Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Nurse the Hate: Hate Retirement

It becomes apparent that this whole “Golden Age of Retirement” scam is a fixed game. My understanding of the social contract is this. You work hard from your early twenties though your mid sixties. You scrimp, save, and don’t allow yourself to enjoy things TODAY as you are saving The FUTURE. According to the 401k website at work and most TV commercials I see, you will then be somewhat grey but still athletic, and paired up with an equally trim and attractive age appropriate woman. You will probably be walking holding hands on a beach, or maybe having a picnic. You will be laughing, or maybe just a smug smile that says “I gave an investment house all my capital, and they placed it in a variety of securities that have allowed me to have the world by the balls. Look at what a smug fuck I am with my implied beachfront property and frisky wife.” That would be great if that happened.

I am fairly certain it will play out like this. The only ones that make money on the 401K will be the company that holds my money hostage until age 65. I will get roughly what I put in over the last 40 odd years if I somehow miraculously make it to retirement age prior to an ugly death. Phantom fees and unexplained market lapses will erode the rest of the “profit” leaving me a slim monthly budget. Social Security will be a trivia answer on Jeopardy (which will still be broadcast, and I will now in my sixties be oddly fascinated by).

If I make that Golden Age, the pharmaceutical companies will have conspired with Corporate Medicine to have me hooked up on a variety of expensive pills that actually cost pennies to make by Burmese Slave Boys whipped by Oppressive Dictator Slave Lords. I will have no insurance as I am no longer working, so my beachfront smug smile money will only go far enough for me to sit in a one bedroom apartment that smells vaguely like socks while watching TV and waiting for death. God forbid if I linger too long after retirement age, as I will have to empty out my coffers completely to get shoved into an “assisted living” home. The “assisted living” is just me in a ranch style cheap hotel attended to by a variety of high school dropouts that may or may not flip me over on my soiled mattress so I don’t get bed sores. I will stare vacantly ahead, and wish I was walking along a particular stretch of California coastline with the breeze in my face.

Do I really have another 25 years of labor? Another 25 years of listening to people fearfully discussing the Economy like Chicken Little? Six more presidential elections to have to watch coverage on and pretend I care? Should I just empty out the fund, buy a Porsche and start writing stupid songs 24/7? Do the Daredevils have a benefits package? Has Leo been stashing money away for a rainy day? God, I hope so.

I think the real answer is to stop screwing around with the 401K scam, and just get down to real gambling. The bookies at least hit you with fees you understand. $11 to win $10. Winner take all. If I took everything in my savings, and just let it ride on one game this weekend, and hit… What if you didn’t have to work again? Is it worth the risk? What if you just took a year’s salary? If you hit, you take next year off. It is an interesting idea, isn’t it? And to think I had Oakland +145 last night. Damn.


At September 14, 2011 at 11:01:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This sums up the whole retirement picture right here.......

In the Investment/Drug/Life is good commercials and brochures you have happy pepper-haired couples wasting the day away in their two $900 teak Adirondack Chairs. Usually gazing into the sunset via a lake or seascape.

The reality is (and you see this everywhere) you can only afford the $19.95 vinyl version from home depot. You buy two and a pot of marigolds and set them in your front yard. You never sit in them because you are two busy with your "working" retirment. You just move them every week because you have to mow the lawn.

At September 15, 2011 at 12:13:00 AM EDT , Blogger AZ said...


That is why I retired from Coca-Cola after 3 years in my late 20's. I had to un-retire 9 months later, but I figured retire when I am young and can do stuff and after watching me basically lose everything that entered into my 401k for at least 5 years, it clearly is time to drop nickels and dimes in the fall.

1-0-1 ATS has us on the right track.

At September 15, 2011 at 2:03:00 PM EDT , Blogger Field Marshal Rommel said...

"Retirement" is a marketing word. It means nothing. It's an attractive sounding word which has no purpose other than to seduce and separate people from their money for some sort of chance at wealth down the road. It is indeed a scam and racket. Over the past 3 years, I have cleared out 23 years of accumulated "investments" derived from a soulless corporate cubicle farm career. These "investments" only served, over time, to fatten the wallets of a slew of faceless people who were making a guaranteed commission each and every year off of my hard earned dollars. I have since sunk each and every penny into a bar/brewery where I have sole control of my investment. Best decision I've ever made.

At September 16, 2011 at 3:37:00 PM EDT , Blogger Greg Miller said...

Rommel, you making the good beer yet?

At September 21, 2011 at 12:23:00 PM EDT , Blogger Field Marshal Rommel said...

Just finished up fermentation on a Pumpkin Weizen for next month's beer social and sampling at Hollywood. We expect to be fully operational next year. Lots of regulatory waters to maneuver in this here state. But we're still making and giving away our beer.

See ya soon!



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