Getting Older

Float Boat and Nii-jima Floats, Dale Chihuly, 2022

Operator: 911, what is your emergency?
Me: I would like to declare an Amber alert.
Operator: Please, explain your emergency.
Me: I am 68 years-old and met today with my personal trainer, first she beat me up with weights, then she put me in traction and my wife enjoyed all this senior abuse way too much.
Operator: Sir, this sounds more like a Silver alert situation than an Amber alert one, please allow me to transfer you…
Me: But her name is Amber!

We are slipping back into our regular routine, which includes Gyrotonics every Friday morning. Earlier this week, we interviewed a financial planner. We had spoken with him last week by phone, but this meeting was a face-to-face one. Our goal with this relationship, is first to consolidate our savings from its current nine different accounts across four different institutions to something more manageable and stepping back, something that we do not have to manage ourselves. For this meeting, I had compiled an accounting of our assets and liabilities. An uncomfortable amount of this meeting was taken up with this prospective financial planner fat-finger fumbling while entering our myriad of assets into his database. He got close, but I still found another mistake today. Culminating this meeting, he ran a Monte Carlo simulation that was designed to predict our lifetime financial solvency. Here the goal of solvency is defined as having an 80% chance of not having run out of money before we both die. After he ran his simulation, it gave up a 95% chance of success in meeting this goal, which sounded pretty good.

If we look back over the last fifteen years, there have been three unpredicted black swan events, the Great Recession, Trump, and the Pandemic and while both of our mothers have passed, both of our 95-year-old fathers are still alive and kicking. Planning for such longevity seemingly requires a crystal ball that we do not possess. Maybe, a little more help would be a good thing.

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