A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting up with some high school classmates in Las Vegas to celebrate a milestone graduation anniversary. I’m not going to say which one, but let’s just say it was a pretty large number of miles on that milestone. Unfortunately, Kathy couldn’t make this trip with me, so I made sure to bring the laptop so I could stay productive in between meetings with my classmates.

The first day after getting into town and unpacking, I made my way to see the Las Vegas 51s Triple-A baseball team, and it was a great game. While they didn’t win and I have to say I like the Durham Bulls better, the 51s did have a bat dog who retrieved bats for the home team. Definitely a feature I would recommend to the Durham Bulls.

It didn’t take long for me to start thinking about projects I could work on outside of the usual busy work atmosphere of my office, and with some issues I’ve been seeing in the area of Medicaid Planning, I decided to update my book The Long Term Care Solution. Unfortunately, we’ve been getting a lot of pushback from outside stock brokers and financial advisors when it comes to setting up investments inside irrevocable trusts so they are guaranteed not to lose money during at least the five year lookback period. Most brokers and advisors are not as well versed in Medicaid Planning, and they are still looking at accounts in terms of “return on investment” or “conservative versus aggressive” investments but not guaranteed to never lose money. A loss in the market can be devastating to a Care Assistance Game Plan, so market losses may not be limited to just what value is lost but also the inability to convert the Game Plan to something better should their health decline more rapidly. So I needed to add a chapter about this. Fortunately, I was able to perch myself outside the New York, New York Hotel and Casino for a few hours in the morning and write that chapter out.

Another adventure was meeting up with my classmates at Frankie’s Tiki Room. No, I never heard of it either, and I was a little worried when I showed up first. It looked like a one-level bunker more than a few streets over from the main Strip. I went inside around 3 in the afternoon, and it was pitch black as if it became midnight in the two seconds between walking inside and the door closing behind me. As my eyes started to adjust, I noticed a few things:

  • This was definitely a place for locals;
  • The no smoking policy in effect in many small bars and restaurants was clearly not in effect here; and
  • They had “to go” cups stacked on a shelf by the entrance.

In the end, it was a pleasant place to be with delicious drinks with a Hawaiian theme, and I had a great time talking with my classmates when they arrived. However, it always felt like it was after midnight until someone opened the door to outside and the sun blindingly came through. Later that night we ended up having dinner at a diner at the Stratosphere and catching up even more before calling it a night.

The next day, I sat poolside with my laptop and worked quite a bit on a few other chapters for the book focused on some of the non-legal and non-financial aspects of care assistance planning. (At this point I was starting to wonder if the resort fees for the hotel could be counted as a tax-deductible “office space” rent.) Later that night, I met up again with my classmates at the MGM Grand, but on the way, I noticed A TON of people wearing Las Vegas Golden Knights shirts and jerseys on the way to a playoff game. As a first year expansion hockey team in the NHL, they were really doing well and genuinely united the city around this single sports team. As one local explained it to me, while it was great that the team was doing so well, it really was the mass shooting last October that pushed the city to unite, and the Knights were just one avenue the city was using to show its strength in the face of adversity.

Saturday, the last day we were getting together was a little more low key, with some of us meeting up to play penny slots at the Paris Hotel and Casino (for me literally betting one penny at a time), and then later meeting up for dinner at a pub outside The Linq Hotel. I knew we were starting to progress in years when the main topics of conversation turned towards the kids being older than when we first met and then Instant Pot recipes. But in all, it was a great conversation with great people. We also reflected on the few classmates we lost over the years but how lucky we were that most everyone else was healthy and happy. We ended the night with ice cream and then watching a live band back at the Paris Hotel that played a lot of 80s music.

In all, it was a great time catching up with old friends, but at the same time I was able to get some much needed additional information to update my book The Long Term Care Solution. Be sure to look for upcoming information on the release of the new version of the book, and, for my friends in Las Vegas, GO KNIGHTS!