- Important: All passwords were reset on 06/15/11. Old passwords will no longer work. Click here to retrieve your password.
- Subscribe to Our Free Dewsletter
We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.
Retirement, by Way of Class-Action Lawsuit
I have a new retirement scheme.
As a UGA professor, I’m a part of the state’s optional retirement system, one separate from the teacher retirement plan. As an untenured assistant professor a million years ago, I couldn’t risk not getting tenure and thus losing money put into the account should I have to leave UGA for another university.
In other words, my TIAA-CREF account relies heavily on the stock market to pay for my golden years. If you have a sore neck from watching the ups and downs of the market lately, you understand how disconcerting this can be.
At UGA, “optional” means you have only the option of retiring, not actually doing so.
In a few years I’ll waddle to class behind a walker, an IV stuck in my arm to keep myself properly medicated. Or I can turn to an exciting new supplemental retirement plan that involves me as a member of several class action lawsuits that I wasn’t even aware that I was participating in to begin with. Until recently, that is. To explain, in the past couple of weeks I’ve received three emails giving me the good news – I’m part of a class action decisions that will mean money in my pocket. They are:
- Ticketmaster. Apparently I attended a concert sometime in my past. In this case, I’m part of “a nationwide class of consumers” (known as the “Class”) who bought tickets through Ticketmaster’s web site (known as “the Website”) between Oct. 21, 1999 and Oct. 19, 2011 (known as the “Class Period”) and followed by a crapload of other legalese that tells me Ticketmaster is accused of deceptive and misleading tactics in hiding costs. What do I get? A buck-fifty for some concert I don’t remember, probably in Atlanta.
- iTunes. Yep, like everyone else I’ve bought an iTunes card or two (or a million as safe holiday gifts for nephews and nieces I barely know). Some of the cards were labeled as “songs for 99¢” when songs often sold for $1.29. Bad Apple. Rotten Apple. In this deal, I get a $3.25 iTunes Store credit to buy, I suppose, songs for more than 99¢. This is a “top settlement” according to one site that tracks this stuff.
- Classmates.com. My favorite. You may have seen this online site, and my high school reunion used it, which led to me in a moment of weakness to foolishly create an account there. Among other things, the lawsuit claims that “Classmates sent e-mail to subscribers of www.classmates.com that violated the law and the privacy rights of subscribers.” In less legal terms, they annoyed the hell out of you with stuff they made up and they wouldn’t go away, no matter how often and how nicely you asked. This is a big score. I may rake in as much as $10.
If there’s a lesson here, it’s that you have to spend money to make money. Spend enough, spread it around, and somewhere somehow, some sleazy company will get caught doing dirty and you’ll reap tens of dollars in future settlements. That’s enough to help fund a retirement plan based largely on me stealing from a bowl whatever food the cat doesn’t eat.
It’s a plan.
- Photo licensed by LikeTheDew.com from iStock.com © BanksPhotos
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
Before I fell asleep last night, my wife Jody read aloud to me from her copy of Barbara Kingsolver’s book The Lacuna. The passage she chose was a diary entry that opened: “Tonight’s news: the Allies broke open the dikes along the Netherlands coast, letting in the open sea and drowning thousands of German soldiers in the flood. Like the Azteca opening dikes to drown Cortés and his men on the shores of Lake Tenochtitlan. But fiction is nonsense, the war is real. Tomorrow the farmers of Walcheren will wake to see a tide standing over their crops, the floating corpses of the Read on →
The large crowds attending Dahlonega's Bear on the Square Mountain Festival come each year to the Georgia Mountain foothills town expecting to be entertained by the better known activities, including the constant jamming by visiting and local musicians, the Friday night Auction, and the MainStage Tent musical performances and Artist Marketplace on Saturdays and Sundays. There are a large number of other less publicized activities during this festival, which will be taking place the fourth weekend of April around Dahlonega's Historic Public Square. This will be the town's 18th annual celebration of the Southern Appalachian culture, including music, art and folkways, and Read on →
"Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." -- Matthew 6:21. On April 4, 1967, exactly one year before he was assassinated, Martin Luther King, Jr. made public his opposition to the Vietnam War, articulated in his iconic "Beyond Vietnam" speech. Presented at Riverside Church in New York City, "Beyond Vietnam" was the most controversial speech King ever delivered. In it, he confronted head-on America's "triple evils" -- racism, economic injustice, and militarism -- and called for "a radical revolution of values" to restore our nation's integrity. Afterwards, many supporters, black and white, abandoned him for daring to mix the Read on →
You knew in the beginning it was folly, no good -- like that girl who lived around the corner your Momma said was "fast." “She's gonna take your money and your stomp on your heart,” Momma said. You knew it too ... but you went anyway. YOU You promised yourself you would not get involved this time. You knew all about the probabilities ... the impossibilities, really. You knew all about the odds against success, heard Nate Silver -- or somebody -- use $5 words like “implacable,” “infinitesimal” and “asymptotic” to assure Charlie Rose the odds were ridiculous. And yes, you knew it was a Fool's Notion Read on →