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Would Ben Franklin Retire?....I Asked Him

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

He is actually a fun guy!

Here is the game: I transported back to Independence Hall and caught Ben going in. I'm a reporter and I asked him whether he would retire now that he was 65.

And Ben Says: "Well, my dear friend, in this time, reaching the age of 65 is quite a milestone indeed. However, I must say that I have never truly retired. I continue to engage in various intellectual pursuits and public service, and will keep doing so well into my later years. You see, I believe that one should never cease to contribute to the betterment of society, regardless of age. So, while I might have taken a step back from certain responsibilities, I would encourage anyone to stay active and continue to make a positive impact on the world, even in their later years. And as long as possible!

So I asked: "Great! What are your main goals after 65?"

And Ben Says: "Well my friend, besides being grateful daily that I have not yet joined my Deist companions (God Rest Their Souls), my goals revolve around continuing to serve my country and society. Here's a couple of my thoughts on that:

First , writing and publishing: I write a lot - I may do an autobiography. It's important to keep sharing with others however you do it. I used to have an almanac you may recall. It made some money. Today, it's big ideas that get me, like:

Public Service: There's always committees and councils and volunteer work. I can teach people how to cooperate. And then I love

Scientific Pursuits: I've had a lifelong passion for science and invention. I'm fascinated by electricity. What the hell is it? I think it is related to lightning but can't prove it - yet.

I continue to advocate for Philanthropy - giving back to the community. There's various charitable causes and institutions around here, including libraries and educational initiatives. Penn needs a University. And it would be good for Philadelphia.

That's the best I can do on the spot, but I am curious to know why you ask me these things, since this concept of "retiring" is unfamiliar - it seems like withdrawing. Withdrawing is a poor health practice. Who would not know this? Not news.

I guess you could say that my goals after the age of 65 continue to evolve around intellectual pursuits, continued public service, and the pursuit of knowledge for the betterment of society."

What Does This Mean to Us Today?

The point here is that playing is something you do not want to lose, and, combined with curiosity, you can have a lot of fun at any age. You are not OLD. You are still young in many ways. Over the centuries explorers have searched for the Fountain of Youth even as it sits under their very noses.

The above paragraph was a way for me to play with CHATGPT. It's merely a new way to research our vast world, and it is playful in that it simulates talking back to you.

It forces you to think about what the next question might be. As you live a long life and put more life into your years, you can keep finding ways to play and be curious in most everything.

What Can I Do About This?

As Ben said: In the 1700s, reaching 65 was a real feat. The life expectancy was very low, on the average, compared to today. Ben did a lot of things to make sure he was one of the longer lived citizens. From his Monday night Juntas (social) to his risk taking (Playing with lightning) he pursued life without withdrawing from it.

If you are over 50, your own expectancy is now largely up to your choices. You have more choices than Ben, both good and bad. If you choose correctly, you can be assured that your remaining years will be satisfying, exciting, AND fun!

Try ChatGPT with a friend - Who would you like to talk to? Socrates? Plato? Alexander the Great? Charlie Brown? Get ready to be surprised!

A Quote: "Six is the Best Age. All Are Great, But Six is Best". - Unknown

Happy Days Ahead

Joe Grant, MBA

Certified Retirement Coach

Contact me for a Free 45 minute Consultation at

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