As a certified financial planner for 27 years, I disagree with the letter “401(k) a bad deal for today’s U.S. worker.”
The writer states that every citizen should be able to be part of a defined-benefit pension system. How would that get paid for? Most corporations and some municipalities have done away with defined-benefit plans because to provide a decent retirement benefit costs a tremendous amount of money. While corporations have some duty to their stockholders, they also have a duty to their employees to make sure the plan is adequately funded. Municipalities have a duty to their taxpayers to make sure we receive adequate services and a fair tax rate. How’s Detroit doing?
The writer claims that 401(k)s were created for the one-percenters. Tons of middle-income people have accumulated many hundreds of thousands of dollars in their 401(k)s. He says very few of today’s workers will be able to retire with dignity. While that it is true for millions of Americans through no fault of their own, millions more make poor financial decisions. We have seen people prematurely use retirement money to buy cars and trucks, to take trips, to pay off low-interest loans, etc. One woman took money from her retirement assets several times to give to her daughter for cosmetic surgical procedures.
We have seen many people live above their means. There are those living paycheck to paycheck, trying hard to watch how money is spent, and there are many others who have very high monthly cell phone bills, cable/satellite bills, and other discretionary expenses that can be minimized, with the difference going to savings.
If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, seize that opportunity. If the employer offers matching money, as many do, contribute at least as much as it takes to maximize the employer match. Contribute as much as you can comfortably afford. When you are fortunate to get a raise or promotion, increase your contribution level by at least 1 percent or so. After many years of regular contributions, with compounding, your account can be like mold in a closet: Where did all that come from?”
Royal Palm Beach
I see that West Palm Beach has chosen to close the municipal golf clubhouse, also putting Bradley’s out. There is a mold problem, and the solution is to pay out $35,000, plus $900 a month to rent a portable? That’s ridiculous.
Mold remediation and follow-up sanitizing could correct the problem far more cheaply, and no one would get put out of work. Obviously, no one bothered to check out this option.
West Palm Beach
Clubhouse should be
fixed not destroyed
Regarding “Golf course’s Bradley’s pulls last flag as eatery shuts doors”: I’ve been a member of the West Palm Beach Golf Course for 14 years. The fairways are in very good condition, the bunkers are challenging and the greens are excellent. But when a foursomes finishes 18 holes under the Florida sun, they need amenities and facilities where they can wash up, change, sit down together and relax with a beer and perhaps a meal.
The clubhouse offers a pro shop with an extensive array of merchandise, separate lavatories for men and women, locker and dressing rooms, lots of tables and chairs, a full-service restaurant and bar (with great French onion soup) and administrative offices. All of that goes away if the clubhouse is demolished and replaced by minuscule make-do’s. The course could become financially unstable. Would developers love to get their hands on this valuable property? You betcha.
The solution is obvious. There is an estimated $500,000 to pay for the demolition and Band-Aid replacements. Those funds would permit fixing most, if not all, the deficiencies found in the engineering and health inspections, extending the life of the clubhouse until the city can afford the estimated $4.5 million to build a new facility. This is a sensible way to save this historic golf course, including the French onion soup.
West Palm Beach
Common Core a
blast from the past
Regarding Common Core standards and the push for critical thinking, I find it really encouraging that modern educators are catching up to what we were routinely doing 50 years ago in New York City schools.
All our lessons were “developmental.” Our rule: Don’t tell; ask. All questions required thought; all led to the discovery of the aim of the lesson. I still teach that way. It’s nice to know that others will be doing it too. Again.
not welcome here
Regarding the letter “Lincoln welcomed new immigrants”: There would be a fundamental inequality in granting amnesty yet again.
Democrats promise that border security will be achieved after legal status is addressed. This would mean a “path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants. But there is a difference in people who are following the rules and applying as has been allowed. The problem for many years has been the influx of illegal immigrants.
These people have overstayed visas or, more typically, have simply sneaked into our country and now want to get services and status that are not deserved. Why do we need to reward illegal behavior? Let us look at our neighbor to the south. Mexico defends its sovereignty and its border by the simple expedient of jailing illegal immigrants. Ironically, Mexico also excoriates us for not fully welcoming illegal immigrants from Mexico.
It is telling that the writer failed to mention the words “legal” or “illegal” in his letter. Legal immigrants are more than welcome; illegal ones are not. Is that not the democratic and constitutional way?
DAVID R. CAESAR
West Palm Beach
a cause for sadness
Thank you for Randy Schultz’s column informing readers about the extraordinary number of letters The Post received on the Trayvon Martin case (” ‘Conversation’ about race mostly one-way.”)
How sad to learn how many people call this a case of “self-defense” when it was clearly a case about guns and racism. I am 88 years old, white, Jewish. I was an Army wife during World War II and lived in Anniston, Ala., for two years, experiencing for the first time the racism that existed then and there. During the ’60s I was employed at the very liberal Rutgers Law School in Newark, N.J., where under the new civil rights legislation affirmative action was put into practice.
I consider the election and reelection of President Barack Obama the most important political event in my lifetime, but I am deeply saddened to realize how much racism still exists.
IRENE G. OSTROFF
Holder, Obama mum
when killers are black
I wish Attorney General Eric Holder would take a minute from counseling his son on the dangers of white racism and say a little prayer for old white people like me.
In a week when an 88-year-old World War II veteran was beaten to death by two black thugs and a student from Australia was shot to death by a 15-year-old black kid, not a peep. It was especially disappointing since Mr. Holder and President Barack Obama were so quick to speak out and so articulate in condemning white racism when Trayvon Martin was killed.
North Palm Beach
won’t decry radicals
Charles Krauthammer correctly pointed out the administration’s avoidance of identifying a true enemy of the United States, and indeed all of Western civilization (“White House wordplay.”) Even Mr. Krauthammer, however, aligns with political correctness by using the term “radical Islam.”
Terrorists obey commandments from the Prophet Muhammad, as directly stated in the Quran. Westerners continue deluding ourselves concerning Islam. We cannot expect “decent” Muslims to voice revulsion at horrible acts of terrorists against “pagans” or even their own people. They are “captive” in a faith to which they likely were born. So-called “moderate Muslims” live in fear for their lives, if they were to openly display disdain for any Quran statements. Our people, and especially our diplomats, must soon learn the true threat of Islam.