Showing posts from December, 2007

Forever Young

I think I may have found a theme song for the Platinum Years blog and website. My wife Melanie and I were watching a rerun of "The Wonder Years" tonight. The episodes often are very moving for us, having grown up in that era, not to mention the fact that Melanie and I met when we were around 13 years old... You might say she's my "Winnie." Anyway, the episodes always end with a tear jerking song. Tonight, the song was "Forever Young," the Joan Baez version.

This song was long buried in my memory, buy I think this song beautifully sums up the passion I have for all of us to live out our dreams. Here is the imeem link. (What? You don't remember Imeem? See "I Don't Need No Stinkin CDs," posted December 17th).

... and here are the lyrics. Consider them my Christmas blessing for you:

May God bless and keep you always,
May your wishes all come true,
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the sta…

We Can’t Let This Happen

Here is an article from CBS Marketwatch website by Paul Farrell which predicts an intergenerational battle royal over the next 30-40 years, as we baby boomers age and make more and more demands on an increasingly fragile social security system and other government “entitlement” programs. And sadly, I can’t disagree with his logic.

However, this battle is not inevitable. It can be avoided as long as we baby boomers remember that we should be the mature ones and act accordingly. How?

1. We must be willing to engage in honest discussion of program changes, including benefit changes, retirement age changes, eligibility changes, etc. For as long as I can remember, social security has been considered to be “the third rail of American politics.” (i.e. touch it and die) This can not continue.

2. We need to remember that if there is an intergenerational battle, it is our children and grandchildren who will ultimately pay the price for our intransigence. The simple math is that there are currently…

Authentic Happiness
The Book That Started Platinum Years

In a sense, Authentic Happiness, by Martin Seligman, is the book that started my "platinum years" passion, at least in a third handed sort of way. Authentic Happiness was read and recommended by a financial planner in an article in “Investment Advisor” magazine. When the planner realized how woefully inadequate it was to help people with money issues alone, he totally revolutionized his financial planning practice. He created a seminar entitled “Living the REAL good life,” and started practicing what he was preaching. And a funny thing happened. He began to attract many new clients who shared his balanced approach to “life planning” as much more than “financial planning.” And other existing clients, not as enamored with this approach, began to “self-select” out.

If you click on the link to the right, you can go right to and check out this interesting phenomenon for yourself. You will see that many people just loved this book. And many hated it. Some of the crit…

I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ CDs (or Mp3s Either)

What if there was a radio station that played exactly what you wanted to hear at all times and without commercials. Would you ever need to own your own music? I’ve just been asking myself that question and I’m pretty much concluding, “No, I wouldn’t.” And the reason I’ve been asking it is that I’ve just discovered a new music web site, Earlier this week, I saw a news article about imeem as being the first music website that has agreements with all the major music labels. Understand that it is NOT a free download site, but you can stream just about any song from any PC with an internet connection.

After a simple free registration (name, age, gender, email*, etc. - no address, no phone number), you’re connected. Search on an artist or song and you are presented with search results with info about the song and clickable links to play it. You can create unlimited playlists to organize your music for next time, and you also will be shown the playlists of others that include t…

Exactly When Did I Become “A Man Your Age”?

I just came in from shoveling out our car and part of the driveway. An early snowstorm just dumped 11 inches of snow on our town, more snow than we usually see in the whole month of December. And I should also tell you that I have a driveway that is over 200 feet long. It used to be stone and therefore turned into a real mess if you had it plowed, so over the years I sort of developed a system for keep us “connected with civilization.”

If the forecast was for over six inches I would just bring the car down to the foot of the driveway, just shy of where the street plow throws the snow. Then, when the snow stopped, I would shovel a path down to the car, then around the car, and then clear the last ten feet or so to the street. By then we’re connected to the world, and since I work at home, I could gradually work my way up the driveway, over days if necessary.

Now I pace myself and take breaks, but somehow in my wife’ Melanie’s view, this type of exercise is grossly inferior and more dange…

Web Site Updates and New Book Sections Posted

I spent a few hours on the website tonight, posting some of the recent blog items that are probably going into the book, including Going Down Swinging" and "Rich Dad, Poor Dad, My Dad."

But there's also a newly posted CHAPTER entitled "End Game." It's a perspective on the Boomer stage of life using a chess metaphor, and it's currently slated to be Chapter 1 of the book. The Introduction is also on the web site, and has been for a while,. Both of these are too lengthy to blog, but here's the first few paragraphs of "End Game":

Platinum Living - End Game
In chess, there is a term called “end game.” By the time you get there, you've been playing for a while. You've captured some pieces and you've lost some pieces, but often the game hangs very much in the balance. You don't have nearly as many options as you did when the game began, but with all those pieces gone, the board is quite a bit clearer, and you still have many wa…

Thought for the Day

I've seen this quote before, but never blogged it. It was on a promo for yet another boomer social networking website. You're going to see a lot of these. I wouldn't even attempt to compete with them. But it's a cool quote:

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, rather to skid in sideways, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, 'Wow!! What a ride.' "

Someday I plan to compile the many many quotes I have collected over the years into a section on ... maybe calling it "Platinum Quotes" or "Platinum Thoughts" or "Platinum Nuggets"

So What is Your Ship Built For?

This is really part 3 of what is turning out to be a series, so if you haven’t read “Going Down Swinging,” (both parts), you should do that first.

As many of you know, I’m a sailor. I took it up as a teenager, and rediscovered it about ten years ago after a thirty year hiatus while I, you know raised a family, built a business, paid for college tuitions and weddings, yada, yada, yada.

In “Going Down Swinging, Part 1, I concluded with a quote that was positioned over my desk for probably twenty years. It said, “A ship in the harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships were built for.” In Part 2, I told you about my dad, who approached life very conservatively, and died before he ever really got the chance to find out what his ship was built for.

All of which begs for the question that I’ve been leading up to. What is your ship built for?

Visit any harbor and you will see a variety of ships. They look very different. And they act very different. Your power boat may go 3-4 times as fast as my …

“Going Down Swinging,” Part 2 - Rich, Dad Poor Dad, My Dad

(The writing slowed down a bit, since as I told you last time, it now appears that we’re building a chapter in the book - I’m so full of ideas, it may be several chapters in a section. Anyway, this topic is at the heart of why I am writing Platinum Living. I’ve been doing some soul searching in this area, and the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad came to mind, which got me thinking about my own Dad - So I wrote this as a continuation of “Going Down Swinging.")

About ten years ago, there was a best selling book entitled Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki. I do not particularly recommend it because I believe that Kiyosaki’s financial advice is not very balanced, leaning very heavily to real estate and heaping excessive, though on occasion justifiable, criticism at some very good financial strategies and products. But I’m going to share with you what I consider the best part. The author, Robert Kiyosaki, had two paternal influences in his life, his real father and the father of one o…