Well, it's official, my only daughter and oldest child just turned sixteen. We gave her a surprise birthday party but she had it figured out a couple of weeks in advance.
She has some sort of super-human hearing. Her hearing is so good that she can hear my wife and me whispering from across the house.
She also has her first boyfriend. Is there a manual or something to navigate these teenage waters?
Speaking of water, our dog constantly looks like a drowned rat. He loves our pool.
I want you to say the following to yourself: I understand that I am now retired, and market fluctuations feel scarier because I am not getting a paycheck anymore. It is understandable to be afraid.
But even though the markets are volatile right now, I am supremely confident that a diversified and balanced portfolio of stocks of bonds has stood the test of time. My long-term financial security is, in no way, affected by current economic conditions.
I'm not going to pay attention to the fear-mongers and rumors that predict economic Armageddon. I am not going to buy guns and ammo preparing to battle for food and Publix.
A Foolproof Way to Protect Yourself From Gold-Diggers
The following story is based on actual events. Names and details have been altered to protect the privacy of those involved.
Whenever I talk to people in their 80’s and 90’s I always ask them, “What advice do you have for people who are just now starting their retirement journey?” I nearly always get the same answer, “Get them to spend more money in their 60’s and 70’s.”
I believe the following, harrowing true story may prove my point.
If you are part of the 50% of the people in this country who actually saved money for retirement, you need to start spending MORE of that savings in your 60's and 70's.
Those who know my philosophy say, “I’m putting my foot down! I REFUSE to worry about running out of money for the rest of my life. I am going to get educated, get my money working for me, and put together a plan that allows me to live the life that I deserve. I am going to find the perfect balance between spending too much and spending too little.”
Bob Hixon was a top-tier salesman. During his career, he had actually ranked as the number one salesman in his entire company. It was no small feat! His company had thousands of salespeople. Bob had hit the big time.
Bob was a kind-hearted, family man who lived to serve and help his clients, friends, and family. During his long and successful career, he amassed a healthy portfolio of a couple of million dollars. After Bob retired, he and his wife moved to a house on the water in Florida and planned to live their golden years in paradise.
After splurging on their dream home, Bob said to his wife, Shirley, “Well, we had better stop spending so much money. I’m not working anymore, and while we have a few million in our portfolio, you just never know. What happens if we go to a nursing home? What happens if we have an expensive medical problem? What happens if we go into a recession? What happens if the currency collapses? What happens if the banks fail? What if…. What if…. What if….."
Bob, as you can tell, watched WAY too much of the 24/7 News Channels.
Bob and Shirley stopped taking vacations and stopped going out to eat as much. They lived a relatively simple life. In fact, besides the nice home, their daily lives looked no different than retirees who possessed very limited savings.
Bob and Shirley rationalized, “Well, I guess the kids will get a nice inheritance when we are gone.” But they still couldn’t shake the feeling that they were living like they were broke, even though they had millions in the bank.
Fast forward 20 years. Bob and Shirley are now in their early 80’s. One of their 3 children had tragically died in a car accident, and their two remaining daughters were doing well in different parts of the country.
Shortly after Shirley’s 82nd birthday, her health began to decline rapidly. She passed away a few months later.
Bob, now age 83, was heartbroken. He still had his millions (which had nearly doubled in value since he had retired), but he wasn’t sure what to do with his grief.
Bob lived for five more years. During those years he traveled quite a bit and had a dozen girlfriends or so. His family sometimes voiced their concerns to each other: “What is happening to Dad? It is like he is having a mid-life crisis in his 80’s.”
During the last 2-3 years, Bob had started to develop memory problems. His mind was definitely slipping, but he stayed very active and continued to pursue multiple relationships with the ladies.
Behind the scenes, Bob’s two daughters hated to admit, it but were waiting for their father to die. They knew he was sitting on a fortune, and they were well aware that they were the only remaining heirs. Both of Bob’s daughters were facing financial strain in their own lives and they counted the days until the millions of dollars were theirs to use.
After Bob’s funeral, the finances were divided equally between the two daughters, but during the process of sorting out the will, a shocking discovery was made.
Bob only had $200,000 left to his name.
Between the time his wife passed away, and his own death, Bob had managed to spend it all. Had he been taken advantage of? Had his senility made him a prime target for a gold digger? Did he even realize how much money he was spending?
We will never know….
All Bob’s daughters knew was that a lifetime of work, investing, and savings had resulted in nothing. They were furious at their Dad for blowing the money on a bunch of geriatric floozies. In fact, sadly, to this day, they haven’t forgiven him.
Looking back, I can’t help but think that, while Bob had the resources to be a generous and carefree guy, he lived a small life that ended poorly.
Morals of the Story:
Spend your money with the people who you love the most, while you can.
Inheritances can create devastating family discord.
Don’t let someone else spend your money! (government taxes, a nursing home, or an 80-year-old gold digger).