Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Don't forget the possibility that you may die BEFORE you retire

Gentle reader,

You know how those well-meaning people are always telling you to save as much as you can for retirement (including at times, myself!).

Well, there is one thing that they almost always fail to mention.

The fact is that a good number of people won't make it, or will die shortly after they retire.

How many? What are your odds? Good questions. I can tell you this. I am 41 years old and already I have lost one close friend who died in his mid 30's.

Over 40,000 Americans are going to die this year from car accidents.

Money and success only go so far, and not very far at all when you are in a pine box six feet underground. Or cremated, or whatever.

When you reach 40, your odds of dying each year are somewhere around 1 in 200, I believe.
So between the ages of 40 and 60, assuming that the odds don't go up, you have a 1 in 10 chance of dying. Those odds don't sound too great, do they? Even if you make it, there is also a reasonable chance that you will have some terrible disease, or be crippled and unable to really enjoy the remainder of your life.

"Buford, you depressing old fool, what is your point?" you are probably asking by now, and I apologize for being long-winded.

My friends, my point is this: You had damn well make the most of your life and enjoy it while you have it. Or, as I am told the Bulgarians say, "You better wear your new clothes".

Sure, put some money away for retirement. More importantly, perhaps, make sure you have 6 months or more of expenses put away in case you lose your job.

However, I advise against putting EVERYTHING away for retirement. The sad fact is, many of us just won't make it that far. Which brings us to today's quote:

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."
-Ferris Bueller

On that note, I will end this entry, but rest assured that I remain,

Your friend,

Buford Twain

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