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Monday, October 31, 2005


so if I say "Trick or treat" what am I gonna get in my bag???

I think you hit the nail on the head with ...

"Forget the sensational stuff that makes it on to TV; focus on high-quality news sources and read up about things that matter to you and your family."

Something that helps me from feeling overwhelmed by "depressing news" is taking action - writing a thoughtful letter to the editor, engaging in debate with friends adn family, firing off an email to government officials, doing something with my reaction to the news I'm taking in. Otherwise, reading about it and bottling your anger/pain/emtional response will end up driving you mental - or to the cardiac ward.

Chip: The LA Times of course. Or you could choose the chocolate bars.

Clint: I just rant on this site to get it out of my system. Or I take it out on my co-workers who never seem to tire of my verbal tirades about the state of the world.

Although you only briefly touch on it, I think Pension and retirement savings is a robust discussion topic for today's Fathers. I hope everyone clicks on that link to the NYTMag article.

Pensions will be dead before my children are old enough to drink. In a nutshell: company promises pension benefits to employees; company knows it can't expect to fund the pension once there are more retirees than workers; company makes up numbers so that Wall Street can't figure out how enormous this pension liability really is; company's stock price continues to go up and CEO keeps getting immorally large bonus; one day the jig is up -- time to declare bankruptcy; pension becomes the Property of the PBGC; the PBGC is funded with our money and a bit by equity in the now bankrupt, i.e. worthless company; PBGC engages a large investment bank to attempt to sell the equity piece; I-Bank sells what it can and takes enormous fees; the remaining pension liability is funded by the PBGC (us, the taxpayers); CEO retires in comfort -- his employment contract guaranteed him a large payout when his services were no longer needed.

The death of the pension is just another broken American dream. Save as much as you can right now for your retirement.

Pat, I love your quick summary; it's perfect.

By the way, my company sent me a letter ONE DAY AFTER THIS POST to tell me my pension will be frozen at the beginning of 2006.

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