What I Want to Be When I Grow Up (LOL)

After all the work is said and done…


And there is still so much more that I earnestly hope and pray to accomplish with my life.


Perhaps, then, when I am all grown up, I can have some time to be a sun bum too. 


Everyone deserves a little fun. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Go Years of Retirement

Thought this was an interesting perspective on retirement.


There are three phases:


1) Go-Go:  You retire and are eager to enjoy your newfound freedom, and you spend the time and money to really do the pursuits and travel that you always wanted. 


2) Slow-Go: After the initial adventurism and spending, you settle in some more and spend your time on quiet activities, socializing, and relaxing. 


3) No-Go: This is the wind down phase, where you spend most of your time at home and at a certain point, may need some assistance to do everyday activities. 


Obviously, the last phase is sort of depressing, but it too is a part of life.  


Like a bell-shaped curve, we are born, grow, mature, and then decline.


This is the cycle of life for every living thing. 


It takes maturity and courage to face it and to make the most out of every single moment that we are blessed with.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Bills, Health, and Purpose

So I wanted to share some wisdom from one of my best friends. 


He was telling me about some of life’s stresses at work, home, etc., and he said even though every looks forward to retirement “one day,” the problems don’t go away. 


He mentioned some examples of people he knows that retired relatively young and with a pension.


Nevertheless, he said:

They still worry about bills, about health, and mostly about purpose!


And even though they don’t have the day-to-day grind in the office, he said:

Their own stress is as real to them as mine is to me.


I couldn’t help reflecting on his words and thinking how smart this was. 


No one has it all!


Everyone is this world has fears, worries, and problems. 


And you know what?  It’s okay.  


Life is about us confronting what seems unconfrontable and becoming better human beings because we did. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

From Cradle To Grave

Human Capital Lifecycle.jpeg

It’s funny how in organizations talk about the lifecycle of people. 

From a full lifecycle perspective, it’s “cradle to grave!”

In terms of lifecycle on the job, it’s “hire to retire (or to fire).”

Really the lifecycles are intertwined. 

It starts with the cradle…we are born and go through a maturation process that focuses on our education and preparation for life. 

Then we get hired into our (hopefully) dream jobs, where we spend our careers until we retire–or if you mess up badly and get fired or decide to change career course–you may have to go back to “go” and “do not collect $200” and you get hired again for another career round. 

Eventually you retire and start your 2nd life in retirement, where please G-d, you have the health and prosperity to enjoy the fruits of your labor and your families. 

Ultimately, our lifecycle ends at the grave with the death of our bodies–our souls go on to Heaven and live forever basking in the light of the Almighty. 

Thus, the human capital lifecycle. 😉

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

DC Is Not NYC

Not NYC.jpeg

This is a funny sticker on the streets of Washington, D.C.


It says, “This is not New York.”


And it advertises a website called StuckInDC.com.


“Formed by a few friends who’ve probably lived in the capital long enough, but lack the wherewithal to move elsewhere.”


Having come from NYC, I can empathize in many ways. 


The DC metro area is great if you are interested in working in some very cool jobs for the Federal government, and it has a fairly nice lifestyle for families here (clean and green). 


While not as exciting as NYC (it doesn’t have the vibe), it’s also not as dirty, congested, or generally dangerous (in DC, there are lots of gun-totting federal agents everywhere).


If you yearn for someplace nicer to live, maybe Florida for the Caribbean climate, beautiful nature, slower lifestyle, and fun atmosphere or then again, there is always the awesome Holy Land!


For now stuck in DC, after retirement who knows. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Unsustainable U.S. Economy

Unsustainable EconomyThe U.S. National Debt often touted at an enormous $18 trillion is really more than 3 times that amount and closer to a whopping $65 trillion!


That’s when you actually count all the unfunded liabilities for civilian and military pensions, retiree healthcare, social security, and medicare.


For each of the 318.9 million people of that United States, it mean $203,826 of debt or for a family of four that’s a debt of $815,303.


Put another way, the entire net worth of Americans is $84.9 trillion, but after subtracting the debt of $65 trillion, it drops to just about $20 trillion–coincidentally around the amount of our new debt ceiling.


Moreover, with the richest 1% owning more than 50% of the wealth by 2016 that leave only $10 trillion or $31,675 for each of us–not so hoity toity for 239 years of independence and founding as a nation or all the blood, sweat, and tears we put in every day of our lives.


In terms of our escalating debt, just this last year alone, social security spending went up to $944,143,000,000 or the equivalent of $6,345 for every American with a job. and this is projected to dramatically rise with the retirements of the baby boomers.


Projections are for social security to exhaust its funds by 2035, which could result in across the board 20% or more cuts in benefits of the already meager program where many seniors end up eating cat food.


Additionally, the retirement age already set to go to 67 by 2027 could be forced to go even higher, and social security would likely be curtailed or eliminated entirely above certain income levels.


Is this the financial security and brighter future we are leaving our children and grandchildren?


We can kick the can down the road, but the unsustainability of it all will eventually come back to haunt us. 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Pictures of Money)

Temptation Or Accusation?

Temptress
So on the way home from synagogue today, my wife and I are talking about what happened to the renown Harvard constitutional and criminal lawyer, Alan Dershowitz.



He was accused of having repeatedly had sex with an underage woman (while he was married with children and grandchildren).



I explained to my wife not to believe these accusations, that in my mind, Dershowitz was upstanding and completely innocent, and that this could happen to anyone.



And I went on to tell a funny story from a day earlier…



I was at a retirement party for one of my staff who served the country for 51 years.



At the party, I am going around talking with people and helping to make everyone comfortable–until I didn’t.



One guy who was a retired manager and had come back to work as a contractor calls me over to his table to introduce me to his wife. 



He’s motioning to her and saying how she is his most beloved wife.



And just joking around trying to keep a straight face, I say, “Hmm, she’s a lot different than the other woman I see you with every day.”



[Yeah, I don’t know what came over me (maybe a little too much drink–any drink is too much for this dry mouth).]



His wife, is like, “Ah ha! Some other woman in the office…”



And he’s leaning back, waving his hands and mouthing to me, “Shut up Andy!”



He goes, “Okay Andy, you just wait until I meet your wife!”



Then, we all broke out laughing…just Andy being a wise guy again!



So, I said to my wife, you see how easy it is for someone to make a false accusation (and how quickly people can be to think the worst of others).



It really is important to treat people as “innocent until proven guilty.”



As for Andy’s hijinks…I’m banned from any more parties for the next few weeks. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)