Turning down a $300K job, deferring dreams of Austin: How Roe's end is changing millennials' career plans—and lives | Big Indy News
Connect with us


Turning down a $300K job, deferring dreams of Austin: How Roe’s end is changing millennials’ career plans—and lives



The overturn of Roe v. Wade in June ended nearly 50 years of federal abortion rights, meaning access to health care depends on where you live and work more than ever.

Restricted abortion access will have major career and financial consequences for women, experts say.

For Kristi Bradford, the immediate cost is a $300,000 paycheck.

Bradford, 32, walked away from a $300,000 job based in Oklahoma out of concern for her health. She’s a strategic investment professional living in Los Angeles and was set to start working remotely for a company based in Oklahoma this month. But once Roe was overturned, and Oklahoma enacted its trigger law banning almost all abortions, Bradford says the uncertainty surrounding the state’s restricted reproductive care led her to pull out of the job altogether.

In the weeks since the Supreme Court ruling, professionals ranging from doctors to academics to tech workers are already changing their career plans in a post-Roe America.

‘I’d rather have my life than millions of dollars’

It took Bradford several weeks to understand how restricted reproductive-care access could impact her, even as a California resident where abortions remain legal. She’s still not totally clear on it — that’s the problem.

Bradford has endometriosis, a painful chronic condition where tissue that normally grows inside the uterus grows on other parts of the reproductive organs. She’s managed her diagnosis by undergoing a dilation and curettage, or D&C, the same procedure used in many surgical abortions.

She has also been prescribed a progesterone hormone, medically classified as contraception, to manage symptoms. While a 1965 Supreme Court case, Griswold v. Connecticut, protects the right to birth control, Bradford is wary of efforts to limit access following the Roe overturn. (Justice Clarence Thomas argued the Court should revisit previous rulings regarding contraception, for example.)

Bradford grew concerned about her new employer-based health insurance coverage, she wrote in a personal essay posted to Medium in August: If she’s a remote employee in California with health insurance based in Oklahoma, which state’s laws would govern her health care? Would her insurance deny coverage of anything illegal in Oklahoma? What if she had a reproductive-related emergency during a trip to Oklahoma?

The best responses she got to those questions, even after consulting a lawyer: “We’ll see how it plays out in the courts,” she says.

“The uncertainty is the biggest thing,” Bradford tells CNBC Make It. “Even if I put my energy into all these resources to get answers to these questions, at the end of the day, there’s just so much uncertainty caused by the Supreme Court decision. There’s no way you can get all the answers right now.”

She also recognizes that not everyone impacted by the Roe decision has the same resources as her. Experts say Black women, Latinas and low-income people will be the most harmed by state laws that restricting abortion access.

“It’s distressing the Supreme Court has put women in the position of choosing between their life and their economic wellbeing,” Bradford says. Ultimately, she doesn’t regret her decision: “I’d rather have my life than millions of dollars.”

Bradford has decided that the best path forward is to rely on herself— she plans to launch a consulting business — though it means forgoing a steady and lucrative paycheck.

‘It’s hard for me to get excited about raising [my daughter] in Texas’

Until recently, Damien Peters, 39, dreamt of moving with his wife and 5-year-old son from the D.C. area in Maryland and planting roots in Austin, Texas. He spent his early tech career there and, now as the owner of a real estate firm, says the state’s tax advantages are hard to beat.

But good financial moves can’t outweigh the state’s increasingly conservative leanings, Peters says. Now that Roe has been overturned and he’s expecting a newborn daughter later this year, Austin is off the table for the time being.

“It’s not to say that this only impacts women — it impacts everyone,” Peters says about the state’s strict abortion ban. “But it’s hard for me to get excited about raising her in Texas. For one, there’s the legality of, if she’s ever in that position, can she choose? Then, what does it say about raising her in that environment?”

Even a smaller move 20 minutes away to Virginia, where Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin sought to ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, presents a risk, Peters says. They could settle in a liberal city, but if the state is run by conservative lawmakers, “what does that mean for my future daughter’s ability to make a decision about her own body?”

He wonders what state-by-state legislation could mean for highly mobile knowledge workers, especially in tech, choosing where to live and work. Could the tech migration from the Bay Area to Austin slow? Do Midwestern upstarts throughout Silicon Prairie stand a chance?

Some predict red states will see a so-called “brain drain” of highly educated and highly paid professionals fleeing to states where safe abortions are accessible. And some businesses, including Salesforce, have gone so far as to offer to relocate employees living in states with abortion bans. 

