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Feeling partly responsible

I'm currently reading the book No Easy Day written by the Navy SEAL who was on the mission that killed Osama bin Laden. It's a poorly written book, but still fascinating. Very weird life, but who am I to talk? He writes a few times about "Big Boy Rules" in the special forces and the idea that you're trusted enough to take care of yourself and that you know what you're doing based on your experience and education. It's gotten me meditating a little bit on responsibility and being an adult. And has brought about some reflections on the strangeness of reaching the point in life where you're dropping off kids for school or filling out paperwork for someone who isn't you. Very odd feeling...not planning on being "responsible" yet finding yourself in that role.

Tonight is curriculum night at Cole's elementary school. It's when they trap the parents in a room for 2 hours and explain the Common Core standards for math and English, what our kids are learning at school all year, and they have staff on hand to answer questions. Granted, mine is younger and I'm pretty sure his curriculum mostly involves learning to glue things on paper and dig stuff out of sand. My background includes developmental psychology, educational testing, plus I've read the parent handout on early childhood areas of study. So I gladly let Kelly take tonight and I went to the district-wide parent group on Tuesday instead.

That was more of a support group run by a social worker with an eye towards helping us navigate the school system and life with a preschooler. So it involved other parents. Which is always a difficult duality...on one hand, I got some useful information. On the other hand, I had to sit and listen to people talk about children who aren't mine for an hour and a half! The payoff was enough that I plan on going back to the regular monthly meetings. And I managed to get contact info for one of Cole's school friends so he can maybe have a playdate. So that was practical.

Lately everything feels so practical though. Our long weekend in Wisconsin can't come fast enough!

Yesterday, I got a note from my retirement plan. Which amuses me because they're just figuring out that I haven't been working at the museum any longer. But, it seems since I've left the museum, I have a choice to I want to roll over my account into a different retirement savings plan or take a lump sum payout? We're not talking vast cash flow here. I never put anything in--just the museum. The payout would be subject to about a 30% penalty. But carpe diem right? I mean, if I put the money in a retirement account...then what? Planning for the future seems so...grownup. Which is sort of a strange existential feeling knowing are, in fact, a grownup.

I've casually had my eye on October first as the date the new healthcare exchanges will open. Maybe I will finally get some health insurance for myself? We'll see. That seems like the...responsible...thing to do. Ok, maybe I'm tempted to take my lump sum retirement money and buy my race entries for next season. But I consider that a step up from taking it to the store and blowing a few hundred dollars on some video games. Or drinks and strippers in Vegas. Or a motorcycle.

Here's to middle age!


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  2. That's the challenge, isn't it? You can do anything you want with your own funds. As an advice, just because you're picking a lump sum payout it doesn't necessarily mean that you're throwing away the money that can be put instead into your retirement account. Actually, it might be the smarter thing to do. You can never be sure how taxes or inflation would affect your annuity. If you're fine with that, that's okay. But you can invest your lump sump payout instead somewhere else and increase your initial funds.

    Granoff Enterprises


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