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Scott's 50s Biography

“Do you really want to look back on your life & see how wonderful it could have been had you not been afraid to live it?” - Caroline Myss 

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. .... . Explore. Dream. Discover
― Mark Twain


Table of Contents

quick links to Scott's Bio sections

I. Benchmark Boundary

II. Biography Introduction:

III. Scott's BIOs Decades: 1>>8

  F. 50s.        [jlk:~~]
       1. Teaching
       2. Solo Adventures
       3. Travel: domestic & foreign
       4. INvesting Blunder

    A. Pre-teens:  [jlk:~~]
    B. Teens     [jlk: AAgeG: 20s]  
    C. 20s        [jlk: AAgeG: 20s]
    D. 30s       [jlk: AAgeG: 30s] 
    E. 40s        [jlk: AAgeG: 40s]
    F.  50s         [jlk: AAgeG: 50s]
    G. 60s+.     [jlk: AAgeG: 60s]

My entire 50s was dominated by:

1. Teaching: an obsession to motivate kids to learn rather than force-feeding a fraudulent, unrelentingly boring, memorization-based regimen & destructive testing. 

Replaced ALL lectures & tests with hands-on, critical & creative thinking projects. Draconian classroom control replaced with mutual teacher/student respect.

The most demanding & yet fulfilling career of my life. 

2. Solo Outdoor Adventures:
    a.Normal short weekly outdoor activities (mt biking, kayaking, hiking)

    b. Long USA & western Canada road trips: to Florida, Alaska, & Calif & Oregon

    c. Major summer wilderness adventures: White River, ; Alaska’s Chilkoot Trail plus.        600 mi Yukon River paddle, and Boundary Waters Canoe Area paddle, WI

3. Foreign Travel:
    a. RV van trips to 1) Baha, Mexico, & 2) 3 months in Mexico, Guatemala & Belize 

    b. 3 mo roadtrip & backpacking around New Zealand’s islands






Wings & Anchors definitions
& a few 'life' questions

Wings: ... are positive basic personal traits that all humans inherently have. Recognizing & capitalizing on those traits can beneficially improve our lives.

For example: Our fear & curiosity together protect & improve humanity's quality of life. 


Anchors:  ... are factors that have positive or negative effects on our lives, if we choose to identify, understand & manage them. IF we understand & manage them prudently we can improve the quality of our lives. If NOT, we can damage that quality.

A clear understanding of this Wings & Anchors concept can bolster the quality of our day-to-day choices & for decades to come. For example:
-- a career choice in your 20s is critical, but not so much in 60s.  
-- foreign travel, impractical for teens, may be 'essential' in 60s.
-- financial literacy almost ensure worry-free 60s retirement.

Life Questions: 
    1. Do I have the right to control & plan my life?
    2. Should I tentatively plan my life?
    3. Can Scott's Biography help me compare & plan my future?
    4. Does Scott's Biography expose life's potential success & risks?

50s Challeges & Oppportunites

The  50s 'mid-life' crisis challenges and opportunities are 1) essentially identical to the 40s challenges and opportunities, & 2) some adjustment to 20s thru 40s issues may still be required  & EVEN more urgent dedication to retirement financial security & Quality of Life.

    1. Self-Evaluation & Reflection: Both earlier unavoidable 20s / 30s family & work* burdens & your stressful 40s burdens are hopefully being resolved to allow you to aggressively execute your 60s to 80s+ plans. If you have attempted to resolve earlier issues and formulate future plans your, your options are fewer and more urgent. Hopefully, you have washed away the pressure all others (- relatives, peers & society) have tried to impose.    It is your life, not theirs.

    2. Relationship Changes (empty nest): Again, hopefully, you have resolved career and marital issues, if any, and our capitalizing on their value for the future.

You can't outwit fate by standing on the sidelines, .... If you don't play, you can't win.     Judith McNaught.

    3. Gender Differences: Women & Men: : Hopefully, you are capitalizing on their upward, personal & career momentum, resolving all personal & career issues without too much trauma AND, have plotted an exacting route into & through retirement.

Anecdote: Julie, an overweight and sardonic Court Clerk simultaneously caring for her long-term, terminally, ill husband. after his passing, she immediately retired. I met her several years later: trim, and vibrant. She had been traveling the world.  You go,  girl!!

    4. Health/Mortality Awareness & Physical Changes: Hopefully, you have maintained your aging body's health, with the usual medical interventions (both knees replaced, multiple dental implants) set aside silly ego implications .... so your body can execute your 60s to 80s retirement plans including domestic & foreign travel.

"When one door closes, another door opens;
but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door,
that we
do not see the ones which open for us." ― Alexander Graham Bell

 Anecdote: My father's death when I was 55 & my very best friend, Mary Mead’s, death a year later kicked my ambition into high gear.

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl,
but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” —
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    6. True Intimacy: Your relationship has either strengthened itself or you both have moved on. Either way relationships may be stronger than before.

In 50s you may STILL have to correct 20s/30s decisions AND plan for your 60s to 80s+,
but with greater urgency & commitment.


My 50s Bio

                B. Biography                                Questions

                                Deeper dive, ... more context.                                                       Questions to ask me or  yourself.










I. Teaching

At 49½  I substitute taught until I was given a teaching position. Over next 10 years I taught US History, Econ, geography, US government & law at Jackson Hole High School. 

My lofty teacher goals had always been to:

    1) find a way for students to actually learn, 

    2) enhance student’s life experience after they left me

   3) perhaps to affect a change on education at large.

A. Traditional ‘bad’ teaching:

My 1st 2 years I taught as … I had been taught, as U of WY College of Education taught me AND and as my fellow teachers taught — I lectured the text book curriculum & gave tests

thru unrelenting boredom and undermines our lifetimes quality of life.

    1. Lecturing:  I constantly read professional literature hoping for the useful; always experimenting for better teaching methods & classroom management strategies. 

I also read current professional educational pedagogy literature our school librarian had assembled in the teacher’s section. Apparently I was alone. I had read & re-read popular lay- education books: Summerhill’, & “Education & Ecstasy.”popular education. Librarian remarked, “That few teacher ever read these books. No surprise.

I experimented with my own ideas:

Anecdote: foolish note-taking: I created elaborate notes to lecture from until I realized that students were busy writing as I lectured; totally ignoring me.   I didn’t really need to be there.

.  My Solution: So, I condensed my notes with short blank spaces for key info(names, dates etc) so they could fill those in quickly without being distracted from my ‘riveting’ lectures. I often joked later that I ‘traditionally taught’ better (worse.) then my fellow teachers.

The absurdity is that such lecturing/note-taking looks is widespread, taken for granted, accepted pedagogy that everyone presumed it to be actual learning. even tho evidence before them contradicted.  It is NOT actual learning.

    2. Testing:  My anal tests were predictably detailed, content driven monuments to ‘traditional testing.’  The ultimate teacher and industry weapon and whip.

    3. Classroom management:  Classroom management is teaching’s euphemism for controlling bored youth who act out the inflicted oppressive, brain-numbing boredom with sleep, surreptitious whispering and other distracting behaviors. 

