BUZ LIVINGSTON: A perfect country Christmas story

Published: Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 06:32 PM.


During the 1970s as a marketing ploy and/or form of artistic expression, some country music performers took on an outlaw persona. Remember Willie and Waylon’s “Wanted: The Outlaws” album. David Allan Coe got there a different way; he became a country music star after doing time in prison. Each time I saw Coe at the Georgia Theater there were more bikers attending than college students, and we gave them plenty of room. Coe covered Steve Goodman and John Prine’s “You Never Called Me By My Name” and led the last verse with they had “written the perfect country and western song.” 

For some reason, last spring, Karin Stifler insisted on meeting me for lunch. I had no idea who she was but being charitable and cautious I made a date. She and her husband, being tourists, knew about The Red Bar but The Grayt Coffee House was new ground. 

We hit it off pretty well in Cheri’s place sharing financial planning ideas. She enlightened me to DFA Funds’ novel strategy to include immediate annuities in their 401(k) planning. Immediate annuities, not their variable or equity-indexed brethren, should be part of the retirement planning discussion.

Immediate annuities are not always appropriate but don’t dismiss them either. Many fiduciary (insert sarcasm emoticon) planners badmouth them simply because that means fewer assets to charge management fees. We talked about writing, mostly mine. To my chagrin, I later learned she writes for Marketwatch.com where she, like Goodman and Prine, penned a perfect Christmas story.

Late December columns should match the season. With the annual war on Christmas, scribes like me must gird for battle. After all, it is not just the season for rampant consumerism coupled with eating and drinking too much. Karin’s column linked finances with things money can’t buy like humor, gratitude, optimism and resourcefulness.

To paraphrase Coe if that ain’t Christmas, I’ll kiss your derrière.

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