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60s, 70s & 80s+ 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 

“I travel because it makes me realize how much I haven’t seen, how much I’m not going to see, and how much I still need to see.”   ― Carew Papritz

Table of Contents

quick links to Scott's Bio sections

I. Benchmark Boundary

II. Biography Introduction:

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

  C. 60s,70s, & 80s +          [jlk:~~]
       1. Financially well being
       2. Social Connections & Isolation
       3. Ageism and Discrimination
       4. Life Transitions & Identity
       5. Opportunities
       6. Travel and Exploration

    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>80s + . [jlk: AAgeG: 60s]




Finally out of college with NO career plan, ...

   I sold Cutco knives door-to-door,

   THEN, slept on a doughnut shop storeroom floor before rising early to
        make & deliver them,

   THEN, corporate consumer goods salesman,

   THEN, large Los Angeles advertising agencies as an Account Executive,

   UNTIL  Finally -- beach-bum & handyman invested in & maintained my
       rental units.






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?

60s thru 80s+ Challenges & Opportunities

I must be brutally frank ........ 

1. Financial Well being: If your financially successful career’s income was prudently/wisely spent AND excess income was wisely invested,  if marriage endured, and you became financially literate generating a profitable investment portfolio, your 60s through 80s+ is likely secure, worry free & unlimited with all the opportunities that offers.

You are free to pursue a new career path (consulting, online internet business), hobbies, domestic & foreign travel (This is a travel website, after all. 😄)       Yours is the ideal retirement.   Congrats!

OTOH, If you wallowed lazily in a financially unrewarding career or you unnecessarily squandered your career’s income & failed to become financially literate & invest profitably, you are probably in dire straits doomed to work until you cannot. 

You may be trapped in bare financial survival & dependent on your children’s support or government largess (Social Security & Medicare),, AND you are increasingly prey to health & other disasters that can wipe out any small cash reserves. 

The odds at this point of you becoming financially secure in an increasingly expensive world are heavily on my body stacked against you.  You have not lived life’s ‘game’ wisely & have lost. 

2. Social Connections & Isolation: Career retirement may sever your social connections risking social isolation & loneliness, in turn, sparking an important scramble to establish a new group of friends, most likely also retired. This is doable.

3. Ageism and Discrimination: Age-related discrimination (Ageism) can affect elderly’s employment, housing, healthcare (?), & social interactions. Obviously the less financial secure, the greater possibility of negative effects.

4. Life Transitions & Identity: Career retirement may 1) sever daily contact with longtime fellow employees, 2) create a sense of uselessness cuz no one at work cares/wants or needs your contribution, & 3) if unprepared with rewarding & captivating hobbies you may lack self-worth’s sense of purpose sending you scrambling for new roles, hobbies, and sources of fulfillment. 

A race must be one with every step not just the final few feet. 

Opportunities:     OTOH, these 3+ decades offer unique opportunities:1) to share your acquired wisdom & experience (consultant, night or trade school, onoine Youitube tutorials, 2) your personal growth’s pursuit of old & new hobbies, interests, domestic & foreign travel., 3) charitable volunteering, mentoring, & public service offers a quick & rewarding instant gratification & a self-worth/esteem boost.

Travel and Exploration: FINALLY!! This a travel website, of course. 😃) SIT (solo independent trave), big bus touring & cruising travel is available to all at various price & fitness levels. Few pursuits offer the astounding advantages & opportunities for personal growth, pleasures, fulfillment & sense of accomplishment at any age and in any physical condition as foreign travel [plk” travel benefits]

“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.

My 20s Bio

                B. Biography                                Questions

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











I. Family: 

Once again, my poor father ....

After the Air Force Academy, I never permanently returned home. My USAFA experience began my near-total escape from my family except for  a short visit every few years and bi-monthly phone calls home to hear my father’s voice & and exchange obligatory niceties with my mother. I never missed my family, but relished the comfort of my father’s voice.

My mother NEVER answered the phone to protect herself from anything upsetting which my father deflect, including my brother’s, manipulative & irresponsible demands for money.

Yet after my USAFA dismissal, my poor father once again felt forced to bail me out after m my impetuous, and perhaps cowardly, engineered discharge from USAFA on grades by shooting pool for 2 weeks before exams; --- this free, prestigious US Air Force Academy education and the life career it almost guaranteed. 

Dad scrambled that summer to enroll me in highly regarded, but expensive, Lewis & Clark College, in Portland, Oregon. I say ‘he’ because I was only mildly interested in “What was next?”

Dad had summarily dismissed my plan to buy a used BMW motorcycle and solo ride around the country a la Steinbeck’s Travels with Charlie’ & Jack Kerouac’s road wandering classic “On the Road.” Dad’s quick retort, “Try that and I’ll cut you off.” ended that fantasy. Oft times I have wondered what my life would have been like if I had gone anyway. 

