Retirement is Death by Any Other Word.


cfiles41954“The entire concept of retirement is unique to the late-20th century. Before World War II, most Americans worked until they died.” Morgan Housel

I had a conversation about early retirement with a guy at my gym recently. He’s in his late 40’s and was fortunate enough to have the choice to hang it up 5 years ago.

It didn’t work.

First the boredom set in, followed closely by a sense of fading relevance…and his retirement was over.

He saw the connection between early retirement and premature death [in his case, psychological death], and realized they both lead to a similar conclusions.

I took advantage of the same opportunity back in 2005, and found myself back to work within a year.

Back in the early part of the 20th century, there were few opportunities for anyone to retire before they died, if only because people had to eat.

There were no pensions, no IRA’s and related retirement packages. But quite frankly, people didn’t live as long, either. Or, as well as we do today.

Now guys in my particular demographic look 20 years younger than they actually are, and tend to live twice as long as their predecessors, often with women half their age, which may or may not lead to even longer lives.

So basically we have all these older men with time on their hands and nothing to do with it other than travel with their mistresses.

It gets boring, particularly for high achievers who are used to challenges money can’t buy.

No wonder so many of the older bands are touring again.

They already have money, and as a result lots of free time on their hands. What would you do? Fade away? I doubt it.

The first is a link to an article about Roger Daltrey [71] of The Who:


Daltrey tells Rolling Stone: “My voice is fine. I’m enjoying playing. There’s something about looking down the end of a telescope and seeing the potential end, but if I shut my eyes, I’m still 21.”

Then there’s Joe Elliot [55] of Def Leppard:


“Age doesn’t matter anymore. That’s the one thing that’s become a pattern over the last seven or eight years, with (Paul) McCartney still out there and the (Rolling) Stones still out there, and even Aerosmith and AC/DC getting up there. Billy Joel, Elton John. These are people that have been around since the ’60s and they’re still selling stadiums out. There’s nobody else that seems to be coming through to take over. They’re not stepping aside, they’re fighting. They’re fighting us, and we’re fighting the generation below us.”

I like to use rock ‘n roll references because I’m a fan of the genre.

When you grow up in that era it becomes part of you.

But the list is hardly limited to rock musicians and entertainers, in general. It encompasses every career ambitious men find themselves.

With this in mind, here are the five reasons retirement is a bad idea. These were culled from countless articles on the subject:

1] You Will Die Much Faster

There are many reasons for this, including a more sedentary lifestyle, but never underestimate the destructive power of an inactive mind.

2] You Will Have a Hard Time Making Your Money Last

Unless you’re very affluent, the fact that you will live longer than you ever imagined is real possibility. So if boredom doesn’t kill you, your investment portfolio will.

3] Spending all that extra time with your family is overrated.

Most men I know can’t wait to get out of the house. They look forward to travel and career advancement opportunities because they know that once they’ve had their fill of conquering the world, they can come home to a family that loves them. What this translates to is…I love my family in small doses, no offense intended.

4] You’re Probably Not Going to Spend Your Time Writing the Great American Novel.

If you wanted to do that you would have already done it. It’s a myth people create to justify the next chapter, which never comes.

5] Boredom is Another Word for Death

Are you kidding me? Fishing? Really? How many fish can you catch and release before it’s just a numbers game? Let’s see if I can remember how many fish I caught today? And golf? Unless you’re a professional golfer, you will start seeing golf courses the way you see cemeteries, all manicured and beautiful…with your body beneath them. And finally, there’s Florida. The quintessential fantasy destination for the too-soon-to-retire crowd who imagine long walks on a beach followed by lunch, a nap, then dinner, then another walk on the beach, this time with seagulls hovering above, waiting for the moment you keel over from boredom. The psychological damage from a Florida retirement before the age of 80 is enough to subtract 10 years from a man’s life.


People just assume that wealthy people continue to work because they’re obsessed with making more money, because more money somehow equate to more happiness, but this simply is not the case. They work because it gives them relevance, meaning, and purpose.

If I had to redefine the concept of contemporary retirement for successful men, it would read something like this: Retirement is the ability to keep doing what you love to do on your own terms, which is what everybody ultimately wants, anyway.


Urban Dystrophy [Digital Version] Available on Amazon this week!

Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 12.24.31 PM copyLAUNCH DATE FOR DIGITAL VERSION ANNOUNCED ON MAY, 2015!


From Urban Dystrophy:

“You get back what others think you’re worth, not what you think you’re worth. And unless you can afford not to care, you better care. With practice, you’ll be able to determine your own relative value so you’re not disappointed by things you thought you deserved, but didn’t for reasons you may resent, but better get used to.”

