“Willie” “Joe” and “Al” have lived their entire lives in the “Neighborhood”. Their total working career consisted of working for Semtec Steel; a company very similar to many current Companies that have promised to repay their employees for their Loyalty and Sacrifice by promising benefits for Retirement. Through bad business practice, mismanagement, and possible shady deals with Williamsburg Savings Bank, the Pension is now broke. The three are devastated and realize their feeling of Loyalty to the Company has been misplaced and NO ONE CARES! The Bank is at the center of the Default and the three Retirees decide to “get their money back” and rob the bank!
What a delight to watch acting legends Michael Cain, Alan Arkin, and Morgan Freeman portray these stunned and desperate Pensioners. Very endearing performances bring the story to life. Veteran actress Ann Margret plays the female love interest with charm and allure. Going In Style is entertaining and enlightening; well worth the time and money. Going In Style is fictional, the story is not!
How many workers have spent their career working for Fortune 500 companies that have gone broke and taken the Pension with them? Who can remember Pan Am, TWA, Piedmont Airlines, America West, Patriot Coal, Bethlehem Steel, LTV Steel, or the infamous Enron Energy. These were great companies; great places to work. The bankruptcy always seemed to be a surprise to the employees. However, the results were predictable; the Employee Pension went into default and benefits were either completely eliminated or greatly reduced. A complete shock and disruption to the Retirees. The pattern seems to be repeating.
Pension funds in general are enormously underfunded. States such as Illinois, California, Maine, and Connecticut, as well as municipalities like Hartford, Connecticut, Stockton or San Bernadino in California, or even Puerto Rico may renege on promises and devastate those depending on benefits. THE BENEFITS ARE NOT COMING. Many, many Fortune 500 companies have Retirement Accounts vastly underfunded. As a result the next Recession will have casualties beyond corporate Liquidations, many Pension Plans WILL default. It is time to make tough decisions.
Discuss options with your Financial Adviser as to early withdrawal penalties for any fixed benefits you may be entitled. Those that exit early are often the greatest winners. Cut expenses, pay down debt particularly Home Equity and credit cards. Eliminate unnecessary purchases. Build a reserve; accumulate at least 60-90 days worth of expenses in Cash; keep the Cash close and NOT in a Safe Deposit Box in any Bank! Consider taking profits on a significant portion of your Stock and Bond portfolio which might be re- deployed in cash flowing assets to mitigate any losses from Wall Street or a Benefit Plan. Entry level single family homes in the growth corridors of Florida, Houston or Dallas in Texas, or Maricopa County in Arizona should provide a safer re-allocation strategy with conservative, consistent monthly Income. Take your personal preparations very serious; these are “Interesting Times” we live in!