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I Am Happy to be Alive and/or Not in Jail.



As VP of Brand + Creative for Ubiquity, Sylvia is a creatively driven entrepreneur with an unprecedented passion for the written word. With over 22 years in marketing and advertising and titles ranging from Director to CMO, Sylvia has worked with mega giants including Intel, Microsoft, IGN Entertainment, Activision, and Apple. She has also worked on projects with Jack Johnson, Mariah Carey, Denise Richards and YMCMB’s Lil’ Wayne and Birdman. Most recently, Sylvia co-produced Broken Eggs, the hard-hitting, feature-length documentary about the looming retirement crisis in America.


December 13, 2012 at 3:00 am
Personal Finance


Now that’s just a silly headline. But to be truthful, I am. You know?

With the amount of tax debt I have, it’s awesome that I am not in jail. For the amount of caffeine that I regularly put into my body… and there may be one other thing that carries a surgeon general’s warning that I am really trying to quit (judging eyes)… I am lucky to be alive!

Which is critical to my diabolical plan on being a fantastically rich and eccentric old lady.

This may seem like a tangent, but it’s not.

My friend Andrew Meadows regularly says that he wishes that there would be a “retirement score,” you know, like a credit score? I love that idea!

“Hey Andrew, check it. My retirement score is a fat 920, bro.”

And then Andrew would tell me that his was a 1,100 and I would get all sorts of competitive. We’d probably do some trash talking.

So, in discussing this with #Coolest401kGuy (there’s a reason he’s got the name), I thought about the fact that we don’t discuss retirement in our families. Now that we are coming upon the tryptophan-laden holidays, I am thinking to myself (other than being thankful for being alive and not in jail)… why? Why the heck DON’T we talk about it?

There’s a reason why I have limited knowledge on the subject of retirement and 401(k).

  • They don’t teach it in school.
  • Parents don’t discuss—I mean—they told me I needed a plan, but didn’t explain any of it, really. I have the sneaking suspicion that they perhaps don’t know a whole lot either. (Love you Mom and Dad!)

So I have a couple of missions as we go into the season of unholy weight gain. First, to consume as many leafy green vegetables as possible, and second, to seriously discuss retirement and all of it with my college kids. Sure, I’ve talked about it with them—I mean I work for a company that helps people achieve their retirement dreams. You know?

But what about the specifics? I need to get into the weeds on this. Frankly, in talking about it, it also helps me stay on track to achieve my goals. And I can learn about cool stuff, like compound interest!

Do you talk with your family? What do they say? Do they roll their eyes? Money is awesome. I say we bring it to the table while sucking down the mashed potatoes and green bean casserole.

Happy Holidays to you and your family!

And as always, stay classy, America.

Sylvia, aka Debt Girl

PS. My Mother has informed me that during the holidays, there are no calories. Wish I could say that about my debt…