I believe my father’s self-worth was somewhat dependent on this kid’s completing college. Ironically, I was the only child that did. What my father lacked in a close father-son rapport he made up for in his efforts to insure my educated future.


II. My Continuing Education:   Lewis & Clark College: 

At L&C I majored in political science and history because I thought that would be the easiest way to get a college diploma. I was too ignorant & naive to discover that a teaching major was even easier and promised a real career. All that was lost on me

Quickly enough, I fell into several unrequited, tumultuous love affairs which ravaged me psychologically & physically as I medicated with alcohol. Romantic self torment rendered study an irrelevant grueling burden & my future vision a total fog. Thus I struggled with, surprise, low grades.

Finally after a ‘post-graduate’ L&C summer, I finally had sufficient grades for them to let me graduate with a 1.88 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. I always quipped that, “L&C wanted to get rid of me as badly as I wanted out.”

In sum, I wasted a 2nd fully paid opportunity I neither appreciated, valued or empathized with. 

        Guilt:  Only when I was out of college for a while did I realize the effort it took for my father to survive & scramble for the success that allowed him to keep "bailing me out" and pushing me forward in spite of myself. While I don't think I felt guilt for my father's efforts, I certainly lament the price and agony he must've endured.

Sheepishly looking back, during that time of my life I had no sense of responsibility for my future, apparently presuming  my father would always have my back, since he apparently had the vision of what I was supposed to become, although that vision was never specifically articulated. 





III. Work: survival & career : 

    A. Survival Work:

I graduated college … broke, in debt and no goals. Raw survival mode.
      1st job: Cutco Cutlery sales:I continued to sell Cutco Cutlery door-to-door, working hard to earn a pittance, but too financially unpredictable.

        Anecdote: Broke: I remember the daily frustration & anguish of being broke, while women living in very expensive Lake Oswego, Oregon cliff-top homes would tell they could not afford a $3.65 knife.

    2nd Job: Bus stop advertising: was getting permission from contiguous home owner’s to put advertising on bus stop benches.     Never got paid.

    3rd job: Doughnuts: I slept on the doughnut shop’s storeroom floor until I awoke very early each morning to bake & deliver the doughnuts.

         Anecdote: a broke Dustin Hoffman: At my ex-college girlfriend’s arranged marriage ceremony I parked across the street from the church. like a cowardly Dustin Hoffman (The Graduate).     I had 25 cents for gasoline in my 1934 Dodge Delux (didn’t take much then), and 10 cents in my pocket munching the only food I had that weekend — a box of red licorice twists. 

My fear of insolvency’s financial burden, insecurity & risk blocked even slightest fantasy of marriage, family & travel for next 2 decades.     Painful to admit , her mother had been wise.

        Anecdote: 'No money' Dreams. In my 20s & 30’s  I awoke from dreams sitting upright in bed frightened at the real estate payments that I could not easily pay.      Even now I have dreams in which I don’t have enough cash on me, yet even in the dream, I know I have money somewhere. 

Poverty always perched on my shoulder like a ravenous vulture.

        Travel: My early to late 20’s were dominated by 2 forces:   
            1) corporate jobs and
            2) real estate investment.  Domestic & foreign travel was never considered; financial security was my only obsession.




    B. Mid 20s Corporate Sales & Advertising:

Finally, At 24, I discovered ‘employment agencies’ and listing of ’corporate sales’ jobs that paid a salary, expenses, provided a car, were quasi-professional and most of all, challenging. A true revelation! 

        1. Alberto Culver (VO5 shampoo): During my 1st job interview, Sunkist Company (oranges) said I was too over-qualified to service orange displays in grocery stores. The ‘overqualified’ irony seemed to mock my college diploma.

Then, Alberto-Culver (VO5 shampoo, etc) hired me as an entry-level ‘detail’ salesman servicing small Portland & Oregon area drug store shelf displays.  I was so elated. Imagine, a company car, expenses, a modest predictable salary, and territorial responsibility.            I had died & gone to heaven!

         Anecdote: Oregon Coast route: After a few weeks I was sent to service the Oregon Coast’s small-town drug stores. Unfortunately Alberto Culver, only reimbursed expenses after I had incurred them.  I had little money for my expenses

I slept in my company car’s back seat in a gravel quarry, shaved in gas station’s cold water bathroom sink & dressed in my suit. Ah, the resilience, endurance of youth.   A night later I slept in a small coastal town’s flop-house hotel with a bare light bulb hanging on a long cord. Beat the car.