“Most middle-aged men struggling to balance acquisition of wealth with fading relevance feel like characters in an apocalypse series with recurring story arcs.”

“I compete with popular culture every day, on every level, including in my love life where it’s particularly competitive.”

“I once knew a forty-two-year-old pharmaceutical rep that kept a list of mandatory line items prospective “boyfriends” had to meet. It sat on her iPad for easy reference. If I remember correctly, the last count was 22,328.”

“Eventually we all reach a point in life where we can no longer hit on young women without also being hit on by a bouncer.”

“In the old days, men had wives and mistresses. This was considered normal. It was understood that emotional intimacy in men was a sign of weakness, and therefore, if women wanted their men to remain strong and faithful to their marriages, mistresses were necessary.”

“At middle age, the situation becomes ten times worse. Although women are decades older than they were back in college, men still measure them against their 1980 yearbook picture, which is why most of the women they date were born about that time. This same pathology manifests in the perception that men and women age at different rates, even if they technically don’t.”

“Women say blessings are counted by the number of people who give you unconditional love. But, others contend that you still die alone, and that bouncing nickels off a flawless ass is worth the blind faith in miracles.”

We’ve also produced some limited edition t-shirts, should you be interested in brandishing the narrative!

The logo below:


6 Things that Absolutely, Positively Happen When You Stop Working Out.


You may want to read this if for no other reason than to save your life.

This is a hot topic these days as we Boomers continue to age in spite of our best efforts to deny it.

I know. I still toss my AARP notices.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, I have been in the gym my entire adult life.

I eat right, get enough rest, have varied interests and passions, including a love life. Most psychiatrists would agree that this constitutes a balanced existence. You may want to reconfirm this with yours.

But maintaining a balanced existence is kind of like maintaining an aquarium. it requires a constant set of variables. If one falters, they all do.

In a human context, let’s use working out of as an example.

If I take one week off, it takes me three weeks to get back to where I was. In this sense, it’s unforgiving. You have to stay on the wheel to keep reaping the benefits. Walk away for a few days and you’re back to square one.

This alone is enough to incite many to throw in the towel for good, but the problems resulting from this decision are far worse than abandoning the hamster wheel.

I might also add at this juncture that the “wheel” is far more addictive than it sounds lest you think I’m knocking a kick-ass workout.

With this in mind, here are a few downsides to stopping:

1] Blood Pressure Soars: Blood pressure is almost always higher on the days you don’t exercise. In fact, within a month, you back to square one as if you’d never exercised a day in your life.

2] Blood Sugar Soars: Blood glucose rises after you eat, then drops as your muscles and other tissues suck up the sugar they need for energy. But after five days of slothfulness, your post-meal blood sugar levels remain elevated.

3] You’re Out of Breath: Within two weeks of avoiding the gym, your VO2 max—a measure of fitness that assesses how much oxygen your working muscles can use—decreases by as much as 20%.

4] Your Muscles Wilt: Significant declines in muscle mass are experienced after two weeks of complete rest. What’s more, some muscle fibers actually convert from fastest-twitch type IIa to more explosive but faster-fatiguing type IIx. This can hamper your ability to sustain high-intensity efforts.

5] You Fatten Up: Within about a week, your muscles lose some of their fat-burning potential and your metabolism slows down.

6] Your Brain Flatlines : Though human evidence is limited, rat studies presented at a recent Society for Neuroscience conference suggest animals that stop moving for just a week grow fewer new brain cells and do worse on maze tests than those who stick to a steady wheel-running routine.


The six line items above are all backed up with research you’ll find in the report. While I’m not personally involved in the studies, I can certainly attest to their findings.

If you don’t work out on a regular basis, your body will begin to look and feel like a war zone before you’ve ordered your last Margarita on a 10-day – sit on your butt and watch the seagulls – jaunt to Tahiti.

No matter how much money you have at your disposal, or how much hair you have left on your head, without a consistent health regimen, you’ll be dead long before you’re buried.






Middle-Aged Men and Double Lives, Explored.


Whether it’s a struggling college student in Washington, D.C. trying to make ends meet, or a “manageable” pill problem no one needs to know about, double lives can be a full time job for the older man of means.

With a middle class in America on life support, and article after article telling young people that in order to become really rich you have to start out really rich, you can see how things can become demoralizing after a while. 

Advertising flaunts the lavish lifestyles of the rich and famous at every turn, and the fact shows like The Kardashians are among America’s favorite “reality” pastimes, you can see where the average person might feel like a civilian in a war they can’t win.

Okay, so this is the playing field.

Enter the affluent and entitled middle-aged man with time on his hands and penchant for youth, and beauty and a new market is born.

