Rick's List — Retirement Gift Registry edition
At some point — long after this sort of thing would have occurred to a reasonable human being — I realized that life wasn't strictly a moment-to-moment proposition. This was in my early 40s, when I was married and my wife Eileen insisted we see a Financial Person to plot our retirement.
"These, ah, 14 years you spent as a rock musician," Money Wizard said to me. "Were you putting anything away? I don't suppose there was a 401(k) or deferred royalty checks ...?"
"No," I said. "Why would there be? We were in a BAND, not starting Dell Computers."
What that means is Eileen, who'd worked diligently at increasingly good jobs since she graduated college, was now stuck with a life partner who'd brought absolutely zero to the table in terms of The Big Picture Down The Road.
What this also means, now that I've stumbled around the far turn and am clomping like a mule with a broken leg down the homestretch of the racetrack I call Death, is that there IS no "retirement" in our future.
Or, as the latest in a series of equally apologetic financial planners gently says, "Rick, you'll be 82, if you live that long, handing out orange-chicken samples in the Crystal Mall food court. That's just how it is."
Well, that ain't "how it is" any longer.
I've had an incredible idea.
In fact, it goes back to before we were married, when I was introduced to a concept I'd never heard of — the wedding gift registry. I didn't know at the time that newly betrothed couples signed up at places like Macy's and Home Depot and the Container Store — and people who will come to the wedding BUY stuff for you. Stuff you've already picked out.
I hereby announce ... Rick and Eileen's Retirement Gift Registry!
In addition to our friends and family, all of you are invited — along with sundry rich people who've never met us but, because they're rich, don't KNOW that they don't know us and might therefore feel inclined to contribute generously. Thus, just as newlyweds spring into their lives together with literal support their wedding registry bounty, so, too, will Eileen and I be able to retire after all from our retirement registry. Sign up today! We're registered at the following:
1. Luxury Homes Real Estate, Camden, Maine
2. Snowpeak Mountain Ski Cabins, Durango, Colorado
3. McNox Gulfstream Jets and Used Tiger Woods Yachts, Muttontown, Long Island
4. Elderly Trust Fund Department, Kretchmer Law Office, Boston
5. Koster Bank Deposit Slips pre-filled-out in increments of $100,000, Charter Oak
6. Cindy's In-Home Heart Transplant Facilities, Houston
And, for those who are cheapskates and don't care who knows it:
7. Dairy Queen Gift Certificates
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We learn by repetition. But no matter how much I learn, I seem to always forget more.