Letters to the Editor: The Joys of Reaching 80

Michael chooses to count his blessings as a significant birthday comes and goes!

There are benefits in getting older – and especially on reaching 80! I had not realised this until two official letters fell through my letterbox, at different times. One announced an “Age Addition of 25p per week” to my State Pension and the other announced “extra money for people who were aged 80 or over” on the Winter Fuel Payment.

These gifts were unexpected and I though that other, who are looking forward to a “significant” birthday might be encouraged to keep healthy and active in order to earn their rewards!

Some have suggested that these gifts are patronising and ask “what can you buy for 25p?” But our generation was encouraged (perhaps forced by circumstance) to be grateful for what we had. So, let’s thank whoever proposed and supported these 80+ gifts and enjoy them while we can. They keep on saying that we are living too long and are causing problems as a result so, when benevolence still exists, a grateful and graceful acceptance seems in order.

Eighty may just be one of those artificial “lines in the sand”. In truth, I don’t suddenly become a different person when I celebrate this “significant” birthday. However, whilst 80 remains one of those stages in life, it can be something to enjoy – and a chance to say thank you for survival and for all we have been able to do and enjoy, thus far. Thank you everyone for your support and for my extra 25p per week and the Winter Fuel Payment top up!