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Dying young was my long-term financial plan

I wake up in the night thinking about money. Some people count sheep. I add up what I will have to live on each month when I turn sixty-five. Like a lot of people I didn’t save as much I should have. See, I didn’t plan to live this long. To paraphrase the Black Sabbath song, “Dying young was my financial plan. “ So was buying lottery tickets, waiting for my ship to come in and the latest has been waiting for relatives to die. Rich relatives I mean. Who wants poor ones to croak? Their families would likely ask me to do a fundraiser to bury them. What would be the harm in some nasty rich relatives that I’ve felt morally superior to all my life croaking and leaving me some cash? I know what you’re thinking. Why on earth would people I’ve harbored contempt for my entire life leave me moola? Simple. They want me buy my love. And I am okay with that. Money is a substance that has confused people since we back in the day when were using beads as a form of payment. I never knew how many Mai Tais were bought at the Club Med. So I decided to gain some knowledge. I went to the bank for financial advice. This is a lot like asking a pharmaceutical rep if they think anti-depressants are a good idea. But, banks do know one how to do one thing– how to make money. I got some lovely help from a financial advisor who has asked that her name not be mentioned out of this article. Mum’s the word Bynthia. Like all financial planners Bynthia has that chart. You know that chart they like to pull out and tell you that if you started saving 100 dollars a month when you were twenty -one you’d now have $850,000? I used to think they pulled out that chart to rub it in my face how pathetic I was. But now I realize they don’t want me to get my hopes up. A lot like the dermatologist I go to every couple months. As she writing out a couple hundred bucks worth of prescriptions she likes to say, there is no cure for psoriasis you know? Really? I’ve had flaky skin since I was nine months old. I think I have given up expecting some magic bullet. That chart makes me cranky. I always want to scream what kind of person starts saving a hundred bucks a month at twenty-one? A cheap skate that’s who. Like my cousin Jack saved but nobody wants to be him. He’s so cheap when he opens his wallet the Queen squints. Moths fly out crying, “Go to the light.” Jack was the one that always owned Park Place in the Monopoly game. He learned to play Bridge at twenty- one. I on the other hand played strip poker. I lost my shirt. I couldn’t figure out the value of each bead at the Club Med. Now, Jack got strange messages about money. He was taught to sock it away for a rainy day. He was raised by Uncle Sass — the kind of guy who asks people how much they paid for things. “What much did that house set you back?” He’s the same guy who asks you how much you weigh. “How many lbs would you be packin’?” He’s always saying talking the bottom line. To me money has never been the bottom line. Children are the bottom line. Quiet children who won’t beg me to buy them stuff at the mall. My messages around the substance money were a series of contradictions. Work hard so you can be rich and retire early. Rich people are snots. Never let people know you have any cash lying around. Or they’ll want to borrow it. The other message includes always buy the best and make sure its on sale. The best sentence you can say in my family is, “And not only that…. it was thirty percent off.” The main thing is act like you know what you’re doing and never ever talk about it. You could tell strangers you had PMS. Or mention the regularity of your bowels (especially if you’re on that plane back from to Mexico) but don’t bring up what is going on with money. These messages are complicated but join two people in holy matrimony and it has a new set of problems. It seems there are two kinds of people in a marriage: The spender and the saver. The saver usually watches the spender condendecindly with a calculator. And in some cases two spenders marry each other usually they don’t find they want to spend it on the same thing. I was an artist. I spent cash on art classes for the children while my husband liked terribly boring things like sump pumps. This resulted in the shopping “at each other phenomonen. For the balance of my life. This is where one person buys something the couple can’t afford and the other one says I’ll show you I’ll buy something we can’t afford too. And then they both hide the items and when the credit card bill comes in we’ll argue about whose fault it is that they’re in the mess they’re in. Some couples seem to guarantee that their money can never be pleasurable. I remember my friends went out to buy a vehicle. He wanted a sports car. She wanted a mini van. They bought a truck. That way nobody was happy. Money is the substance we invented and it controls our moods most days. My friend Reid used to say his serenity was based on how much was the balance in his bank account. And according to Bynthia and her chart, for the balance of my life, I needed to be put on a financial diet. I nodded my head at her like this was really going to happen. It was the same head nod I used to give the skinny broad at the Weight Watchers meeting who said I should eat less. That diet usually resulted in me hitting the drive through McDonalds on the way home. After I left the bank, I went down to the harbour and watched my ship pass me by. As I was sitting there I thought you know I may not have as much as I want but really I have a lot. In fact I have spent my life on a lot of great experiences. And these experiences will make me a rich and sought after speaker when I hold court in the Common Room at the Seniors Centre. That’s where I’ll be camping out because I won’t have any cash left over for an actual room. In fact unless Cousin Jack wills me a lot of cash I will be cremated and tossed out to sea. But as tourists see parts of me floating by in Portsmouth Harbour, I hope they will say the same thing about me as they did when I was alive. “That chick has a great ash.”

More Kimmett at www.kimmett.ca

Filed Under: Deborah Kimmett

About the Author: Deborah Kimmett is not just a funny face. She knows a thing or two about life. Whether on the stage, or in the conference room, this witty and wise woman knows laughing matters. With her hilarious stories and interactive exercises she ignites, inspires and offers strategies for success. Side Effects: You might get your sense of humor back. Visit her at www.kimmett.ca or on youtube at www.youtube.com/user/DebKimmett

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  1. Chris Keen says:

    Could be a lot of us camped in the common room.

    Dear Mr. Administrator:

    Does anyone there know the HTML code for paragraphs? This post would be much funnier if it were broken up into paragraphs.

    Thanks.

  2. Judy Fraser says:

    Haha – great post. I’ve made similar retirement plans so I guess I’ll see you in the common room at the senior’s centre.

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