When "super-wife" and I left the local Social Security office yesterday, the question hit me like a brick.
"Does this make me a senior citizen," I asked her as we drove out of the parking lot? I had just provided the final information to start receiving benefits in late October about one month after my 62nd birthday. I am a member of the first class of baby-boomers born in the first year right after the end of World War II.
We are a large demographic group that has seen our parents transition through these changes from an everyday job to retirement to Social Security. Along with these changes comes the challenge of re-engineering your identity and your purpose.
For the past few years when asked about my age, I'd quip that I'm a senior citizen in-training. It was an easy answer that usually got a few chuckles and didn't require me to think much about the new chapter of my life that had been opened.
When I asked my wife her opinion about whether she thought I had officially crossed over into the land of senior citizens and the discounts that come with it, she smiled and said I had.
So, there I am.
I'm a senior citizen.
Today, when I go to my friend Ken's house for lunch, I need to stop at McDonalds and hoist a reduced cost cup of coffee and do it with pride.
By the way, I applied for benefits online. It was easier than I thought it would be. I had to visit the local office once to verify my time in the military.
Like a young Cub Scout walking over the bridge to the highest rank, I've crossed over.