In this world everything one might imagine is usually the norm.

“Michael” has been married to the same woman for 20 years. They have 3 kids in college. At 55 he’s proven all he needs to prove to himself and the world around him. He’s been financially successful, sits on corporate and charitable boards, and is a member in good standing of a prestigious country club. What more of life could one ask?

A lot.

“Michael” is bored. He wants more out of life. But more of what?


He wants to feel “alive” again. He wants the higher highs, the ones that kept him motivated and in the saddle all these years.

So he stumbles around a bit.

He tries to retire, but that doesn’t work because boredom – and that sense of irrelevance – start creeping into the subconscious until he’s ready to climb out of his skin.

So he goes back to work, but still finds holes in the plaster. There’s got to be more. This can’t be all that’s left of what once was.

It’s time for an assessment.

NOTE [s]:

1] This mental process is uncommon among ordinary men.

2] However, it is quite common among politicians, athletes, entertainers, high-octane suits, and other libidinous creatures, otherwise known as men who expect more because they feel entitled to more.

Using #2 as a template for this brief discussion, it doesn’t stretch the imagination to understand why playing life close to the vest is endemic to success in any and all endeavors.

In this sense, business and pleasure overlap and what we see are happily married men with mistresses in luxury apartments in other cities, for example.

They do not consider this cheating.

In their minds, its like a tax credit for providing their wives with high-end lifestyles they would not otherwise experience.

So it’s a win-win.

This level of compartmentalization is common among high-functioning sociopaths, who did not climb to the top being kind and compassionate.

With this as a backdrop, one can easily see that certain psychological profiles lead to certain behaviors, which is why criminal profilers who hunt homicidal sociopaths might open a division just for affluent older men who lead double lives.

While they don’t dump bodies along lonely stretches of freeway, they drop souls all over the place.


Curves Vs. Face in Over-40 Women: A Man’s Perspective.


Candice Bergen [68] has a curvy figure.

26FE37DD00000578-3011773-image-m-26_1427322629269 Victoria Beckham [40] has a thin figure.

Articles like this one have been popping up a lot lately as aging women feel the pressure to conform to standards they themselves set decades ago. This one in particular was written in response to Candice Bergen’s comments about aging women where she advises older women to “keep a lovely, plump pretty face, and stay sitting down.”

Needless to say, this upset women who feel that objectification is a crucible they will never outlive.

They’re right, actually. They will never outlive it.

The older men I spend time around tend to be ambitious and successful. They have high expectations and are surrounded by a culture group that reinforces this narrative.

While it is not uncommon to see out-of-shape, age-relevant couples who’ve been married for decades, there is usually a back story, an off-the-books apartment in Manhattan in someone else’s name, perhaps.

If a man does happen to crave big beautiful women, he calls an escort service and keeps his mouth shut. They both do. For a price.

Back to the subject at hand, the men in my demographic tend to like the same body types: Fit, thin, and tall [ish]. Some describe it as that of a 12-year-old boy.

This is not to say that these men are gay, but that a certain androgynous aesthetic is preferred.


Several reasons, but first an example:


Now for the reasons:

1] They look great in designer apparel, regardless of the designer.

2] They can wear a basically nothing no matter what time of the month it happens to be.

3] Other woman hate them, which men love.

4] The subconscious dominance men experience in their company bolsters self esteem, both in and out of the bedroom.

5] Thin women convey to men that they understand and appreciate a particular aesthetic, thus, no matter what the hell happens, including pregnancy, they will always squeeze into a size “0-2” Chanel cocktail dress.

So basically, Candice Bergen is right.

She had her day in the sun and has finally come to a place of acceptance.

A rare admission, indeed. No wonder women are so pissed off at her.

If I didn’t look like the model above, I would be, too.


Jimmy Page [71] Dating Scarlett Sabet [25]


Okay, so it’s pile-on time once again as a senior celeb takes a young lover; in this case Jimmy Page and Scarlett Sabet.

Why does this bother people so much? Why do people care? It’s their lives. They live them as they see fit. Both are consenting adults and neither appears to be complaining. if something goes way south as is common with most relationships, age-relevant or otherwise, they can split up and start over. But for reasons that TMZ, Daily Mail and every other celebrity news outlet in the world know all too well, “never pass up a story about an older man dating [or marrying] a much younger woman!”

See, what makes these stories so interesting to me is not that Page and Sabet are dating [or whatever], but that news outlets bait readers with stories they know will inspire controversy, no matter that they are merely two consenting adults having a nice time together.

Jimmy Page is an outlier.

