Affording the “Golden Years”

One of the most important topics once you reach the “ripe old age of 50” as many of our readers have. Surprisingly, it’s less a matter of how much money you have.  Really more a matter of managing yourself and expectations.

Today we talk about the Art of Retiring. To where?  While “big city life” may be a constant buzz of “social and cultural” the CV-19 data is making ta strong case that cities may not be the best place to :happily ever-after”  Especially if you’re trying to “get something out of life” beyond a fat paycheck and a commute.

We won’t do too much math, but if you spend 30-minutes each way to work, that’s five-hours a week, or 250-hours per 50-week year.  Over 35-years of working?  218.75 forty-hour work-weeks.  Equivalent to 4.2-YEARS of work.  Just to show up…

Now imagine, if you will, having a commute time of zero…  Maybe we should be thanking CV-19 for reminding us how we’re each guilty of  personal malinvestment of time?

As a warm-up, we’ll serve a string of headlines and a run through the latest virus numbers and outlooks, plus those ADP Job numbers just crossing and how that impacts our ChartPack series including the 1929 replay view.

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25 thoughts on “Affording the “Golden Years””

  1. When we turned 60, we realized that we could no longer keep up with our berry farm (strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries), so we sold it. My spouse and I were both still working. I am a programmer, and she is an RN. And, then we looked for another place in the country through ( We found a beautiful place with 10 wooded acres, a stream at the back, 60 miles from downtown Kansas City. 3 bedrooms, about 2400 square feet in the house. Buying a place through HUD is a little different. These are all property repossessions and there are always some issues that arise after you buy the place. But, you can often find really good deals. The website allows you to search nationwide for property that you might like.

  2. Things I’ve learned from this crisis:

    1. Commuting is for suckers, or people who like to see the same stretch of town each morning and night for no other reason than to see it.

    2. Starbucks is for suckers, or people who can’t do math. I am getting $40-50 “Starbucks” value from each 7 dollar bag of coffee.

    3. Bars are for suckers. Paying a 6-pack price for one drink should explain itself.

    4. Restaurants are for suckers. The price of lunch for my family at a hip eatery (including drinks) is enough to fill the tank on my Jeep. One thing gets you a trip to the bathroom later, the other a trip across our beautiful state. This comes down to knowing the difference between price and value.

    The only thing I need is a proper hair cut. And at $100 annually, I’m a cheap date. There’s value to looking right, even while working from home.

    • Haircuts are for suckers. Every 3-months, or when it gets in the way, I whip out the Wahl haircutting rig with a 1/2″ guide on it. About 10–minutes of back and forth from every which-way and it looks good. Then, Elaine does the ear and neck trim with my beard trimmer set down low. For a one-time $30 bucks 19 years ago on the boat, I have saved $60-$100 per year in haircuts..

      • I might as well go that route, George. It’s almost impossible to find a good, old fashioned barber that has the talent to do a good cut. Instead, pretty much the only thing left are the “chop shops” that start every conversation in the chair with “Ju wanna wun er a too er a tree?” I’m glad they have a job but it ain’t worth what they’re charging.

      • Dear Mr. Ure,

        Thank you for the barberic home clipper suggestion. Of course there remains the round pudding bowl haircut solution that has stood the test of time from Robin Hood’s Friar Tuck, to the 30’s Three Stooges, to the more hip 60’s Moptops.

        May I make mention of a most entertaining though eye-rolling article appearing in print a couple of days ago – “Now and Then” by historian Allan Levine. Mr. Levine extolled Mrs. Clinton as “intelligent, reflective, funny and honest” in the March premiere of the documentary “Hillary”. Originally the series was not follow a triumphant 2016 march to coronation at the White House.

        Well as one knows since, at a failed red zone push, someone else has ended up “carrying the football” into the history books.

        Mr. Levine describes it thusly: “Luke Skywalker (did) not defeat Darth Vader; Harry Potter (did) not vanquish Voldemort.”

        Instead, as I read further, the current Potus offered “unhinged rants at his campaign rallies,…and Mussolini-style nationalism,…”

        Oh, my! Oh, my! Mr. Levine closes out with a vintner’s sour grapes diatribe that 2016 should have been Mrs. Clinton’s win “if life were a Hollywood movie”.