Pro-choice residents grapple with whether to stay or go

Roughly 1 in 3 job-seekers say they won’t apply to a job in a state with an abortion ban, according to an August ResumeBuilder survey of 1,000 people. And 1 in 4 job-seekers currently living in a restrictive state is applying to jobs only where abortion is legal.

Of course, not everyone can turn down a job in an anti-abortion state or move out if they don’t like newly enacted bans. But those with the means to leave are also feeling conflicted.

Mary M., a 34-year-old marketer based in Austin, finds herself stuck. She requested CNBC Make It withhold her last name so she could speak freely about her employment situation. She’s lived in Austin for nine years, working from home for the last two, but has wanted to leave Texas for a while due to the state’s conservative leadership.

She works for a company headquartered in Florida, which bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, and isn’t sure how to bring up moving to a state that supports abortion rights, like Nevada or Colorado.

She doesn’t have kids but plans to one day: “I’m almost 35. If something were to happen and I had issues with my pregnancy, I’d want to feel safe,” she says. “A lot of that involves going to a doctor’s office, and not worrying that they’re worried about getting arrested” while providing reproductive care.

But Mary hasn’t totally given up on the place she’s called home. She’s currently a volunteer for Democrat Beto O’Rourke’s run for governor in November. “It’s a fine line of: Do I want to move and make the state get even more red? Or do I stay in a red state and try to turn it blue?” she says.

Mary has some hope. She looks to Kansas, where residents overwhelmingly voted to uphold abortion rights in their state earlier this month. “With what we saw in Kansas,” she says, “anything can happen with these elections.”

Check out:

Handling business ‘in the midst of our pain’: What it’s like working for an abortion provider now

34% of younger workers are thinking of switching jobs due to company’s stance on abortion, post Roe

Janet Yellen: Overturning Roe v. Wade would be ‘very damaging’ to the economy, women

Sign up now: Get smarter about your money and career with our weekly newsletter

Read the full article here


Sister Patricia Daly, 66, Dies; Took On Corporate Giants on Social Justice



For years, Sister Pat and other environmentalists had urged ExxonMobil to take significant steps to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from its operations and products. In 2007, she proposed a resolution that called on that energy giant to set a firm date to report on its progress.

“We’re the most profitable company in the history of the planet,” she told Rex Tillerson, then the company’s chief executive (and later secretary of state in the Trump administration), at the company’s annual meeting, “but what will be our long-term health when we are really faced with the regulatory and other challenges around global warming?”

She added: “We are now, this company and every single one of us, challenged by one of the most profound moral concerns. And we have the wherewithal to respond to that.”

The proposal won 31 percent of the ballots, or about 1.4 billion shares, the largest tally for an ExxonMobil climate-change resolution. If not an outright victory, it was a page in a decades-long narrative that led ExxonMobil to put a climate scientist on its board in 2017. Three executives who recognized the urgency to address climate change joined the company’s board in 2021, nominated by a tiny activist hedge fund, Engine No. 1.

“The arc of her work led us to those victories by working from the inside and the outside,” John Passacantando, the founder of Ozone Action, an anti-global warming group, and a former executive director of Greenpeace, said in a phone interview.

In 1999, Vanity Fair named her to its Hall of Fame, applauding her as one who “translates belief into commitment and never backs down from a fight.”

Mary Beth Gallagher, who replaced Sister Pat as executive director of the Tri-State Coalition in 2017, said Sister Pat had not become frustrated when her resolutions were routinely voted down.

“She lived in hope,” Ms. Gallagher said. “We never talked about winning or losing. It was about raising consciousness and educating. If we’re not asking these questions, who will?”

Read the full article here

Continue Reading


Families can make a tax-free rollover from 529 plans to Roth individual retirement accounts starting in 2024



Maskot | Maskot | Getty Images

Americans who save for college in 529 plans will soon have a way to rescue unused funds while keeping their tax benefits intact.

A $1.7 trillion government funding package has a provision that lets savers roll money from 529 plans to Roth individual retirement accounts free of income tax or tax penalties.

related investing news


The House passed the measure Friday and the Senate did so Thursday. The bill heads to President Biden, who’s expected to sign it into law.

More from Personal Finance:
10 ways to avoid the early withdrawal penalty for IRAs
Retirement savers with lower incomes may be getting a federal ‘match’
‘Best’ ways to maximize your tax deduction for charitable gifts

The rollover measure — which takes effect in 2024 — has some limitations. Among the largest: There’s a $35,000 lifetime cap on transfers.

“It’s a good provision for people who have [529 accounts] and the money hasn’t been used,” said Ed Slott, a certified public accountant and IRA expert based in Rockville Centre, New York.

