Readers comment on business news

Published Jan. 8, 2016

Social Security | Dec. 21

Benefits advice logic questionable

I am puzzled continually by advice from so-called experts recommending that one wait until the age of 70 to start collecting Social Security benefits, though you can begin as soon as you reach 62. In the article in question, the writer states that "those who wait until 70 … will end up with a monthly check that is 76 percent more than if they start the moment they become eligible."

To keep it simple, assume that at 62 you will get a monthly check for $1,000; if you wait until 70, you will get $1,760 a month. In eight years, the early starter will have collected $96,000 (96 months x $1,000). The late starter kicks in at 70, and begins receiving $1,760/month. But remember that the early starter is still collecting $1,000/month, and will until he or she dies. Now, how long will it take the late starter to catch up?

The early starter will, by the time he's 80, have collected a total of $216,000 ($96,000 plus 120 months x $1,000). At $1,760/month it will take the late starter 122.7 months ($216,000/$1,760) to break even with the early starter. If my reasoning and math are correct, breaking even at the age of 80 doesn't leave much time to go into the lead, despite the article's contention that "the payoff for waiting can be huge."

Dick Adler, Lecanto

Winn-Dixie CEO | Jan. 6

Base boss' pay on performance

If Winn-Dixie CEO Ian McLeod's salary is even a sizable fraction of his Australian one (about $35 million), it's too much. For companies that struggle, I don't understand why American businesses don't take a page from the Japanese playbook. Pay him $500,000 plus a bonus based on performance. Winn-Dixie's new strategy on pricing is very basic economics. It's not rocket science and could be implemented by almost anyone else at the executive level in the company. Think of the money they could save on that type of salary (along with some other overpaid executives) that could help control costs to get their prices even lower.

If Winn-Dixie has the best price, I'll occasionally buy something there, as it is the only supermarket within walking distance of me. I've been boycotting Publix for nearly five years due to them giving a cold shoulder to the farm workers. I shop for groceries primarily at Aldi and Walmart and secondarily at Bravo, Sav-A-Lot, Winn-Dixie and Walgreens. If Winn-Dixie wants to succeed, it needs to execute the basics and become a value-oriented chain and not pay exorbitant salaries.

Chris Kenney, Tampa