Janet w/ Jake, the Alligator Man

Viagra Babies and My Impending Dotage and Demise

When I started this blog I promised it would be irreverent and funny and occasionally informative. Well, today it’s time for some information, though first you’ll have to slog through the other crap.

Last night I was eating dinner with my 18-year old son. We’re talking about some serious stuff mostly regarding his upcoming entry into college and the excitement of leaving home for his next adventure in life. Finally out of the blue he asks, “How much does a funeral cost?” Was he worried about my impending demise, I wondered? Not exactly. He was worried about how much he would have to pay. “After all, mom (my ex) is not gonna pay for it,” he told me.

I thanked him for his concern and assured him I had a good year or two left and then told him honestly that Janet knew my wishes and I did not want a funeral; just to be cremated. “So, how much does an urn cost?” he asked. I considered showing him the final scene from The Big Lebowski, where the Dude and Walter get a coffee can from Ralph’s to carry Donnie’s final remains (and the consequences of that action) but decided that I at least deserved more than a Ralph’s coffee can.

“Urns come in all prices,” I finally said and then assured him that my “estate” could probably manage the cost of an urn.

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About a week ago I was talking to Janet. She was half joking and said, “You must take good care of me now while you are young because I will be taking care of you in the future.” Once again I assured her that was going to be far into the future, but as a dutiful husband I also assured her I would take care of her now. I also thanked her for the “young” lie.

But this whole age thing is really weird because of the incongruity in my life and marriage. After all, I am 61 which by many standards ain’t exactly young. Frankly, I’m not sure I can even get away with calling myself middle-aged any more. I am constantly referred to as “the old guy” at work. OK, truth be told I used to be referred to as “the old guy.” Now, I suspect I am referred to as the “old guy with the hot and inappropriately young wife.”

And yes, said wife is 26 and in many ways I get to watch her begin adult life, learning about her environment, and the workaday world, in total contrast to my plans to end my foray into the workaday world.

And of course Janet talks often about children. Most of my peers have grandchildren to bounce around and then get rid of at the end of the day. We’re trying to determine how and when to have our own, and whether my hernia will hold up.

And this is really where it gets strange because I believe I have to try to think and act young all the while acknowledging that other reality. You have to balance both realities, while, as the cliche goes, living for today.

This reminds me of a story from my friend Jim. I hope he’ll forgive me for stealing it.

I was meeting with Jim weekly over beers telling him of my escapades in the Philippines, and of my then girlfriend, Janet. I was encouraging him to check it out. It took some convincing, as well as several chat sessions with a cute Pinay, who was to eventually become his wife, but finally Jim visited the Philippines. He returned to the U.S. and soon after went to a bar to meet a few friends. Arriving a bit late he found his buddies involved in a not so lively discussion – on burial plots. Apparently they hadn’t seen The Big Lebowski. Sizing the morbid situation up he told them, “Here’s what I’m up to,” and pulled out a picture of his hot girlfriend. The burial plot conversation ended.

I don’t know what my point is here exactly. I suppose at my age you can discuss burial plots, funerals and urns or marry a cute Filipina. I know what I chose to do.

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BTW, to add to the old age theme here, yesterday I was on the phone with Social Security. I have the week off from work and one of the exciting things on my list of things to do was to call Social Security and ask them a few questions and confirm a couple bits of information that I thought I knew. You can’t get much older sounding than to fill your day with a lighthearted call to the Social Security office.

One of those bits of information I confirmed is what some cynical financial planners now call the Viagra Child Plan. It’s a lesser known clause contained in the Social Security bucket. So get ready for the informative stuff!

One of those bits of information I confirmed is what some cynical financial planners now call the Viagra Child Plan. It’s a lesser known clause contained in the Social Security bucket.

Here’s how it works:

If a man or woman begins to collect Social Security retirement benefits, whether at age 62 or beyond, and that said old geezer has a minor child, that child gets the equivalent of 1/2 the codger’s Social Security payment. The child in question can be a natural child, adopted or step-child; doesn’t matter. I am fairly confident that the framers of the Social Security system did not have in mind old farts like me marrying 26-year old Filipinas and then having babies, but what the hell. So the point is, when I begin Social Security retirement benefits, at whatever age, if Janet and I have a young child, that child will receive payments from our friends in the Federal government until he/she is 18 or 19. Isn’t democracy wonderful!

