The Relevance Demon at Retirement


Relevance is simply the noun form of the adjective “relevant,” which means “important to the matter at hand.” Artists and politicians are always worried about their relevance. If they are no longer relevant, they may not keep their job. Someone without relevance might be called “irrelevant.”

To most people, is kind of like an escape from Purgatory. No more work. Spending time on your own terms.

But for others it’s more like death in slow motion, where everything you accomplished, everything you were in the eyes of the world, fades into oblivion.


I grew up in a family where the mantra was something along the lines of…“build a business, make a lot of money, have people know who you are.”

So funny, because nobody has the vaguest idea who you are, but rather [and most importantly], what you do.

They’re supposed to be the same things [but aren’t].

Fast-forward decades and I still struggle with this alongside many of you.

Who are we now that we are no longer at the helm of the world, fully engaged in the mechanics of commerce and life as we knew it before retirement?

Ask most retired pro athletes and you’ll get my point.

The body can only take so much abuse before it surrenders. The shoulders give out, joints ache, tendinitis becomes a reality you can no longer overcome.

Now what?

You retire and suddenly the applause stops because you are no longer playing, no longer relevant….no longer ‘alive.’

Many athletes go into coaching, commentating, consulting…whatever.

But it’s rarely enough to fill the void.

The same is true for millions of other successful men who discover that retirement isn’t what it’s cracked up to be, and, in fact, is more like an existential death sentence.

What’s the point of living of you’re not ‘doing?’

What happens when people forget your contributions…when they assume you held a desk job at some insurance company and are thankful not to have a boss breathing don your neck?

Psychologically healthy people don’t give a crap what you think, what you know. They care about what they think, what they know. If you don’t like it, find another fishing buddy.

But it’s been my experience that such people are either filthy rich, and thus, can afford not to care, or what they have accomplished speaks for them.

[i.e., “Oh, yea. He started Google”]

I bring all of this up because I have decided to go back into the business of photography … because I miss it.

But it’s been over 10 years since I was active in the industry, while I pursued fine art photography and writing.

So imagine trying to get back in the fray after a 10 year absence and you find yourself back in the mail room.

It’s not that people don’t respect what you’ve done, but like they say in the entertainment industry, you’re only as good as your last project and it better damn well have been yesterday, not 10 years ago.

With this in mind, I recently had a meeting with my agent and a prominent magazine publisher to explore the possibility of my getting back into cover and editorial shooting.

This is how it went…


“So tell me a little bit about yourself, about your photography career.”


“Excuse me? You don’t know anything about my work in the industry?”

“No, I really don’t.”

“Have you performed an Internet search or anything?”

“Of course. But what I found appears to be, for the most part, fine art, which is not what we do.”

“I thought I was finished with commercial photography forever. Now I’m back in the mail room. Wow.”

Agent: [jumping in…]

“Jay has had an extraordinarily successful career, but he chose to let it go years ago in favor of fine art, mostly because he could afford to. But his desire to get back into it is great for you and your publication because he’s willing to offer you a free cover and editorial so you don’t have to bring in someone from New York… right, Jay?”

“Oh, absolutely.”


How Does Billy Bob Thornton, 61, Do It?


Baby Boomer, Billy Bob Thornton, was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas on August 4, 1955. He is an American actor, filmmaker, singer, songwriter, and musician.

In the above article you’ll read all about how Billy Bob managed to nail so many beautiful young women.

But as I have always said, women don’t see a whole lot with their eyes unless it involves themselves or other women.

This is because women for the most part are drawn to the darker mysteries of intellect, power, success and surrender – usually in that order.

I know. Shocker.

Boomer Courtney Cox Throws in the Towel on Youth


In my world, well maintained women of 50 look great.

50, still. But great.

And while, by comparison to average women, they look years younger, I can see them coming and going.

Problems arise when women lose touch with what people around them actually see when they look at them.

It’s kind of like older men in arrested adolescence who express shock when women half their age call them daddy.

Self-actualization is a hard pill to swallow, and it cuts both ways.

This is why therapy should be a part of maintenance. alongside dental visits and annual physicals.

Fame, Power, Money and SEX in Entertainment


Newsflash: It’s not just Fox, and it’s not just entertainment, but mostly entertainment because people who choose this route are most often dealing with some form of psychiatric disability.

This aside, when I was a budding young actor in NYC [and before i chose photography and writing], this kind of thing was commonplace.

If you wanted something, you have to surrender something – usually your dignity.

