Retirement and Death Planning

June 18th, 2010 by Potato

A poster at CMF has a “possibly unique problem“: he doesn’t know when he’ll die! How do you make plans for retirement if you don’t know how long you’ll live? It was suggested that he plan to live to 95, and if he lived longer, the government would take care of him, or he’d be so senile he wouldn’t care that he was broke. “But,” he wondered, “what if I die sooner?” Here is my take:

There are lots of solutions to not knowing when you’ll die, such as letting an insurance company worry about it, or planning to live an absurdly long time, while also making contingency plans for who gets your money if your first plan fails. Offspring, spouses, and charitable organizations will all vie for a piece of that pie.

This is conventional thinking though, and you have a decidedly unconventional, potentially unique problem. Conventional logic says that you can’t take it with you, but why is that thinking accepted so blindly? So, consider the ways in which you might take it with you.

Paper money on your person may not survive the transition to another plane of existence, particularly if you are sent on your way via cremation. So that leaves heavy metals and gems as the storehouses of wealth most likely to transfer to the great beyond. The question is just then a matter of form.

The Greek tradition is focused on proximity to the eyes, so you should get a pair of solid-gold sunglasses and wear them all the time, just in case. Best to design them with a lattice-work of cuts which can double as break lines so that you can break off small, fungible pieces of gold for your afterlife shopping needs.

However, the afterlife may be a place of strife and violence, as suggested by the Vikings. In that case you’ll need a sword and shield to carry with you. The last shield I made I included adjustable arm straps which, when at their maximum length could double as shoulder straps. With some removable storage pouches, it could conceivably become an only-mildly-impractical backpack for everyday use. The surface can be impregnated with semi-precious stones to also serve your transactional needs between battles, while also providing protection against the flaming arrows of skeleton archers. Of course, traditionally one paints their family’s coat of arms on the shield so that you can easily find your clan in the melee, but if your family isn’t close then it’s not a big loss.

4 Responses to “Retirement and Death Planning”

  1. Marianne O Says:

    Excellent advice. Now if I could only find a shieldmaker with gem-setting skills…

  2. Potato Says:

    You’d be surprised at the skills your neighbourhood geek picks up. Try asking around at a LARP event near you. If not, maybe we can see if they’ll make it the next feature in Make magazine :)

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