That might happen if a beneficiary — such as a child or grandchild — doesn’t attend a college, university, vocational or private K-12 school, or other qualifying institution, for example. Or, a student may receive scholarships that mean some 529 funds are left over.

Millions of 529 accounts hold billions in savings

There were nearly 15 million 529 accounts at the end of last year, holding a total $480 billion, according to the Investment Company Institute. That’s an average of about $30,600 per account.

529 plans carry tax advantages for college savers. Namely, investment earnings on account contributions grow tax-free and aren’t taxable if used for qualifying education expenses like tuition, fees, books, and room and board.

Retirement plan changes in the omnibus spending bill

However, that investment growth is generally subject to income tax and a 10% tax penalty if used for an ineligible expense.

This is where rollovers to a Roth IRA can benefit savers with stranded 529 money. A transfer would skirt income tax and penalties; investments would keep growing tax-free in a Roth account, and future retirement withdrawals would also be tax-free.  

Some think it’s a handout for the rich

However, some critics think the rollover policy largely amounts to a tax handout to wealthier families.

“You’re giving savings incentives to those who can save and leaving behind those who cannot save,” said Steve Rosenthal, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

A 2012 analysis conducted by the Government Accountability Office found the typical American with a 529 account had “much more wealth” than someone without: $413,500 in total wealth for the median person, about 25 times the amount of a non-accountholder.

You’re giving savings incentives to those who can save and leaving behind those who cannot save.

Steve Rosenthal

senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center

Further, the typical owner had a roughly $142,000 annual income versus $45,000 for other families, the GAO report said. Almost half, 47%, had incomes over $150,000.

The new 529-to-Roth IRA transfer provision doesn’t carry income limits.

Limitations on 529-to-IRA transfers

While the new tax break primarily benefits wealthier families, there are “pretty significant” limitations on the rollovers that reduce the financial benefit, Jeffrey Levine, a certified financial planner and certified public accountant based in St. Louis, said in a tweet.

The restrictions include:

  • A $35,000 lifetime cap on transfers.
  • Rollovers are subject to the annual Roth IRA contribution limit. (The limit is $6,500 in 2023.)
  • The rollover can only be made to the beneficiary’s Roth IRA — not that of the account owner. (In other words, a 529 owned by a parent with the child as beneficiary would need to be rolled into the child’s IRA, not the parent’s.)
  • The 529 account must have been open for at least 15 years. (It seems changing account beneficiaries may restart that 15-year clock, Levine said.)
  • Accountholders can’t roll over contributions, or earnings on those contributions, made in the last five years.

In a summary document, the Senate Finance Committee said current 529 tax rules have “led to hesitating, delaying, or declining to fund 529s to levels needed to pay for the rising costs of education.”

“Families who sacrifice and save in 529 accounts should not be punished with tax and penalty years later if the beneficiary has found an alternative way to pay for their education,” it said.

Are 529 plans already flexible enough?

Some education savings experts think 529 accounts have adequate flexibility so as not to deter families from using them.

For example, owners with leftover account funds can change beneficiaries to another qualifying family member — thereby helping avoid a tax penalty for non-qualified withdrawals. Aside from a kid or grandkid, that family member might be you; a spouse; a son, daughter, brother, sister, father or mother-in-law; sibling or step-sibling; first cousin or their spouse; a niece, nephew or their spouse; or aunt and uncle, among others.

Owners can also keep funds in an account for a beneficiary’s graduate schooling or the education of a future grandchild, according to Savingforcollege.com. Funds can also be used to make up to $10,000 of student loan payments.

The tax penalty may also not be quite as bad as some think, according to education expert Mark Kantrowitz. For example, taxes are assessed at the beneficiary’s income-tax rate, which is generally lower than the parent’s tax rate by at least 10 percentage points.

In that case, the parent “is no worse off than they would have been had they saved in a taxable account,” depending on their tax rates on long-term capital gains, he said.

Read the full article here

Continue Reading


Goldman grumbling grows for banking giant to sack CEO David Solomon



The knives are out for Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, and this time the people brandishing them aren’t the usual suspects — his junior staffers annoyed that they have to work late or come into the office several times a week.

Solomon’s problems are more serious and existential, I am told, and how he handles what can best be described as a revolt in some quarters of Goldman’s middle and upper management ranks could determine how much longer he stays in his job.

Solomon, 60, took the job in 2018 and was always somewhat of an odd choice to run the white-shoe investment bank that usually cultivated its leaders from within. He cut his teeth at a decidedly un-Goldman-like venue: the scrappy investment bank Bear Stearns (ultimately one of the causalities of the 2008 financial crisis).

