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Donut Misunderstand Me

Friends,
Communications can be tricky and getting your message across to your audience is often fraught with potential misunderstandings. A writer’s biases can blind her to unintended meanings. The reader, who also carries biases, might lend an altogether different interpretation to the same words. The fact is, we all live in our own little bubbles. Some days I think it’s a wonder we communicate at all. Case in point, this week’s “retirement longevity checklist” from Merrill Lynch. What a downer! For the record, I don’t find the prospect of retirement depressing, however, the message that came across was cringeworthy. I’m sure my biases played a big role, still, bear with me.

The two page document’s structure seems benign enough:
(1) invest in your future,
(2) plan ahead, and
(3) document your wishes!

Unfortunately, what comes across when reading it is a little more sinister
(1) we want more of your money,
(2) your investments might make less than you think –plus you’ll get sick and spend more, and
(3) then you die!

And a bah! humbug to you too Chuck and Ed! (or Messrs. Charles Merrill and Edward Lynch if you insist on formailties). What a terrible thing to suggest! Or, just a misunderstanding –I want to say probably a misunderstanding. So, the next time you find yourself questioning that e-mail sender’s sanity grab a donut, take a deep breath and give them the benefit of the doubt. After all, it’s probably you that’s crazy.

Happy Friday!

P.S. In case you’re wondering what the picture is all about, here's a hint: It's got a whistle, a blower and a peach-mint Moscow mule! The news is all over it, so I thougth I should raise a glass --then again, maybe it's all just a big misunderstanding.

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