        Indeed, it’s a tome for our times of sorts, but alas the hour was late and the Cinderella close ended up canned in the dustbin of time.

        Toss a Carol Burnett mophead in the bucket, and let’s hear one more from the lads before they bid a good night!


  3. George,

    Good PN column this morning. I could write a post equally as long talking about the ‘sweat’ route, which is my preferred method.

    What I really want to do is talk about some numbers and then about assessing personal risk.

    First, the numbers. I keep seeing CV-19 mortality numbers being presented as now north of 70k, but that’s not what the CDC is reporting. The CDC is reporting (rounded up by me) CV-19 mortality as of 5 May at 40k. Pneumonia deaths are at 67k, Flu is at 6k, CV-19 WITH pneumonia is at 18k and all deaths together 95k. Here’s the link:

    You tell me, which numbers are right?

    Now for assessing personal risk. I’ve been looking for a place to put this out there. I don’t do social media posts, so y’all have won the coin toss.

    The average person has no training in assessing and mitigating risk, personal or otherwise. Most people assume an enormous amount of risk in their daily lives without a second thought. A few of the most dangerous usual suspects are driving, diet, vices, etc. We mitigate these risks by taking safety precautions like wearing a seat belt while driving, eating healthy, drinking in moderation and on and on. Still these things are dangerous and eventually one of these is going to kill you. Then there are the outliers. Things like accidents, getting struck by lightning or hit by a meteor. What are you gonna do?

    There’s no way to live a risk-free life. It’s not possible. So, what do you do? You look at all the things that cause risk to you, then you prioritize them from most dangerous to least dangerous, you then look at ways to mitigate them and then you put the risk mitigation in place. Then you review and rearrange the list based on reassessed risk with mitigation measures in place.

    What you end up with is a list of stuff that you should spend some time thinking about/acting on and a list of stuff that is either not risky enough to worry too much about or that you can’t do anything about anyway.

    Most of the real killers on the list don’t get so much as a second glance from most folks. They speed when driving and probably text/drive distracted, too. They have poor diets and all around poor habits. These things kill hundreds of thousands of people every year and they’re all preventable. Who cares? Apparently no one.

    So, where does the ‘pandemic’ fall on the list of priorities? Based on the data, it’s way down on my list. The reason for this is mitigation is reasonably easy, which makes it unlikely that I will contract it and if I do contract it the predictable outcome is that I will recover. A small secret to staying healthy is that I already treat the whole world like it’s caring Ebola or rabies year round. I’ve been doing this for years and it works. I also take a little Kentucky bourbon if I feel a little crud coming on (and when I don’t). I haven’t been sick in years (knocking on wood).

    Personally, I think if we really cared about saving lives we’d shut the country down so that fast food/processed food could be outlawed, that the training to earn a driver’s license should be as rigorous as a pilot’s license and that professional journalists should have a professional registration like doctors, geologists/engineers and lawyers. Of course, I have a lot of other crazy ideas like abolishing time zones and using one global clock.

    • This is really simple using the deaths per week metrics. All deaths for a particular region. How far above the baseline are deaths during this covid outbreak vs baseline. Maybe something like this is what you are looking for as people are constantly complaining about people improperly reporting random deaths as covid. Unless you know of something else going on, I don’t see any other cause of these excess deaths, that take into account flu, influenza and every other dead person.

      Graphs show the gap between the total number of people who died from any cause, and the historical average for the same place and time of year

      Now I am not saying we should be in lockdown. I believe in freedom as individuals. Though I also believe that freedom does come with some responsibilities to help others when the situation allows. Using DATA, we should be able to agree Covid has caused a lot of deaths above baseline. We can also agree that we should have freedom of movement, but please stop messaging Covid has as small of impact as the Flu, it just isn’t true.

      • hahaha – a Rothchild Owned and Controlled ‘”conservative” news source- really..thats rich.

    • “we’d shut the country down so that fast food/processed food could be outlawed”

      The CV panic would have killed 10s of 1000s via starvation. I’m constantly amazed/appalled by the number of “under-50s” who can’t cook — or even boil water.