So classroom management is usually an administrations soft peddled hardball draconian foolishness. My ‘classroom management’ research disclosed draconian strategies I fortunately can no longer remember for controlling 20 to 30 very bored, vibrant, intelligent kittens. Esier to think in terms of an unruly prison population.

Anecdote: My 1st year teaching mentor: (When not lecturing, my “1st year teacher’ mentor’s classes were pandemonium’s unconstrained loud shouting & fooling around. When my mentor sought to speak, he would yell until his Football Coach’s voice quelled the riot. Ludicrous.   Note: the next year my mentor moved on to a small school as principal and football coach. Peter principle in action.

I was bewildered by the absurdity, yet had no solution other than current classroom management theories in the teaching pedagogy literature. which was draconian dictatorial. Unfortunately, I was a new teacher drinking the Cool Aid. 

B. My Teaching’s 180° U-turn:

At 52, having taught high school for two years, I was frustrated, ashamed & unable to ignore any longer my ongoing hypocrisy of equating forced memorization and destructive testing with "actual learning".

During each class lecture my students and I struggled to stay awake knowing that they would be tested at week’s end on the drivel I had spewed. Worse, I was replicating all the classroom dynamics that had bored me to failure during the 1st 20 years of my life. 

Unprofessionally worse, I, & my fellow teachers, knew we were frauds & hypocrites because we saw its useless effects each day in student boredom & bad testing performance.  Shame on me for violating that duty.

Anecdote:: After my 2nd year of teaching, I advised my School Principal that I ‘literally cried’ at home because my kids were so bored by my lectures, angered by my classroom management techniques & intimidated by test anxiety. I told him, "I felt useless & a hypocritical fraud, because I knew my classic ‘teaching’ was destructive & counterproductive. I was everything BUT a professional teacher."

My Principal calmly looked directly at me, “If you don’t like it, change it.”   I responded, “Really?  He confirmed & …. I did.
My Principal had character & courage.

1. My New Goals:

My new goals (think obsession) was to find a teaching strategy/pedagogy that would genuinely inspire / motivate kids to actually learn & perhaps enjoy learning,  rather than merely memorize short-term to pass tests. 

I needed to 1) replace the fraudulent forced memorization-based regimen posing as ‘learning’, 2) eliminate specious destructive testing and do so 3) in an atmosphere conducive to learning. 

I needed a strategy that capitalized on/brought out each student’s natural human fear, curiosity, imagination, initiative, and creativity. IMO, all humans are innately driven by fear & the curiosity arising after fear is controlled or understood. Fear & curiosity spawns all.

Anecdote: colorful venomous snake: Hiking my AZ mountains a tiny gorgeous color-banded snake crossed my path.  PIK: My 1st reaction was a mild fear: “Snake! Beware”. My 2nd thought, “What a gorgeous vibrant color, My 3rd impulse, “What is it? My 4th thought, “Be careful, its color could be it ‘severe venom’ warning.” 

I moved respectfully on to Google & found the Arizona Mountain Kingsnake, often mistaken for the venomous Arizona Coral Snake. PIK K9

2. My Solutions: 

I eliminated lectures & tests replacing them with hands-on, critical thinking, creative projects & mini projects in a respect classroom paradigm.                       ??? Ironically, (before widespread laptop availability
    a. PROJECTS: that hopefully drive & elevate the quality of their life experience.

That summer, I began creation of a project-based curriculum for all my courses that continued, unabated, for every summer, Christmas, & spring break for the next 5-6 years; creating & continually refining an entire project based curriculum for 5 disciplines (US History, government, economics, geography and law). I was obsessed. 

This was a monumental effort to condense an exhaustive textbook’s extensive detailed Table of Contents & index down to the truly useful topics that exposed the true esence —the rational - for a student to learn that important info

         Example: US Civil War 
              1. Traditional focus: battle dates, key generals/people, etc, list of reasons for, etc.
              2. Useful life takeaways: 1. evil of slavery & prejudice, 2) sanctity of an undivided USA, justification for loss of life, hero definition, long term effects.
           Note: My goal was to ‘learn’ from Civil War important concepts that help a citizen negotiate & understand their future US citizen’s decisions. 

The projects had to be doable by all yet, unconstrained for those who leapt inspired to the challenge. The projects were divided into 3 realms: 
    1) accumulation of basic facts, concepts etc, 
    2) student demonstration of simple use/organization, of those basic info (“1)”, and finally & most important, 
     3) a creative expression of the basic info & concepts thru creative, autonomous writing, drawing, my greatest wants to do you like your project stand on the edge of the cliff spread your wings leap forward into the abyss acting etc. students choice) 

Anecdote: students mom’s compalaint: Eventually, standard, dry, boring, often wrong or biased text books replaced  my own researched resources, occasional college text book, & large lay-man format National Geographic-type books. 

             Chilkoot Trail lesson plan: [pplk: ….] also some PIKs at ‘Chilkoot Trail PIKs’ fld. AK video (???) 

into projects with 2 week time frames over each semester. Once I had a content focus a curriculm of the textbook outline guidance into projects focused on the most important concepts in an interesting enough manner to engage gauge student minds & energies in & outside of class.

Creating interesting & challenging projects & min-projects was an all consuming time & energy commitment; 1½ weekend days & ¾ of all Xmas, Spring & summer breaks. No la la beach life here. 😀

based on and classroom management of rooted mutual student-teacher respect.

    b. Tests: I eliminated all tests except 1) the administration demanded final exam that I made very easy-to-pass (I did not respect the concept) & 2) an occasional homework quiz if students seemed to be shirking.

Anecdote: In College of Education class I asked Professor, Gary Render,  what I might do about my disdain for anxiety generating ‘testing’. He looked at me seriously & said, “Stop testing.” I chuckled at the time at his heresy, but his thought came back later as I prepared my 3rd year’s curriculum.

Students were graded on workman-like completion of all 3 tasks, evident effort, sincerity of reasoning, authentic effort, imagination and creativity. Only B & A grades were acceptable; all else were a re-do or upgrade before end of semester or fail class. Don’t want C student dentists or plumbers working for me.   Content was the medium but secondary in importance.

Only the arrogant foolishness of public education would pretend to presume that humans do everything correctly the 1st time. 

Satisfactory completion of my projects was the assessment or test device. Example: to have a person ‘learn’ how to repair a carburetor, provide the  otherwise operable vehicle with a ‘bad’ carburetor, necessary tools & repair instructions (on Google Search now). 

To assess or test:    turn the key.  

    c. Classroom management:   My classroom management philosophy abruptly changed to one of mutual respect between teacher and students rendering classroom management moot/unnecessary. EG if I'm talking, or any other student, you are not interrupting or talking and vice versa.

