We Hear You, Part I for the July/August Issue

Readers respond to the July/August issue

by the More.com editors

Lastly, Ms. Dreifus argues against teacher tenure and the ways in which the education section wastes money. Personally I feel that if education is not a luxury, if it is truly the future for our youth, than the people providing it should be paid more than anyone in any other profession. The salaries of the average venture capitalist or bank executive make even the ‘bloated salaries’ look like peanuts. The problem is not that education money is being wasted; it is that there is not enough of it. Furthermore, Ms. Dreifus seems to ignore the reason for teacher tenure, which is to protect brilliant minds from enforced censorship. We have not always lived in an open minded society, and we will not always. I want to have professors I disagree with, that society disagrees with, because without educated argument and the freedom to really push the envelope there is no progress. Sincerely,
Leslie Sherman
San Francisco, CA

Unrealistic Suggestions
As an experienced registered nurse (currently working towards my MSN) I make above the median income for women. I am frugal and manage my money conservatively. I have a couple comments on your article.

The reason many women don’t bother to figure out how much they’ll need for retirement is because they don’t feel it matters – they are saving as much as they can right now so knowing they should save more isn’t really going to help. If anything it is discouraging.

In reference to your Roadblock #2: Your suggestion to put $16,500 into your 401K every year is extremely unrealistic unless a woman is making a substantial income – in which case retirement savings probably aren’t a problem. And then you suggest adding an additional $5,500? And then an IRA too? And max out your HSA? And save every bonus, tax refund, birthday gift, etc? Excuse me, but what planet are you living on? How many women have over $25,000 lying around to stash in savings every year? I put 10% in my 401K, pay ahead on my mortgage and try to put extra in my HSA and feel like I’m doing pretty good.

Furthermore, some consideration has to be given to enjoying life right now. If I did as you suggested I wouldn’t be able to afford a single luxury (such as an occassional dinner out with friends), visits to see my children who all live out of state (and who give more meaning to my life than anything else I can think of), or even maintain my house, let alone make it look nice. What would be the point of living if you take away all pleasure?

I guess what I’m trying to say is some of your suggestions are unrealistic. As I said, I make an above average salary for a woman. Any reader making, say $60,000 a year would find it even harder to follow your advice.
The other advice seems sound. Just remember who your readers are and consider their average income. Many still have children in college, medical bills etc.
Michele Naber

Higher Education?
Your interview with Claudia Dreifus in the July/August 2010 issue was enlightening and important. It is time the parents of high school students understood that an Ivy League degree accompanied by outrageous costs does not guarantee a first-rate education. As a professor, I can attest that many high-prestige colleges are notorious
for their neglect of undergraduates. Students can get a better education at lower cost elsewhere.
Alan Rosenthal
Columbia, MD

Thank You
Dear Lesley, Thank you for your Editor’s Letter in the July/August issue. And thank you especially for all the work you do in putting out MORE. MORE is the only women’s magazine I’ve found that doesn’t take a political stand and I greatly appreciate that. When MORE invited Laura Bush to speak at one of its events, you really impressed me. I’m glad to see articles on women like Nancy Brinker that show respect for her views as in the June issue. In fact, it was because of the June issue that I decided to renew my subscription. I loved "To Be Tea-D Off" and "Is It Ever Too Late to Find Faith" in the current issue.

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