Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Lessons from Bezos and the Washington Post: if you're near retirement and you company is sold, don't cry (but learn to use EDGAR)

Michelle Singletary, a syndicated columnist often appearing in the Washington Post with her “Color of Money” article, wrote today that she knows what it feels like to learn that your employer has been sold (link). 

Of course, she is referring to Jeff Bezos’s singlehanded purchase of the Washington Post, held and protected eight decades by the Graham family.

I don’t know why a syndicated writer would feel tied to one newspaper;  but it certainly will get attention of people for whom the Post really does mean a journalism career – for example, Timothy B. Lee, who moved over to the Post from Ars Technica and has started a new technology series called the Switch Blog.

Singletary takes us, in this piece, through her calculations of what retirement would mean.  It appears that the Post has funded its pensions pretty well.  What’ interesting is that Singletary names the filings at the SEC and on EDGAR that any stakeholder, especially someone near retirement, should look at, as well as the specific form 8-K.

I would have done all this with ReliaStar and ING before “retiring” in the post-9/11 period at the end of 2001, when many companies were stressed.  I was taken care of OK, but since then I have learned that I was luckier than most people.  Look this stuff up yourself,  “Guys and Dolls”.  

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