Coronavirus and career: The A-Rod/J-Lo rule

They say that the coronavirus is a threat, a deadly threat, to all of us, regardless of who we are and where we live, we are all in the same boat.

And that’s true — up to a point. Then it isn’t anymore.

And while we can’t pick our parents, decide our birth date or where we grow up — Bangladesh or Brooklyn — the career path we followed is very important. Especially when times get tough — like now — when having more money, which is almost always a good thing, is better than having little or none. Which is also true when times are good — having a good job or steady income is a good thing, now more than ever!

And even if you believe that all of us are created equal, life teaches us that that doesn’t last long. While they face many of the same challenges we all do, some people are in a slightly better place at times like now: Take J-Lo and A-Rod, please!

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Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez are among the best at what they do — entertainment and sports. The power couple’s marriage may be on hold. And their plan to buy a professional baseball team has fallen through, both said. And they’ve taken some heat from social media after being filmed on special, private trips to fancy gyms that are closed to other members. Whether you are a Hollywood star, “trapped” in a $28 million Bel Air mansion or a politician who gets tested daily for the virus while the rest of us wait in line, there are degrees of suffering even or maybe especially during a pandemic.

Which brings us to the following. It’s from a faithful reader, a full-time fed and part-time financial adviser who has some thoughts about career choices, especially at times like this. The writer is Abraham Grungold who says he’s glad he did what he did. And maybe you should be too:

To be a fed or not to be a fed — that was the question

In 1984, I graduated with my fourth degree. I wanted to transition out of my clinical laboratory job to a different field. I could not find a position, so I decided to pursue a career in the federal government. My friends said if you become a federal employee you will never earn a decent salary.

Immediately, I got many offers, and I decided to take one even though it was a 30 percent pay cut from my medical field. I saw a chance for opportunity and growth. On the first day of the job, one recruit did not show up. Then, another one decided to leave after only eight weeks. However, I was still surrounded by professionals who were sincerely public servants that were trying to make a difference.

Another important factor was that I had the Thrift Saving Plan, the greatest 401(k) of them all, and a bright future ahead of me. Over the years, I helped tens of thousands of people and recovered hundreds of millions of dollars from those who defrauded the government and abused employee retirement plans. I traveled across the country and I had many great experiences along the way. I knew I had made the right choice.

When dating my wife, I asked her what she was looking for. She said a guy with a great sense of humor and good health insurance. I showed her my Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO card, and her eyes lit up. She said that it was the Cadillac of health plans. She also learned that my retirement annuity and my TSP were tremendous benefits in addition to my job security.

As the years rolled on during my career, I survived the 1987 Black Friday stock crash without a whimper. I survived the real estate boom of the 1990s, the Dot Com Boom of 2001, and the financial crisis of 2008. I even survived the Clinton, Obama and the Trump federal furloughs. I saw many people get laid off during every one of those financial crises. Many of my friends in the private sector lost their jobs, their homes, and had to file for bankruptcy. My parents instilled in me to always save for a rainy day. I have a six-month emergency fund and continue to save for my retirement. I always forged on looking to better my career. I learned how to see the brighter side of every bad situation.

Beyond the workplace, I became a public servant to my family and friends who were facing problems with immigration, prison and the IRS. Over the past 10 years, people trusted me to give them the proper advice. Recently, I have also taught many how to handle their finances, investments and retirement. It is funny how my image has changed since I started in the government so many years ago. I truly believe that government employees are an essential part of society who contribute in many ways, both on and off the clock. It has been a wonderful and rewarding career, and I am grateful for the choice I made.

Any questions or comments please contact me on LinkedIn or my Facebook page.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Amelia Brust

Before Dan Klitsner created the 1990s toy phenomenon Bop It, he designed consumer products like toilet cleaner bottles. But he dreamed of making toys — specifically a toy that controlled the child rather than the child controlling the toy.

Source: MentalFloss