Retirement Talk

WHAT to do with the rest of your life?


Episode 541(331) Out of It

This is Retirement Talk. I'm Del Lowery.

Sometimes I feel so out of it. When I stepped into the world of retirement I never thought I was leaving the real world. Now it seems like I see something, read something or hear of something of which I know nothing every day.

Harper's recently published a little fact that there was over one billion dollars spent one-cigarettes in the US last year. I didn't even know what an e-cigarette was. But now I do. I have  seen them but I don't know anyone who has "smoked" one. I'm not even sure it is called "smoking".

My son told me that he knows people who smoke them or use them. He said that it gives you a jolt of nicotine without any smoke going into your lungs. It is electronic: thus the name e-cigarettes. Some of the people in his office use them. I guess you just turn them on and the end glows red, or green, or whatever color you want, like it is burning but it isn't. There's a battery. You plug it in just like an smart phone and recharge it. One cartridge is equivalent to 20 cigarettes or one pack.

My wife looked it up on Google and found it is a electronic inhaler that vaporizes a liquid  into an aerosol mist that is taken down into your lungs. I have no idea how much one costs but spending over a  billion dollars on them last year; that is what caught my attention.

Just a few years ago before checking through security at two different airports I had to present my boarding pass. Then I noticed some people just held their phones up to this little screen and were checked through. I asked the agent what that was all about. She smiled and said that she didn't know how it worked but some people just hold their phone up and all the information appears on a screen for her. Once again I found myself on the outs. Of course, now I do the same thing. It even works on Amtrak.

Today I talk to an echo dot from Amazon and ask it to play a certain radio station, or a particular piece of music, or the news, or the weather. I don’t have to get up from my chair. I can tell it to pause, to increase or decrease the volume or to turn the lights in the room up or down, or the heat in the room up or down. Or I can ask it to make a phone call - all without moving.

Is there a solution to this dilemma of progressively getting farther and farther behind the times: of not understanding the world in which we live? My approach has been to try to keep in touch with the latest technology. Our son has kept us connected. He likes to hang out on the edge of what is happening in the tech world. I'm not sure how long this will last. He has always been more interested in the gaming world of which I have zero interest. Our paths coincide when it comes to reading books, newspapers or magazines with electronic assistance or with music or watching television or movies online.

When I launched into developing a podcast I found myself on my own. It hasn't been easy. I spend a lot of time on google looking at "how to... do one thing or another to a web site" and recording and creating a podcas. I am always needing assistance figuring out how something works. Or why something doesn't work. Today I turn to YouTube, or my granddaughter, more than Google. I usually find it easier to follow a video or her than a printed page.

One good thing about always feeling "out of it" is that it always gives you something new to learn each day. My old high school psych teacher taught us that we need to continue our learning all the days of our life because it makes life more interesting. Little did she know the kind of world that we would live in 50 years hence. It’s almost a requirement.

This is Retirement Talk.

If you have questions, comments or suggestions contact



Follow Retirement Talk on Facebook: on Facebook