In a few years, this blog will focus on the concerns of “fifty-something” professors. Retirement communities in Florida and California will be the main topic of discussion. Before that comes the fiftieth birthday party. Should it be “celebrated” with  a public gathering of some sort, ignored completely, or with some significant event involving just the nuclear family?  In investigating the final option a few years in advance, expecting to be really decrepid by then and hence need a lot of help to move around, I looked at the National Geographic tours. They have a sophisticated pricing scheme:

                                  Tier Pricing

Our trip costs are determined by group size. (As you can imagine, we’re able to secure lower per-person rates with
larger groups.) When you sign up for a trip, its highest cost will be noted on your initial invoice and then adjusted 30
days prior to your departure. If for any reason the group falls below the minimum number of guests, a small group
surcharge may be applied. (We have found that our guests prefer to pay a bit more rather than have their trip canceled.)
Please note that trip physicians, lecturers, and GeoEx staff are not included in the guest count to determine per-person
trip cost.

For an exotic trip to Turkey, this boiled down to: $9350 (6–7 guests), $7950 (8–9 guests), $7450 (10–11 guests), $6350 (12 guests).

The higher the volume, the lower the price. No penalty for booking early. But at these prices, I’m leaning towards ignoring the 50th landmark completely and putting the money down for a foreclosed home in Florida.