Have you noticed the price of a package of chicken breasts lately? What about a pound of sirloin? Don’t even get me started on on how much the price a gallon of milk has shot up in the last 18 months. It’s enough to make a grown woman cry when she does her grocery shopping.
The other day while I was at the supermarket – because it seems like I’m always at the supermarket, I was walking down the aisle with all the pet food to pick up some crunchies for Geronimo and Gracie and . . . well that’s a story for another day. Anyhow, I noticed an older lady in front of me who had an awful lot of cat food in her shopping trolley. It was packed with bags of every flavor under the sun, but there was so much of it. There were even bags jammed underneath the main basket part, on the bottom rack. Of course my mind immediately went to, “Crazy cat lady. I bet she’s got probably fifteen cats by the looks of all that food!“ Then I noticed that she was dressed relatively well, nice shoes and a matching handbag that I could swear was a genuine Coach bag. Oh, and she smelled good, like “expensive perfume” good. Oh come on! We’ve all known one or two people that completely skipped “cat aficionado” and leaped completely into cat collectors (I’m not talking about cat hoarders!). They talk to their cats like they are their children and even converse with them about how much fun it would be to take a ride in Dr. Who’s tardis, while they’re curled up watching BBC America. “Would wittle Mr. Dibbly Wibbly widdum wike to take a wittle wide in the tardis?” You know the ones I’m talking about.
So anyhow, there’s Crazy Cat Lady with her trolley full-to-overflowing with kitty vittles, and poking up between the bags of cat food I noticed some dried herbs and spices, a few straggly carrots, a lemon, and a very meager block of deli Swiss cheese. She grabs one last bag of cat food, “Wild Ocean Salmon” flavor and wedges it in between the bottle of dried dill and mumbles to herself that the “ . . .dill and lemon will pair nicely with the salmon. That’s going to taste just lovely!” She walked by me, peered into my own trolley and said, “Oh my, isn’t the price of meat nowadays just scandalous!“
I nodded and said, “Yep, sure is, what’s a family to do though?”
I took one last look into her trolley as she moved away and I thought to myself that her cats sure must be spoiled if she’s willing to dress their crunchy nuggets with herbs and spices. Then a horrible realization dawned on me . . . she had next to no human food in her cart, aside from the few things I mentioned.
What if she was eating the cat food herself? Cat food is pretty cheap when you consider how much is in those great big bags versus how much is in that little package of meat in my trolley!
What if she was putting dill and lemon on that “Wild Ocean Salmon” flavored cat food?
OMG! What if the cat food is her way of saving money so she could keep living the kind of life in retirement, that she had while she was younger?
OMG OMG, I can’t even afford a Coach bag! Hmmm, maybe if Gareth and I dine on cat food when we reach our golden years, we might just be able to afford that Winnebago after all . . . drive off into the sunset passing each other a bag of roast chicken flavored Kitty Num Nums to snack on during those long drives across this beautiful country of ours.
Then I slapped myself and made a mental note to sit Gareth down as soon a he got home from work and go over exactly what we were going to do about our golden years and how we were going to keep from having to rely on cat food cuisine once we retire. Yes, it’s kind of funny and rather dumb, but all too often, people get to retirement age and realize they come up short when it comes to funding their golden golfing years.
In our case the need to seriously sit down and look at what we have set aside and certain deadlines we need to meet in order to avoid a “Cat Food Crisis” of our own is even more important because Gareth is from the UK and has only been working in the US for just under eight years. He doesn’t have the time built into Social Security that someone his age has accrued. He doesn’t have the wealth built up into his 401K that others who have been contributing longer to their 401K’s have stashed away for their retirement nest egg.
Gareth and I sat down and looked at our investment portfolio, cringed when we realized that if we aren’t more proactive now, we might very well indeed be living on such a meager shoe-string budget that we’d end up literally having to get creative with cat food! In searching for other investment strategies we came across this article about annuities which would give us a guaranteed income for life. We know that social security isn’t a sure bet, and that our 401Ks have taken some huge hits over the past several years. I want to have confidence that we’re making our money work for us now, so that it’s there for us later.
Have you even given any consideration to what your own retirement is going to look like? I know that given the recent economic bumps and bruises of the last several years, we’re all feeling a little beat up, financially, so that makes now as good a time as any to take a peek into your own financial portfolio and make sure you’re headed towards financial security. Genworth Financial has so many great resources to help assure that you can stay out on the golf course, travel, or just have the security to stay home and putter around in your garden with your grandkids and cats . . . and you can be secure knowing that the only ones eating the cat food will be your cats!
Are you ready for your future?
This post has been inspired by Genworth through Brandfluential. All opinions are my own.