Anecdote: When I needed to talk .Ironically, projects & mini-projects often required students to engage with each other. My control mechanisms were simple: 
     1) noise level too high? I stood in front of class and motioned downward with my hand like asking a service dog to lie down. Someone woul notice & the noise level would drop.
     2) If i needed to interupt their negagment, I simply stood quietly in front of the class with a smile on my face, waiting for someone to notice who that advised everybody else that I had something to say, and the room became quiet. (often I would do this, and my eyes would water as I reflected on the mutual respect that their quiet reflected compared to the pandemonium of my first two years.)

30 If I overheard too much non-project converstaion (weekend’s football game) I would casually ask the distracting student some totally innocuous question unrelated to the project. The student got my ‘hidden’clue and went back to work without teacher’s reprimand.

Irony, that my earlier school failures now drove my curiosity passion to learn in order to teach well.

3. Next 8 years:  

Thereafter, for 8 more years until I retired, my classes were project based without tests in a respectful classroom environment.   During that 10 years 2 experiences influenced my future & its travel. 

        1st, my father died at 85 forcing me to realize I was next in line into the abyss — no time to waste.    
        2nd at 53 I accompanied several of my high school students to Rome. Even though I had been there 30 (?) years before, it was thrilling. I wanted to travel, but where? How?  Really???


II. Solo Adventures:

A. Prelude:

At 55, my Dad died; a ‘blow’, anticipated or not. The only connection to my youth & my family. The only human I have ever loved, in any true sense. More such wake up call were yet to come. 

THEREAFTER, I realized that I was more than half way thru my life. I had to max it out. Make it count in my terms. I began to seriously test myself self worth, FOMO and fear of lying on my death bed lamenting what I had not done

 My father’s death forced me to my ‘see’ my own path to the abyss — no time to waste. This awakened mindset drove a series of large & small challenging outdoor solo adventurers.

B. Synopsis:

    1. 1996 1st AK road trip (Mary Mead’s Death)
    2.1997 2nd AK trip: A 60mi backpack trek on Alaska's Chilkoot Trail over Chilkoot Pass into Canada’s NW Territories down to Lake Bennet … segueing … directly into a 600mi solo kayak paddle to Dawson City,
   3.1997 BWCA : 2 week solo kayak paddle thru Minnesota's Boundary Waters Canoe Area’s watery wilderness maz??? Class Reunion, Genesee River paddle & Erie Canal
   4. Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone NP, WY: 4 day solo kayak camping circumnavigation of Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone NP

C. 1st Alaska Road trip: (1996/56) 

In 1996, always enthralled with Alaska’s Alcan highway, its great poet, Robert Service * & novelist, Jack London, my Roadtrek RV van & I traveled up Alaska & Canada’s West coast on an Alaskan Ferry to Skagway, in Canada’s NW Territories [ytlk: to come]


Anecdote: Friend Mary’s death:  Waiting in line minutes before boarding my Alasakan Ferry in Prince Rupert, abruptly I became aware that my name was blasting over the dock’s loudspeaker. So strange!

I rushed to the ticket office to learn that, “Scott, Mary Mead has died in a horse accident.”  A paragon of character & quality, my close rancher friend was dead.

Fighting the impulse to immediately return to Jackson, I continued on with dreams of Mary that plagued my Alaskan sleep further crystlizing the view of MY own final horizon

Off the ferry in Skagway, I spent 2 days exploring its well preserved buildings, museum, waterfront and the old cemetery of heroes & villains. Next morning I drove a few miles away to explore Dyea, the actual start of the Chilkoot Trail, explored its ruins and walked a couple miles up the Chilkoot Trail. 

Next morning I left Skagway traveling north to join Route 2 following the Yukon River into NWT, Canada’s NW Territories (NYT) & up to Dawson City’s historical 1897 Alaskan Gold Rush site.

For several days I explored Dawson City’s legendary streets & buildings including Robert Service’s preserved cabin & wandered up the Klondike River into the original gold fields with its ravaged landscape and huge abandoned gold dredges: giant pond-bound steamboat factories. I read Robert Service’s poems often to ‘seize’ the spirit.

Then, continuing on into Alaska, I stopped for 2 hitchhiking ladies who, with some girlfriends, had canoed the Yukon River from Lake Bennet to Dawson Creek.   I was impressed. The bug bit; I was infected. 

Driving back thru Southern Alaska & British Columbia to Jackson, my plan began to hatch.  

    1. Always I was trying to validate my self-worth with outdoor adventures that challenged my fears, confidence, & skills.
    2. I knew/know that some of my ‘challenges’ may seem 'Lightweight ' to many, but we define our own challenges.

D. 2nd Alaska’s Chilkoot & Yukon trip: (1997/57)


Inspired by the 2 Yukon-canoeing ladies I met on last year’s Alaskan roadtrip, I decided that to ‘relive' the gold rush of Alaska I had been reading about AND to truly empathize with the Robert SErvice poems I so dearly loved, …I had to retrace the Stampeder’s entire route myself. (called ‘stampeder’ because they ‘stampeded’ from all over the world at the ‘cry of gold.’

During that fall & winter I researched the Chilkoot Trail & Yukon River route, bought a Current Designs kayak, took kayak lessons AND a professional’s 3 day kayak overnight trip, assembled my gear, & tested my equipment on a couple overnight weekends on Teton National Park lakes.

1. Research & Preparation: 

My adventure had 2 components:
    First phase was a 3 day hike from Dyea, Alaska up Chilkoot Trail over Chilkoot Pass into Canada’s Northwest Territories (NWT) thru deep woods, past old gold rush campsites with artifacts strewn about, a steep rocky climb over the snow covered Chilkoot Pass & a couple of downhill days alongside Yukon River’s headwater lakes to the south end of Lake Bennet. where my hidden kayak awaited.

Second phase: Arriving at Lake Bennett, I retrieved my kayak, switched out my backpack gear for my kayak gear and explored this historic gold rush campsite with its extant rough-hewn bark church. 

Next morning I pushed off for a 2 week, 600 mi paddle to Dawson City, NWT, camping on deserted shores & islands, stopping at 1 or 2 towns, poking inside abandoned original winter Roadhouses, briefly sharing back waters with a moose, negotiating huge water boils, avoiding deadly log jams & negotiating my anxiety attack as water rushed in from another rivers. 

2. Adventure Starts:

I drove & camped western British Columbia’s back country dirt roads to NWT’s Route 2 to Skagway & Dyea.  I relished the long miles thru rugged British Columbia & NWT’s rugged landscape, historical sites, random spontaneous hikes & kayak paddles, Nat’l Parks, museums en route to Skagway & Dyea.

Before Skagway, Dyea & my Chilkoot Trail trek start, I drove 1st to Carcross to find a fishing guide to 
    1) boat my kayak down Lake Bennet where the Chilkoot Trail meets it, 
    2) pick up my backpack, etc at Lake Bennet after I had started paddling,
    3) drive my van & I down to Dyea and dump me for my early morning start, and finally, 
    4) drive my Roadtrek to Dawson City & park it for me to pick up when I arrived by kayak in a few weeks. Great service.

After the fishing guide dropped me in Dyea late that afternoon to camp before my next morning’s start, I explored the tiny Dyea town’s ruins. Dyea was the Trail’s original starting point because it had a long pier into the bay that could unload stampeders & their gear.

