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Advertise on the Tentacle

April 15, 2007

Looking To Retirement?

Tom McLaughlin

Humor by Tom McLaughlin

Baby boomers are rapidly coming to retirement. I am glad I am at the tail end of this group because they will pave the way once they discover what their golden years are really like.

I subscribe to the AARP magazine. For those who are luckily enough and don't know, AARP stands for the American Association of Retired Persons. They assume I have a nice nest egg for my retirement, say a couple of million or so, slowly put away over a life time of work. They write articles about the best place to retire when, in reality, most of us are stuck in the house we purchased years ago.

We tried to put the money away, but for various reasons it just didn't work. The kid was allergic to breast milk and needed a substitute. Then came the braces. Then college Throw in a lay off or two, or three or four. Then a wife's layoff or two or three or four. Finally, when we got a few bucks together, came the 1987 stock market crash, the dot com implosion and Enron. This was the age of the investment counselor who got their commissions no matter how much money you lost.

The electric bill tripled. The cost of prescriptions, ounce for ounce, is the same as gold and in some cases, gold is cheaper. Our retirement fund went to the Bahamas. The medical plan is now Web MD where you diagnosis and treat yourself. This is the reason for the upswing in alternative medicines. Who can afford prescriptions?

Overjoyed, we watched our houses double and triple in value but now we can't sell them. The real estate agent tells us we need to upgrade everything to Space Shuttle standards. The counter tops have to be granite, the floors stone, the appliances stainless steel. She even said people want to take a warm shower longer than 30 seconds. Can you imagine that? The improvements cost more than the original price of the home.

I am going to start a newsletter for the rest of us who don't have a million dollar nest egg. Not that we didn't try. Some of the articles I have in mind include "How to Shower Using Rainwater while Living Under a Bridge;" or "The Best Times for Dumpster Diving." Others I have in mind are "Beating the College Students Out of Minimum Wage Jobs," and "How to Get an Extra Meal from Meals on Wheels." Still others are "Recipes for Cat," "How Oak Leaves Can Cure Arthritis," "Singing in the Rain with Your Hat Out," " Making Money the Easy Way through Your Photocopier," and "How to Return to the Hippie Philosophy of the 60's."

Won't retirement be wonderful, oh, fellow classmates of mine?

Yellow Cab
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