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my view from the prison of a SICLE (Self-Imposed Child Loss Experience) due to debilitating maternal disease
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:: Friday, November 10, 2006 ::

I watched this program a few days ago, and forgive me for oversimplifying, but instead of taking the opportunity to vilify the 401(k) and lambaste its misuse, it looks like the main problem is that people have been given control of their finances, and a great many are not being responsible with that control.

One of the questions frequently asked of CEOs, by a highly respected 401(k)-analyzing (longitudinally) expert, is "Hey, would you put the office guy who just delivered our coffee in control of your retirement finances?" The response is, "I wouldn't let that guy touch my finances with a 10-ft pole!" The thought-provoking expert's retort is, "And yet you're forcing him to handle his own?", a reference to the elimination of the lifetime pension due to reliance on the 401(k).

The problem is that people will not project; they will not accept the sacrifice of 15%-18% of their income now in order to benefit from it 40 years down the road. They want what is coming to them NOW, so they enjoy the luxury of a working paycheck and find themselves eating cat food when they retire without dignity. Either that or they don't retire; they work until death or until illness and aged frailty take them out of the workforce thrusting them into a life of destitution... until death.

Since the lifetime pension has been 86'd and the 401(k) is being wildly misused, people are ON THEIR OWN. We OWN our finances. We have the right to choose to plan for the future. We have total control over our savings. Our finances, our choice. But SO MANY OF US ARE MAKING THE WRONG CHOICE, and it is going to create a crisis certainly individually, if not nationally.

If people can't be trusted to preserve their own future, should they really be given complete control of someone else's future? (For people with bad childhoods the past doesn't have to be a hammock; it can be a springboard. But death pretty much puts an insurmountable damper on a kid's future.)

In Florida you can choose to mismanage your finances, present and future, but it is illegal to drive without your seat belt buckled. Our government forces each and every individual to protect her own life in the event of a vehicular accident, whether each individual likes it or not. I.e, the FL government does not keep their laws off of anyone's body in FL. Here, they force your car door open, crawl up into your lap, and MAKE you draw a belt of sturdy synthetic material across your body.

Florida knows that the only person who can be trusted with a choice between wearing or not wearing a seat belt is the person who will choose to wear a seat belt. Our state created the seat belt law because, unfortunately, over the years, people have proven that they can not be trusted with a choice between life and death.

:: ashli 5:11 PM # ::

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