I ran across a pair of 50 y.o. attorneys recently, in business for about 20 years. They have an assistant, 55, who has been with them from the start. They have one other employee, 30, who they hired a few years ago. They’re ready to take the plunge and put in a retirement plan.
The catch? They don’t want a 401(k). She does the payroll in-house (always has) and doesn’t want the burden of 401(k) deductions. He worries that they won’t be able to find a proper investment platform with so few employees, and would rather a pooled account.
W-2 pay is $250k for each attorney, $80k for the long-term assistant, and $50k for the other employee. The budget for the plan is $125k. They want most of the contribution for themselves, and they want to favor the long-term employee over the newer one. “Make us happy,” they say.
I propose a new comparability profit sharing plan. They can contribute $55,000 for each attorney, 10% of pay for their faithful assistant, and 5% of pay for the newbee. Total contribution: $120,500. With all objectives met, they are happy indeed.
The Academy recently sent out a tweet asking followers to describe their favorite movie in five words. I love stuff like that. It’s a fun writing challenge, trying to say something in a prescribed number of words. But I also hate stuff like that. How am I supposed to pick just one favorite movie? Or one favorite anything? I once wrote a letter to one of my four sons, in which I told him he was my favorite, ¼ of the time. He was less than impressed.
Parents are not supposed to have a favorite kid, so that’s probably not a good example. But how about a favorite song? Probably something by Bob Dylan. No, wait, maybe something by Van Morrison. One of my favorite oldies is “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye,” by The Casinos. But I can’t say that’s my absolute favorite. If I were asked my favorite color, I would probably answer, “Blue, no, yellow…” and be cast into the Gorge of Eternal Peril.
But getting back to movies. Some of the replies were quite clever, and some took a little bit of thinking to figure out the movie. Some described movies that I liked, some described movies that should be nobody’s favorite. But there are so many great movies to choose from. I thought maybe “The Godfather” (Reluctant heir heads Mafia family) or “American Graffiti” (Teens cruise around California town) or even one from the hard-to-explain-why-everyone-loves-it category, “Escape From New York” (Snake must save the president). In the end I chose “In Bruges.” I’m a big Martin McDonagh fan, and I find something new to like each time I watch that movie.
I tweeted my reply, “Hitmen hide out in Belgium,” and immediately thought I should have said “Hitmen lay low in Belgium.” I never could pick a favorite.
#ThursdayThoughts #TheAcademy #Bob Dylan #Van Morission #TheGodfather #American Graffiti #EscapefromNewYork #InBruges #MartinMcDonagh