Monday, March 28, 2011
Die in debt
I know this is controversial. As a parent, I would love to leave my children an inheritance. This is the “inheritance” my dad left me: die in debt. My dad got his wish. Not only did he die in debt, he had managed to accumulate no assets that could be distributed to his creditors. This may seem like a bad choice, but it did take some maneuvering.
My father was extremely generous. If it was in his power to give it to you, he would. He never thought twice about debt. He didn’t lose sleep over credit card payments. This generous attitude, combined with, “What, me worry?” was not the wisest financial choice. He lived life to the fullest and managed to accumulate debt in the process. “You only live once,” he would say.
So what did he accomplish by dying in debt? In his words, “It’s sticking it to the man.” Who was the man he so lovingly referred to? It is the system set up to kick you when you’re down. When you’re in dire straits financially, that is when your interest rate is suddenly raised to 55%. The late fees probably won’t matter, because you can’t even afford gas to get to work (if you still have a job).
I understand the flip side. You shouldn’t have debt. It’s irresponsible. Live within your means. Dying in debt is considered stealing. I do not have the easygoing attitude of my father. Debt stresses me out. But in his defense, I have also seen people who have deprived themselves their whole lives. Then they die. The same ending, but to a much more boring story. My dad’s story was anything but boring. If debt was what allowed him to live his life to the fullest, then I am thankful he made that choice. You never know how long your life will be. Live it with passion, enjoy every moment and if you need to, die in debt.
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