Billionaire Currency Trader George Soros Warns Against Investing Public Pension Money In Hedge Funds

Here in Rhode Island, the issue of hedge fund investing of pension dollars has been a source of much conflict and concern. Hopefully with so many financial experts now leading our state government (Tom Sgouros, Seth Magaziner, Gina Raimondo, I’m talking to you!) we can make sure that public pension dollars in Rhode Island are invested wisely.

Billionaire Currency Trader George Soros Warns Against Investing Public Pension Money In Hedge Funds.

Sen. Whitehouse Introduces Retirement Savings Bill

From the Whitehouse Press Office:

Sen. Whitehouse and Rep. Neal Introduce Retirement Savings Bill

Automatic IRA Program will Help Enhance Retirement Security for Tens of Millions

Washington, DC – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Congressman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) introduced legislation today that would dramatically enhance the retirement security of millions of Americans. According to most financial planners, the United States is at the precipice of an impending retirement crisis. Many Americans are simply not saving enough to be financially secure in retirement. It is estimated that 75 million workers have no employer-provided retirement plan or other opportunity to save through workplace contributions.

The Automatic IRA Act offers a common-sense solution to dramatically expand retirement savings in the U.S.  Under the bill, tens of millions of workers would be eligible to save for retirement through a simple payroll deduction.  The non-partisan Retirement Security Project has estimated the Whitehouse-Neal Auto IRA proposal could raise net national savings by nearly $8 billion annually.

“Each month, tens of millions of Americans build toward a comfortable and dignified retirement by contributing to employer-based savings plan. Unfortunately, half of American workers don’t have access to employment-based accounts and may find it much more difficult to save,” said Senator Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Budget Committee. “This bill would give those without access to a 401 (k) plan the opportunity to benefit from automatic monthly savings. Coupled with Social Security, such tax-preferred savings can help people in Rhode Island and across the country enjoy financial freedom in their golden years.”

“Getting more low and middle-income workers into the retirement savings system remains one of my top priorities. Far too many Americans are putting their retirement at risk because they do not have access to a workplace savings plan. I believe this auto-IRA bill can dramatically improve their post-employment years. By making it easier for workers to save, millions of Americans will enjoy their retirement more secure and content,” said Congressman Neal, a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

The Whitehouse-Neal legislation creates automatic payroll deposit Individual Retirement Accounts, or Auto IRAs, for workers who do not have access to employer-provided qualified retirement plans. The bill would also require employers with 10 or more employees to automatically enroll workers in an Auto IRA unless the employee opts out.  The employers could receive tax credits to defray the costs of setting up the accounts.  We know that automatic enrollment has been extremely successful in getting more people to save for retirement. Studies have shown that participation rates are at least 10 percentage points higher in plans with automatic enrollment (77 percent) than those without it (67 percent).  The GAO also found that automatic IRA enrollment could increase the number of lower-earning households with retirement savings and increase retirement income as well.

The Auto IRA proposal, which was jointly developed by Brookings Institution and Heritage Foundation scholars, has garnered widespread support, including the AARP, the U.S. Black Chamber, the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement, and the Aspen Institute Initiative on Financial Security.

A Canadian Bank That Supports U.S. Housing Projects for Low-Income Families – Housing – Inside Philanthropy

The Canadian lender TD Bank was one of the good guys during the housing boom. It didn’t gorge itself on subprime loans and end up in the crosshairs of government investigators. The bank prides itself on being a responsible company, and puts out an impressive corporate responsibility report discussing its work. Among other things, its philanthropic arm, the TD Charitable Foundation, funds in the housing sector, giving away $2.5 million a year in a competitive grant award program called “Housing for Everyone.”

via A Canadian Bank That Supports U.S. Housing Projects for Low-Income Families – Housing – Inside Philanthropy.

Why Is a Health Funder Backing Work on “Sustainable Neighborhoods” in the Bay Area?

If you’ve ever lived in a gentrification zone, you can probably figure what the term “sustainable neighborhoods” means. These would be places where, among other things, low-income, elderly, and disabled folks aren’t bulldozed aside by development trends dictated strictly by market forces.

via Why Is a Health Funder Backing Work on “Sustainable Neighborhoods” in the Bay Area? – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Dr. Lani’s Bone Health Guide — a Helpful Primer for Middle Age

laniNow that I am at the age that I find myself thinking about my bones and how they are doing, I was happy to find Dr. Lani’s No-Nonsense Bone Health Guide by Lani Simpson, DC, CCD. For people like me who have questions about whether you are getting the right nutrients for optimal bone health, or whether your back pains require special attention, Dr. Lani’s book is quite helpful.

The book is broken down into sections that explain the kind of testing and tools that doctors use to diagnose bone density and assess you for your personal fracture risk.  It then goes on to:

  • explore osteoporosis medications (for me, it is the big question of whether someday I will be asked to consider taking Fosamax, which my mother took);
  • describe alternative medications (this covers the gamut of supplements out there touting their bone health benefits);
  • discuss hormones (another big question we middle age women face — whether to use hormone replacement therapy);
  • explain how to assess your own gut health and understand how it impacts your bone health.

The final two chapters are dedicated to food and exercise — the two major lifestyle keys to healthy bones. I picked up some good reminders for myself in these chapters — mainly to keep up a raw food/real food diet as much as possible, and to keep up daily exercise.

I found this book highly accessible and readily applicable to my own life experience and the questions I have about bone health.  In particular, it helped me to understand some of the connections between how food is absorbed and bone is created and recreated in our bodies.  I would recommend this book to anyone who is having back problems or is worried about their future bone health.  This book will help you decide how to resolve your problem, and it will give you the information to ask much more detailed questions of the practitioners you may end up seeing for bone health.