Sunday, March 6, 2022

This Retirement Plan Is Offensive and Dumb

About 20 years ago, when I was a youngster in my mid-40s, I wrote a newspaper column describing my poor choices regarding retirement planning. It turns out hoping that a rich uncle will bequeath a ton of money to me when he dies only works if you have a rich uncle. I forgot that part. Also, buying lotto tickets instead of opening up an IRA account is a retirement strategy frowned upon by most financial advisors.
In that column, I jokingly mentioned that I was not worried about retirement income because I had selected Option B on the company retirement plan. Here is a description of Option B: on your 65th birthday, you have a massive heart attack at work and slump forward onto your computer keyboard. Problem solved! No need for retirement income.

Back when I wrote that, I thought it was funny and clever. Many times over the years I’ve written things that I thought were funny and clever, only to have alert readers send me email notes pointing out that what I wrote was actually offensive and dumb. (Way back in the olden days, I decided to call this column “A Matter of Laugh or Death.” Turns out, at least according to many readers, I could’ve called it “A Matter of Offensive and Dumb.”)

Anyway, now that my 65th birthday will be this Sunday, I’m the one who has to send an email note to myself pointing out that my column from 20 years ago was offensive and dumb. One good thing, however, is the certainty that what I described in that old column cannot possibly come true on my 65th birthday. That’s because it will be a Sunday and I won’t be at work. Oh, I still could slump forward onto my computer keyboard, dead as a doornail, but it will occur at home rather than at work. So, I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.
Let’s assume this Sunday comes and goes and I’m still around. I’d prefer the newspaper prints yet another offensive and dumb essay next week with my picture next to it rather than my obituary. Especially since I haven’t picked out an obit photo yet, and I don’t want them to use that same dopey snapshot from nine years ago that appears with my column each week and doesn’t even look like me anymore. (Did you ever notice that when you see a photo of yourself you immediately think, “Yeow, I look awful,” but then when you see that same photo five or 10 years later, you think, “Gee, I wish I still looked that good!”)

Yes, so let’s assume I’ll still be around for a while, which means Option B did not pan out, so we’re back to Option A on the company retirement plan. Unfortunately, Option A requires you to diligently sock away money each month into a retirement account, beginning no later than age 35. Hmm, I guess that ship has sailed.
All along I was focused more on Option C (rich uncle, who doesn’t exist) and Option D (lotto tickets). But the good news is, I learned recently that “65 is the new 55.” (I saw one article that claimed “65 is the new 45,” but everyone in their 60s — no matter how much delusional thinking we employ — knows that claim is plain crazy.) 

All I have to do is keep working for another 10 years. I’ll have plenty of retirement income during the next decade, just no retirement. Then, at age 75, I’ll implement “Option B plus 10” on the company retirement plan. Problem solved! So, I got that goin’ for me, which is nice, er, I mean, offensive and dumb. 

No comments:

Post a Comment