A couple of nights ago I walked into the den and my wife and son were watching NBC Nightly News with anchor Brian Williams. I can't remember the last time I actually watched network news, even for a few mintues, but I stuck around for two stories. They were enough to remind me why I don't watch network news.
The first was a recurring story since 2008 about how middle class folks have lost their retirement accounts. A desperate couple was interviewed, some statistics were shared, and then Williams introduced a smiling, attractive woman who confirmed the problem but then delivered the good news. Here are some things you can do if your retirement plans have been put on hold by the criminals who bankrupted the country a few years ago (that last indictment is mine, not hers):
1. Her first suggestion (remember, this is the good news), is to just hang on and work a few more years. Instead of retiring in your early to mid sixties (after 40 or more years of work), keep plugging away until you're 70! What's another 6 to 8 years? Why, you're Social Security check will be 75% higher if you do!
2. Downsize. Get rid of all extraneous, frivolous expenses. Live as frugally as possible and save every penny you can. Do this until you're 70, at least.
3. Move. If you need work and can't find it where you currently live, go where the work is.
There you have it. The answer to all you're financial problems. I'm speechless. I won't insult you by explaining.
The second story also targeted the middle aged and those approaching their golden years. Again, commentary by Williams followed by an attractive female "expert" to inform us that, under normal conditions, memory loss actually starts in one's 40's, not in one's 60's, as previously thought. But here's the good news! You can delay the process by living "the good life" of proper nutrition, exercise, relaxation and reduced stress. Which, of course, is easy, while you're contemplating working until you're 70, downsizing, and possibly moving to find work because you're nearly broke. Under those circumstances, some memory loss might actually be a good thing.
I'm out. Tune in again tomorrow night for more cynical, condescending advice by the media elite and you too will be the master of your own destiny. As long as you don't mind working until you die before enjoying the benefits of your hard work.