I've been thinking a lot about age this week because a friend of mine recently retired. My golden years are still a way off, so it's hard to imagine what it would be like to not have a work routine any more, or how it would feel to receive your last pay cheque (frightening if you aren't financially prepared).
But I imagine that there are some positives, like never having to go to another meeting or having to deal with that ubiquitous difficult workmate, who seems to exist in every office around the world.
Of course, there are some days, after being up all night with a sick child, for instance, when I'd love nothing more than not to have to stress about heading into the office. Or to wile away my days doing what I want to do, rather than doing what somebody else wants me to do. But those wistful moments are more the exception than the rule.
Growing old, like death and taxes (except here, of course), as the saying goes, is a fact of life. Rich or poor, there's no escaping it, even if you have splurged on plastic surgery, Botox and fillers in an attempt to fool everybody that you are much younger than you really are.
As if growing old and facing retirement is not enough to contend with, it seems there are some other issues our "older" counterparts also have to experience as they wind down their careers and financial responsibilities, such as finally paying off the mortgage.
Take my recently retired friend. He arrived in the UAE two years ago to take up a job that would mark the final chapter in his career. When he arrived, he had to open a bank account for his salary to be transferred into, just like what every expat has to do when they arrive here.
But when it came to getting a credit card with that account, he had a much different experience from the rest of us simply because of his age.
It didn't matter that he had a job and a steady income. His age - at the time, he was 63 - was a barrier and the bank was firm.
My friend takes up the story.
"A representative of the bank came to my office and helped me and two other new colleagues open accounts. He completed the paperwork for them to receive credit cards, but turned to me and said I couldn't have one.
"'You're over 60,' he said. In fact, I had turned 63.
"'What does that have to do with whether I can get a credit card?' I asked.
"'It's the law,' he said. 'The government doesn't want people over 60 getting credit cards.'
"'But young people are the ones who don't pay their credit-card bills. Old people always pay their bills. That doesn't make sense.'
"I pestered the bank for a few weeks and finally a representative said I could have a card if I opened a special account and put Dh20,000 [US$5,444] in it. I said that was fine with me and I got the credit card, which I used for almost two years.
"I believe there was a Dh15,000 limit on the card. Whatever I owed on the card was automatically paid out of the Dh20,000 account. In turn, money from my regular account was regularly transferred to the credit-card account so that it was kept near the Dh20,000 required amount.
"I am now leaving the UAE and was settling up at my bank the other day. I had to fill out special paperwork to close the credit-card account. The bank representative serving me said, 'the age limit is now 65'.
"He smiled and said he had no idea why they had raised the age limit."
I've since learnt that there is a phrase for what my friend experienced with his bank. It's called ageism and banking. And it means that older people are penalised by banks and financial institutions when it comes to credit and loans because of their age.
It doesn't seem to matter if they have a regular income. The practice happens in many parts of the world, but is not limited to the banking sector; insurance companies are also averse to the older policyholder.
In a world where many governments are revising up the official retirement age of their citizens because they can't afford for them to enjoy their golden years while they are still able to, it seems that many sectors, including banks, are way off the mark with their ageist policies.
If people are going to be forced to work into their 70s, then cutting off access to credit and other loan vehicles in their 60s is short-sighted, more so when so many banks are struggling to make a profit these days.
My friend is right. Older people always pay their bills.
And that, I believe, makes them worth banking on.