Sweaty Spice, the other Spice Girl

My brother, who just turned 52, has decided that he wants to retire. Soon. Like shortly after our father passes away (he turns 89 today, and is in late stage dementia).

He has gone over his finances, and calculated his burn rate, and thinks it could work. Of course, he would have to sell his townhouse in San Diego (and turn a cool $400K profit in less than 5 years), buy something for cash in a low tax state, and become much more frugal.

But, when he told me of his plans, and asked why I didn’t pull the ripcord, I told him outright that it is mainly the cost of health insurance. A silver level plan on the ACA for my wife and I will be more than $20K in premiums (granted, as a non-working retiree, we would get some subsidies, but not enough) and if you actually have an adverse health event, BOOM another $10K could fly out of the bank account.

He hadn’t thought of that (and in his right wing echo chamber, he swears that the ACA - a.k.a. “Obama Care” is evil socialism). But that will not deter him.

Then he hit me with his dream. Buying some acreage in western Washington state, and run a fucking “hobby farm”. I swear to fucking god that took all my self control to not laugh maniacally at. He thinks it would be easy to raise chickens, grow some vegetables, milk a couple of cows, and raise pigs for pork and bacon.

I. Can’t. Even.

This made me think of when people find out I was a professional chef for a bunch of years, they confide in me that their dream is in their late 50’s to ditch the rat race and open a restaurant. Like it is some romantic dream. I tell them in no uncertain terms that running a restaurant is neither easy, nor low work, unless you can afford to pay professionals to run and work it.

Same with the fucking hobby farm bullshit.

He also wants a toy hauler with a monster pickup truck to tow it so he can go riding his motorcycle wherever the whim takes him.

And he wants a barn with a workshop so he can be a “maker”. Think woodworking tools, a lathe, vertical mill, probably a 3D printer, you know all the latest toys.

And then they were talking over dinner about an elective procedure my sister in-law wants for her eyes. That will be $7K not covered by insurance.

At one time, I recall hearing him brag about how savvy he was in his investments, and how rocking his portfolio was. That was when he was doing the startup two-step, but never getting that hit. Now he has two mortgages (one for the townhome, one for a house that his in-laws lives in in Washington state) a wife that pulls down serious coin selling high end handbags to women who have way too much money (seriously, $6K for a Chanel clutch burst?!?!?) and a lifestyle where you like to spend money.

Of course, to be austere he has given up his Amazon Prime subscription, and only keeps Netflix for streaming, no cable (that is no loss).

Somehow, that doesn’t really seem like cutting back on expenses.

And frankly, they love to spend money.

This will not go as he imagines. I suspect there will be a “Welcome to Walmart” future for him.

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