      “that the training to earn a driver’s license should be as rigorous as a pilot’s license”

      D’you know anyone who’s gotten a driving license in Germany? If so, ask them the process (hint: It’s usually months long, even for an experienced driver, and costs the equivalent of several thousand dollars…)

      “professional journalists should have a professional registration”

      What are those?

      The kiddies coming out of CSB and the colleges are taught advocacy rather than impartiality, and the faces on the tube are nearly all attorneys who couldn’t make a living as attorneys, or are ex-government hacks…

      Nancy Grace, a lawyer, is probably the closest thing on any news network to an “investigative journalist,” and she’s a scare-monger yellow journalist with a permanent case of fake indignation who couldn’t investigate her eyelashes without help from her staffers. Sean Hannity is not a journalist at all, but has done more IJ work in the past couple of years than all the “journalists” on all the “news” networks, combined. I frankly don’t care to listen to either, but at least they are honest enough to wear their agendas on their sleeves. AFAIK Andrew Wilkow is the only National face (voice?) who actually has an actual degree in Journalism (unless you want to count Sarah Palin) and he’s a talker, not a news or investigative journalist…

      • Good points all and, believe it or not, I have personally gotten a driver’s license in Germany (back before the Euro) and it was a tough process, but I was spared the cost because it was for military purposes.

  4. Golden Years ?!?!

    What chu talking bout Willis?

    I dont see it G-man – rare is the “bird” that takes Retirement in time.

    The majority of people I have observed over the last 10 years or so NEVER retire in time to enjoy Squataa.

    For some reason Retirement is considered a bad thing it seems, like growing older is a bad thing.

    So most peeps are not even aware of where they stand in regards 401k( how much $ per monthly contribution they need make to get to “Plan”).

    Company paid retirement Health Bennies, and what their Expenses in Retirement would/could look like.

    Corporate Culture seems to Undervalue Retirement at best.

    Personal experience for myself and Spouse was one of mostly Surprise, Shock and Anger – yes Anger. Seems some our peers were angry due our taking retirement before they did – older peers. We both retired from Corporate in our mid 50’s – FIRE.

    We were both driven by a strong desire to get out of Debt and get out of Corporate before it took our Health/Lives. This is what I see time and time again – it is “the rule” – Work as long as possible until Ure health gives in. Retire, Battle Health Issues/Cancer and or Heart Conditions, Die relatively early. Sounds like fun, no? Yet that is the typical route I see most take.

    The get out of Debt mindset came about after buying a McMansion in 2004/5 (2 – mortgages w/counrtywide) and squeaking out in a Short Sale in 2008 – barely got out of that mess with my ass in intact..barely.
    Second mortgage was bought by scummy debt collection agency for pennies on the dollar – missed that action during “negotiations” with bank for main mortgage..duhoooh!

    2nd mortgage came back to bite off what little was growing back on my ass several years later – when I noticed some F-ery on my Credit Report..”W.T.F. is That!?”

    Long story short – that cost me .58 cents on the dollar to settle.FMTT’s

    Family went thru hell during that time – kids in 11th and 8th grade – had to move to rental (historic house on historic creek/river) learned some hard ass lessons about People, Family, Banks, and Lawyers.

    We emerged from my self dug financial hole – stronger, leaner, and much tougher. 9th grader is 4th year med student, 12th grader after successful 5yr career in Biotech Tech is attending World Renowned MBA program – Overseas.

    So it is GOOD, enlightening, and entertaining to read/hear about others who R DOING Retirement.
    Yes, it a good idea to have a Plan on how to get to Retirement and even better idea to WORK the Plan – just like Sales ..Plan Ure Work and Work Ure Plan.

    Yes it is a good idea to have Plan on What to do in Retirement as well..volunteer, teach, part time employment,trade options, baby sit grandkidz, hobbies, continuing Education classes, chase the missus around ..

    Now where did mrs coot get too..?

  5. “Come on…how many people do you know who looked at life, retirement, and all that and made the conscious decision to move to the least-tax and best weather location they could find subject to other criteria?”

    “Make a little side bet?  NO ONE!”

    Ahem! (Raises Hand) ME! [Pay up on that bet now.]

    And it was just a short island-hop away from the big city, big money career I used to have. Between my Social Security and a pension payment that is too small to be taxed… I have the income equivalent of a $60K ‘taxable’ job after the tax payments… without the tax hassles. Home is paid for… no debt… and I’m having more tun than I can handle.

