Now Is the Time for Extravagance

After all, what good is your money when you're too old to have fun?
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2009 11:41 AM CST
Now Is the Time for Extravagance
Ben Stein attends the crowning finale and celebration for VH1's 'America's Most Smartest Model' at LAX on December 16, 2007 in Los Angeles, California.   (Getty Images)

Ben Stein still doesn’t think it’s a good idea for you to “run out of money before you run out of breath,” but assuming you have a little extra, he highly recommends you use it to buy stuff—now. Life is short, he writes in Fortune, and “if we want to have the things we have always wanted, maybe we should get them now, while we still have enough life and vitality to enjoy them.”

The once overly-frugal Stein learned the art of saving from his parents—who left the US Treasury “a meaningful windfall when they passed into economists’ heaven,” leading Stein to wonder, “is it prudent to deny oneself joy in this very short and scarce thing called life?” If there's a good chance that "spending money now will reduce you to cat food (the most revolting of all smells) when you are old," stop reading now. If not, know that “the Cobalt or Corvette you have when you are able to feel the wind rushing through your hair without a nurse's aide sitting next to you is worth quite a lot.”
(More Ben Stein stories.)

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