Our plan regarding the money is simple and responsible; we’re going to take those checks and place the money on black at Caeser’s in Vegas! No, no, no. Actually we will put it in a fund for education. That way, whether I am alive or not our child at age 18 will be able to afford college or a cup of coffee, whichever is then cheaper. Or possibly it might pay for my urn.

BTW, once you reach age 61 you will find that you are inundated by invitations to go to free dinners where they discuss your impending Social Security windfall and financial planning. Janet and I went to one. There were about twenty couples in the room and let’s just say, we were unique. The fortyish financial planner went over a large number of Social Security strategies and their ramifications before mentioning the Viagra Strategy. After explaining it, wiseass that I am, I raised my hand and asked if I still got the benefit even if I didn’t use Viagra.

11 thoughts on “Viagra Babies and My Impending Dotage and Demise”

  1. Dave, interesting info. I didn’t know about the Social Security benefit. But the whole question of kids is one that bothers me as my relationship with my girlfriend evolves. She says that she doesn’t want kids. But she’s so young and they always change their their minds. My ex did. She went from a hard-charging career woman who swore that she never wanted kids to a stay-at-home Mom so fast it made me dizzy.
    Of course I’ve been fixed so without a questionable surgical procedure on my part the whole question of kids has already been decided.

    And this doesn’t even begin to address my concerns about how she will support herself once I’m in the urn.

    1. Robert – This brings up a couple of important questions in all relationships, not just Fil-Am ones. Because of being fixed you obviously were interested in someone who was OK with having no kids. Yet, as you point out, it’s possible she could change her mind. As to the support question, I am working hard to make it work after I am gone, which I want to re-emphasize is going to be a long time from now 🙂

      Of course the good news is that living a nice life in the Philippines is much easier than it is here. I feel pretty confident that barring some disaster, Janet will be fine after I am gone and if we manage the money well (and don’t play black in Vegas) any child we have will also be taken care of. Many guys emphasize the modest cost of living in the PI vs. living in the U.S. but equally important to me is that if I am careful with my retirement money, Janet will have enough in PI to last for life. The same cannot be said if she lived in the U.S.

      1. Dave – the big difference for me is that she doesn’t want to move back to PI. So the whole retirement and future support question is more complicated.

        1. It’s hard to know what to do. In the end we have to talk to our partners and try to find the best solution and in the meantime enjoy it while we can. It’s a cliche but what else is there to do?

  2. Have you made ‘arrangements’ as to who will continue this blog when you are resigned to the coffee can?
    Is the food good at these free dinners?
    Better you start this family now that you are ‘only’ 61, I think. You don’t want to be too old when he/she is 18 years old.
    Maybe your next week off can coincide with a certain time of the month, and be used for more enjoyable ‘activities’ than ring the Social Security.
    Regards from a not so far behind you, Pascal

    1. Hi Pascal. Yep we need to take advantage of more of those freebies. And it’s entertaining to watch the reactions, which really are positive. Yes I agree that we ought to get on it sooner rather than later, if we are going to do it. Janet’s mom can’t wait. She has 10 kids and 2 young grandkids and wants to take care of another. Will see what happens.

  3. BTW, I should mention that the pic is not of Janet and me, but of Janet and Jake, the Alligator Man, a local legend in Long Beach, WA. I just thought it looked cool since age was the topic and Jake looks like he’s seen better days 🙂

  4. Hey Dave,
    I am 65, my wife is 32 and our son is 3 1/2. It’s working out quite well, though people frequently assume that he is my grandson. I was aware of the social security benefit and am looking forward to enjoying it when I start taking ss next year. Not sure, though, what happens if you have a second child — which could become relevant in our case.

    1. David – as always, you’re one of my models. Regarding Social Security my understanding is that there is a maximum family benefit and it totals approx. 180% of your retirement benefit. While YMMV and you should definitely confirm with SS, I am guessing that the 2nd child will get the same as the 1st. But at a certainly point if you keep adding kids, the kids will just be splitting up the same pie. This isn’t quite the same as welfare babies.

      Frankly when I was in my 40s and had my 2 children, even at that point I got asked a couple times whether they were my grandchildren. Should be fun to see the reaction this time.

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