I have a confession to make: I am a financial idiot. Okay, idiot may be a strong word, but essentially money doesn't interest me unless I don't have any. I try to make as much as I can, which is more than 99 percent of the world's population and, for most of the past decade, more than 90 percent of the US population and in some years far more. I put a fair amount of it away, have some very conservative investments, and am essentially debt-free.
However, I also don't own anything of value that I can't wear. I was never sold on the joys of homeownership; I sold my car when I moved back to a city with incredible public transportation and very few parking spots; and I care less about having than about being. So I look at the greed of the financial professionals, and the hopes of those who were suckered by easy and perhaps undeserved credit into buying homes they couldn't really afford ( I overheard someone the other day calling that "public housing, with a mortgage"), both of which engendered the current money crisis, and I find myself resenting that my taxes are helping, directly or indirectly, to bail them out. Though if I had to choose, I'd help the suckers rather than the bankers, even if it means that Del Posto will have to close.
I haven't really thought much about retirement. My assumption is that I'll work until I drop, but that at some point before I drop I'll be able to work less. Those ING commercials that show people walking around with their big orange retirement numbers made me think about it briefly. I even used the nicely designed and nicely nonjudgmental calculator they provide on their site to see just how big my "number" is. Mine is large enough that I'll be needing a 50-cm Birkin bag to carry the whole thing.
One of our presidential candidates is of retirement age, and will have few worries except which of his many houses to hang out at. He has also confessed to being something of a financial idiot, which should be an impediment. Especially since it's been some time since anyone brought up the Keating Five, from the last round of bank troubles 20 years ago. Only one of those five is still in the Senate. Perhaps his economic ignorance will keep him there.
(For those who prefer to own their homes and rent their wearables, this vintage crocodile 30-cm Birkin is available at Bag Borrow or Steal for just $1690 a week, despite its missing lock.)