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Planning for Your Re-Retirement

Nicky Drayden is a Systems Analyst who dabbles in prose when she's not buried in code. She resides in Austin, Texas where being weird is highly encouraged, if not required. You can see more of her work at nickydrayden.com or by visiting dailysciencefiction.com and searching for her previous publications with Daily Science Fiction.

I bet you thought you'd be enjoying your golden years--traipsing through the lush forests of Belize, admiring the Venus de Milo with your own two eyes, enjoying a game of low-grav shuffleboard on Proxima Colony--all those things you were too busy working your tail off to enjoy. Yes, your retirement is right around the corner, and fortunately you've put yourself in quite the position... fully funded retirement accounts, paid-for house, luxury car purchased in cash, financial freedom. Unfortunately, it seems the Universe has dealt you a cruel hand. Please, don't sit up. The nurses know I'm here. They're the ones who told me about you. They know my type: no visitors, no flowers, no balloons. A nice get well card from your stockbroker.
See, you're the perfect candidate for a last-ditch procedure, a failsafe if you will. A chance to extend your life and enjoy the wealth you've accumulated over the years. I'm talking about a new body, one that won't betray you when you need it the most. A body with a lean physique, maybe a decade or two younger than the sack you're carrying around now, but not so young that your colleagues will suspect more than a very talented plastic surgeon.
The "C" word! Of course, not. Human cloning is illegal. All we are doing is making a backup copy of your brain and storing it in a flesh-based container that may happen to share certain physical traits with you. You're entitled to a backup copy of your memories and thoughts, are you not? There's been a legal precedent set in the matter, just like you're allowed to make a backup of copyrighted media. All you have to do is apply for a copyright on the contents of your mind and sign this waiver indemnifying us from any legal issues that might occur....
Like what kind of issues? Well, for one, if this flesh-based container happens to "escape" from our "storage facility," and happens to strategically involve itself in various aspects of your life, well, we can't rightly be held responsible for that, now can we? Yes, I didn't think so.
Unfortunately, our backup process is quite expensive, but many folks have been able to successfully take a loan from their 401ks to fund the process, or have taken out a home equity line of credit, or sold their cars and other valuable assets. Most often, all of the above. But think of your golden years, spent doing the things you'd always thought there was time to do... What's that worth to you?
Of course, this likely means you will need to work for several more decades to pay the loans off. You're in no shape for that right now, but I sense a "miraculous recovery" in your near future, do I not? Perfect. I'll get a nurse in here to do a blood draw and get started on the process.
I'd love to stay and chat, but I'm afraid I'm already late for my next appointment, and I can't afford to miss one. I've got bills to pay, a load of debt to work off, and nothing but years of health in front of me. Actually, I'm not really supposed to mention this, but the commissions here are excellent, so if down the line you find yourself in need of a second job, or more likely a third, give me a call. Honestly, I could really use the referral bonus. If I'm lucky and stick to a modest budget, I'll be able to retire for a second time when I'm a hundred and twenty three, and this time, I swear I'll get the chance to enjoy it.
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Author Comments

Recently, I read an article about how the Japanese are using robots for eldercare, and it got me thinking about how different the world will be when I enter into my golden years. How do we go about retirement planning when human cloning will likely be a viable option? What degrees should we encourage our children to pursue when robots are competing for the best jobs? After bouncing some ideas off my coworker and critique group, I decided to explore the popular science fiction tropes that are rapidly becoming our new reality, and in doing so, I realized that you can't adequately plan for YOUR future without planning for THE future.

- Nicky Drayden
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