Early next morning I started up the Chilkoot Trail.  Nothing more thrilling than walking in the footsteps of history. Its raw charisma.

The first couple of days are through thickly wooden forest climbing up to The Scales, punctuated by original Klondike's campsite ruins & artifacts (an old cast iron stove. What stories it could tell.)  

Finally, I was at the The Scales, so called because here Klondiker’s could opt to have their stuff weighed on ‘scales’ for a price, and then carried to the top of Chilkoot Pass by local Native Americans. 

At the top of Chilkoot Pass you crossed the border from Alaska into NWT & were met Canada’s legendary Mounties who would not let you pass until you had the stacked required 2000# of gear on top of the pass thereby, hopefully, ensuring your survival. So, the usual Stampeder made 10-14 trips up the “Golden Stairs” unless he paid others to do it. 

After a steep climb to The Scales, a Stampeder could see the the “Golden Stairs’” arduous climb to top of Chilkoot Pass’s. So, they ‘dumped’ what they did not want carry up the arduous, …  or pay another to do. The ground was littered with broken pottery shards, & other such debris. I picked up a few, then tossed them back to preserve that history for others.  Pik of “Golden Stairs”

From The Scales I could see the Chilkoot Pass and soon quit poking around in the dirt, hiked to Golden Stair’s base started my all-fours scramble up snow-less yet jagged rocky slope of scree, ultimately reaching the snow covered, mist shrouded Chilkoot Pass top. 

I saw only 3 people on the Trail, 1 was turning back visibly haken after seeing the Golden Stairs route. 2 others were young powerful European men dressed in the Klondiker’s authentic wool plaid shirt & humping boldly upward.

On top I broke out of the cloudy mist & snow quickly moving past small ponds & stark glacial features to a snow free camp site overlooking Lindeman Lake & beyond it, Lake Bennett. 

Next day I arrived at Lake Bennet, switched backpack for my kayak, then poked around this historical site & its rough hewn church, sleeping early tomorrow’s early departure down long narrow Lake Bennet.  PIK K9 Lake Bennett

Panic Attack #1:

Paddling away from shore, within a half hour I confronted 4-6 foot high waves driven by a hard wind blowing spray off the waves into my face. I had kayaked 2-3” waves in Teton Nat’l Park , but these waves towered over me.

I became so gripped with fear (1st panic attack) that I paddled directly to shore & sat staring at the water embarrassed & ashamed of myself. Unwilling to quit, I spent a ½ hour talking to myself:   “Scott, you planned & prepared for this & frankly you don't have much choice. You're out in the wild so get a grip & get back out there.”  I was soon paddling again confidently.  Facing yourself my be the life’s hardest challenge.

Anecdote: 2nd panic attack: Just before Carmacks the Big Salmon River large water volume flows directly into the Yukon at a right angle indiscriminantly pushing mostly submerged large ‘lost-lumber-camp’ logs into the Yukon’s flow at their wide juncture 

3. Yukon & Big Salmon River Junction:

Several days later, south of Carmacks, the Big Salmon River slams directly  into the Yukon’s water creating huge boils & mixing large, half-submerged ‘lost’ logs into the turmoil.     [YT LINK: Yukon River (to come)]

My panic attack in the middle of this caldron seemed instantaneous & full blown, with no close beach to paddle to. 🥲.  Yet, I can still recall, irrationally considering ‘jumping out of my kayak & running to shore.’  Absurd, of course.

Again, I talked myself thru it, “ Scott, you have the best equipment, you have trained for this & there is no REAL danger unless you let yourself succumb to the panic.” 

Minutes later I was back in control, shaken, never again so frightened until .. Mexico City’s Zocalo & never again since. 

Great psychological, physical & historical adventure adventure

Anecdote: Terrible rash & anxiety: I did this trip under a severe mental & physical medical handicap: A full-on body rash with large welts that PIK: rash:  migrated slowly across my entire body during the day accompanied by irrational anxiety, quelled only by daily prednisone drug which fortunately quelled rash within a couple of hours. 

Not a distraction you want during a solo wilderness adventure. I give you an photo image so you can appreciate my issue, NOT to cavalierly gross you out. Notice puffy swollen face & lips  Rash PIK: 

Always, pushing myself to test my my courage and skills against my vacillating sense of  self-worth and fears. 

E. Boundary Waters Canoe Area: (1998 Reunion(58)

A year ago, an acquaintance showed me a map of the BWCA, let me borrow her books and a BWCA map. She planted the seed. 

Almost immediately I decided that I had to visit this last great U.S. wilderness canoeing area. August 2nd, a year later, I pushed away from shore.

The BWCA Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is a huge wilderness maze of varying size lakes & ponds connected by multiple portages & narrow, shallow, barely moving streams of varying often tiny connecting waterways. Access & numbers are controlled, yet ironically you can go anywhere & exit anywhere.

Few places seemed so remotely devoid of humanity than was my BWCA trip. Totally on my own. I had no backdoor, no ‘time out.’. 

In 1998 there was no Google Maps or iPhone, my BWCA map was barely adequate and few, if any, rescue resources available in BWCS’s depths. You either knew exactly where you were at all times or …you were lost. Others were seldom seen. 

Often I would arrive a point where I wasn’t sure of my location. I would back up to the last ‘for sure’ location and start again. Unlike the Yukon which flows inexorably down stream to Dawson City, BWCA has no such failsafe.

Anecdote: lost portage: 2nd morning I mistakenly paddled past the correct portage to a wrong portage, made 2 heavy kayak & gear hauls until I realized my error, back tracked, reloaded, paddled a 1/4 mile to 1st portage and completed the correct portage. Energy draining.

Now, it appears that BWCA resources & tech are well developed & available. My applause.



1. Intellectual curiosity:   Intellectual curiosity is just a fancy term for Curiosity; the inherent, unquenchable thirst to know everything that might protect us or enhance our Quality of Life..

Having negotiated 40 years of 'life' already, we have grappled with fear & curiosity to find a mate, a career & hopefully pleasurable, satisfying pursuits - sports, arts, history, etc.

While fear may still haunt us, as it always should, today's cell-phone/internet tech offers us near-infinite curiosity prompts at the touch of a finger.  

Perhaps, your curiosity was seriously dulled by the demands of your life making you believe it is lost forever. Not true. It is inherent in your DNA. You may stifle, but not destroy it.  

It remains potentially unlimited & can be restored & enhanced.

2. imagination & creativity:   Imagination & creativity may also have been seriously smothered by boring, possibly useless education, or career & family demands, BUT it is a sleeping giant, potentially unlimited & restorable.

3. self-worth & other personal character traits:  again, perhaps seriously sabotaged by boring education, painful marriage or relationship or unfulfilling career choice.

Yet, you are still the Master of your Fate if you choose to be so. Easy? Probably not! But it can be done.

