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  • Writer's picturemaggiehsmith07

Risk and Reward


Andrea and I are not big shoppers. Our shopping trips are few and far between but when we do go, we go big. Then we go home. I finally retired my black shoes. Each shoe had developed a crack across the bottom, which I ignored and the cracks had only deepened with continual wear. I’d forget about the cracks and step in a puddle and the crack would wick the wet to my foot. I wore these shoes far past the time I should have. So today’s shopping trip got underway with a trip to the shoe store and took off from there. We bought new rain coats (I somehow seem to lose or misplace these which is one reason I need to organize my clothing and yet, I’m not going to do that yet for several reasons). We also bought a new, point and shoot digital camera. We’re practically ready for our trip, which kicks off in 6 days. We are going to Ireland,Scotland and England. Andrea and I have begun to shift our focus a bit more on creating more experiences together. Always a balancing act - putting money into the house, bills and experiences which can get looked over far too often.

Later this year, I’m traveling to Vegas for an HR conference. Andrea will join me at the end and we will explore the Vegas strip together before heading to the Grand Canyon. I think I booked one of the last rooms on the south rim of the canyon. We’ve also booked next years vacation which is a cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Cuba, then onto the Grand Cayman Islands and Mexico.

Of course, there's never a good time to do these things. 737 airplanes are grounded after an Ethiopian plane crashed. Terrorism persists. The value of a dollar ebbs and flows.

"We're on a 737!" Andrea exclaimed.

"Well. If it goes down, I hope it's on the way back." I replied.

"It's on the way to Dublin!" Andrea said.

Like I said, there's never a good time. Conditions will never be perfect. So don't wait. Risk. Reward. Whenever my time comes, I want to go out like my shoes. Well worn. Traveled. Loved. Having taken a few chances...

In the midst of travel, we’ll squeeze in organizing the basement and our clothing and some projects at home.

This week, news of a college admissions cheating scandal broke. Let’s be honest - this has been going on forever but I don’t recall it being outed.

“Man. Too bad the Bertinator didn’t have college admission cheating money!” I said, referring to my mom.

“I would have settled for college admission money.” Andrea replied.

Neither of our parents had money for college admission. We figured it out.

Aunt Becky, of Full House fame, and her husband, are accused of paying $500,000 to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California. Apparently, USC is a Top 25 college that has a 17% acceptance rate.

Half a million dollars to get their 2 kids in?! Ethics aside - this is absurd to me. Clearly, these people could have afforded the tuition on a school their kids could have easily been admitted to. What kind of return on investment were these people expecting?

When Andrea was nearing graduation with her bachelor degree, I was asked if I’d thought it would be worth all of the ass busting work and sacrificed Saturday’s that Andrea had committed to. I knew it would - Andrea had many more years left to work before hanging it up. And this has proven to be true.

Recently, The Boston Globe published a letter from a retired employment/career counselor who argued that an earlier Globe article “may give some readers the impression that everyone who obtains a bachelor’s degree will get a job that pays well.” I understand his point and would add that it certainly depends on what you major in. When I moved to Massachusetts in 1997, I considered pursuing a degree in social work.

Consumer Reports (August 2016) stated that 45 percent of people with student loan debt said that college was not worth the cost - a fact I realized in 1997 and rejected the idea of majoring in social work. Return on investment.


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