Financial Planning Meetings: Something Old People Do
You kids listen up. If you are lucky, you won’t live forever, but you’ll live long enough to be as old as me, and have meetings with the Financial Planner Man.
Princess Wei and I have had several such meetings with a variety of Financial Planner Guys, and we had another last night in a little cafe. These meetings are among the kinds of things that happen when you are old and have been enough a part of society to have had a job and then to retire from it.
You might think this sounds dull, and it is.
I am 58 and, assuming the Alzheimer’s doesn’t get me, plan to retire at age 90. And even if the Alzheimer’s does get me, I did after all hire myself for one of the very few types of jobs that can still be done despite serious Alzheimer’s and advanced age, i.e., Sacred Scribe of the Church of the SubGenius.
But Princess Wei R. Doe, while younger than me, has yet been working for Weather Control so long that in three months, thanks to a buy-out, she can retire with a virtual thirty-three years of service. This will cause gigantic changes in our life as a joint brain cell, but with enough complicated juggling of paperwork we can make them into profitable changes as opposed to misguided stoner ignorant dumbass changes. This is where the Financial Planner Guy comes in. He might be a misguided ignorant stoner dumbass himself, although they usually dress in suits, but his specialty is to remind you of things you don’t want to think about, and that is actually pretty simple.
But there are all too many things you don’t want to think about, so these meetings have to cover a lot of ground.
You kids have it easy. You think you’ll live forever and will never have to exercise, and you can still stay up all night three nights in a row and not die. Likewise, you don’t have to assemble a large box containing every tiny aspect of your financial life. You don’t have to concretely envision 10 years from now when you might be on an oxygen machine and in a wheelchair and all your friends and relatives are dead or else dead broke, and the next (and last) step is the Government Sponsored Place to Go Die Miserably for Fifteen Years. THAT COULD HAPPEN TO ANYBODY READING THIS AS OF THIS MOMENT! It probably won’t. But if it does happen, you are going to want to have a lot of money to keep from taking that last step. You will want to die at home on the good pills, or die of a broken neck while riding a jet-ski in the Caribbean, or of a heart attack while pounding away at a hooker, or eating pie to death, or however it is you’d rather die.
Compared to some people we are rich. That is, we have enough (like a house, a car, a “funny book publishing business” as I describe it, a pension, and part of a goat ranch) to have something to talk to a financial planner about. Compared to other people, we are poor because we have to plan at all. According to the IRS, we are part of that dwindling “middle class” and not on the highest end either. We will have to cut back on some things.
But! — Wei will never have to drive to work again. She will be in the Slackermansion with me all week. This might spell the end of our productivity regarding anything besides smelly juices, or it might increase it. Probably things will seesaw between those two conditions. But it’s another prospect we have to consider.
Pondering all this hurts, because it involves cogitating upon extremely boring things like insurance, mortgage refinancing, wills, annuities, and many more arcane subjects that no SubGenius or even human likes to mess with unless he or she happens to be one of those Financial Planning SubGenii or humans.
At these meetings you sit surrounded by contracts, deeds, paycheck stubs, etc., which you need for reference because hard numbers are required, and you can’t be high or drunk, because that just doesn’t go with this activity (unless you are a Financial Planning SubGenius). Smoking cigarettes goes with it, but nobody is allowed to do that anymore.
The meeting is 80% small talk because you have already gathered your info for him, mostly, and he’s going to crunch the numbers and come back with suggestions. These suggestions will, of course, benefit him, or he wouldn’t make them. He benefits more when you benefit more. But he has his own agenda.
This is why you end up meeting with the Financial Planning Guys from all the companies and groups that leech off you: your brokerage firm, your workplace employee services, your state retirement office (if applicable), your bank, anybody who gets a little nip off your money.
In theory, if you set things up just right and the Yellowstone Supervolcano or Asteroid 2012-M doesn’t extinctify the planet, and you aren’t dependent on any one source of income, and if you also know your way around the black market, and you don’t get a dread disease, probably you won’t be a burden on your kids or anybody else in your decrepitude, and can party, even if partying only means turning the oxygen dial up to 10.
This has been my warning to the young people of the world for this week.