If I don’t drop dead

It appears that all American business models have been updated to include “Pester the customer as much as possible in an effort to get the sucker to buy more.” Temerity Funds [not its real name], my 401(k) “provider,” has been following this path for several years now, and it amazes them that I have a balance in the middle five figures, and not the low seven figures they think I’ll need to survive the rigors of retirement. And they’d probably be right if I were going to live to 118 or so; but I’m pretty sure that’s not happening.

What is happening is this: assuming Social Security doesn’t go down the drain right away, I’ll pull somewhere around $1800 a month in retirement income. Which isn’t a lot. Then again, the austerity budget I’d been on for the past five years left me with somewhere around $1800 a month to live on. It’s uncomfortably tight, but it is doable.

And there’s an X factor from my past. Last week I got a card from my employer in the late Seventies and early Eighties, who apparently had lost track of me and needed me to verify my existence for pension purposes. I knew this existed, but as yet I hadn’t done any work on tracing it, and I figured at best it might be $100 a month. No, actually, it’s $250, assuming retirement (as Social Security does) at age 66. Things just got slightly looser.

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