April 2017 Progress Report, The Coming Robopocalypse, and A Health Conundrum

May is finally here and the smell of spring is tickling our noses. We are now all clones driving the same car color –  a glorious yellow-green hue! We’ll just think of it as Mother Nature’s fairy dust as she magically recreates yet another glorious spring, and surrounds us with a lush green and floral oasis.

But despite the fact that we are sneezing our days away, and dropping our frugal dimes on Kirkland’s generic Allegra (a.k.a Aller-Fex), we Escapadian’s shall complain no more because the good weather is finally upon us. So alas, drug induced drowsiness and all, we shall forge ahead with yet another progress report.

April 2017 Progress Report

Our April Savings Rate = 26%

We realize this savings rate number is not a great one. Losing my job last April, and dragging my feet on finding a suitable replacement has definitely taken its toll on our level of savings; especially since we originally had a savings rate of 59% prior to my layoff.

The Coming Robopocalypse!

Lately, I’ve been exploring a change of career where my job in finance has largely become either outsourced or automated. Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a tech seminar on the future of robotics. It was like Stars Wars on steroids!

I learned two things:

  1. I’m getting old. Ha ha!
  2. ALL of our jobs are in jeopardy!

Whatever job you can think of, white-collar or blue-collar, a robot can replace it. Investment advisors, accountants, office/clerical, management, sales, business analysts, truck driving, meter maids, security guards, wait staff, inventory control, delivery, construction work, and warehouse pickers – just to give you an idea of where we are headed.

To top it all off…engineers have created a robot that can teach other robots. 

Robots teaching robots? Crazy stuff, I tell you!

This made me think of the book Robopocalypse, a science fiction novel written by Daniel H. Wilson, where a computer scientist releases a super intelligent sentient A.I. named Archos R-14 into the world. The robot becomes self-aware and immediately starts plotting the end of human civilization.

The seminar was a real eye opener, and if this robotic technology continues to take off at high-speed, and I personally believe it will – most of us will be unemployed before we reach the full retirement age.

In fact, I believe this could happen very quickly over the next decade or so, and that the proliferation of automation has the potential to create a real income crisis for many of us. Just think about how fast the internet has changed the world! Time to consider a universal income, perhaps?

The Stock Market 

The stock market went mostly sideways for us this month. We didn’t see any great gains, but at least we didn’t suffer too many losses. This is largely due to the fact that we are heavily invested in low-cost Vanguard index funds. When the market goes up the index fund does the same. When the market goes down the index follows. In the end, we’re okay with this because the compound interest is the real star of the show. We just hope we have more up days than down. Just sayin’.

A view from one of our favorite walking trails!

Financial Goals

Our financial goal from March was to up our savings. This did not happen thanks to a sideways stock market and lack of additional income because of the layoff. We must do better on this next month if we wish to succeed.

Our expenses were a little high because we are still getting bills for some of the medical expenses that our health insurance didn’t cover from Mr. FE’s medical mishap. And sadly, this is not going to improve anytime soon where we are now in the middle of yet another health conundrum.

A Health Conundrum

Health Goals

Our health goal from March was to focus on fitness, so we upped the ante on our weekday workouts, and  have spent the last several weekends taking long walks along the hiking trails. Unfortunately, this increased level of activity was short-lived where I kept fainting on the long walks!

Our health goal for May is to get to the bottom of why I faint when on lengthy walks. I’ve had four overnight hospital stays and numerous tests, so hopefully we will have a resolution soon!

How was your April?









16 thoughts on “April 2017 Progress Report, The Coming Robopocalypse, and A Health Conundrum

  1. Jeepers, passing out is a hell of an excuse to not go walking Mrs FE. I hope you can get to bottom of that asap.

    Interesting what you say about robots (or other forms of artificial intelligence) taking over the world. I have a theory that the human species, as we know it, is on a rapid decline to extinction. It took us millions of years to get where we are but I predict only a thousand years to oblivion.

    Why? Partly because of our own laziness and desire to automate every part of our lives as much as possible. Replacing human effort with robots is only part of that. In short (very short) robots may successfully replace humans as the most intelligent being on this planet and at that point, why would they need us?

    There’s so many other indicators that we’re rapidly heading towards our own demise. Thankfully, we’ll be long gone before it happens.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Fainting does make a good excuse to get out of working out! Ha ha! πŸ™‚

      Mr. FE and I agree that this automation is being partly driven by laziness. We also believe it’s being driven by corporations looking to increase their profits by reducing labor costs. We have large shipping containers on the West Coast with warehouses that stretch for miles. They tried out some robots and found they were more efficient than humans, so the corporation just placed an order for 100,000 to start. Scary, but the potentially crazy notion of robots taken over the earth could hit sooner than we think. πŸ˜‰

      We sincerely apologize for the delay in responding to your always insightful comments!


  2. I agree that fainting on walks is really going a bit too far to get out of exercise:) Seriously, I hope they find the issue quickly. That must be not only un-nerving, but very frustrating when you are trying to do something good for yourself and find yourself feeling so badly as a result! Hang in there!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha ha! Fainting is still a great excuse though! πŸ˜‰

      We agree that the medical world can be a bit frustrating. We remain hopeful that this will be behind us soon.

      We apologize for the delay in responding to your comment! Please know that we do appreciate it! πŸ™‚


  3. Sorry to hear you are unwell. This happened to a friend of mine and it took her months and months of tests to find out what was causing it. In the end, it was a combination of things, but she was able to get it under control. I hope the same happens for you. Good job on the net worth increase despite the rocky markets.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fainting is so alarming! I hope you are getting the affordable medical care you need.

    I’m with you on automation taking away most current jobs. People need to prepare. The world is rapidly evolving.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we have good medical insurance through Mr. FE’s employer. We are hoping for a resolution soon! πŸ™‚

      It’s great that you are aware of the job issues automation could cause. Especially where so many don’t believe it could happen.

      Thanks for the comment Z!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m a big Elon Musk fan, and he says pretty much the same thing. It’s the only thing keeping him up at night. The impending singularity and what that could mean for us human beings. According to him, even the most benign scenario would be us becoming pets to them, like dogs and cats are to us. We’ll see how it plays out.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s