He joined Goldman in 1999, as a partner, no less, because his deal-making chops allowed him to skip layers of management.

In other words, Solomon is an outsider at a firm with a wickedly insular culture. He has a quirky side gig as a DJ in the summer Hamptons party circuit. He’s also not one for small talk, and doesn’t consult with a lot of people before handing down his edicts. 

“He doesn’t breed a lot of love,” said one former Goldman executive who knows Solomon well.

Lots of people at Goldman don’t like him, and they’re letting their views be heard both internally and with pals at rival firms.

Solomon as a DJ
Solomon is an outsider at a firm with a wickedly insular culture.
David Solomon/Instagram

For the record: I’ve met Solomon and like him for his no-BS style. And until pretty recently, the numbers show him doing a great job. Goldman was running on all cylinders in deals and trading. Even as the market corrects, shares are up about 60% since Solomon took over as CEO in 2018 compared to around a 44% rise in the S&P during that time.

Goldman is still the top M&A shop, even widening its market share over rivals in that important business line. Solomon was the first among his fellow CEOs to see the downturn and enact significant layoffs to cut costs.

Still, the grumbling about Solomon is spreading to the managing director and partner class. High-priced Wall Street talent don’t call all the shots at any firm, of course. But Goldman’s MDs and partners have historically been a powerful force when the board decides the fate of current management, which makes Solomon’s hold on his job increasingly precarious as more and more of them defect from his camp.

David Solomon as a DJ
Solomon was the first among his fellow CEOs to see the downturn and enact significant layoffs to cut costs.
David Solomon/Instagram

Here’s how they’re building a case against him: Goldman’s longtime archrival investment bank Morgan Stanley now easily dwarfs Goldman in market value, $144 billion to $116 billion, continuing a trend that predates Solomon. That comes amid a slowdown in banking deals, Goldman’s bread-and-butter business, and Solomon’s home turf.

Morgan’s CEO James Gorman deftly expanded the firm’s wealth management operations, which provide steady revenues. Solomon’s effort to diversify was an overindulgence in something called Marcus, a digital retail bank launched by his predecessor Lloyd Bankfein that Solomon made his baby. So far, it’s been a disaster, so much so that Solomon has been forced to scale back, possibly on the way to winding it down.

Goldman, meanwhile, has missed targets in its recent earnings announcements, and more downward surprises could be in store as markets continue to wobble. Bonuses are down, in some places cut in half, albeit from the nosebleed levels of 2021.

Goldman Sachs headquarters
The grumbling about Solomon is spreading to the managing director and partner class.
AFP via Getty Images

Traders did well in 2022 because Goldman’s are particularly adept in profiting off turbulence, but part of their pool is being diverted to bankers to keep them in-house until the deal slowdown ends.

Since Solomon is a banker, he’s also being accused of favoritism, which in truth is a pretty lame charge, since bankers often subsidize trader bonuses when the markets aren’t profitable. Still, the Goldman trading department is powerful and can spark management change, as it has done in the past.

There’s also a question about Solomon’s allegiance to Goldman’s stand-alone culture. In its 153-year existence, Goldman has operated on the assumption that it would be the acquirer in any major strategic acquisition. Solomon’s experience at Bear, then one of the most transactional places on Wall Street, means he could be looking for a deal and not one that keeps Goldman in charge.

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman deftly expanded the firm’s wealth management operations, which provide steady revenues.
Morgan Stanley’s James Gorman deftly expanded the firm’s wealth management operations, which provide steady revenues.
AFP via Getty Images

At a time when most Goldman insiders believe he needs to do a “transformational deal,” i.e., something big that allows it to better compete against Morgan Stanley and super banks like JP Morgan, there is speculation that Solomon might allow Goldman to be swallowed whole by, say, a big asset manager or bank if the price was right.

As best I can tell, this grumbling, though real, doesn’t immediately threaten Solomon’s job. Then again, there is something to be said for keeping your producers happy.

Jack Welch, the legendary CEO of General Electric, was a notorious screamer and demanding beyond belief. Yet Welch knew how to nurture his people.

Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch
Jack Welch was a notorious screamer and demanding beyond belief. Yet Welch knew how to nurture his people.
Getty Images

“Jack could chew your ass, then put his arm around you and make you feel great,” one of his longtime executives, Bob Nardelli, once told me.

It’s why so many other talented execs chose to stay around under Welch, abuse and all, and left when his successor took over, watching GE implode from the outside.

Maybe it’s a good time for Solomon to take a page from Welch and start hugging it out.

Read the full article here

Continue Reading