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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Raimondo “Smart Money Tour” comes to South Kingstown on Tuesday

State Treasurer will explain how to better manage your money, presuming you have any
By Will Collette

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo brings her pre-Gubernatorial candidacy declaration road show to our area on Tuesday. According to the Narragansett-South Kingstown Patch, Raimondo will be at the South Kingstown Senior Center, 25 St. Dominic Rd., Wakefield from 10-11 a.m. TODAY (August 27).

Charlestown is not on her schedule, so this is the best we can expect.

I’m hoping that Raimondo will come with plenty of tips for retirees who now face greatly diminished pension payments as a result of the state’s pension “reform” cutbacks which she spearheaded. 

One of the key elements to dealing with your finances is to make a good plan that is realistically based on your projected income and expenses. That’s what many retirees did as they prepared for their own retirement – they calculated their incomes based on the pension income they were promised and which many of them actually paid for, and they made adjustments in their lifestyles, such as down-sizing their homes.

Raimondo took those plans and threw them out the window. 

She not only cut pension benefits for future retirees and eliminated cost of living adjustments for existing ones, she also shifted the state’s pension funds

Now, an inordinately high amount of state pension money is managed by Raimondo’s Wall Street bankster friends who are treating us to a double high colonic of lower rates of returns and hugely higher investment management fees. 

Raimondo defends this policy by claiming that it provides the retirement fund and its beneficiaries with “stability.”

Her biggest fans are her hedge fund and Wall Street buddies and far-right conservative organizations who have showered her with praise and awards for stripping retirees of their benefits.

Being the responsible person that she is, Raimondo is now touring the state to try to gloss over the damage. I hope she’s come equipped to help people adjust to the new reality which she created.

According to Raimondo (and I’m not making this up) "My office runs a number of programs that are helpful to Rhode Islanders, but they are only useful if people know about them. The Smart Money Tour is successfully bringing my office into the community to educate people about ways to find and save money."

So if you attend this road show, what can you expect? Here are some helpful suggestions for the Treasurer on ways she can help people cope with her new economic reality.

A “work-life” after retirement kit would be helpful. Since many retirees find that they need to go back to work, but have discovered that today’s employers are generally not interested in hiring workers over the age of 50, retirees need some help. Wal-Mart can hire only so many minimum wage greeters, so today’s retirees will need to compete with younger people for fast food and service jobs. For other jobs, they could use some “make-over” tips on the Treasurer so they can look a lot younger than they actually are. Raimondo herself did a remarkable makeover, changing from a pre-election progressive Democrat to a post-election conservative superstar.

DINO wrinkle cream. I’m thinking she could hand out her own DINO brand of skin softener and wrinkle remover to help people make the transformation they’ll need to make to survive.

Google THIS! Retirees could use a glossary of tech terms they can sprinkle into their conversations with prospective employers to convey the impression that they more about computers than just how to turn it on to get and send e-mail. A mock I-Phone – not the real thing – might be a helpful prop for job-hunting seniors. They can lay it on the table while they are being interviewed. It’s be nice if the mock device would buzz every couple of minutes.

Find it, and it's yours. Since part of the agenda for her tour is to help people “find money,” I’d love it if she gave away some metal detectors along with maps to some of the best spots to go looking for valuables. We already have some fortune-hunters combing our coastal beaches looking for lost coins, jewelry, watches and such, but there’s room for a few more. She could also hand out maps of various fountains and wells where people toss coins for good luck. Certainly down on their luck retirees qualify for a little good luck.

The other main agenda item for the tour is to help people learn ways to save money. I’m pretty sure that most retirees have already worked out a strategy for doing that – at least, they did when they figured on counting on the retirement income they were promised. With newly diminished income, retirees will certainly be looking to Ms. Raimondo for tips on how to squeeze more juice out of a rock.

This will be next
Everything tastes better with a bit of basil. For pet-owners, the answer is right under their noses. Most of our healthy, happy and often times chunky doggies and kitties will have to tighten their little belts too by sharing their food with their humans. Times are tough and everybody has to do what they can. 

Ms. Raimondo ought to distribute recipes on creative ways to make wholesome and nutritious meals from cat and dog food. Each variety offers different culinary options – so many choices including meat chunks in gravy, classic pate, vegetable and meat blends, endless types and flavors of kibble.

Many of my suggestions to Treasurer Raimondo involve giving away stuff. I presume that each giveaway item will be emblazoned with her picture and an imprint something like, “Gina Raimondo, your next Governor whether you want her or not.”

She has plenty of money. Aside from her considerable personal wealth as a former venture capitalist, she has $2,122,642 in cash in her campaign fund, and she hasn’t even declared yet. 

That doesn’t count all the money her allies and related SuperPACs, such as EngageRI, have raised. She can afford to hand out tubes of wrinkle remover, mock I-Phones, metal detectors and cat food recipes out of her campaign’s petty cash.