4. Extracurricular life: Perhaps for the first time in 14,000 years, we modern American middle-class humans have free time daily and in retirement to pursue our own interests & pleasures.  We have a greater variety of free-time activities available than any human at any economic level at any time in the history of man.

Yet, many of us squander this free time throughout our lives on passive, frivolous non-effort pursuits, like watching football. ad nauseam, binge-watching streaming TV series & Netflix ...  requiring little curiosity, imagination, or creativity, while squandering, one of mankind's greatest Quality of Life opportunities.

In contrast, ask yourself what you do that takes advantage of the profound, powerful complex creativity, imagination, and curiosity, machine dangling between your ears?

Do your hobbies or activities require effort (hiking kayaking, tennis)? Have you ever further investigated classical music, renaissance art or history that you randomly encounter during life?

Is it possible that if you briefly explored those venues, you might be excited to pursue further… And enjoy.


Urban myth suggest that in our 40s through 60s we encounter "midlife crisis ". Research apparently suggest NOT having a crisis at any point in your life is extremely unusual. Only the underlying reasons differ decade to de=cade.

we encounter or can encounter crises in any of our decades for varying and different reasons suggsting an unusual level of emotional instability, negativity, and crucially, major changes over the course of a year.

"overload" stressors--basically juggling too many activities at one time.

In mid-life decades 50s, women suffer more high level distress "crossover" simultaneous stressors work & family-demands.

Our response to such crisis, usually either redirection, acceptance or accommodation and the changes ,if any, that you felt set you on your ideal path.    job changes made in midlife seemed to have a beneficial effect. "The assumption is these people didn't feel stuck.

In 50's, are plagued with cisis causes of both early (20s /30s) and later life (40s>60s) crises—bereavement and ill health. for women & men, loss of a loved one (parent) & ill health, & the increase increasingly looming retirement concerns & heightened awareness of mortality can forment a longterm uneasy 'crisis.' Men's job concern dominate, but coupled with a far more important and impactful, “Holy crap, I’ve got a lot to do.” paranpoia.

Ironically, midlife folks suffer such stressors, ironically, because they actually have more control over their lives than earlier and later in life,

Equally interesting, and good, midlife folks score higher on almost every measure of cognitive functioning than they did when they were 25,  Verbal ability, numerical ability, reasoning and verbal memory all improve by midlife. Later 50s iand on, 

decline in cognitive functioning by the second half of middle age, from the mid-50s to early 60s cognitive functioning begins as decline, as we know.

    1. Foreign Travel: 

NOTE: As stated before, I discuss Travel because I DO NOT want you to miss-out on such an exciting, & fulfilling life experience because you are UNAWARE of foreign travel options: 

In our 50s, we are approaching the 'fish or cut bait' stage of life for foreign travel. Aging, hopefully, you are in good health & financially secure thru retirement, but loss of a parent or close friend may force us to become aware of our final abyss 20 or 30 years ahead. My father's death death did that for me.

This highly predictable abyss may go goad us into maximizing our remaining existence Quality of Life. Foreign travel may be one exciting route to search for such fulfillment.

To do so we have to realistically assess our current 50s status:Are we healthy enough to travel? The question must consider 3 criteria:
    1. Health: current & immediately foreseeable health status,
       If reasonable healthy all travel may be available including my SIT (solo independent traveler) travel. If health issues, even the most worst case handicapped can do Big Bus Touring & Cruising. IOWs, you tailor foreign travel to your capabilities [pplk"    ]

    2. Comfort required: I wealthy enoughh you can travel at the Brad Pitt level, if not you can as I do, 'Close to the ground and in the dirt. The full range is available

Anicdote, my sister's cruise trip.

    3. Sense of Adventure: Depending on factor 1. & 2. above you can travel at what ever level of adventure pleases yo0u from cushy cruise ship deck cahirs to mountain treks thru China's rice terraces. 

    4. Financial ability: If wealthy - no issue. If career choice, personal finance management & lack of financial literacy left you financially insecure, adjusting your required comfort level & trip length, can usually accommodate some foreign travel. Don't be halted by your own prsumption that, "It can't be done."  

Please scroll down to Failure to Invest for a solution discussion.

d. Adjust your travel mode:

Anecdote: my sister, I once offered my sister a free cruise for she and her husband to the Caribbean, but when she insisted that she had to have an outside cabin with ocean view, I retracted my offer.

The cost of travel ranges from Johnny Depp's version and Apur benchmark boundary kid at 20. Johnny can afford to enjoy lavish travel at its height if he wishes a 20-year-old cannot

Somewhere in between these two you must find your financial travel niche that you can afford. It's not about the money. It's about the experience. It may be near impossible without make up for Johnny Depp to experience much of what I've experienced because he will be mobbed.

Anecdote: Russell Crowe in Rome

Regardless of my worth I traveled as though I had very little money, even though my day and luggage carried substantial hidden US dollars for emergencies. I traveled "close to the ground", "in the dirt" sleeping &  cooking in clean hostels street food, local's cheap transporatation on my own. Using small day trips only when practically necessary.

.Years from now when perhaps too old or infirm to travel, 

I don’t want you to look back and wish you would have traveled more.

[pplk: Travel Wisdom: Travel Benefits] [pplk: Travel Wisdom: Travel Benefits]

    2. Lacking High school diploma: At 50, you have already resolved this dilemma, if any, a long time ago.

OTOH, if dissatisfied with your current career, choose to change it or add another. you have 15 to 20 years before retirement. 

Anecdote: teaching and garage doors:

QUOTE: “You don't need college to learn stuff. Everything is available basically for free.   
You can learn anything you want for free."  
Elon: Jan 27, 2023

    3. Marriage & children: 

Like the 'high school diploma' issue, you have probably already navigated through the child rearing and maybe college years of your children with you and your wife looking forward to the freedom of an empty nest.

You may now have complete freedom to design the balance of your life, including foreign travel. Your greatest risk may be to succumb to the complacency of the nest's emptiness instead of its potential.

I have friends who retired early (60's) & devoted their life to their grandchildren. IMO, he sought security & sense of purpose. Ironically, grandchild engagement, intellectual pursuits, and foreign travel are all possible. 

Anecdote: Duke's grandchildren's haapiness, shared new exp[eriences : cooking.

Some grandparent's tradition, is to take their extended family or high High school graduating senior on a European trip PIK K9

Financially & intellectually, activities & new adventures can all be an extended family grandparent-driven experience. You have only to imagine it, design it, and do it.


    4) Financial Security:

Let's be blunt. At 50, if you are not financially secure now it is because you failed to become financially literate & invest wisely. You can either wallow in your self-justifying excuses or you can admit your failure, become financially literate and commit to your future financial success

 Your solution, if you wish one is to rearrange your personal finances so they efficiently provide your needs and to become financially literate so you can effectively and prudently and profitably invest in real estate or stocks.

It is essential that henceforth you must become financially literate, using your current income & any possible additional income to prudently invest for increasing net worth.

If you have reasonably secured your financial future and retirement, then you are free to indulge your success in the Quality of Life you choose, including foreign travel's experience quality (costly hotel vs hostel). 
                            Your money, your call.

