Ahem brother audiophile!
So sorry for you hearing loss.
Several years ago after getting back into vinyl, via eBay I obtained a MFSL Beatles box set from a gent who was reducing his collection due to age and hearing loss. I too thought how very sad that was.
Upon turning 50ish, I realized that along with other potential age induced ailments, hearing loss was a distinct possibility. I therefore stepped up my game relative to considering a bigger investment in the audio passion that I've so enjoyed since my preadolescent years and I'm so happy that I did!
Having a temporary hearing loss over the last couple of weeks due to sinus issues and left ear blockage (approx 75%) gave me great pause for concern; mainly because spine and hip issues over the last year, have precluded me from many activities that I formerly took for granted. Thus, my entertainment pleasures are more limited to the audio room than ever before and are so dependent on hearing acuity.
I suspose my point is to say that I never regretted dissipating some of my frugality in my 50's relative to audio expenditures.
we work hard enough to reach pension and then lucky if few years left after. what is hearing loss after that? shocking loss, but nevertheless, i wish him to continue living and enjoy regardless of having or not having equipment or hobby. if he happens to live in legal states, he can get rx for pot and relax. if i were him i'd just smoke pot and play poker online.
Financial priorities change with age. But I'm 62 and still willing to upgrade, although most would regard my system as mid-fi. My upper frequency hearing has been diminished (according to testing) since I was in my 40's but I can still distinguish fine levels of difference in sound production and reproduction. If and when that goes I won't have to bother with the next upgrade, I suppose. Do what's right for the situation you're presently in, I reckon. Nothing is forever.
BTW, Czarivey, some folks are wary of the effect of present-day pot on aging lungs. It's a young man's game.
I am also 62 and have spent a lifetime exercising and enjoying sports of all types. One of the real blessings in my life right now is to enjoy the home that we completed just outside of Yellowstone Park. I designed in seven different AV systems each of which excels in something different. This includes a reference Home Theater room, a reference 2 Channel room, a multichannel system for the gym, a house system for the great room, an indoor/outdoor system for the sunroom and outdoor patio/fire pit, a system for the master bedroom, and a system for the massage/fly tying room. This may sound like overkill, but we use every one of these system almost on a daily basis. Also, it wasn't that expensive due to being an AV enthusiast over the course of 40+ years and trying to be creative with all the equipment I managed to collect along the way.
The biggest challenge was to make everything pretty much disappear in each room with virtually no visible wiring. To that end I think we have accomplished that and look forward each day to the adventure of old/new music/films and the beauty of creation. I am thankful now that I refrained from the use of anything addictive, other than obviously being an audiophile.
This is a great hobby and it is worth the effort to stay healthy to enjoy it over a lifetime.
Czarivey, Willie had trouble breathing at high altitude a couple of years back and had a collapsed lung 20 years ago. I admire his fortitude and tenacity but I don't think he's a poster child for smokers. Not everyone has his strong constitution.
Anyway, I think the occasional toe in the waters is fine but I don't recommend it on a daily basis.