3900 Marbles and Health Insurance — 2019

3900 Marbles and Health Insurance.

(Updated 04 DECEMBER 2019)

Let me ask you folks a question.  I just had a conversation with a lady who wanted to bounce some ideas off me about business.  It was a pleasant conversation, but there was one “take away” from it that still kind of rings in my ear and rattles around in my brain, even an hour or more after our conversation ended.



The main thrust we were talking about involved health care and health services and she made a statement right along in the regular flow of the conversation that I have probably heard a thousand times before … but it just jumped right out at me this time, and I have been thinking about it ever since.

The statement went something like this …”after all, if we are talking to retirees, their absolute number one concern is health insurance.”

Retiree’s Absolute Number One Concern is Health Insurance?

Ummm, are you sure about that?

Now some of you are already retirees, as I am, and many of you, I will guess, want to live long enough to become retirees, so let me ask you … is “health insurance” your number one concern?  (If so, read more here)

I mean seriously when she said that to me I had to physically hold myself back from laughing or making some sort of wise-ass comment.

That would have been rude, and I am sure it would have mystified the lady I was talking to, because the way she said it left no doubt that it was very high up in her mind (she’s not yet at retirement age by the way) and she clearly feels that is a number one concern of most, if not all retirees.

It’s Not a Laughing Matter

So why did I have to hold back a laugh and take pains to try not to say something insulting?  Because, quite honestly, health insurance is way, way, way far down the list of my most pressing concerns.

Now I am fortunate … I have health insurance.  So I realize that the subject is going to be higher on the “worry list” of those who don’t have health insurance than on mine … that’s only natural … but if anyone else cares to chime in … do you really feel it is top of your list?

Especially with the current pitched political battle going on in the US … distorted way away from the issues of health care, by the way … and funded behind the curtain by the huge, rich, powerful (and in my opinion) crooked US health insurance mega-industry.

I realize it may be hard to get a clear and unbiased view on this, but health insurance is hardly the number one thing on my mind.

Can’t Stop the Clock With Health Insurance 

Health Insurance

Losing My Marbles in the Philippines

Each of us is born with a finite allowance of days.

We get what we get.

We can’t buy more.

We can’t change those days by going to Harvard and getting a PhD.

We can’t get more by going to church, or by partying,  giving money to the poor or opening a girly bar and selling beer at half price.

We have what we have.

That’s the number one issue on my mind … what do I do to maximize the time I have left.

How Do I Maximize Whatever I Have Left?

Long-time reader Tom Glenn sent me an email the other day with a story attached that really got me thinking.

I was really busy with a couple of items I had mapped out as “must do’s” on that day, but after I read the story Tom shared I just packed up my wife, drove past my in-laws house and picked up our two precious nephews, bundled everyone in the car and drove to Mr. Henry Sy’s closest branch office of nirvana … otherwise known as SM City … using my new eyes along the way … my “first solo” since surgery … and spent a long time riding carousels, driving electronic game race cars and trying to drop little balls through hoops to win absolutely useless prizes for Sami, the three-year-old who loved every minute of it.

Health Insurance?  NOT My Number One Concern

I didn’t wind up getting anything done on my to-do list that day, but you know something?  I think I spend my time one heck of a lot more wisely, I know the boys and I both had more fun … and I didn’t think about “health insurance” or “government health care” for one minute.

(Those of you who know me well will recognize this story was originally published some time back and had been lost from the website.  That’s  OK though, because even though Sami is now in high school, the story itself rings no less true. I have just lost a few more marbles since I originallypublished this.)

Here’s the story Tom sent:

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday morning. Perhaps it’s the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it’s the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it:

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whomever he was talking with something about “a thousand marbles.” I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.

“Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re busy with your job. I’m sure they pay you well but it’s a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It’s too bad you missed your daughter’s dance recital,” he continued; “Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities.” And that’s when he began to explain his theory of a “thousand marbles.”

“You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.

Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3,900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I’m getting to the important part.

It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail,” he went on, “and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays.

I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy.

So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1,000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear.

Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life.

There’s nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.

Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.

It was nice to meet you Tom. I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. This is a 75 year old man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!”

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter.

Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. “C’mon honey, I’m taking you and the kids to breakfast.”
“What brought this on?” she asked with a smile.

“Oh, nothing special, it’s just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we’re out? I need to buy some marbles.”

How Many Marbles Are Left in YOUR Jar?

So what about it?  Does anyone think that buying marbles is a good idea?

Is the best things in life actually losing your marbles?

And is ‘health insurance’ really, really, really as important as the TV bobbleheads want you to think it is?

Are you denying yourself the freedom to live where you want to because of Health Insurance?

Are you afraid to “pull the plug” and retire from a job you don’t really love because of Health Insurance?

Do you skip over every article I write about making a living online in in retirement and becoming independent because of Health Insurance?



Tell me what you think about 3900 Marbles and Health Insurance.