Win Some, Lose Some

Early in the present column’s (OK, “blog”) history, I related a story about Rolling Stone magazine and its “lifetime” subscription offer.

The publication presented subscribers with a $99 offer for a lifetime subscription and people such as myself had to weigh that cost against longevity. For me, it came down to this: I could continue to purchase an annual subscription at $20/year. But, if I thought I would last more than five years, then the lifetime offer was a smarter economic choice.

Deciding that I could squeeze out another five, I opted for the deal.

Helpfully, I noted way back then, Rolling Stone also provided its lifetime subscribers with their death dates. They were printed right on the address label.

Further, and thinking optimistically despite what everything else described above sounds like, if nothing else, this handy information made retirement planning much, much easier. Knowing when one will croak lets one portion out the scarce financial resources over the time remaining.

Rolling Stone prophesied my passing as one day in April, 2054. It was exact, I simply cannot now recall the date. Maybe it wasn’t too important.

Recently, a fellow lifetime subscriber pointed out that his expiration had been advanced. Nice. That’s good news, isn’t it?

Not wishing to be left out, or at least not left out of the Oh-I-Have-A-Complaint-Too department, I checked my own mailing label.

Sure enough, there it was. Printed in black and white. Well, black on white. Date of demise: from April 2054 to April 2057. Though the exact date was omitted.

Gaining a little longevity. At the cost of precision.

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