OTOH, if you have not secured your financial future and retirement you can either:
    1) continue blissfully into your future financially strapped to work until you die , OR,
    2) if you're willing to "take this horse by the tail and face your situation", you may yet successfully strive financially to secure your financial future and retirement including some foreign travel.

This Will not be easy. It will demand the best of your character to pull off……

Some suggestions:

1. Personal finances:  
   a. Expenses & Payments: Make an accounting of your monthly expenditures: utilities, food, alcohol, home, auto, credit card & loan payments.   Your goal now is to reduce or eliminate all payments and debts, so that you will have surplus investable money.

   b. House: if you own or rent a house or apartment much larger than you need for an empty nest family, then sell your home & buy or move into a small condo. Your empty house may NOW  be a self-indulgent 'money pit' like a sailboat.

Anecdote: Sold my lagre log house: When I returned from 3 months travel amongst relative por rural folk, I reaized my big house was not reall a 'home'. It was sold within the month for a modest condo, rental units & foolish, ignorant stock purchases. 

I had converted a house continually under construction, demanding massive labor in time with a great long-term potential into a simple, fully built, low maintenance, condo, and rental union units parentheses ultimately great blessing.)

 Completely freeing me to more enjoy my personal pursuits parentheses reading/writing/kayaking/hiking/mountain biking)& , of course, almost 20 years of foreign & domestic  travel.

   c. Vehicles: if you have payments for vehicles that flatter your ego, but undermine your long-term investment potential,  sell those vehicles for something without payments that still serves your needs. Pseudo assets (cars, expensive furniture, expensive dinners, etc.) lose money limiting other choices.


   d. Unecessarty Expenses: ... If you flatter yourself with expensive meats, fancy restaurants & wines , multipple UN-used online subscriptions, you are squandering.

Immediately reduce the expenses and eliminate
unnecessary subscriptions.

 Read "Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Kyosaki"


2. Investing:    
    a. Become financially literate quickly:
         1. search the internet advice
         2. Review my biography's investing experience [jlk:  ] with stocks & real estate; risks & potentials.
         3. Listen to Jim Cramer's podcast Mad Money with attention to'[new investor strategies'
        4. Read Robert Kyoskai's " "Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Kyosaki"

IMO, stocks are the easiest & quickest way to mentally grow net worth versus real estate, which can require a great deal of sweat equity skills & investment. Educate yourself past ypur fears. Ordinary people will becme millionaire in the next 5-10 years investing in stocks.

Real estate has excellent potential but ofte a muuch longer time Horizon then you may have.

“You don't need college to learn stuff.
Everything is available basically for free.   
You can learn anything you want for free."  
Elon: Jan 27, 2023

    b. New career or income source: Find a new career or additional source of income that excites you and makes money. Remember colleges fraudulantly suck away your money and indebt you while a 'trade' will pay you as you learn to increase your income over time.

Anecdote: teacher & garage doors.




 Questions to ask me
                   or yourself!

1.) Am I too old to foreign? 

6) What, right now, in my life, what could I begin to change that would help achieve my goals which may or may not include travel?

Why, 25 later years later did a trip to Rome with my High school students STILL not ignite the passion? 

3) Why 3 years later did I finally decide I NEEDED to travel to Mexico?  

4) Why did that 1 week spring break Mexican trip ignite the next year’s 3month RV van trip thru Mex, Guat & Belize FINALLY ignite a passion for 20 more years of increasingly more passionate foreign travel?

4) Was it a mistake to wait so long? Should I have traveled earlier? ..  more often? 

“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,

Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,

Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”


Omar Khayyám

c) Financial security vs life dream fulfillment (hedge fund manager vs train horses


I. Family:

Did I ever consider marriage or family?: 

My dysfunctional family experience nullified any conscious desire for marriage & family. Pragmatically I never felt I was financially secure enough to take on the responsibility even tho I had the occasional traumatic romantic relationship driven, I suspect, primarily by Mother Nature.

Anecdote: My 30th birthday: I can remember imagining that when I had my 35th birthday, I would probably be married and have one or two children. That never happened.











I.  College:

   A. Lewis & Clark college:

1. Did I know, consider or even think what my post-college career options might be?  No!!! Embarrassingly, I never considered what I would do with a history & political science degree or my post-college future at all.

My future was hidden behind life’s opaque theater curtain, only my desperate minute-to-minute survival was visible. I just suddenly graduated & viscerally/starkly realized that I must eat & sleep somewhere.     That was all.

My Cutco Cutlery job was too financially uncertain; too insecure; too phony, and dependent on my glib sales persona with young women, yet initially it seemed my only option.

2. Why did I not pursue a college degree level job?

I had never thought about a post-college career. I just wanted out from under eduction’s constant grinding burden; to finally get through.

Nor had I any idea what my post-college options might be.       Sounds crazy, looking back. Like looking thru a window, but only seeing the glass.


B. Work

1. Once out of college, did I have an idea of college degree career path jobs?

None at all. I simply sought whatever menial survival job that popped up in front of me. Considerable irony … after finally getting a college degree. 

2. Why door-to-door sales & doughnut shop labor?

Actually, 1st job was soliciting permission from home owner’s to put advertising on nearby bus stop benches — never got paid.

OTOH, In college I had sold Cutco Cutlery door-to-door sporadically for extra income AND my doughnut shop job provided food, lodging(?), and a little extra cash.

3. Why didn’t I rebel against insecure Cutco door-to-door sales & my menial doughnut shop job?

Rebel to what?     I knew Cutco sales & my doughnut shop job provided food, lodging (?) and a little extra cash. I was grateful to survive. 

Curiously, I felt no self-disgrace from these menial jobs perhaps because I was grateful to survive. 

               QUOTEIt was during this time that I adopted this lifelong quote:
“Obstacles are what you see ...
when you take your eyes off your goal.” (Anonymous)



Finally, somehow, I ‘discovered’ ‘employment agencies and corporate sales work.

4. Was my college degree necessary?

Honestly, my college education added nothing, that I am aware of, to my life work skills. Both my white & blue collar work/ career’s knowledge & skills, except for law, were acquired on the job.

Anecdote: Pete Daily Advertising: [lkn:   }

Perhaps a small random exposure to history & art added to the intellectual quality of my personal life once I had fully recovered my curiosity a few years after college. 

But few, if any, work-ethic skills like diligence, initiative, self-motivation, time management skills, dependability, self-discipline, punctuality, positive attitude, hard work, and teamwork. A horse does not learn these skills at the end of a whip. 

Anecdote: When a teacher using projects ratehr than lactures & tests, "My son works too hard on your projects." ... my student’s mother complained to me. She asked me to ask him NOT to work so hard on his projects.

I looked at her & politely said, “That is exactly what I hope my students do.” We discussed it no further.

In the 60s a college degree was analogous to a high school diploma as a corporate screening device for white-collar classified work. Wearing a white shirt and tie was a professional symbol even though the pharmacy clerk you dealt with dressed casually.

