The secret to retiring at 63

(Legal Disclaimer: I am not a financial planner. The following is provided purely for the reader’s entertainment, though I admit the fun quotient has been greatly reduced by my legal counsel, whose many edits reveal he has no sense of humor about fraudulent claims.)

Like many people, I spent many years working for a living. Because I dislike alarm clocks, deadlines, bosses, employees, customers, labor and pants, none of it was fun, or even physically comfortable, particularly from an apparel perspective.

I suppose I should add that my motivations in life aren’t necessarily conducive to a life spent at the grindstone. While I’m no Mahatma Gandhi (that’s for sure) I was never very motivated by the possibility of making money, but instead have always focused on the things money can buy.

So when I came up with a good idea for exiting the rat race, I took a shot, theoretically. And it worked, conjecturally speaking. I have in these latter years finally found a way to avoid all of the hassles that make up the common work day, from the morning commute to the evening traffic jam, and from slacks to trousers.

Now I want to share my secret with you.

Yes, I know. What’s the deal, right? How does this scam work?

It’s not a scam. It’s a plan that will work. I know because I have successfully practiced this method myself, hypothetically, many times. If your results match mine – and I believe they certainly will, give or take — an unbelievable outcome is awaiting you. You will be able to work approximately 40 minutes (not days! Not hours!) per year to earn enough to support a to-some-extent luxurious lifestyle. Money enough to last you until the next opportunity arises, which it suppositionally shall, the following September.

Seems too good to be true? Hear me out.

There is a catch. In fact there are two. First, you have to get over the notion that gambling isn’t a promising way to pay for 12 months (minus 40 minutes) of leisure a year. I recommend you consider this plan as part of a larger opportunity for personal and spiritual growth.

Can you do that?

If you can, here’s the second step: gather $100,000.

Now you’re ready. Pay heed.

If you’re familiar with college football, you know that during the course of every season one or two teams will make a sudden, surprising rise in the rankings. Prior to the season the experts pick them to finish 15th, or 24th, or even unranked. But as the season goes along, they keep winning. Improbably so. By the time bowl season rolls around, they have startled everyone with their newfound and wholly unexpected talent, drive and success.

Last year, for example. Prior to the season, the Washington Huskies were ranked 18th in the AP poll. In the end, they made it to the four-team playoffs for the national championship. Had you known what was about to occur, and placed a bet on it, you would have made a very large bundle.

But here’s the thing. You couldn’t know that. Nobody could. But that doesn’t stop the “experts” from declaring they can in fact guess which team will be this year’s Cinderella. They do. Every year.

Which is not to say that they posit that Team A, despite a lack of talent, will win. Instead they say they have analyzed numerous data points and can safely aver that Team A is going to have a very good year. They have a great new coach, you will be told. Or their schedule is perfect, their team members are more experienced than those of their opponents, or their new uniform pants are splendidly comfortable. Blah, blah, blah.

Thus, every preseason there are teams ranked high in the polls that have no business being there.

The trick is to spot these teams and bet against them. This year the pickings are especially sweet, with three teams that are highly, even ludicrously overrated.

For the first example, look at USC, which is ranked number four in the AP poll. This is ludicrous. Since professional rat bastard Pete Carroll left USC in tatters after the 2009 season, USC has been a study in inconsistency, finishing unranked in 2010, sixth in 2011, unranked in 2012, 19th in 2013, 20th in 2014, unranked in 2015 and fourth in 2016. And yet the AP poll says they are likely to end up fourth this year.

Now all you really need to know is this: The chances of USC ending the season in fourth place or higher are very small. That’s based on their record. They are no longer an elite team. But that doesn’t stop the sportswriters. For example, Sporting News predicts they will end up second in the nation, citing quarterback Sam Darnold’s position as the top candidate for the Heisman Trophy.

Now listen carefully: That’s the kind of “analysis” the people who are required to write about football provide all the time. It fills up column inches much better than “we are virtually never right when predicting who will win the Heisman Trophy, but we’re happy to take another swing at it if you’re willing to plunk down good money for our worthless opinion.”

You and I, dear reader, don’t need to fill column inches week after week. So we are safe in calling bullshit. USC doesn’t belong in the top ten. One pretty good season doesn’t make a great team.

(To be fair, I should also point out that as a supremely engaged college football fan, I know something many of you don’t. The USC Trojans are to the nation’s sportswriters as the Democratic Party is to news reporters – sentimental favorites. The folks in the newsroom pretend to be objective, but everyone is all in on their team or party. So they are naturally going to expect great things.)

Next, we have the University of Washington, which the AP ranks at number seven. This is based on the very good, very unbelievable season they had last year. The idea is that they’re real, as in talented and motivated. But I’ve seen Washington up close. They are hippies, which is fine if you’re putting together a squad for competitive giggling. Football not so much. They are no better than the 15th best team in the country. If I were a betting man (and I am, conceivably), I would bet good money they won’t win the northern division of the PAC-12.

And then there is Kansas State, which is ranked 20th in the AP preseason poll. Because this article is already longer than I intended, let me keep my explanation brief. This is Kansas State we’re talking about here, people. Kansas. State.

Now that we have our teams to “bet on,” what do we do? First, you maybe or maybe not call a bookie, or perhaps visit a gambling website like Bovada. You theoretically put $25,000 on each of these three teams to fail to cover the spread in their first game. Repeat for two weeks.

For those of you unfamiliar with how this works, a little background. At this writing USC is anticipated by the smart guys in Las Vegas to win their first game by 19 points. You have two choices: you can bet on USC to win by more than 19 points, or you can bet they will win by fewer than 19 (or lose the game, of course).

What you and I know is that USC is grossly overrated. So under my system, you want to perhaps, it’s up to you, wager that USC will either lose the game, or win by fewer than 19 points. In essence, you’re betting their opponent, Western Michigan, will do better than expected.

If you so choose, and God willing and all, you then do the same for University of Washington and Kansas State.

Now you may have noted that by this point you might have invested $75k on three bets. That’s because you may well lose all three bets. But not to worry. You still have $25,000 to invest to recapture your original funds, and to pull ahead. In gambling parlance, this is known as a “longshot,” or a “desperation move,” or “willfully stupid.”

On the other hand, you may win. If you do, you should hypothetically place $25,000 on each of these three teams, again wagering that they will fail to meet the high expectations that have been placed on them.

If after the second week you still have money, repeat this pattern once more, never placing more than an imagined $25,000 on any one wager.

To prove my absolute belief in my system, I have already placed a fictive $25,000 bet “on” each of my teams. Recall now that I don’t care if they win or lose. They simply must not do better than the “line” — the predicted number of points that will separate the two teams by game’s end.

If you want to join me (which I neither encourage nor discourage), do so. You may be on the way to your own pantless future.

Either way, follow me here for my results. Just enter your email over there–> to subscribe.

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