WASHINGTON—Shedding new light on how Americans are preparing for their golden years, a report published Tuesday by the National Institute on Retirement Security found that most people’s plans consist entirely of the hope that some random junk piece they own ends up being a collector’s item worth millions of dollars. “Nearly 75 percent of the working-age Americans we surveyed have staked their financial future on the belief that some object lying around their house—whether it’s a collectible ceramic figurine, a DVD of a well-loved film, or a plastic souvenir cup—will turn out to be extremely valuable,” said the report’s author, George Dunbar, noting that a majority of workers have assured themselves there has to be something in their basement worth enough to cover their living expenses in the decades of their life that remain after they have reached retirement age. “Two in three respondents said they have already made plans to take their old Monopoly boards, well-used action figures, and newspapers from an important date in history to be appraised by an expert on the day they retire. While we do not believe this represents a sound retirement plan, we can confirm that in almost every case, the dusty boxes full of miscellaneous shit in Americans’ attics are indeed their highest-value assets.” Dunbar went on to state that clinging to the hope some stray bit of junk would turn out to be worth millions was, of course, a far more viable retirement strategy than the savings programs offered by most employers.
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