OTOH, I suspect that my personality, as well as my door-to-door sales experience, were the most influencial criteria.




6. Why didn’t I seek a more advance career than corporate sales, but why? ... What career?  How would I know?  
    a. It had been my salvation. from menial; survival jobs.
    b. My sales work was rewarding, I had developed skills & corporate client contacts.
    c. It was challenging.





6. Why,  during my corporate sales and advertising agency experiences, did I not strive for my superior’s job — the next “ladder rung” above me? 

AnecdoteIrwin Wasey Advertising, LA: My boss, Ken Wessel, once told me, "Your primary goal should be to get my job." 'That' was the corporate politics I never grasped.

Perhaps because:
    1) I was excited, and highly self-motivated in each job until I wasn’t when I would move to another company for a greater challenge.
    2) I always saw my superiors as much more skilled, capable & experienced than I. Yet, later I realized they simply had more experience & perhaps, corporate political skills.
    3) Even as I worked hard delivering superior results I did not covet my superior’s job.
    4) Compared to my doughnut job, I was succeeding well.
    5) My real estate was a parallel life;  fulfilling and hopefully, a profitable challenge.


Finally, in my late 40s I made a personal commitment to avoid all romantic involvement, obviously including marriage because, I, not the women, would allways undermone any relationship.  With a couple minor blips. I honored that.

Travelnot a thought

6) What, right now, in my life, what could I begin to change that would help achieve my goals which may or may not include travel?. 

Note: for for timing purposes, I must've quit working after the dating game so either late 28 or 29 and I took over the laundromat shortly after that somewhere between 29 and Erwin Wasey advertising maybe 32 they started law school at 35 so means I started thinking about it in the early part of by 35

VI. Investing track:

Somehow, some way, when about 24 or so, I had an epiphany: “Owning real estate’ might be an average man’s route to financial security & success.”

Anecdote: Real estate investing inspiration: At 23 while selling Cutco Cutlery door-to-door on a Saturday morning in Portland, Oregon, I met a man painting a small house. We chatted, he indicating it was one of several rental houses he owned.

His inspiration was “ “How I turned $1000 into One Million in my spare time.” by William Nickerson. I too bought & read that book.  20 years later Nickerson updated it: "How I Turned $1 million into Five Million in Real Estate in My Spare Time” 😃

Several years later in Manhattan Beach, I recalled that incident, read the book. I still have a well-worn copy.

    A. California City quasi-scam:  (Getty PIK in emails OR K9 California City

Excited, but poor, my 1st ‘investment’ was a quasi-scam real estate development pie-in-the-sky lot called California City located out in S Cal’s desert. After a year of monthly payments, I realized it was semi-worthless, reneged and gave back ‘my’ lot so they could sell it to the next sucker.

Anecdote: Irony, a month ago & almost 60 years later, an article popped up on my iPhone entitled: “California's third largest city (California City) is a mostly empty, forgotten dream.”

    B. Costa Mesa duplex:

Fortunately, my vision did not die. Later, I visited a Manhattan Beach real estate broker, Bill Woodbury, seeking his counsel on rental property investments. He helped me buy a duplex in Costa Mesa, Cal. My tenants were 3 prostitutes whose children lived in the garage; the unit was run down & flea-infested.

After evicting the prostitutes I had to clean, learn to repair plumbing & electrical, paint, landscape & replace carpets. I lived in Manhattan Beach, so I drove 20 mi each morning to work at Daily Advertising Agency on LA’s Wilshire Blvd, after work I drove 50 miles to Costa Mesa to remodel, & then later each evening I drove 40 miles back to Manhattan Beach.

I enjoyed managing & maintaining property myself, even if the learning curve was steep and net income low or negative. Constantly scrimping by on my advertising mail room job's income plus a big box store weekend job.

While my father remodeled part of our home and did all the upkeep and maintenance and repairs, he never thought to involve me. Perhaps he did not want me distracted from his white collar college path. IDK. 

Through my 20s & into my 30s I bought more rentals often with little or no money down & high monthly payments … always struggling to make the loan payments which kept me constantly broke.

I did all management, maintenance & remodeling myself — intentionally chaining myself to my real estate believing it would payoff someday. (it did.)

Anecdote My view of volleyball players below:  Once, as a part-time 'handyman' at 26 or so, I was waterproofing a roof overlooking Manhattan Beach where men & women my age played volleyball. I can still remember looking down at them thinking to myself, “Someday I won’t have to work. … and maybe you will." I wasn't wishing them ill-will; merely reinforcing my vison of my future.

VI. InvestingTrack:   
 1. What is financial literacy?     Financial literacy is the understanding & use of financial knowledge & skills broadly related to YOUR personal finances & investing —both intertwined.

      2. Why are most Americans financially illiterate?   
Thanks to counter-productive K-12 & university systems, the vast majority of American graduates (& their parents) are financially illiterate.            Ignorant of ………..
                                  1. personal money management, 
                                   2. credit card debt & car loans, and 
                                   3. investing. 

Most no nothing of bank's checking account loop-hole terms or about rental property or stock investments because:
        1. Useful Financial Literacy is NOT taught as general core knowledge in high school or college except perhaps tangentially in business major classes. I suspect most teachers are NOT financially literate
        2. Neither my parents, nor anyone else I knew, invested nor discussed it if they did, particularly real estate even though they owned our home.
        3. Naive Investment myths: 1) no money, & 2) no reason to learn about if no money.

    A. Personal Financial Literacy;
        1. Why is financial literacy a life skill all should have?

         1. CCs & personal bank loans:   Financial illiteracy or ignorance benefits the banks with --
            a. 3% credit card transaction fees it charges your retailer which, if wise, they pass on to you.
            b. more significantly, late paying card holders may suffer exorbitant fees & increased interest rates:
                1) late-pay fee 
                2) default Interest rate jumps as high as 29.9% or more AND can last for 6 months unless extended by more late pays.
                3) If not paid promptly, you pay interest on the late fees.*
                4) late pay reported to credit agencies damaging your credit score
                5 If credit score ‘drops’ bank can auto-increase your interest rate.
                6) Penalty Annual Percentage Rate (APR) increases can last for at least six months, but can be longer if you continue to make late payments.
                            * this is ‘destructive’ compounding interest — the worst.


         2. Credit Cards, car, RV & boat bank loans often catapult folks into permanent high-interest credit card & loan debt, .. often completely negating even the thought of retirement investment money almost guaranteeing a McDonald’s job in old age.

   D. Why do banks advertise cards heavily to college students?   They are most vulnerable to credit card mis-use (ignorant & naive) that will soon be working & acquiring debt.     Too cynical? You decide.

   E. Why do banks, colleges & universities promote almost unrestrained student loan borrowing?   [plk: Student Loan debt fiasco]

X Anecdote: On a Saturday morning in Portland, Oregon: selling CUTCO cutlery door to door at 22. I countered a man painting a small house. We chatted, he indicated it was a rental house of which he owned several.

