I invited my son-in-law to have dinner with me in the residential senior center where I live. He’s a busy guy and I was glad to get on his schedule. But then something came up with him. The afternoon before he was to come over, he phoned to say he had a conference call and wouldn’t be able to make it. Could we reschedule? I said yes.

Now, my choices were to either eat alone, stiff the dining room, or find somebody else to eat with. I know beggars can’t be choosers and whoever I found at this late hour was obviously not my first choice. I thought of someone. Butch. Yes, that’s what we’ll call him.

After some hemming and hawing, Butch finally said, “I can have dinner with you—but in the future, I’ll need twenty-four hours’ notice.” A quick look at my watch revealed dinner would be in exactly twenty-two hours. Wow, his social calendar had strict rules.

We entered the dining room and realized two old fellas eating together was an exception. A pair like this was usually subsumed in a table of eight that included a gaggle of women. Oh well, we’ll push on and be different tonight.

Dinner was pleasurable, I suspect for both. I had met Butch three years ago when he moved into our facility. He is a smart guy, in good health, and always tells the truth. However, he is opinionated and more than willing to share his views, so you need to be ready.

As we talked about our families and responsibilities earlier in life, Butch said, “As a journalism major, I started working as a newspaperman and later worked in public relations before retiring at fifty-five. Wow, I thought, that was thirty-five years ago.

He continued, “at the newspaper, I earned $40 a week and after several stops got up to $150 a week. Barely a living wage.” He told me that with a little help from his dad along the way, his wife working, and his own strict saving habits and prudent investments, the family prospered. Both of his daughters graduated from college debt-free and his grandchildren are moving on with successful work and family lives.

It was reassuring to talk with another man who believed that it wasn’t how much money you made, instead, it was how much you saved and how you managed it. And that there was no higher calling than for a family to work together to establish financial security and no better satisfaction in life than to watch new generations take over and, in some cases, do even better than we, who had for so long been their providers.

I do look forward to my upcoming dinner with my son-in-law, but truth be told, I couldn’t have had a better time than the one I had with Butch. Even when you are sure you have the right outlook, it is nice to have it affirmed. That makes you a winner twice.