How to live in Southern California on $2,000/year

Loads to enjoy in this Atlantic article from 1977, written by poor, divorced, former journalist on a pension which is “6 percent of what I earned in my prime-and less than two thirds of the property tax I once paid on a five-bedroom home with swimming pool in Westchester County, New York”.

Atlantic’s timing in re-running the piece is cute. There will be many people wondering whether their pension pot is going to see them through; the article is equal parts encouraging, terrifying.

One of the many schemes/dodges/freebies the author makes use of is the free film screenings laid on by his bank, once a week. Are marketers missing a trick here? Is there value in offering a reward (say, free cinema tickets, weekly coffee, newspaper subscription) to customers of pensionable age who have stuck with a company for life? Pay your mortgage off with HSBC over 25 years and have a coffee a week for life. Stick with O2 for 20 years and take a free newspaper subscription. Free golf each month for Tesco customers with X years of loyalty credits.

It might not be the deal clincher, but it casts a warm glow and lends itself to a new kind of marketing language. It suggests someone cares about your future.

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