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All Is Not Well in Stockton

All Is Not Well in Stockton

It didn’t come as a surprise when the California city of Stockton declared bankruptcy; city officials had been issuing warnings for quite some time. Stockton is insolvent and has not been keeping up with payments towards its employees’ pension fund accounts. It is the city’s largest financial liability and, while the bankruptcy judge agreed the city is broke, he has not determined if the pension payments can be included in the negotiations. If the judge decides that payments to the pension fund can legally be reduced just like most outstanding debt in bankruptcy proceedings, city employees will potentially face lower pension benefits; if payments to the pension fund cannot be legally reduced, it means that all the city’s creditors, except the pension fund, will get pennies on the dollar and the city might never dig itself out of its hole. It’s a mess.
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Between the Generations

Between the Generations

Some intersections are more treacherous than others – like the place where aging parents and family finances meet. Talking about money is rarely easy; talking to our parents about money – and aging – is something almost everyone would rather avoid. And yet avoiding it only postpones any potential problems; it won’t make them go away. In fact, putting off the conversation may be the path of least resistance, but it may be the wrong way to go.
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Tragic Motivation

Tragic Motivation

It’s an unfortunate truth: sometimes bad things happen to good people. And not being in any way prepared only compounds and extends the pain and loss. Such was the case of Chanel Reynolds, reported in the New York Times. Chanel lost her 43-year-old husband in a bicycling accident and was consumed by the enormity of the financial tasks ahead of her. The challenges she faced veered from the simple (knowing the password to the checking account) to the complex (what would happen to their unsigned written wills?).
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