Charles A. Reich may have been on to something. Of course, you remember him: the Yale Law School professor who wrote The Greening of America back in 1970.
The revolution of Reich’s new generation didn’t happen, but then again, Consciousness III didn’t not happen. Many more do embrace spiritual success and personal happiness over material objects, or at least they claim to do so.
The big Cadillac, first-class plane tickets, Hermes ties, Nicole Miller scarves, and Ferragamos and Chanel might have been the benchmarks for the seniors of the last century, right when my generation claimed Burberry, Rolexes, and Gucci purses as signs of having made it. The logomania of the first decade of this century sent all of that mainstream, crashing and falling as the world went normcore. Now we sport Allbirds, LeSportsac, Champion, and Skechers, clothing bought at Costco and online. And many of us drive cars no flashier than a Honda Accord.
Money is still as fashionable as ever, but what we do with it has changed.
Geisha coffee, Jura coffee makers, Peloton bikes, cell phones costing more than a root canal, iPad Pros, L’Occitane soap, backyard fire pits, giant televisions, TV streaming services, Bose noise-masking headphones, an Apple watch and Air Pods, and high-end mattresses eat up discretionary income.
And that’s not counting the feta, Kerrygold butter, artisanal bread, free-range poultry, grass-fed beef, single-source chocolate, and craft beers that the generation before us would’ve considered fey and chichi.
This issue of Experience is all about what we do with our money in that seventh decade and beyond. Money won’t keep you totally safe from COVID-19 or nuclear war, but it can still buy you some measure of protection.
The quotidian routine of a regular work life, along with its rewards, is hard for many to give up. Ida Abbott explores how, why, when, and under what terms returning to work can make a big difference in “Retirement Is No Time to Stop Working.”
Mark Sullivan, a North Carolina family law practitioner, interviews two retired military lawyers about their practice in the military, why they left, their transitions to the civilian world, and what others can learn from their experiences in “Saying Farewell to the Military.”
Before the Constitution did, how did the Supreme Court protect Black Americans? Free states, manumission by will and deed, and proving free status are issues explored by Thomas J. Shaw, weighing in from Ireland, in “The Liberty of Black Americans Before the 13th Amendment.”
If you’ve been thinking about writing your way to fame, glory, and lucre, you’ll definitely enjoy Hoosier lawyer Stephen Terrell’s “The Business of Writing.” He lays out a roadmap for getting a manuscript through the rocky shoals of revising, rewriting, reshaping, to finding an agent, self-publishing, and finally getting it into print, on the shelves, and into the hands of readers.
Leasha West is back with solid advice about avoiding Medicare fraud in “Silence of the Scams,” where she asks: Why is nobody talking about the $60 billion lost annually to cheaters of this government health program? Check it out to find out how you can avoid becoming a victim of Medicare fraud and help prevent fraud on the system.
And Jeffrey Allen and Ashley Hallene chime in with “The 4 Ws to Ask When You Buy Your Next Mobile Device.”
Thank you for being an American Bar Association member, for supporting the Senior Lawyers Division, and for reading our prize-winning flagship magazine. Don’t hoard your back copies of this magazine like heirlooms to be handed down to the next generation. Share this issue with others you think might enjoy it—even if they’re not lawyers. And please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, telling me what you’d like to see in upcoming issues.
jennifer j. rose
jennifer j. rose is retired and living in Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico, where she serves as chair of the Experience Editorial Board, a member of the Voice of Experience board, vice-chairs the SLD Book Publishing Board, and acts as list manager and den mother of the SoloSez® listserve. She edited Second Acts for Solo and Small Firm Lawyers.