Welcome to the 21st century, where everything you knew about retirement planning is now obsolete. Sure… sure… I know this retirement topic is scary, but don’t let it get you down. I’m here to show you how easy it is to retire in 21st century style. As it happens, I know a few secrets!
The first secret is to figure out how much money you’ll need once your current income stream dries up. Let’s say you make $45,000 a year as a junior loan shark trainee. Can you get by with half that amount in retirement? Sure you can - especially since you won’t be buying all those fancy Italian silk ties anymore. Let’s see… 50 percent of $45,000 is $22,500. That sounds reasonable enough, but we have to consider inflation. Let’s use a secret formula I’ve cooked up. For each new spend-thrift government we elect between now and your target retirement date, multiply your projected income needs by ten. This effectively "adds a zero" to the end of the number. I figure it this way: If we’re dumb enough to elect zeros, we should put some zeros on our retirement numbers too. With just two more deficit-loving, debt-issuing political dynasties that $22,500 income target will grow to $2,250,000.
Wow! $2,250,000 sure is a hunk of money, but I’m sure you’ll get a few more raises between now and doomsday. Inflation sure is scary stuff, isn’t it? Speaking of scary, let’s figure the tax you’ll owe on $2,250,000. As a multi-millionaire, I’m guessing those guys you elected will reward you with a 99 percent tax bracket. That big tax rate leaves you with just $22,500 per year in "take-home pay." But we said you needed $2,250,000! Oh, gosh…this is depressing! It’s time for another secret – the really big secret! And here it is. Guess what you’ll get in exchange for giving the government 99 percent of your income? That’s right: free healthcare, free housing, free college education, free everything. You won’t have to pay for anything! And with no bills to pay, you won’t need any income. And that means you can quit your job! And, there’s the secret to retirement in the 21st century: Just quit and live off the government! Let someone else pick up the tab! Sure, you’ll have to wait patiently for that beautiful 99 percent tax bracket, but keep electing big spenders and we’ll get there. I promise! It’s so close, I’m almost in tears!
David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Conyers, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.