Is the Next Best Generation Saying Goodbye?

for-anniversary-sepiaI had a getting-to-the-end-of-the-year tax planning phone meeting with my long time accountant the other day. Well, actually it wasn't with my longtime accountant. The meeting was with a perfectly capable younger accountant to whom he has transferred the nuts and bolts of my financial life. It's a phenomenon that I am experiencing more and more. It's not about me; it's about the aging of my generation.

The changes were presaged when my dentist merged his solo practice with a larger group a few years ago. My dentist was assuredly NOT of my generation. He has been taking whacks at my teeth since I was a pre-teen. He has always been good for a lament about the White Sox (except in glorious 2005) and one awful off-color joke. But Florida fairways have been calling to him with ever-growing frequency and it has become hard to schedule my 6-month visits with him. Through no active choice of my own, I have become a patient of the youngster in the practice, who will now be responsible for my continued ability to chomp on granny smith apples as my old fillings begin to crumble.

Next, my internist, another White Sox fan, announced his imminent retirement while spreading the word that his nephew would be joining his practice. The implications were clear. This time I took action, reasoning that as long as I was going to need a new internist, I might as well choose one closer to home and with more experience than a newbie (I know, I know, I was once a young physician too.) So I made the switch, even though in the interim Internist #1 has delayed his retirement. I've had some nice conversations with my new practitioner, though I have not yet broached whether she is a Sox or Cubs fan.

Oh, and Barb and I had a nice Greek dinner with our financial advisor the other evening. Let me clarify. It was with our financial advisor and his son. Yup, the transition there has begun there as well, as Advisor Père spends more time roasting in Arizona while Advisor Fils assumes the duties of safeguarding our future retirement. I hope the young whipper-snapper knows what the word means, and the fears that can accompany approaching it!

There have been a few exceptions to the hand-over pattern. When my corporate attorney passed away at a much-too-young age, his office mate declined to take over our file. But since my new corporate attorney is older than I am by a year or three, I expect I will be introduced to a young go-getter the next time I need a legal consultation. My hair-stylist still has three kids in grammar school. I suspect I will be her client as long as there are hairs on this head--at least another year or two. As for my tennis trainer, he will never retire; he'll still be telling me to get my toss up higher when he is six feet lower.

As my contemporaries say sayonara, their gravity exerts its pull on me. We aren't the "Greatest Generation," but maybe we are the "Next Best Thing" and it will soon be time to relax.

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