Letters to the Editor — August 7, 2015
AARP pushing for bank loophole to close
Delaware is home to a growing influx of people age 50-plus who want to enjoy their next chapter of life. They seek out the state’s beaches, great restaurants and access to major metropolitan cities. They believe their futures are financially sound in the First State, and that they will have a high quality of life. But this burgeoning population has something to worry about — a loophole in the law that could be sapping up to five years’ worth of their retirement income.
Retirement accounts and 401(k) plans often involve complex financial decisions, and many working people rely on investment professionals for guidance. We should be able to trust our financial advisers to put our interests first. Many investment professionals do so, but this legal loophole is allowing some on Wall Street to take advantage of hard-working Americans by recommending riskier investments with higher fees and lower returns, all to make higher profits for themselves.
According to one estimate, the loophole is costing American workers up to $17 billion in retirement savings every year. For many, there isn’t time to make up the loss.
The U.S. Department of Labor is considering an update that would hold anyone who gives investment advice to a “best interest” standard. Retirement advisers would be required to abide by this “fiduciary” standard — putting their clients’ best interest before their own profits.
Unfortunately, some Wall Street special interest groups are lobbying Congress to try to stop this rule change. But it’s the special interests that need to change. The current loophole allows a few bad-acting banks, brokers and insurance agents to enrich themselves. Hard-working Americans often pay the price with loss of retirement income.
It’s time to close this loophole and ensure a high standard that holds anyone who gives financial advice to retirement savers genuinely accountable for helping millions of Americans choose the best investments for themselves, their families and their futures.
Few can live on Social Security alone, and pensions are largely a thing of the past. That’s why investments and savings are so vital to our financial health as we venture into life after age 50.
Delawareans are counting on their Congressional delegation to close the loophole now so they can fully enjoy their retirement years, which they’ve worked so hard to reach.
Rashmi Rangan, State President
AARP Delaware Ocean View has an historic district
The district in Ocean View, considered eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, is one of the few remaining intact oceanside communities in Delaware. Although the district receives the same protections, the residents do not receive the benefits.
One nearby example of this is the roadwork on Route 26. Before the work commenced, studies were done by historians and archaeologists to be sure that historically significant properties were not negatively impacted by the federally-funded project. None of these properties are listed on the National Register, but they were still protected as if they were.
Many residents believe that their properties will have to look like Mt. Vernon, or that Ocean View would be like Williamsburg. They only need to look at towns such as Lewes, Seaford, Laurel, Milton, Milford and countless others (there are over 800 historic sites and districts in Delaware) to see that those towns are all a mixture of old and new. The difference is the historic properties in these towns are listed on the Register and therefore qualify for tax benefits, grants and the honor of being listed.
I wonder, if Ocean View were listed on the National Register, with a sign posted, as tens of thousands of towns across America do, might visitors drive a little slower, notice its architecture and be curious about what life was like here over a hundred years ago.
Fenwick Four thankful for big turnout
On Saturday, Aug. 1, Fenwick Island held its first municipal election in eight years. Over 60 percent of all registered voters cast ballots. This incredible level of participation is something to be envied and emulated in communities around the country. Congratulations to Roy Williams, Julie Lee, Gene Langan and Richard Mais.
Many positive things came out of this election. Property owners were active in the election process. The community is interested and engaged in what the Town Council has been doing. Residents, full- and part-time, want to be informed and involved as the Council makes decisions about the future of Fenwick Island.
The Fenwick Four wishes to thank all of their many supporters. We all will remain involved in the community and look forward to working with the Town Council. Most importantly, we look forward to the survey on the issue of the height limit as promised by Councilman Langan.
Lisa Benn, Ann Christ,
Julie Lee and Roy Williams
The Fenwick Four
Library’s book sale a hit, thanks to many
The Friends of the Millsboro Library have had another successful book sale. Most of the community came together in so many ways to accomplish our success. The Boy Scouts of Troop 89 and the Hut allowed us to use their facility and helped move books from the library’s basement. Many people once again donated innumerable books, and our own library gave many books that had been weeded to make room for more current titles.
Our success, however, is largely due to the local media. A special thanks goes to the Coastal Point. For the past three months, your newspaper has kept the sale in the minds of the public requesting donations and including dates and times of the sale. You always give us the publicity that helps us succeed.
Our members gained our thanks for their countless hours of sorting, transferring books to the Hut and arranging them for easy browsing. Accumulating approximately 7,000 books tells us that there will be some extras. Thank you to Goodwill for their cooperation in accepting those items that remained after the sale.
The Book Sale is a major undertaking that requires the help of many. The sale’s profits help pay for our summer reading program. We thank all those who continue to help us achieve success.
Sandy Stevens and Jan Thompson,
Friends of the Millsboro Library Book Sale