In the world of rock music, his contribution was a game changer, legendary. He has everything a young woman might find – at the very least – interesting.

If there is a downside to such a union, it is that he will, in all probability, die long before her.

And if that’s the story, it’s called scraping for news because all relationships are tenuous at best.

At least in this case, the commodities appear evenly distributed.

Had it been back in the day, Ms. Sabet would have been standing in a long line…



Healthy Diets Should Not Be Rocket Science


Dean Ornish recently published an OP-ED piece in the New York Times titled “The Myth of High-Protein Diets,” in which he extolled the virtues of a whole foods, plant-based diet.

It bears noting that Mr. Ornish is also a member of the University of California, San Francisco nonprofit, Preventive Medicine Research Institute, which promotes the belief that livestock production is the leading cause of global warming.

With this in mind, it’s not a stretch to assume that he and his colleagues have a vested interest in keeping you out of steakhouses, which further confuses an already information-weary public.

Making matters worse, on the same day MSN published a headlining article promoting the top sandwich shops in America, all of them beef intensive!

For God’s sake, get your stories straight already.


I was talking to my trainer yesterday about the latest diet trends, and he said rather matter-of factly:

“Discussions about what to eat or not to eat will be going on for the rest of our lives…”

So I asked several other trainers the same question and received similar responses. These guys spend their entire lives thinking about this stuff because they’re expected to know more than the general public, and even they’re conflicted.

With this in mind, here are some general guidelines I follow, and they seem to work:

1] Based on the way I train [powerlifting], I know that I absolutely, positively need a good source of healthy protein. Proteins are the building blocks of lean muscle tissue, and because they break down more slowly than simple carbohydrates, consumption also helps when dieting down. I avoid all processed meats. In other words, I stay out of Stop-n-Go unless I’m buying water. I buy grass-fed meats from places like Whole Foods, which are ten times the price of Wal-Mart – but in the long run – 100 times less expensive than hospital visits. Purchase only lean cuts of grass fed meat, chicken breast, egg whites, canned white fish, and salmon. My shakes, by the way, are made with whey protein.

3] Unless you’re running marathons every 5 minutes, stay away from breads, pastas, white rice and other simple carbohydrates. The spikes in sugar result in hypoglycemic crashes followed by distended bellies. If you must eat some form of bread, try Ezekiel brand, which has a lower glycemic count.

4] Hydrate. Most older men lose their sense of thirst due to reduced kidney function, so ignore your body and drink heavily.

5] I eat lost of fruits and colorful vegetables. They don’t taste as good as Southern fried chicken, but the way they make you feel is something you learn to appreciate fast.

6] A little low fat cheese is fine, but understand that the majority of your fats should come from foods like olive oil, avocados, macadamias, walnuts and pine nuts and almonds.

7] I usually have a glass of wine and fruit in the evenings. Eating is not always a pain in the ass, just most of the time. but like I said, it’s about how proper nutrition makes you look and feel.

8] Some people allow themselves “cheat” meals, but I have found that my body can no longer tolerate heavy, greasy food, so I avoid them altogether.

9] I take multivitamins, as well as supplement with omega-3 fatty acid-rich fish oil, vitamin D and one mini-aspirin [Bayer].

10] I rest and recover no matter how long that takes. I never go to the gym depleted. It’s counterproductive, and often, an injury magnet.

11] I try to avoid toxic stress at any and all costs. There’s both good and bad stress. You can Google it.

12] The moment you start weighing your food, you need psychiatric help. Just follow the basic guidelines and you’ll be fine.


Health and fitness are synonymous. You can’t have one without the other. In other words, you can’t just eat right and expect to stay healthy. You must also stay physically active to reap the rewards. Using the 12-steps above [no puns], I add 6 days of exercise to my regimen: 3 days of heavy resistance and agility training [1 hour], and 3 days of cardio, foam rolling and stretching [1 hour]. If you think this is a lot to give, ask yourself how much time you spend in front of the television and generally speaking it should answer your question. 

Understand also that there will be resistance to your efforts to stay fit, most often from those who aren’t.

An older gentleman at my gym told me that his Internist asked him why he lifted weights. His exact words went something like this: “At your age, are you trying to be a bodybuilder or something?” When I asked the man to describe the physical condition of said physician, his description said it all. Projection is common amongst older physicians who should be kicking your ass to stay fit. Instead, they dispense advice based upon their own sedentary lifestyles. This means you’ll need to find a physician who gets it, along with a new healthier group of friends who will help keep you on track.

I never said it was going to be easy, but the solutions are hardly rocket science.


Testosterone Nation


“Step right up! Right this way. Whether you take your “T” by injection, gel, patch, or subcutaneous pellet, the promise of eternal youth can be yours for the taking!!!”

