'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
BABY BOOMER WORKS ON RETIREMENT PLANS
The other day I met with my financial advisor, Shifty McGillicuddy. His business card proudly proclaims, “Never been convicted!”
The purpose of our meeting was to review my retirement plans. Shifty analyzed my current savings and my various retirement accounts, which consist of a meager 401K, an even more meager IRA, and my ace in the hole: weekly purchases of lotto tickets. After factoring in the projected stability of the Social Security system eleven years from now, the year when I and about 8 billion other Baby Boomers will reach age 65, Shifty came up with the following retirement options for me:
Those options didn’t sound all that good to me, so I asked Shifty what financial strategies I could implement right now, strategies which might improve my retirement prospects in the future. He offered a number of suggestions. First he said I should not be so obsessed with age 65. It’s just an arbitrary number. I should shoot for a more reasonable age to quit working, an age when circumstances will be more financially advantageous for me, an age such as 97.
Then he said I should invest every penny I earn this year in a pension account. “But what will I live on now?” I asked. Shifty said, “Now?! You asked me about retirement. What am I suppose to do, solve ALL your financial problems?”
Next, Shifty advised that I could select “Option B” on my company’s retirement plan. I wasn’t familiar with it, so I looked it up. In typical legalese “Option B” reads as follows: “By choosing this option, enrolled employee agrees to remain employed fulltime until his or her 65th birthday. On said birthday, the enrolled employee agrees to experience a massive and fatal myocardial infarction, and slump face-first onto his or her desk, thereby ensuring that retirement funding will not be exhausted prematurely—although it might be noted the enrolled employee did become exhausted prematurely.”
Then Shifty offered what he called his “can’t miss” retirement plan. He said all I need to do is find a time machine, and go back to the year 1981 and get a job with the state. Then by the time I reach the year 2011, I will be able to retire with a full guaranteed pension, health insurance for life, and daily back rubs by a Swedish masseuse. (No, he was just kidding. Retired state employees don’t get daily back rubs by a Swedish masseuse. It’s weekly.)
I think my best strategy is “Option C”: keep buying lotto tickets.
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