Santa is Retired
Santa Has Left the Building
If you haven’t already heard, Santa gave up his breaking-and-entering delivery schedule long ago. Initially, Sears, Macy’s, and Gimbels took over. Today, Amazon, Walmart, eBay, and Etsy have taken the reins. Instead of having to send long, heartrending petitions to Santa pleading for a toy train, fire truck, or little doll with wooden shoes, both the naughty and the nice children can order gifts online.
Why All the Change?
Because Santa has retired. After centuries performing yeoman’s work and bringing smiles to girls and boys across the globe, Santa decided enough is enough. It’s time to let the next generation of Jeff Bezoses take over for a while.
Elf Labor Has Been Outsourced
Our Christmas presents are no longer manufactured at the nearby North Pole by a happy-go-lucky elf labor force. Today, they are manufactured in plants scattered about Southeast Asia and brought to our shores in huge container ships that sail across the Pacific.
Reindeer Out to Pasture
Instead of Santa and his reindeer delivering presents to our homes through the chimney, it’s FedEx, UPS, and soon, Amazon drones dropping packages from the sky to the front door. Sometimes they even ring the bell and wait for a signature. Can you imagine Santa doing that?
PR in Hollywood
It no longer takes all that “ho, ho, ho”-ing for Santa to get attention from the media. Santa has outsourced his PR to Hollywood to create the Christmas classics we enjoy year after year, from Miracle on 34th Street to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa is Coming to Town, The Polar Express, and Elf.
Santa is an Expat
Those iconic rosy-red cheeks don’t come exclusively from the frigid cold of the North Pole. Nowadays, Santa’s famous rouge is a product of laying out on the beach for too long. As unbelievable as it may seem, Santa is now an expat somewhere south of the border. Even with his classic beard, it would be hard recognize him. He’s lost a lot of weight with all the tai chi and yoga classes Mrs. Claus drags him to.
Those North Pole dollars really go along a way. It’s no longer just caribou steaks, stew, and stir fry for dinner. With such a low costs of living, the Clauses have made dining out a regularity.
Santa Had a 401(k)?
I know you’re thinking that as old as Santa is, he must have a handsome retirement annuity that includes COLAs. But the truth is, he doesn’t. Christmas Town, Inc. was a small company that couldn’t afford to set up and maintain a defined benefit plan, worrying about unfunded liabilities based on an actuarial estimate. No, like most of us, Santa has to rely on the funds in his qualified retirement account and Social Security. Mrs. Claus, having been a homemaker for the duration of her adult life, gets a Social Security spousal annuity.
Santa couldn’t always afford to contribute the maximum amount to his retirement account, but no matter what it took, he always took full advantage of employer matching. Santa didn’t need Larry Fink, CEO of Blackrock, to scold him about not saving enough for retirement, or ignoring free money from employer matching benefits. Santa understood that you should pay yourself before making discretionary purchases.
Santa on a Budget
Even though the sleigh is racking up miles and there are plenty of cool new models on the market, if a new paint job and a little rust removal will do the trick, Santa keeps the old model for another year. Even if Prancer has his heart set on Tiffany sterling silver sleigh bells, silver-plated bells from Irving’s Christmas Outlet will have to suffice when the budget is tight.
Impact of Inflation
Santa can “ho, ho, ho” all he wants, but he can’t escape the impact of inflation on the monthly bills. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, and Vixen may have been put out to pasture, but the vet bills seem to inch up every year along with everything else. That’s why Santa and Mrs. Claus meet with their financial planner every year to go over how their retirement portfolio is dealing with the impact of inflation on their purchasing power.
A Seasonal Business With Year-Round Planning
Santa had a very seasonal business, but it took year-round planning to manage business for that one day. The needs and desires of his customers changed from year to year and Santa had to be nimble enough to make adjustments to meet the demand. This attention to detail made Santa a beloved character in the minds of children and adults worldwide, and has helped him build a happy retirement for his family in these later years.
Don’t let another Christmas pass you by without giving yourself and your spouse the gift of a healthy retirement.