Reading through the Wall Street Journal I found an article that helps keep things in perspective during this time of economic turmoil, career stress and job loss.  I believe a lot of misery poker is happening in these key areas. Check it out and see if you play misery poker. It will help your cultural knowledge as well, turns out it is a common term on college campuses.  (Who knew? I’m behind on these things, just happy I can navigate my iPod and iTunes)

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124511445043317379.html

Maybe it will and maybe it won’t. Let’s consider why organizations eliminated or reduced 401(k) matching contributions.

A poor economic climate reduced revenues, which led to a reduction in expenses. To your company the 401(k) match is an expense. As companies learn to run leaner it will be difficult to bring back an expense. Until employers are competing for employees again, I do not believe this will be an area of focus for most organizations.

I truly believe that companies will have all intended to bring back the 401(k) match. In reality, my prediction is many will bring it back when the economy has full recovered, but it will be smaller than before. While the match may seem small, how your company deals with employee retirement plans has a huge impact on your overall financial plan.

Here is how one Fortune 50 company has evolved it’s employee retirement options over the last decade. Imagine that 10 years ago your employer had a defined benefit pension plan when you joined. You knew then it was a great retirement benefit. Then they switched to a cash balance plan with a full 6% match on the 401(k). You are disappointed, but the full 6% match is one of the best out there, so you are still feeling pretty good. Tough times this year and the company has gone to a variable match up to 4%, dependent on company performance. Bad year, you get 0%. The challenge a number of people within 15 years of retirement face is that the pension they thought they would have is gone and if you knew that 10 years ago you might have saved differently.

You could be in a place where retirement savings need to be ramped up to hit your goals. Action Item: Sit and figure out how the changes in your employer sponsored retirement plans impact your financial plan and retirement goals. Make savings adjustments now so you get there faster.

New rule moving forward – Save more and expect less from your company.

Advisory Services offered through Axiom Advisors, LLC. A registered Investment Advisor Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. a Broker/Dealer member FINRA/SIPC Axiom Advisors, LLC and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. are not affiliated

I realized a few weeks ago that I welcomed all the news coverage of the Swine Flu. I know this does not sound right, but it is true! Finally the economy and the economic meltdown were not the lead stories! I didn’t have to see any Project Economy or Economic Crisis logos flash across the screen.

 I have a great way to relieve your anxiety over your portfolio and pending economic doom.

 Turn off the news! Stop talking to everyone about the bad economy. You are just bringing yourself and others down. When engaged in the bad economy conversation tell people your taking a break because being negative about it will not help you move forward.

 CNBC had its best ratings in eight years during the first quarter of this year.* During the start of the downward spiral last fall CNBC also had record ratings.** The evening news programs of the big three networks are improved over the economic crisis. The better the ratings the more the negative coverage will continue.

While it is my great belief that the media needs to take an economy coverage vacation it will not happen because they are prospering during the crisis. Just like an impending snowstorm sends all of us in New England to mob the grocery store in search of bread and milk, money troubles send us to the aficionados of CNBC and Fox Business. The more you are worried the more you tune in. It is a beautiful thing, if you are in the business of selling commercials.

Be brave my friends, break the cycle and turn off the news! Negativity will not help you make the moves necessary for financial independence.

Advisory Services offered through Axiom Advisors, LLC. A registered Investment Advisor Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. a Broker/Dealer member FINRA/SIPC Axiom Advisors, LLC and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. are not affiliated. 

 *www.mediabistro.com http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/ratings/q1_2009_rating_cnbcs_best_in_eight_years_112775.asp

 ** http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/09/business/media/09cnbc.html