A Snapshot of Denial

February 1999
Journal of Financial Planning;Feb1999, Vol. 12 Issue 2, p17
Academic Journal
This paper references an article, titled Down, But Not Out, in the November 1998 issue of the journal American Demographics. It focused on downsized Kodak workers in Rochester, New York, who continue to spend as if nothing has changed. Their behavior illustrates the psychological and financial challenges planners face in persuading their laid-off clients to show some restraint. Part of the problem is that many workers receive generous severance packages and lump-sum retirement payouts, which they promptly blow. According to Kathie Meredith, a Certified Financial Planner practitioner, a client used $30,000 of his retirement account to remodel his house, buy new kitchen appliances and get cosmetic dental work. The article claims this denial of reality is not limited to Kodak workers. It is the American way to spend even reserves until economic reality finally sets in, and it may explain why the nation's savings rate has declined over the years.


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