My older brother in Holland just emailed me that he had decided to spend his savings for burial expenses on a new computer instead and I answered him that I heralded this true “living on the edge” decision.
It should be noted that his funeral savings mainly cover a euphemistic practice Dutch people call an after-the-cemetery-get-together “Coffee Table” to discuss the deceased’s life over some drinks and the obligatory food buffet; a bit New Orleans style without the drumband. The country is so socially structured that all other expenses are paid for out of lifelong tax contributions to the public funds.
In any case to share with you the kind of humor my brother inherited from our parents, he returned my encouragement with several pictures in this essay and a short note that the country now has raised the retirement age to 67 (when I left in 1980 it was 60 with options of 55. It seems that unemployment is on the rise and automation in the construction industry is costing jobs. Reportedly there are already kits in the market to make the motorized wheelbarrow go faster.
Human ingenuity is truly precious.