I mean, come on! You weren’t just asking for a job as a bagger at Whole Foods for god’s sake.

You wanted fame and fortune and everything that goes with it.

That was then.

The great thing about being older is that you can look back at all the shit you had to swallow to get ahead and know that no one will ever pull that shit on you again, not least of which because you’re no longer a hot 22-year-old model with your hands out.

“Billionaire Executive, 56, Dates 22-Year-Old Woman.” So What?


This is decidedly a “non-story.”

So why did I publish it?

To make yet another in an eternally long string of identical points, that wealthy older men who date much younger women are simply leveraging assets the way everyone does at every stage of life.

Young men leverage youth, beauty and the prospect of future success while older men leverage success, maturity and appreciation, among others.

It’s all asset management, consciously or otherwise, but usually consciously.

Then, and only then does everything else matter.

It’s no different than everything else in life.

We leverage what we have at our disposal and for those who come up short, you see comments like the following:

“I hope she gets half the money”

“Oh god, lol! What a joke!”

“I’ll date ya, man. I’m not a female, but for the amount of cash you are willing to throw around, a little experimentation is ok.”

“It’s good to be rich…..It’s then you only see that ALL women have a price tag !”

“Rich men can be the biggest fools when it comes to women. They might have loads of cash but fail to own mirrors.”

If everyone could afford their fantasies, they wouldn’t blink.

Now you know a little more about the people commenting, both men and women.

Life in the In-Betweens


In spite of what you see and hear in the media, most people are not multimillionaire celebrities.

In terms of actual numbers, most people are either flat broke or living on governments subsidies, which makes them invisible by media standards.

But what about people who fall somewhere between flat broke and filthy rich?

They’re stuck on cruise control, particularly these days with little return on investments and turbulence in the air.

The dirty little secret about life is that the people who have been the most financially successful either had substantial wealth and connections to fall back on, or they had nothing to lose.

Two public examples of this are Donald Trump and Ellen Degeneres.

Trump had everything to start out with, Ellen nothing.

But for most people, life is not about risk-taking. It’s about establishing financial security.


Because most cannot afford risk.

They earn well and save reasonably for the entire length and breath of their career, and now have what’s referred to as an income-producing nest egg.

They’ve done everything they were supposed to do and ended up exactly as prophesied by every economist in the world.

Now what?

Though their nest eggs are substantial by relative standards, there isn’t enough to risk losing.

This is where many, many successful Baby-Boomers find themselves at early retirement, by which I mean retirement before they necessarily have to.

The necessity is to preserve wealth, but the desire is to continue growing.

This group is what is known as the “in-betweens” of high net worth individuals.

They sit at the bottom end of the top 1% or 2% of the population with enough to live well, but not flourish.

This also makes them the most vulnerable, because those who don’t have anything are provided for, and those who don’t feel tax increases are cavorting with Ukrainian hookers in Aspen.

The other truth about this in-between group is that they constitute approximately 3% of the working population, rather than < 1%.

Some refer to this group as the upper middle class, and since there are a lot more of them than there are billionaires, they are the target of every tax whore on the planet.

In America, we are no longer a nation of working people who seek the American dream of retiring comfortably at the end of a long, hard journey.

Now we’re a nation of either celebrity multimillionaires or recipients of government subsidies.

Everyone is being squeezed out of existence.

Now you understand why small business are becoming a thing of the past, and by the time most baby Boomers are dead, a handful of companies will own the entire planet.

I just bring this up because one of my neighbors wants to start a mobile restaurant, but his banker told him that if he failed, there would be nothing left to go home to but a bottle of Jack Daniels and a loaded 9mm pistol.

I assume the house painting he’s currently doing is a substitute for his new smoothie franchise.


Figure out how to become a multimillionaire celebrity.

Psychology and the Retirement Nest Egg

heart-moneyMost of us Baby Boomers have launched retirement calculators a thousand times. Almost every financial institution has one, and invariably, the ones we tend to go to offer the most optimistic outlooks on how much we can spend until the day we die.

The problem is that no one knows exactly when they’re going to die, or if they’re going to die for those of us who’ve opted for cryogenic sleep.

Nonetheless, there is still an annual charge for keeping a body on ice, perhaps for a thousand years or more, so there’s that.

So here’s the dirty rotten obnoxious and existential nightmare-provoking truth: You probably won’t outlive your money.

As I stated in my book, Urban Dystrophy, The Perverse Truths About Mid Life in the Big City, a starter portfolio is $5,000,000.

