Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Beep (pause) Beep (pause) Beep

You know those cars that have safety back-up sensors. They detect objects behind the car when you put it in reverse and alert the driver by specialized beeps. Here is how they work:

The first zone is the safe zone. By being silent it assures you that there is not an object in the immediate vicinity.
The second zone is the caution zone. This zone typically is set to start when an object is 2-4 feet away and is noticeable by a constant beeping sound.
The third zone is the warning or stop zone. This is typically set from 6 inches to two feet. When an object gets this close the beeping sound will change pitch and will increase speed alerting the driver to stop.
The fourth zone is the crash zone.

Here is how it works with retirement.
The first zone is the safe zone. Mostly we do not think about retirement too much.
The second zone is the caution zone. We talk to financial advisors. And the phrase, “After retirement, we won’t be able to. . .” becomes more frequent.
The third zone is when we downsize to a smaller home and talk about a retirement date.
The fourth zone is when a gold watch is awarded, and everybody kisses and hugs and you go home and mostly stay there. (Actually I just made that up about the gold watch and the kisses and hugs.)

So I have been hearing the retirement beep (long pause) beep (long pause) beep, for the last six years. I have gotten rather accustomed to it and was quite able to tune it out. However, lately the beeps are getting higher in pitch and closer together. (It may just be that the Christmas bills have come in.) However, after listening last night, I think we are somewhere between the caution and warning zone.

Bob has asked me to get the house ready to sell! Yipes!

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