Planning

“Well it seemed like as good a time as any to get our finances in order. Retirement planning is not exactly a roller coaster ride of fun, but we have to start acting like adults some day,” Darren said laughing.  He turned to Clay and his smile faded.

Clay was trying to make his chair spin.

“You’ve come to the right spot,” Carol said.

She sat on the opposite side of a wide, copper colored oak desk.  Her name was inscribed on a professional looking name plate that sat in front of a pen jar full of professional looking pens underneath a professional looking desk lamp.  The whole office looked professional.  Art on the walls, fancy rugs over the carpet, an espresso machine in the corner; all professional.

Clay was bored out of his mind.

“We saw your Facebook ad and called to make an appointment, but beyond that we have no idea where to go.  I mean, what’s a 401k, right?” Darren loved being the funny guy.

“Oh, you have certainly come to the proper spot.  First off, forget everything you know about 401ks,” Carol started.

“That’ll be easy,” Darren chuckled.

“Second, we need to ditch all this paper money and stock up on timber.  Ship worthy timber.  It’s the only worthwhile investment.”

Carol did not seem to be joking.  Clay started to pay attention.  Darren learned how high his eyebrows could move.

“Third, shipwrights and docks.  I know a guy.  That’s some time out though,” Carol continued.

“Well, none of that sounds correct,” Darren said.

“Shush, Dare, I want to see where this is going,” Clay said, slapping Darren’s arm.

Carol typed on her non-Qwerty key board and nodded at her screen.

“Do you guys have strong feelings about maple or mahogany? ‘Cause if you do, well, I have some bad news coming,” Carol continued typing.

Darren and Clay exchanged a confused glance.

“So, Carol, you are licensed to do financial planning, right?”  Darren asked.

“Technically,” Carol said.

“That was an amazing answer,” Clay said.

“Wait, does your certificate on the wall say College of Crystal Shores?  Can I ask where that is?” Darren asked.

“Oh Crystal Shores is not so much a place, but a state of mind,” Carol answered.

“So it’s in Florida then?” Clay asked.

“Close!  It is, legally speaking, an unrecognized unincorporated island off the coast of Equatorial Guinea.  The first thing we learned at the School of Holistic Economics was to embrace our feelings about the market set up by the colonials.  And let me tell you, I am feeling tall-ship timber,” Carol explained.

“Was Crystal Shores founded by pirates?” Clay asked, he leaned forward excited to hear more about Holistic Economics.

“We call them the Collective, but maritime law of the mid-20th century did classify them as pirates, yes.  No convictions though.  That was the school motto too,” Carol shook imaginary pom-poms and mouthed the motto once more.

“Thank you for your time today, Carol.  I think we are going to have to meet with another adviser.  Just my feeling,” Darren said.  He stood and offered a handshake.

“Oh, sure, have to follow those feelings.  Best of luck out the guys,” Carol waved goodbye.

Outside, Clay erupted in laughter.  “That was the best possible outcome!”

“I didn’t think they would let just anybody advertise online.  No more sidebar ads.” Darren started the car and drove home.  401ks would wait for another day.

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