He had been inspired after reading “ “How I Turned $1000 into One Million in My Spare Time.” by William Nickerson. 20 years later Nickerson updated it: "How I Turned $1 Million into Five Million in Real Estate in My Spare Time” 😃

Years later in Manhattan Beach, I recalled that incident, and read the book. I still have a well-worn copy.


B. Retirement Investing:

Other than a lucky lottery or inheritance, investing wisely throughout life is the best, and perhaps the ONLY strategy for work-free retirement & its enjoyment. 

Most do not get retirement-wealthy from work income, but rather from investing some portion of that work income regularly over their working years. 

Investment knowledge & skills refers to:
    1. investment kinds, characteristics & risks/opportunities
    2. practical ‘How to.’ investing knowledge & skills.

1. Why are most Americans ignorant of investment literacy?   (repeat)
    a. Pragmatically useful Investment Literacy is NOT taught as general core knowledge in high school or college perhaps because most teachers/professor are investment illiterate.
     b. My father worked for Eastman Kodak when once a viable company & accumulated their stock without deeper thought. His Kodak & family home were investments by default, not thru investment literacy. Obviously he never discussed investing with me.

2. Are there additional reasons most people, the young, in particular, do not invest?   When I ask, most sheepishly admit they should be investing for retirement, but haven’t for several reasons:
    1) more focused on immediate ‘fundament basic needs: food, lodging, fun, etc.
    2) focused on critical ‘life choices’: career, marriage/kids & freedom’s fun.
    3) At early 20s very little incentive to dwell on 3+ decades in the future, particularly when finally free to make own lifestyle choices. 
    4) “I have no money to buy stocks?”  

Yet, Jim Cramer, TV stock guru bought stock when young living in his car;   now worth over $200 million
    5) “I have no money, so, NO reason to invest in stocks.”

Yet, today you can buy a fractional share of some stocks for $5 minimum. (Charles Schawb)
    6) scared off by other’s risky claims which justifies NOT learning.
    7) If youths quickly make critical fundamental commitments/decisions - student loans, marriage, children, home, car and maybe foreign travel, the resulting financial burden may place them in debt quicksand for long periods with no foreseeable out.
    8) If they choose an expensive lifestyle - new cars, large home, expensive college education, they may be deep debt long after their children, have moved out on their own, if they finally do.


Anecdote: Econ class teacher: 

1) How to Skills: Had classroom stock games, 

2) Invited stock brokers to talk stocks & mutual funds.

Only several years later did I realize stock brokers are simply ‘shills’ for their company’s self-servingly agenda. AND that mutual funds are, in gthe vast main, very bad investments. 

I was so ignorant. 

I touted ______________________ until years later I learned extremely few were actually good investment.


c. Why is ‘time’ a young adult’s greatest investing asset?

Sad irony of this illiteracy is that youth wastes investing’s most powerful asset —time … for 2 reasons:

1. Even when young investor’s lose $ occasionally once in a while, they have rest of their life to recoup the loss.  At 83, I don’t have that ‘back door.’

2. Compounded interest is a valid investment concept. Understand it!!!

3) Good investments (S&P index fund) tend to increase in value over time creating profit or gain. 


Anecdote: In 1979 immediately after moving to Jackson Hole I bought 3 ½ acres of beautiful property for $65,000 on the Snake River looking north to the Grand Teton mountain & west to the Jackson Hole Ski Area. 20 years later I sold it for $1.25 million. Today it would be worth $3-5+ million. 


Anecdote: Apple (AAPL) stock: once: On 3/11/2010 I bought shares of Apple company at $8.01 which today are worth $168/share. 


Compounded interest bank accounts and stock dividend auto-reinvesting roll over into next years increases …. so, last year’s interest ALSO earns interest adding to the grand total. Unfortunately inflation & bank’s fees & low interest rate usually cause bank accounts to lose value over time. 


d. What is the financial status of most retirees?:

Recent GOBankingRates survey found that most Americans have less than $50,000 saved for retirement — the majority (36%) have less than $10,000 saved and an additional 27% have between $10,000 and $50,000 as of Mar 20, 2023. Much of that is in the family home most don’t want to leave or sell.


Imagine if that is your net worth when you retire at 67 and may have 20 + years of life during which all costs keep rising. If you did not invest early, your options may be 1) live with kids, 2) keep working, if allowed, McDonalds or welfare.

[pjlk: Investing in Real estate:


VII. Curiosity:

Within 2 years after college, I felt my intellectual curiosity slowly revive.  Inherently, obsessively curious.

VIII: Travel: 

    A. Early 20's travel:

I traveled the 1960’s somewhat unpopulated ‘real’ West of Northern Idaho, Montana, and NE Wyoming servicing & selling Alberto Culver shampoo to small drug stores in tiny townlets. I loved the openness of the west, the freedom of long drives between dinky Montana’s drugstore towns, weekend hikes (??), and the small western town museum's local-only history.

            1) Roundup, MT’s: ‘original hanging tree’:  (50+ mi N of Billing) small town with its original hanging tree) later moved into town for the edification of visitors. A noose always hanging.

            2) K-C WY: Site of Wyoming’s Johnson County War (aka Wyoming Range War) between cattle ranchers & sheep headers; basis for the Steve McQueen movie ’Tom Horn.” I still remember the abrupt silence when I asked some folks at the local bar about it.     Even the court records had been sealed until the last participant had died. 

           3) My only nite in jail:  Irresponsibly passing someone over a solid yellow line just before a County Sheriff's car rose towards me over a small rise & pulled me over. He advised the fine. And I still remember telling him, “You can take me to jail because I don't have any money." He did. Next morning judge let me leave my 22. rifle as collateral. I remember the jail’s stifling heat, late evening meal & early breakfast with other prisoners sleeping as long as possible between meals to make the time pass. 

     Travel: I felt the excitement of this mix of work & car travel. Each day, another town, motel & restaurant just seemed like freedom. I am sure this prompted my love of US & Canadian road trips, but I never even considered SIT travel thrill until decades later.


    B.  Mid 20’s Travel

    Dating Game TRAVEL:

At 28, I won the Dating Game TV show 3 times including an all-expense paid, fully chaperoned trip to ultra-exclusive 5 star Villa d’Este Hotel, on Italy’s Lake Como. Extending trip 2 weeks. I SIT solo visited several other countries. 

A good adventure, yet few travel memories, but returned early because trip seemed too soulless, too lonely; better done with a lover or friend, I thought.            Sadly, It did not inspire foreign travel.

Anecdote: Innocent, storybook romance: The experience also included an unanticipated, entirely innocent, storybook romance with a young heiress to an international beverage company; & our early morning drive to Lake Lugano, Switzerland for breakfast in Mr Healy’s last built Austen-Healy. A romantic storybook experience!         Indeed. I was way over my head.

I never thought of traveling abroad again. If I had, it could only have been an unjustifiable indulgence. In those days, life’s financial insecurity fears trumped travel.                                                 Survival, not travel, drove my life.      You get the point.

SEE BLOG, “Reasons I did not travel earlier” [pplk" ???: ]


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