Retirement is a Bankrupt Industrial Age Idea

This blog was originally written by Charles Blakeman.  You can find the original blog in its entirety here.

Shut up. Sit down. Live invisibly. Go out quietly.

“I’m working on my third book “Retirement is a Bankrupt Industrial Age Idea” and the research confirms everything I’m seeing in the world around us – the title of my book reflects reality. We’ve got to rethink the whole idea.

The Industrial Age, which is a very short 175 year snapshot of life in the last 10,000 years, left us with a lot of great toys and a luxurious lifestyle, but we’ve paid dearly as a society for it. The whole bankrupt idea of retirement is one of those casualties. You should get a Business Maturity Date instead.”

“We were sold a bill of goods by Bismarck who thought up the crazy notion of retirement in 1889 (he set it at 70 when the average age at death in Germany was about 49). The entire idea is only 121 years old – for 10,000 years before that we did just fine without it.

It is the icon of the worst of what came out of the Industrial Age – “Shut up, sit down, work hard, live invisibly, don’t talk back, make the company successful, be loyal, and go out without making waves. We’ll take the best 45 hours of your week and the best 45 years of your life, and if you survive all that, we’ll let you do something significant with your life when you’re done.”

The Next Generation Has Already Opted Out

The X,Y and Z generations know this is bankrupt. But they’re still hearing their mothers voice in their ears telling them that the top three priorities in life are safety, security, and stability – all three which are deadening to the idea that anything significant will happen in your life.

Great reward only comes from taking a risk – it doesn’t even have to be a great risk, just take one.”

Big Business is Dead, Long Live Small/Local Business

“Retirees who bought the lie know by experience it isn’t working. There is a better way. Fortunately the world is actually going back locally.

The era of big business is as dead now as the railroad was in 1903 – neither one of them knew it at the time, but it’s over. Long live the local business owner, which is exactly what they will do – without the bankrupt notion of retirement and all it represents hanging over them.

Read more on what Rieva Lesonsky says about the retirement myth here, then come back and talk with me.

Here’s some ways to solve it, too.

I believe you will enjoy life more, have more fun, relax more, and probably even take more vacations if you never retire. Love to hear if you think I’m nuts.”

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A Lack of Security

Do you remember when everyone had a job and people donated to the local volunteer Fire company and Ambulance corps?  When we gave our fair share to the church, to the poor, to the various school fund-raisers, for golf outings or for whomever?


Well, we lost our good paying jobs and now we just have enough to pay for the home,taxes, and food for our families. I have to say “No” when I’m asked to contribute because I simply don’t have it anymore, but the two parties in our government are fighting over what they want to keep as fund-raisers.

They do not get it, we can’t afford to give to their fund-raisers! They must do what we are forced to do; identify what is necessary then move on. We can no longer run our government on a credit card! They must learn to  run it like us- balancing our check book each month and then if there is money left over give it to those who need it the most- to those who have paid their taxes and now want to retire. Why do we still have a ceiling ($106,800) on when they stop taking out social security taxes? In the world we live in no matter how much you make, you should pay Social Security Tax. Maybe then those who make more will be appreciated because they will contribute more to all of us when we retire!

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When are we next?

In our office, we like to have a lot of fun here.  We tell jokes and make light of certain situations to make the burden and worries associated with insurance and retirement more palatable, but today we have to be serious.

Everyone has heard about ObamaCare.  There has been a lot of mention of it, a lot of information, a lot of disinformation.  There is talk of rationing health care, or not.  There is talk of death panels, or not.  No one can state honestly that they fully understand the enormous healthcare reform laws, nor can they say how it will be applied and its unforeseen effects.

I believe the best way to see the future is by looking to the recent past and the present. And that is exactly what we are about to do now.

Before we can begin to understand how “ObamaCare” will act in the real world we must first look at its father:  Medicaid.

The expressed reason for the healthcare overhaul is to make sure that healthcare is affordable to all and that all may be insured.  I doubt there is anyone reading this who doesn’t want everyone to have access to healthcare, (although we may differ on the engine or pathways,) but we must take into consideration the fact that the government already has this device for the poor and lower-middle class: Medicaid.  According to, Medicaid is defined as: “State programs of public assistance to persons regardless of age whose income and resources are insufficient to pay for health care. The United States federal government provides matching funds to the state Medicaid programs.”

