. I mean, let's hear some better ideas or further discussion on this.
It does, of course, also fit in with the idea of how should old age be lived, no matter who you are. Are there any helpful notions here? Maybe it's obvious. But to get back to our point: a lot of those who think they have good pensions might find that they don't. So creatively exploring ideas about how to just as creatively engage the time of life when one tends to earn a whole lot less might be a good idea for anyone.
Ah, but I'm not done yet! Why wait til we're old? Basically, I'm spinning the co-housing idea here, after all.
So how about this: I hear they have what are called "8 flats" in Evanston, a walkable community, I hear. An el-hop north of Chicago. So we get one of those. Keep the ground floor apt open and public. The big dinner place. The retail place. The classrooms. The indy folks all buy in and live on the other 7 floors---they're each nice 1000-foot apartments. Plenty of room. Out back in the alley we'd have 8 little oldstyle garages, probably hooked together. Well, let's have just one car and use the rest for storage, bikes, boats and workshops. Let's get this thing going as an institute of some kind. A nonprofit. No property taxes. Live cheap. Live civilized. It's a thought!