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What's your background?


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Hey Lori, you started this, what is your background?

Fair enough...

I spent my 20's working on Capitol Hill but eventually went back to school and studied Accounting. I passed the CPA exam and began working in private accounting. I later got an M.S. in Accounting and switched to public practice. I've been with public firms for about 13 years now.

The whole retirement/welfare area is sort of an offshoot. As soon as I began working in public accounting, I learned that CPAs are often required to work with benefits issues but lack the training to do so. Retirement and welfare benefit plans aren't taught in school, and they're not tested on the CPA exam. I decided to enroll in NIPA's APA program and get some comprehensive training and knowledge in those areas.

I hang around BenefitLink to keep those skills sharp. I learn just by reading other people's questions and comments. Oh...and I also enjoy chatting with my friends AndyH, PATA, Blinky, Kirk, Denise, etc.

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Well, here goes - I started in college as a "trust balancer" - heaven forbid. Then this discussion board opened on AOL in I think 1993 or 94 (Dave?).... it turned into this MONSTROSITY called BenefitsLink, and has been going very strong as an actual site and board since 1998 - at least, that's when we all started to register to post here....

Back to my background - TPA's for 6 years, then moved into the financial side for the next 6, and now - ugh - I've graduated to TAFT-HARTLEY Health/Welfare/and Pension plans.... what a learning curve.

Have one year of law school - thought I'd like to be an ERISA attorney - nope!

Have an NASD license, that's going to expire soon since I'm not in the Broker/Dealer world any longer, have my APR from NIPA, am a member of the CFA Institute, and ASPPA among others, and LOVE to play devils advocate in all situations.

Personally - I have a loving wife, and two children a 2 and a 4 year old boy and girl respectively - we can't decide if the job or the kids have caused the pre-mature graying....

Thanks for the opportunity to share - and keep the banter going.

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The questions I get are far more interesting than the movie quiz.

What does L.P mean.

Elvis who?

Were there antiques when you were a kid?

Did you have a Nintendo?

For the record, I was born in the same year the political state of Israel was formed but some days I feel as old as "Israel" itself.

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jevd,

L.P. must mean "likes to procrastinate"

Elvis Costello

I am an antique.

I've never had Nintendo, but I'm old enough to remember Pong.

Israel is really quite young. In terms of world history, it's probably equivalent to about age 18. Are you feeling better now?

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Hey Lori- thanks.

Got into the business in 1997 by default. New to the country then, looking for something that would fit in with by banking experience. Hired by a brokerage firm to work in one area…on the day I stared, they decided to place me in the retirement plans customer service area- Thank Goodness!!

I read everything I could put my hands on- soon came to be know as the expert. Funny thing is, they (at the brokerage firm) thinks I know everything :D:rolleyes: , because I always know the answers to their questions. But as I tell some of them, it’s all relative. You visit a message board like benefitslink, or other medium, including conferences, and you realize how little you know.

Got several retirement plans designations, one from NIPA…have been working on one from ASPPA for the longest- can’t seem to ever get enough time to study for the exams anymore, between my 9-5 (which is really a 8-8 most days) and my freelancing (no excuses Denise- She said to herself- no excuses).

Freelance writer-retirement plan articles- mostly IRA focused

Married

Three kids-boys- one set of twins. Last one three years old. He runs the house and everyone in it.

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Denise,

I knew about your three-year-old boy, but you'd never told us about the twins. What a beautiful family you have.

Here's the real question for you: how do you do it all? A job, a marriage, 3 children...I feel exhausted from just thinking about it. You should be very proud of everything that you achieve, every day of your life.

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Hello gang. Now that baseball season is over (for some of us). have a couple of extra minutes to spare myself the agony of watching the Yankees come back again. Couple of comments-

1. It's a honor to be called a friend by Lori, even if she left out the ski area stuff.

2. I have read a number of Denise's articles, and her knowledge and writing ability are extremely impressive IMHO.

3. jevd - have always enjoyed your comments but what the (heck?) is that picture/work of art?

4. Why does Blinky never enter "Life Beyond Employee Benefits"?

5. There are too many people left out from getting kudos, but Erik Read's comments are also always interesting as well.

6. Lori, no follwup to Lame Duck?

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Andy H.

Just an availble picture on the board. I'm trying to figure out something more appropriate to put up.

Appleby,

I echo Lori's comments. I was able to handle 1 at a time but twins. That's marvelous.

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1. It's a honor to be called a friend by Lori

Thank you, Andy. Right back at you.

3. jevd - have always enjoyed your comments but what the ____ is that picture/work of art?

jevd looks like a giant band-aid, with arms and legs, who's about to hit himself (herself) in the head with a mallet.

4. Why does Blinky never enter "Life Beyond Employee Benefits"?

Um...because the Blinkster has no life beyond employee benefits?

6. Lori, no follwup to Lame Duck?

Rumors have it that Lame Duck and Ritchie have run off together into the sunset.

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Thanks Lori, AndyH , Jevd. I guess I was lucky- the twins are great- almost too good to be true... The three year-old? He’s great too, but …let’s just say I don’t think we could handle more than one of him at a time. We love him just the same and would not want to have anything about him changed.

Awww Jevd. I hope your wife knows what you say about her behind her back.

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I also have twins. We got a boy and a girl, so I like to say that we won the baby jackpot. Unfortunately, I'm getting divorced, so I think she'll get to keep that jackpot.

The smartest thing I ever did was moving to Washington, D.C. to work for the IRS in 1978 and the second smartest thing I ever did was leaving Washington, D.C.

After I left the IRS in 1981, I moved to Orange County, California and went to work for a sucession of law firms. The last one imploded and we were forced into an involuntary bankruptcy. Very expensive and ugly mess for all of the parties involved; not just the former partners. The claims by the landlords against the law firm for unpaid future rents totalled over $100,000,000.

Stayed there until two years ago, when I moved to Denver. Almost all of my clients are still in California. I like to go back to visit several times a year, but I can never imagine moving back there. Denver is a much less stressful place to live than California. But, to be fair, it does not have the great weather and booming economy of southern California. We got a ton of snow yesterday here in Colorado.

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