Mandan News

Adjusting to a fixed income

Layout 1 (Page 1)I’m not sure if either of my loyal readers care, but all of my creditors will affirm that I’m on a fixed income. It’s a bit disconcerting to realize that outside of Social Security and the $10/week they pay me to write this stuff down, I have no other income other than what I managed to save over the last 20-some odd years.

I have one of those 401K things that all the free enterprisers think everyone should have and I’m here to tell ya that over the years my 401 looked more like a 104, if you get my drift. There were years when I invested thousands and watched them turn into hundreds by the end of the year.

I’ve often thought that if I just took the money and buried it out back in shallow unmarked graves at least I’d have what I invested … but no, God evidently decided that my financial acumen would entail buying high and selling low.

Thus the concern about this fixed income thing. My financial guru informed me that if I was frugal my 401 would last for the next 25 years. Doing the math, I figured there was a good chance that I won’t last another 25 years so I retired.

I managed to save enough cash to get me from May 2013 to January of 2014. And wouldn’t you know, for the first time in my life the math worked out … it’s January and those accounts are now exhausted … thus it’s time to tap the 104, and here I am wondering if I should cut like 10 years off its lifespan or be frugal.

You most likely know that if a guy just cashed it all in he could head to Mexico or Aruba or both and end up renting jet skis on a beach somewhere, so I’ll put that on the table first.

A fella could just get on one of them cruise ships and hope that they kicked you off the boat in a nice port once the money ran out. Or I could buy a nice car and roam from town to town, state to state, and hope to land in a place where they appreciate broke old folks.

The option of heading to South America seemed to appeal to me until the piranhas bit the toes off the Argentinians trying to escape the heat by dipping them in the river. Africa also had its moment but it didn’t last long.

Australia crossed my mind a few times, but can you imagine how hard it would be to change my German-Russian accents into Aussie? It would quite likely exhaust my funds rather rapidly. India didn’t have much appeal, nor did Borneo, but Europe had its moments before I returned to reality.

Both my loyal readers know I’ve become rather acclimated to life here; above all else it’s home, and although I have those moments when I’d like to see other places, I really have no desire to be anyplace else. So I guess I’ll just take my financial guru’s advice and spend what I have left around here with sincere hopes that when my demise occurs my assets will at least equal my debts.

Here’s hoping that you always have enough to get you by … and good luck at it.