If there’s one thing you should know about my husband and I, it’s that, collectively, we have no financial sense whatsoever. We are as dumb as two drunk jackasses when it comes to planning for our financial future, which is why, when faced with the looming reality of paying for college in our very near future, we decided to take a positive step and hire a financial planner.*
Our financial planner, being a professional and all, gathered up Paul’s laundry basket filled with several years’ worth of bills and paperwork, and got to work trying to straighten out our financial problems. Ten minutes later, he figured it all out. Basically, it boiled down to – now I know this is technical so bear with me – TOO LITTLE MONEY to work with. He wrote us the following letter in an effort to bestow upon us his astute financial wisdom and invaluable monetary advice:
June 15, 2013
Dear Mr. and Mrs. H:
I have come to the conclusion, through extensive research into your financial history, that you have spent the last 20 years making foolish, irrational and ill-advised financial decisions. As a couple well into your 40s, you definitely want to avoid these kinds of foolish decisions in the future because, odds are, you’ll only be earning a paycheck for about 20 more years, and even less if your employer realizes how often you use company time to write this dumb blog.
This means that your future standard of living depends on the investments you make today. If you continue to fail to plan ahead, you could very well spend your retirement years living in a RV parked under a highway overpass. Conversely, if you heed the professional advice detailed in this letter, you’ll be able to spend your golden years in a modern, state-of-the-art HDTV cardboard box. The choice is entirely up to you!
Let’s consider for a moment your teenagers’ future educational needs. Being that this “future” is exactly two years away, you may officially consider yourself in Urgent Desperation Mode. Everyone knows that you should have started College Funds the second your children took their first breaths, but do not despair, there are certain things you can do to catch up with your more financially intelligent peers. This may or may not involve selling bodily organs on the black market. But we’ll get to that later.
As you are no doubt aware, college costs have skyrocketed in recent years and are currently running as high as $20,000 per semester. And that’s just for Sorority keg party fees. Tuition is even higher. As a concerned parent, you want to make sure your child receives all the same skills and knowledge that you obtained in college, such taking notes while sleeping in class, crafting very authentic-looking fake I.D.s, and secretly dating 5 people at one time. Yes, you desperately want your child to have all of these advantages, but how can you afford it? Experts predict that in just two years, ironically at exactly the same time your child enters college, costs will explode to historic highs of $138 million per semester because that’s just the kind of luck you have.
Where are you going to get that kind of money? Based on your current financial situation, and using a complicated algorithm of income vs. expenses vs. every stupid retarded decision you’ve ever made, the only logical solution I can recommend for you is to rob the nearest convenience store at gunpoint.
No! Sorry! That won’t even get you CLOSE to what you need. What I meant to say is that the only logical solution is to get yourselves on a sensible investment program. So let’s start by taking a look at your investment portfolio. Hey! Wait a minute! That’s not a portfolio! That’s your 1980 junior high yearbook. Very funny, Mr. H. Nice try. So then, you admit it….you don’t even HAVE an investment portfolio!
So basically, you both have spent every dollar you’ve ever made on the basic necessities of life, such as mortgages, car payments, pediatricians, Chinese food, groceries, MAC makeup, butt shorts from Forever 21 and plumbing. You have nothing to show for all the money you’ve earned in the past 25 years, except a worthless house that’s never going to sell, two junky old used cars, mountains of teen clothing, and a garage full of useless crap.
So your current financial situation is a mess. Ok, FINE. It might be the worst I’ve ever seen in my professional career. But the important point to remember here is, don’t panic. There’s no reason to beat yourselves up about this for being such clueless idiots.
Step One is to create what we leading economists call “A Wealth-Through-Begging” program. Basically, you call up every wealthy individual in the entire country and beg for money you don’t deserve. There. That’s all I’ve got. You’re pretty much screwed.
If this advice works, let me know. I’ll be vacationing at an exclusive villa on an island in the South of France this summer, but you can contact me through my attorney or my butler at 1-800-UR-POOR.
Thanks and have a nice life,
John Q. Moneyheimer, I.AM.R.I.C.H.
*Boy, are YOU stupid! Haven’t you been listening? Or course we didn’t hire a financial planner, we can’t AFFORD that! Geez, we have to EAT, you know.