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The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta’ Wear Shades

I met with my financial planner for the third time earlier this week and after a month or so of providing her with my entire financial history, current status, and long-term goals, she presented me with a fancy-shmancy binder. In it, she’s calculated my current net-worth and determined whether I’m contributing effectively into my retirement and savings (I am).

In fact, the best thing she told me was that at the rate I’m going, I could retire at 65 and continue an identical quality of life as I have now until I reach 95 years old. However, I plan on working until I reach closer to 70 years old (since I believe people who remain physically and mentally active stay healthier much longer) and that would mean that my retirement savings would bring me to 150% of my current quality of life.

I may have touched up upon this in a blog posting ages ago – but this is a huge relief to me. My parents didn’t have 401(k) plans in their day. In fact, the pensions they both have are pitiful (my Dad’s would end upon his death leaving my mother with nothing). Fortunately, they have social security….something I don’t anticipate existing in my retirement years (an article just this week predicted that social security funds would be exhausted within just a few years of when I’d be retiring).

For that reason, my financial planner made her assumptions based on social security no longer existing. On the plus side, if it still exists (and it better since I know very few people with enough in their personal savings/retirements plans to survive) I will be in even greater shape.

The binder she gave me also provided different scenarios for investing, and now I’m stuck with the task of deciding how to invest what I have in my 403(b) – which is basically a 401(k) for academic environments. My current investments, which I picked cluelessly when I started at Harvard, have actually done okay over the years. It just scares me.

Nobody in my family has ever invested before (like I said, my parents had no 401(k) plans) so this is a whole new world. My parents, born during the depression, were raised to put what little money they had into savings accounts; it was safe and they’d always have access to it. The world of investing scares the bejeezus out of me and confuses me all to hell. I keep thinking I’m already a step ahead of where my parents were at my age. And I’m not such a greedy S.O.B. that I “must” maximize everything to be as rich a possible. But I think my fears and apprehension keeps me from being the “moderately aggressive” (in terms of investments, at least) person I should be at my age. The simple idea of my money dwindling – even if just temporarily – freaks me out. If it’s going to disappear, at least let me spend it and buy something I can enjoy.

Like a Japanese Toilet.

japanese toilet.jpg

I still want one. Bidet function? Check. Massager? Check. Seat warmer? Check. White-noise? Check. Fan? Check. With this kind of investment, you just can’t lose.


  1. Comment by J.P. on April 27, 2007 10:24 am

    Let me know when you plan on getting the toilet. Perhaps we could get a discount by buying two! 🙂

  2. Comment by Mark on April 27, 2007 11:23 am

    That toilet confuses and fascinates me at the same time. I’d be kind afraid of a “spray” and a “bidet” function on a public toilet…

  3. Comment by Chris on April 27, 2007 6:59 pm

    So did she factor in what would happen if you were to get married?

  4. Comment by snarl on April 27, 2007 8:22 pm

    If I get married, then it’s twice (or more) the income – because I’m totally marrying for money! WOO HOO

  5. Comment by Will on April 30, 2007 11:21 am

    Fritz has informed me that in the new house there WILL BE a warmed toilet seat.

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