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COUNTRY CONNECTIONS: It's not time to be a retiring person

I don't know if someone is trying to tell me something, but for the second time in three years I've received an invitation from the AARP to join its membership.

I don't know if someone is trying to tell me something, but for the second time in three years I've received an invitation from the AARP to join its membership.

Although after celebrating my birthday last week I'm only two years away from qualifying for membership, I still was a bit miffed to have a membership card with my name on it. In case you've never received a letter from AARP, the organization is for people over 50. I have nothing against getting older, I just don't want to accelerate my aging.

This year, especially, I'm going to try and savor every minute of it because come next December I'll not only be saying hello to a new year, but also a new decade. I know that 50 is supposed to be the new 40, but it still will take some getting used to being a half-century old.

Even when I do hit that milestone, I doubt I'll be ready to sign up for AARP membership. Retirement is not yet on my radar, and with a daughter who only will be 6 and sons who will be 10 and 12 when I do qualify, I don't think I'll be mailing in my registration card anytime in the near future.



That's OK because I would much rather be attending baseball, basketball and football games, watching elementary school Christmas programs and making cupcakes for birthday parties than taking a cruise.

I have a feeling that after a few days on a boat in the middle of a large body of water I'd start to feel claustrophobic. I get antsy after only a couple of hours on the water at a lake and want to get back to land where I can accomplish something.

Finding a way to do that so I will feel "fulfilled" certainly won't be difficult for me during my 50s and into my 60s. I will be 62 when Ellen graduates, so chances are I will continue to work for at least the next 15 years. That means I wouldn't be able to take advantage of AARP's membership benefit of protecting pension rights and Social Security.

My work won't be limited to my day job. I won't have much time to be putting up my feet on the couch at home during the next decade and a half with pre-teen and teenaged children, a menagerie of animals and a century-old house to help take care of.

BenefitsOne thing that does interest me about the AARP membership is the access to health-related benefits, including dental care.

However, I have a feeling that the insurance plans probably don't include provisions for paying for braces for children. Nor do I think that I could convince the AARP to help me get reimbursed for the reading glasses I have to buy to read the fine print on the children's Tylenol.

Somehow, I'll just have to get along without the trustworthy information and guidance, protection of my health, money and career and its help "to make the most of life over 50."

But that's OK. I have a husband and three busy children who can do that and we're already signed up for active membership in our family.

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