  6. “isn’t the Moon already an all-American outpost?
    Unless, of course, we didn’t really…. (Go ahead…see what answers fit…) ”

    I had the pleasure of knowing one of the leading scientists in charge of the apollo missions to the moon.
    We would go out for coffee and star gazing late at night.. we discussed many things.he’d get frustrated that I wasnt really into quantum at the time and his favorite saying. Just think about it… working in the medical field like I did I can tell you.. he wasn’t lying.
    Did we fake a few photos to make our endeavors look better.. we probably did.. but he told me straight I could see it in his eyes..there aren’t any doubts in my mind at all that we went to the moon..

    • LOOTB,
      How did we get past the VARB?
      When did they practice docking in space?
      The entire space program was a mess and they had so many failures, it would have been a miracle for it to go as well as it was presented.
      Saturn 5 never got off the ground successfully and it was most likely a Saturn 1 we all saw lift off dressed up to look like a Saturn 5.
      Not sure how they will ever solve the whole shielding from the radiation thing. But the files will be unsealed in 2025 and the hoax will be revealed with a “it was necessary to secure the US.”
      A lot of research is available to answer any doubts. I was fooled by it since I watched it in 69 on TV.
      300 miles out the VARB starts and electronics don’t feign well at all so I am suspect if we even have the Mars landers or anything. But I’m open minded as there are a lot smarter folks than me out there.
      I wouldn’t put it past our honorable gubmint to perpetrate a lie such as, well anything. Look at the type of people in the government and it becomes clear. Blessings

      • “I wouldn’t put it past our honorable gubmint to perpetrate a lie such as, well anything. Look at the type of people in the government ”

        I wouldn’t put it past any govt. Official either Steve especially a politician that basically lies for his profession.

        On the other hand I know and have known several employees of NASA.. this gentleman in my humble opinion and my gut instincts of reading a person..was not trying to pull the wool over my eyes.
        I in turn hold a very high respect to the whole nasa
        Team. Are there things they don’t share. Absolutely.. but on the overall they are very open and candid on their views.
        I myself believe there are no secrets. Everything is disclosed then discredited the deeper the issue the bigger the discredit campaign.
        Would we embellish our accomplishments during the height of the cold war…if it was going to let our opponents think we were further advanced in technology .. personally I would..

    • Some of those ‘faked pictures’ made it to Life Magazine. It’s down right troubling to pull that hoax on everyone by enhancing!

  7. Not George but some paid market bs artists are talking up the market and usd$. Wake up fools!! It’s a depression!!! Nothing stops it. Red button time . Everything!

  8. Actually.. want to give the little lady that special gift for momma’s day.. why not a romantic outpost with a scenic view ..on the MOON.. or MARS.. the galaxy can be yours…
    Buy it before it becomes a mining outpost.. put up your condo’s and soon as round trip space flights are available.. your set..

  9. George, I am back to self haircut and I blame COVID! The local barbers were usually sick from a cold and did a lousy job. I am retired, so who cares?

    • I clip my hair with scissors whenever it feels uneven while sitting at the computer. I do it sight unseen and it usually comes out right. It’s an ongoing thing, like clipping nails. No big deal.

      I’ve not seen better results even when done by a professional. Good haircuts make little difference in social results, so they’re rather pointless, and I can only see mine when looking in the mirror.

  10. I saw this on the Dept. of State website:

    If you are thinking about applying for or renewing a U.S. passport now for international travel, please read the Department of State’s current international travel advisory. Because of public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have extremely limited U.S. passport operations.

    If you apply or renew now, you will experience significant delays of several months to receive your U.S. passport and the return of your citizenship evidence documents (such as birth certificates or naturalization certificates). Unless you have a life-or-death emergency, please wait until we resume normal operations to apply for or renew your passport.


    I’m not good at understanding bureaucratic gibberish. Is it better to have expiring documents in hand, or send them away to apply for renewal now and hope something gets returned? Will the current plandemic end in the next few months or will it drag on potentially forever? What makes most sense? Regardless of whether or not international travel is in the cards, common sense indicates that a valid passport in hand is the smart move.

    What makes most sense to others here?

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