So now that we know that there is already a small form of what we think of when we hear the term “ObamaCare” we can now look to the recent past and the present in regards to Medicaid to get a good idea of how this massive overhaul will affect all of us.

To be brief, let us begin just four months ago in a land far far away: Arizona.

In the aforementioned Grand Canyon State, there is still no talk of Healthcare rationing or death panels- which is good news!  Unfortunately, words are as empty as political promises. The reality (Google it if you doubt me) is dire and unbelievable.  In a political landscape where we are pushing for equality of care regardless of finances, Arizona has decided unilaterally to stop funding medically necessary transplants to the poor. That’s right- the government has decided that people who don’t make enough money are better off dead.  Sounds a lot like a death panel to me.  How far is that from those wacky right-wing extremists that have been publicly denounced as mentally unstable? Are you one termination round away from a treatable illness becoming a terminal condition?

Sounds like you shouldn’t live in Arizona, lets go to Texas instead.

Whoops, it doesn’t look much better for some people in The Lone Star State.

Just as recently as one-week ago the New York Times reported that Texas was about to implement a major shift in Medicaid care.

Anyone from the March of Dimes, and statistically speaking a few neighbors could tell you about the absolute horrors you would endure if you had the misfortune of being the parent to a premature baby.

I consider myself blessed to not personally know how heart-wrenching that experience must be.  I do have a friend who gave birth to premature twins a few years ago.  Her husband could fit, with ease, his wedding ring around his children’s feet and over their thighs.  She described the eerie hues thrown off by the heat-lamps, the inability to be with your child because their lungs weren’t developed enough to breathe.  The terror.

Texas is making it worse.  They have decided to cut funding to the hospital units that care for these children.  They have decided that the poor need not have children that survive infancy unless the proper paperwork is filled-out and the bureaucracy decides your child is worth the cost of life saving treatments in time.

You might be saying to yourself, well this wouldn’t happen on the federal level.  Arizona and Texas are run by conservatives, so we don’t have to worry about it.

If you are thinking that- you are dead wrong.  The federal government has the power to stop these horrible things from happening at anytime.  Not only do they have the legal authority, but if you remember the definition of Medicaid: …The United States federal government provides matching funds to the state Medicaid programs. Because these despicable decisions are based on budget restraints, all the Federal government need do is threaten to cut off their half of the funding unless they stop with the death panels and healthcare rationing.

But they don’t.  They sit back in their office chairs and take notes.

These stories are fraught with portent, and we would be foolish not to recognize them as such.  Why do we keep giving our cash, our lives and control of our checkbooks to those who openly refuse to practice what they preach nor live what they legislate?

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Ergonomics for Accountants


I got this a few years ago from an insurance carrier.  I don’t have the credits to who wrote it originally, but as tax time is looming I wanted to share this with all of you.

It’s 7:00 p.m. on a Friday in March, and you’re still sitting at your desk – neck bent forward, eyes straining to see your computer monitor. You rub your forehead and the back of your neck to try to alleviate the aching. You reach for the mouse and begin the last return for the day. No matter how much you want to get up and move around, you feel you can’t. April 15 is looming, and that pile on your desk isn’t getting any smaller.

If this scenario sounds familiar, consider these facts:

• In recent years, repeated trauma disorder accounted for 62 percent of nonfatal occupational illness cases reported (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). These injuries consist of sprains, strains, headaches, eyestrain, and carpal tunnel syndrome, just to name a few. While most of the injuries may seem minor and inconsequential, they can, in fact, be devastating.

• Required treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome can cause an average loss of 25 days of work.

What Is Ergonomics?

Your ability to do a job well is directly affected by your physical comfort at work. Ergonomics solutions are designed to ensure that you use the proper work tools, layout, and design needed for optimal performance when it counts.

The Goal of Ergonomics

The goal of ergonomics is to make a workstation fit an individual’s work style while at the same time optimizing work function. It shows you the steps you can take to personalize your workstation.

Having the proper equipment is only the first step.

Equipment needs to be accompanied by proper instructions for use.

