So, Warren Buffett’s son says his father, now 81, will never retire. That’s a brilliant decision. Obviously, Buffett is smart enough, and has been around long enough to see many of his retired peers in the throes of varying stages of decline because they tossed their mind and body onto the retirement scrapheap called the “vegetation plantation.”
He undoubtedly knows “use it or lose it” is more than a cliché; it’s the truth, and if he ever decides to stop counting his money and stop complaining about not paying enough taxes, he too will wind up on the scrapheap.
Here’s another reason Buffett is smart not to retire: His wife (not his first) is 16 years younger. Does anyone seriously think she would want him around 24/7? With nothing better to do than watch his investments or hang out with Bill Gates, can you imagine having to listen to “I’m not paying enough taxes” day in and day out? Not only that, he’s giving all his money away. Is he leaving some for her? If not, why would she hang around? At 65, she’d probably like to find a live one with money who doesn’t complain about not paying enough taxes. Who needs Warren? I’m just sayin’.
Why would Buffett, who has everything, want to pack it in and do nothing? Why would he stop doing what he enjoys (except not paying enough taxes) and just watch the world go by? Of course, he could play golf with Obama on his own golf course when Obama isn’t too busy flying around campaigning on the taxpayers’ dime. In the time it takes to play 18 holes, they could cook up all kinds of schemes to “tax the rich” and foment class warfare. But what do I know. Maybe it would be more fun than staying in the real world, wheeling and dealing and griping about not paying enough in taxes.
If Buffett can hold to his decision not to retire, he’s smart, but I’m betting the lure of the vegetation plantation where many of his peers are stagnating will be too hard to resist. Smart people who should know better go there all the time.
That said, I have to give Buffett kudos for teaming up with rapper Jay-Z to create videos to help kids understand finances. I watched one of them and it seemed pretty dopey, but what do I know about what appeals to kids today.
But I wonder – what if these kids take Buffett’s and Jay-Z’s advice and grow up to become “super-rich?” I don’t know if the videos delve into topics entrepreneurs face every day such as onerous and intrusive government regulations and exorbitant taxes. Then, there is the reality that they probably will have to deal with the likes of Buffett telling them they need to pay more taxes, making them feel guilty for breaking their backs to become financially successful.
Whatever may be said about Warren Buffett, he is a terrific role model in many ways, for young and old alike. I don’t expect his decision not to retire to change many (any) minds about the wisdom of retirement, but it takes just one person to start a revolution. Right on Warren!