"He was healthy until the day he died." I want that to be my case as well -- to drop dead healthy!
Yep, it's a quality of life issue. Live life to its fullest. Never quit living. Keep doing things you want to do. Enjoy life. Budget and spend wisely, but change the mindset that you need to save everything for someone else. It must just be that time of my life that this topic surfaces for me. As I review the bases of the concept of die broke and drop dead healthy, I find the ideas somewhat freeing and refreshing. It is as if a burden has been lifted from me. Here is what I gained from each of two books, Die Broke and Drop Dead Healthy.
Die Brokeby Stephen M. Pollan and Mark Levine (HarperCollins publishers, 1997) voices a contrarian approach to the traditional view of retirement and retirement planning. One of the premises by Pollan I fixed on is his notion to use all your funds while you’re alive. It is to maximize the productivity of your money now rather than after you die, i.e., enjoy life and help others. Many of us baby boomers are still of the notion to save money for our children for their inheritance. Instead Pollan says, "The last check you write should be to the undertaker--and it should bounce!"
Effectively, Pollan says there should be no inheritance. He suggests that by the time we die, our children will be adults in their 40s and 50s and should be gainfully employed. Spend it now. However, with today's economy and difficulties, more adult children are needing support from their parents. In a recent USA Todayarticle by Sharon Jayson (Thur, May 3, 2012), she notes that parents spend more money to support their children now -- a safety net in our tough economy. In some cases, the children return home to live with their parents. Says Jayson, "The benefit of this approach is to increase the parents' bond with their children." We can pass funds to our children now instead of after we parents die. A recent survey by the University of Michigan notes that 62% of young adults (19-22) get financial help from their parents. PS: Just read about another approach called SKIN, 'spending kids inheritance now.' OK. I get the idea.
The companion book, Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs (Simon & Schuster, 2012) is simply the concept that we need to stay healthy to gain all that life provides. Jacobs documents his one-year quest to get healthy -- to gain maximal health from head to toe. He consulted experts in all fields and subjected himself to every sort of test and diet. His journey is real, but is hilarious and absurd at the same time. It is a fun read and may even inspire you to 'do something' to get in better physical shape. You will want to know that the doctor determined that Jacobs spending time reading on the toilet has given him hemorrhoids. Also, squating, rather than sitting, over the toilet is the best position. There are 27 chapters with each chapter covering one topic: The Stomach, The Heart, The Butt, The Immune System, The Teeth, The Feet, The Inside of the Eyelid, The Gonads, The Skull, and more. I smile just listing these few topics. The goal of Jacobs' quest was to be the most fit he could be for his wife so she would not be a widow at forty-five (and also to write this book). On the book cover's flap it notes that this "just may be the healthiest book ever written."
If your epitaph reads: "Died broke, died healthy," I translate that as having lived fully and stayed active (young). Not a bad way to live and die!
© Baldwin H. Tom CMC