Detect and Correct

Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong and it should not be ignored. If detected – and corrected – early enough, the majority of cases involving short-term injury do not result in permanent injury. So it’s critical that you take any health-related issues seriously and address them immediately.

Signs, Symptoms and Possible Causes

Wrist & Hands

• Pain at the back of the wrist may be caused by:

– Excessive wrist extension. A keyboard too high and/or too far away can result in wrist overextension.

• Tenderness through the thumb or on the thumb side of the wrist may be the result of:

– Repetitive spacebar strikes or striking keys with excessive force. The pain may also be the result of gripping a pen or pencil too tightly.

• Numbness and tingling in the little finger, or the little finger side of the hand, can be caused by:

– Excessive pressure on the elbow as well as pressure on the under side of the arm. This can occur when an individual rests an elbow or little finger on the workstation.

• Wrist discomfort on the side of the little finger may be the consequence of:

– Over-stretching to reach function, cursor or enter keys.

– Elbows held too far away from the body when typing.

Forearm, Shoulder and Neck

• You may have neck and shoulder discomfort if:

– Your computer monitor is too high.

– Your hard copy is too far from the screen.

– The computer monitor is off to the side, while your keyboard is centered.

– Your work surface is too high.

– Your elbows bump the armrests of your chair.

– Your keyboard and/or work is too far away.

– You cradle your phone with your shoulder.

• Forearm pain or discomfort on the palm side of the forearm may be the result of:

– Wrist or forearm resting on work surface.

– Work surface is too high or too low.

– Repetitive mouse operation.

Help Yourself

To Minimize Hand and Wrist Discomfort

• Learn shortcut keys to minimize repetitive mouse movements.

• Don’t lean on your elbows while using your mouse or your keyboard.

• Don’t type with your wrists in front of the keyboard.

• Occasionally separate and straighten fingers for ten seconds.

• Massage your hands and wrists to relax muscles.

To Minimize Forearm, Shoulder and Neck Discomfort

• Don’t lean on your elbows while using your mouse or keyboard.

• Keep your elbows close to your body.

• Set your keyboard height so that your elbows are at the same height as the “ASDF” row of the keyboard.

• Relax your shoulders.

• Use a telephone headset, or at least hold the phone in your hand.

• Hold your hands in line with your arms when you type.

• Use a document holder and place it near the screen.

• Don’t place your monitor too far away.

• Make sure your documents and equipment are not too far from reach.

• While in your chair, sit up straight and occasionally roll your shoulders backwards and forwards in a circular motion.

• Stretch by dropping your head slowly to the left and the right and drop your chin to your chest.

Warming Up To The Task

Think warming up and stretching is only important when you are about to exercise? For many jobs, it should be a part of the daily work routine. Stretching and maintaining flexibility is essential to preventing repetitive motion injuries. So before you begin any task, remember to “warm up” your muscles to prepare them for exertion.

Overall health also plays a role in ergonomics-related injuries. The better condition your body is in, the lower the risk of injury – and the faster it can heal if injured. Repetitive motion injuries are no exception. Drinking, smoking and being overweight will only challenge your body during the healing process. In addition, eating correctly and getting enough rest will also speed recovery time.

Please, follow these tips to stay healthy and as pain-free as possible this Tax-season.


The government hurts us enough this time of year, we don’t need to add to it ourselves!

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Oh Brave New World with Such Legislation In It!


“You know something’s happening here, but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?” –Bob Dylan, Balled of a Thin Man

Man, oh man, oh man, oh man.  They were wrong about health planning, they were wrong about small group reforms, they were wrong about managed care, they were wrong about consumer-driven health, and they are being proven massively wrong about every dot and tittle in Obamacare.

I’m sure you have heard about all the legislations and tax proposals flying around Washington D.C., but perhaps you don’t know what this means to you, the small business owner in New Jersey.

Please, let us help you navigate your way through all of the changes being forced on you and your business, and let us show you the way to take advantage of this ever-changing climate.  There are no fees for our initial consultation, and it won’t be with some phone-bank operator who doesn’t know anything and just reads scripted talking points- you will speak with one of the top  producers in our company.

Do your company a favor, and take the time to speak with ours.



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