I know I know. How the hell are you supposed to save $5,000,000 on a $500,000 annual salary over the course of 25 or 30 years?

After taxes somewhere in the 39% range, you’re only taking home somewhere in the $300,000 range.

If you own a home that costs $1,000,000, you can expect to pay $25,000 in property taxes and after a 20% deposit, approximately $60,000/year on a mortgage.

Now add electricity and other related home expenses and you’re down to $200,000 — and you haven’t taken a vacation, bought a single meal or paid a single car note.

Back out those expenses and with luck you have approximately $150,000 left over.

If, however, you have 2 kids, you have basically nothing left over.

So, for the past 25 years you’ve made $12,500,000 and don’t have a dime left in the bank.

Even if you were frugal enough to contribute $75,000,000 a year to a retirement account [for 25 years], you would still only have $1,875,000 in contributions, plus investment interest at an average of around 5%, so $2,800,000 – $3,000,000.


If you retire at age 65, that’s not even close to enough for anyone I know.

The reason for this is because you want to live the same way you did before you retired, which means you’ll need a few million more to generate the income you need to avoid running out of money before your time is up.

For most men I know who give a crap about living well in retirement, the number is around $7,000,000.

At a 5% return, you’re still at 350k/year.

If, however, market crashes, feel free to put a bullet in your head because being broke isn’t worth the struggle for older people.


Most men my age validate themselves based upon their relative financial security.

And while every psychiatrist on the planet will call bullshit on this because it’s about as unhealthy a perspective as one might have given the vagaries of money.

But nothing is going to change it unless you plan to join a monastic congregation in Burma.

Money is kind of like a living thing that follows you around wherever you go.

When it doesn’t, you have a big fat fucking problem.

Walk into a car dealership, new prospective home…or hell, the Apple store, and see what happens when the money monster isn’t with you and smiling.

Then you know true meaning of nausea.

The reason you feel the hubris of filthy rich older men with the tans, snow white veneers and $3000 suits is because they’ve beaten the system.

They’ve overcome whatever life can throw at them, shy of a brain aneurysm, stroke or stage 3 cancer.

In other words, they can ride out the highs and low of the stock market, or pay marginal tax increases and still live their lives without making any changes whatsoever.

This is where you want to be, but unfortunately, probably won’t be.

The media is always talking about wealth; who has this or that.

Magazines feature $5,000,000 homes like they’re normal abodes for anyone who’s led a reasonably successful life.

But this is a lie.

The only way to afford a home like that is to inherit it or sell something.

Salaries don’t pay for homes in that price rage.

Investment capital does.

Psychologically, this is a massive hurdle for otherwise success older men facing retirement.

You look down the road at the rest of your life and you don’t see the picture you’ve been sold…and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it.

Many men lose their younger girlfriends and/or wives to cut backs in lifestyle.

The ones who don’t tend to be with women their own age who have little to no value on the dating market, who and just sty put.

On top of all this we have a government hell bent and determined to tax out of existence everyone in the middle to upper middle class – including the bottom end of the top 3%.

This is because there are more of them than there are people with $100,000,000 or more who don’t feel any tax increases whatsoever.

So now we have an oligarchy and you’re on the wrong side of it.


1] Figure out how much you absolutely, positively need to live the way you want to live and carve your expectations accordingly.

2] Accept that fact that as you near the end of your life, your retirement savings will be nearing the ends of it’s life.

3] Add 5 years to your anticipated lifeline and then hope and pray you don’t outlive it.

4] Find someone in your personal life who can handle stock market turbulence.

5] Don’t marry a gold-digger unless you’re in the $100,000,000 demographic.

Surrealism Reins in the Gym

grid-cell-24048-1424205844-5I have to tell you people how ridiculous, not to mention surreal, this world of mine has become.

Most 60-year-old guys are not replicas of what they were at 25 no matter how in-shape they are … unless of course, they’re on pharmaceutical steroids.

The fact that an astonishing number of them are [on steroids] has changed the dynamic of gym life these days.

Now, working hard is no longer a necessity in order to bleed body-fat and gain lean muscle mass.

You’re a simple injection away from eating whatever you want and spending a fraction of the time in the gym.

Of course, getting most men to admit to taking steroids is another matter altogether because no one wants to feel dismissed for cheating.

Yes, it’s true, most older men can’t put on all that mass and drop precipitous amounts of body fat by the grace of God.

No, it’s actually the grace of Big Pharma.

It took a while for the gay community to come out of the closet, and this is no different.