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Chicago's Day of Reckoning Is Now

Bob Williams | Posted 10.06.2015 | Chicago
Bob Williams

According to municipal audits and financial statements, Chicago Public Schools cannot make their pension payments and meet payroll this year while covering their monthly bills.

History of the Illinois Pension Crisis Could Be Learning Moment

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 10.01.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

When the Illinois Supreme Court ruled the 2013 pension reform law unconstitutional, it left the state with one very big question: how to get $105 bill...

Why Is an Enron Billionaire Trying to Keep Teachers From Retiring?

Bailey Childers | Posted 09.30.2015 | Education
Bailey Childers

Instead of so-called reforms that would decimate teachers' retirement savings, we should be looking for ways to keep good teachers in the classroom. Retirement security is a critical part of making teaching a more rewarding career.

Tsipras Faces Major Challenges After Election Triumph

The Huffington Post | Eline Gordts | Posted 09.29.2015 | World

ATHENS, Greece -- The triumphant return to power of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Syriza party after the country's Sept. 20 elections c...

What to Do When Divorce or Widowhood Puts You in Financial Control for the First Time

Michael Most | Posted 09.23.2015 | Money
Michael Most

Taking an accounting of liabilities and expenses -- ie. what's owed -- is an essential first step to taking full financial control. In the case of divorce, which spouse will continue to pay for certain expenses is typically decided in the settlement.

10 Places in Illinois Where Pension Spiking Costs Are Highest

Reboot Illinois | Posted 09.17.2015 | Chicago
Reboot Illinois

A recent investigation from the Better Government Association took a deep look into pension spiking in Illinois and the impact reforms have had on the...

Ever Heard the One About the Dead People Collecting Pensions in Illinois?

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 09.15.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

Those deceased pensioners were once state employees. And for the still-living and still-employed state employees, handling payments for medical care could be about to get a whole lot more complicated.

Have You Figured Out How Much Money You Need For Retirement Yet?

MoneyTips | Posted 09.08.2015 | Business

Have you figured out how much money you need for retirement yet? If you answered "Yes", then you're preparing for your post-working years. But even ...

Social Security for Two: What Every LGBT Couple Needs to Know Now

David Rae | Posted 08.21.2015 | Gay Voices
David Rae

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes figuring out what the hell to do about Social Security. Retirement planning can be quite complicated for anyone, but the newness of Social Security options for LGBT couples find some of us unprepared.

Wisconsin Pensions: Better Than Other States, But Still Insolvent

Bob Williams | Posted 08.20.2015 | Politics
Bob Williams

Unlike most states, Wisconsin pensions do not have automatic yearly increases, whether by edict or through cost of living adjustments (COLA). Most other states utilize these tools, leading to much larger shortfalls. Wisconsin, on the other hand, ties payouts to investment returns.

Illinois' Geographic Rifts Grow Larger With School Spending Conflicts

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 08.18.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

Forget Democrats vs. Republicans. A brewing fight over how state government funds Illinois schools districts draws geographic battle lines that pit Ch...

Retirement: A Party We All Want To Attend

Bailey Childers | Posted 08.14.2015 | Politics
Bailey Childers

We must continue to stand up against Wall Street interests who want to privatize social security, force older Americans to work longer, gut pensions for public employees, and continue to manipulate our government to only benefit the wealthiest in our country.

The Top 8 People and Actions to Blame for Illinois' Pension Problems

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 08.07.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

There are many, many people from both major parties at fault over many years for the Illinois pension debacle. Dave McKinney, former Chicago Sun-Time...

Maybe It's Time to Let John Cullerton Lead the Way on Pension Reform

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 08.05.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

I'll admit it: Two years ago, I was an ardent supporter of Senate Bill 1, a sweeping pension reform proposal that would save the state more than $150 ...

Donors Who Can't Give To Christie Campaign Give To His Super PAC

The Huffington Post | Paul Blumenthal | Posted 07.31.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- A super PAC formed to support New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential campaign has raised $11 million with a big boost from...

Why Social Security Beats All Rivals -- And the Case for Expanding It

Robert Kuttner | Posted 07.26.2015 | Politics
Robert Kuttner

Social Security demonstrates that public systems are often better than their private counterparts. The problem is that government-managed systems are only as good as their stewards. The only cure is stronger democracy, so that citizens who value good programs vote to elect leaders pledged to defend them.

Money That Could Be Going to Social Services and Schools Is Instead Going to Illinois' Pension Debt

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 07.29.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

Illinois state elected officials are working on creating a budget for the new fiscal year. But even once that budget is agreed upon, there won't be ne...

Working Funds: 3 Ways to Cash in on Life Insurance for Retirement

David Rae | Posted 07.23.2015 | Business
David Rae

The good news is that you don't have to die to use your Life Insurance. Here's how to put the new policies to work for you.

The Golden Girls Retirement Plan: Oh Rose, Where Did Our (Pension) Funds Go?

David Rae | Posted 07.20.2015 | Gay Voices
David Rae

Second in a series. Major intellectuals, foremost philosophers and all my friends at the Abbey agree that most financial (or indeed life) issues can be explained in terms of the "The Golden Girls." In this episode Rose Nylund, played by the inimitable Betty White, faces a double whammy.

Climate Change: Identifying Future Makers And Future Takers

David W. Richardson, CFA | Posted 07.07.2015 | Business
David W. Richardson, CFA

It is important that one of the world's largest investment consultants has leapt into the debate on climate change and its effects on investment portfolios with reasoned analysis and actionable recommendations.

The Road to Solvency

Bob Williams | Posted 06.22.2015 | Politics
Bob Williams

Even though 49 states mandate a balanced budget, either constitutionally or statutorily, there is no uniform definition of a balanced budget, and accounting trickery has allowed states to avoid paying for their future obligations.

Greece: A Credible Deal Will Require Difficult Decisions By All Sides

Olivier Blanchard | Posted 06.19.2015 | World
Olivier Blanchard

The status of negotiations between Greece and its official creditors -- the European Commission, the ECB and the IMF -- dominated headlines last week.  At the core of the negotiations is a simple question: How much of an adjustment has to be made by Greece, how much has to be made by its official creditors?

Shaw: Chicago Public Schools Officials Need to Take a Long, Hard Look in the Mirror

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 06.11.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

Chicago Public Schools has its fair share of problems, and after the resignation of former CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett following questionable contracts and a federal investigation, Andy Shaw of the Better Government Association wants to see CPS take steps to right its ship.

New Front Opens In Battle Over Retirement Security Of California's Public Employees

Capital & Main | Bill Raden | Posted 06.09.2015 | Politics

A proposed law would shift all public employees onto 401(k) plans, beginning in 2019.

For Many States, Now Is the Day of Reckoning

Bob Williams | Posted 06.05.2015 | Politics
Bob Williams

It is time for reform-minded leaders in statehouses and city halls to roll up their sleeves and get to work. Facing a half-century of ballooning debt, the cost of inaction is simply too high.