Weeks after I submitted my expense report & was reimbursed my boss reprimanded me for NOT incurring enough expenses and making my fellow salespeople look bad & upsetting them. 

Even now I can remember the irony of my self-sacrificial job devotion being twisted into a negative.   Life’s little lessons.

     Alberto-Culver’s greatest value to me was the revelation that I could 
         1) work hard with passion toward defined goals, 
         2) develop sales technique skills on my own, 
         3) refine my people skills to inspire legitimate customer respect & trust,
         4) compete fairly with other salespeople. 

I was ecstatic, until … got old, and I started looking around. I got fired for doing so.  

         2. Thermos Company: Insulated Thermos bottles    
          Anecdote: Fired & hired same afternoon.  I had just picked up my Alberto Culver supervisor at a Montana airport when, driving into town, he fired me.  My employment agency had told him I was looking for another job. Bitter irony.     HINT: beware of employment agencies.

   Fortuitously, hours before being fired, I was hired by Thermos Corporation selling Thermos insulated bottles & products to Los Angeles territory retail outlets. A step up in all respects.

I can still remember the extreme emotional coincidence of dodging-a-bullet AND a new exciting future’s good fortune. 

My Thermos Sales Manager was a true professional who purposely groomed me to be successful with larger clients. Unfortunately, after a few years I was again fired apparently for exercising too much control over my mentor & boss.       Go Figure.


5. Did this corporate-level sales work build my character’s confidence, self-worth & esteem, etc?

YES Indeed, in several ways: 
    a) selling & living solely on my own for months without direct oversight enhanced my confidence, 
    b) high personal regard for the passionate commitment I had to my performance & company, 
    c) realization that store owners & others trusted & respected what I did, 
    d) appreciation of my free time’s flexibility & freedom 
    e) my successful development and implementation of sales plans, that directly benefited my boss AND our customers.
    f) ultimate realization that my future success was dependent NOT on my education, BUT solely on sum of my attitude & efforts.
    g) realization that my company & supervisors over time trusted me to act responsibly & effectively.



    3. Advertising Account Executive: 
At 25, shattered at first by ‘Thermos firing’, Then, for some serendipitous reason I cannot recall, I focused on marketing’s more complex, multi-disciplinary complex corporate -level advertising profession.

Boldly, I applied to Dailey Advertising agency, offering to start at the bottom i.e “the mail room clerk” to get my foot in the door. I ultimately worked my way up to Assistant Account Executive on several internationma & national accounts (General Motors, Air New Zealand) & finally to Account Executive.

Yet, every 18 months I got bored, moved onto Erwin-Wasey Advertising & finally, Carson Roberts Advertising until an agency client, a new start-up, Academic Financial Services (AFSA Data) hired me away to market & sell their government student loan software to colleges & universities. 



        4. AFSA Data: University/College billing & accounting software sales:
Eventually, a client lured me away to become marketing director (glorified salesman) for a small billing & accounting software business start-up (AFSA Data) his NYC venture capital mentor was invested in. 

Ironically, AFSA'a lawyer-president many months later fired me, then, at my suggestion to the venture capitalist investor,  was himself fired for squandering start-up funds. Soon after, I was later rehired, but alas, I soon quit after feeling burned-out on corporate chicanery.      I personally vowed not to work in corporate anymore. But, alas, .....

     Anecdote: An old L.A. bread company: After I quit, curiously, I applied to an old established bread company as marketing director. When I arrived for my interview they gave me a lengthy application to complete. I looked at it briefly, put it down, and waited for the personnel director to return

She asked if I had completed the application. I answered, “No.” She insisted that it must be completed before they would interview me. I thanked her for her time, but advised that, “I wouldn’t complete the application until I knew I wanted to work from them.” I politely thanked her again & left. I remember seeing a small 'holy water' niche on the stairway wall as I left; tell-tale of old-fashioned architecture & rigidity.

I vowed, then to avoid the corporate world working for others, manage my rental units & do “my own thing” including acting, singing, pottery, camping, biking & rolling skating along Manhattan & Hemorsa Beach’s beach front ‘Strand.’


5. Wash Tub Laundromat: 

Shortly after my AFSA Data & Dating Game experience, I negotiated the lease of a laundromat that had been closed for 2 to 3 years. It would become a working investment for several years well into my 30s. It requireda complete remodel of inside & outside including paintint, wall paper, carpet and a hefty investment in new machines. I also added a dry cleaning drop off service. I managed this well into my 30's.



Wings & Anchors

NOTE: Wings & Anchors for “20s” ARE SAME AS discussed above under Benchmark Boundary's Wings & Anchors

Please click this link to jump back up & review:    
          [jlk: 20s BB Wings/Anchors]


 Questions to ask me
                   or yourself!

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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