Most guys in my particular socioeconomic demographic are on some form of testosterone, usually cocktailed with Human Growth Hormone [HGH], and sometimes, anabolic steroids.

This is considered proper maintenance, and therefore, normal.


The testosterone debate is as heated as politics and religion. Everyone has an opinion.

But the biggest problem is that everyone is also a “research scientist” armed with a battery of affirming studies touting the benefits, while downplaying the side-effects.

In this sense, it’s like the global warming debate.

Did you know that Houston has had its coldest Winter in 30 years? In New England it’s more like 100 years.

Having said this, it has also been the warmest in general, which may or may not have to do with SUV’s and Dick Cheney.

There’s an angle for everything, which brings me back to my point: Testosterone has become a kind of lightning rod for people who want to take advantage of what science has to offer without having to necessarily prove it’s overall safety record.

This is why people carry around talking points to validate their addictions, the main one being baselines. If i keep raising the bar, suddenly everyone needs more testosterone. Get it? This is the hook.

This is why testosterone supplementation has become its own religion, practiced and promoted by pharmaceutical companies, physicians and the patients who carry the “word of god” into gyms across America.

I’ll be straight with you about something: If I were to inject 1 cc of testosterone per week, my body would begin to bleed fat and build more muscle with half the effort I currently put forth in my workouts. How long this would last I don’t know. How long I would last I don’t know. Is it worth the risks given the fact that my livelihood does not depend on winning bodybuilding competitions or the Super Bowl?


If I were a professional athlete, would it be worth the 5 million a year to stay competitive? Probably, which is why most use and then end up in wheelchairs, or worse.

The human body will only give us so much before it starts subtracting the gains.

Nonetheless, the men I’m referring to are NOT professional athletes. They may be athletic. They may want to look and feel better. But from what I have seen, the risks they are willing to take far outweigh the gains they expect.

This is irrelevant to most of them. They live for the moment. For now. Tomorrow will take care of itself.


Postscript: In case you’re wondering what all the fuss is really about, take a look at these three steroid users and their preternatural physiques, courtesy of the drugs.

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The Normal Aging Process Versus the Preternaturally Fit.


“As it turned out, the cyclists did not show their age. On almost all measures, their physical functioning remained fairly stable across the decades and was much closer to that of young adults than of people their age. As a group, even the oldest cyclists had younger people’s levels of balance, reflexes, metabolic health and memory ability.”

From the perspective of chronological averages, my script has been written and what’s left is fading fast.

Fortunately, I’ve never been a fan of averages.


Admittedly, there are days when my age bothers me. I’m smack in the middle of the Baby Boom Gen and sometimes the psychological ramifications of being this far down the road sucks. People are dying all over the place and everyone seems to have some horror story to share about their health.if they just shut up about it for five minutes I swear they’d feel better.

It seems like just yesterday I was a carefree young man, the world at my feet, with endless promise ahead of me.

I thought of people my age as dead men walking, and dismissed them summarily. It’s not that I was unable to see their strengths, but that I resented their competitive presence in the game of life. After all, this was my world. Their time came and went, so why are they still here?

And then it happened: I woke up one day the object of my own adolescent scorn.

Wow. I didn’t feel any differently, but here I was, an older man.

And while there was absolutely nothing I could do about chronological stage in life, there was everything in the world I could do about how I wanted to live it.

So I started power lifting.

I found a top trainer and focused on a goal.

See, an important aspect of physical fitness for older men is having a goal. Without one, you get lost. Motivation dries up because there’s nothing to work towards, and eventually, you’re back on the couch reading history books before dying of heart failure before your 60th birthday.

Power lifting, like Cross-fit, and other competitive endeavors makes goal-setting a integral part of the training process.

Adding to this is the camaraderie often lacking in an older man’s life, which you have to feel yourself to really appreciate. You stop drawing inward and resigned, and instead experience a reawakening.

For me it was an easy segue because I’ve been athletic all my life, but I have seen frumpy middle-aged men morph into competitive athletes with entirely new outlooks on life. In fact, you wouldn’t recognize many of them from their former pathetic selves.

The moment you give up on yourself and your abilities, you’re dead in the water. The missives from young men are now accurate, and you become the helpless poster-child for irrelevance.

Life is all about choices. We can choose to fade, or we can get back in the ring and compete.

What I’ve noticed is that men of all ages respect older men who fight for themselves, who challenge the forces of time, and set examples for future generations.

Now they have something to actually look forward to, which no one will dismiss.


I’ll leave you with this: The following is a video of a 78-year-old man doing leg lifts at my gym 3 days ago: