Book Review: Slaughterhouse Five

Kurt Vonnegut has been on my reading list forever. I’m glad I can finally cross him off.

I believe this is my first taste of science fiction and I can’t say I like it. Slaughterhouse Five is the story of a former American soldier who time travels to different moments in his life, and also to a planet called Tralfamadore. You know that the book is full of metaphors about life, free will, and war. The problem is the lessons or take-aways are incomprehensible.

This book reminds me of two others. 1) Catch 22 because they’re both about war. 2) A Clockwork Orange because you feel like an outsider watching someone’s life play out and it’s confusing. With A Clockwork Orange, the language was difficult at first to understand, but after a while, you get used to the lingo. With Slaughterhouse Five, the plot and the characters were all over the map. I felt like I never got it.

Moving on now to the book club books.

Money Monday: Retirement

I stopped contributing to my 401k earlier this year when I maxed it out, but I don’t plan on making a contribution to the plan ever. Not a cent. I don’t even know what the formula is for accessing that money. Don’t you have to be a septuagenarian or close to it so as not to be penalized? And by the time we middle-agers reach that age, we should count on the rules changing and working until we’re octogenarians. It’s retirement Catch 22.

That’s supposed to be the American dream? Maxing out our 401ks and living off of that while we whittle away playing bingo at the old folks’ home. No way.

Here’s my genius plan. By the time I’m 50, my mortgage will be paid off. Once that’s paid off, I’ll continue to rent it and use that rental income to pay for the ex-pat life I plan to lead in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The location is up for debate, but I won’t be in this hell-in-a-hand-basket country, that’s for sure. I had lunch with a friend who said he is scouting out foreign real estate to buy. That’s a smart guy right there.

Anyone else have non-mainstream retirement plans or purchased real estate outside of the U.S.? Let’s hear from you.