The Money Curmudgeon is exhausted after wasting all weekend in a futile attempt to remove his name and email address from scores (for you young people tuning in — that means a lot) of mailing lists promoting AARP, retirement villages and retirement villages with free Cialis. This is what happens you accidentally transpose (kids, it means mix up — didn’t you pay attention in English class?) numbers while filling out the age box on a survey for free anti-virus software … and if you don’t know why I needed that in a hurry, you’re too young to be reading The Money Curmudgeon.
While resting my carpal tunnel wrist by taking a break from deleting, I read a few of these emails and found that most are aimed at seniors wondering if they should put off retirement because of the current financial problems on Wall Street, Pennsylvania Avenue and Dead Oak Court (my street — screw Main Street — nobody lives there anyway). If I could answer them without risking getting on a list for prepaid cremations (what is that — a bag of briquettes and a can of kerosene?), I’d tell them what Mrs. Curmudgeon tells me at least ten times a day, more if I’m in the mood: “Are you out of your mind?”
Number one, pay no attention to your monthly statements for your 401K, IRA and other retirement accounts. Do what Major League baseball team owners do on draft day (besides sneering at George Steinbrenner) and take a long-term approach. Sure, your account looks like a skinny 19-year-old rookie with acne today, but in a few years it’ll be hitting like Barry Bonds on steaks dripping with growth-hormone gravy, or whatever he was eating.
Number two, do what you do at WalMart. No, I don’t mean waste hours talking to that cute blue-vested lady making sure nobody steals carts. I’m talking about buying more cheap stuff, like stocks. Cram some more stocks in your retirement account like you jam rubber bands into that junk drawer. Pick some that look like they’ll do well with that new guy in the White House, like companies making alternative energy products, hybrid cars and Hawaiian shirts.
Number three, take a nap. You’ll feel better, and that’s important in case you decide to put off retiring anyway. The Money Curmudgeon is thinking about doing that himself. Who wants to sit around the house deleting spam, eating SPAM and creating a spore kingdom that worships SPAM? Work doesn’t sound so bad after all. So get back to it before the boss catches you. But first, delete my address from your “make money printing money” email list!