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Job Satisfaction is Low; Baby Boomers Turn 65; New Health Care Laws; Healthy Lifestyle Choices; 2011 Best Jobs

Aired January 8, 2011 - 09:30   ET


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN HOST: A new year and cautious optimism that 2011 will be a better year for your money.

Good morning everyone and welcome to YOUR BOTTOM LINE. I'm Christine Romans.

Now the much anticipated recovery in real estate isn't here yet and yes, the unemployment rate is still too high, but here are five reasons to feel better about your bottom line right now.

Number one, the debt purge continues. Throughout 2010, Americans shed all kinds of debt, except for student loan debt. And as that debt loan lightens, so does a family's financial flexibility get better.

Number two, low interest rates. The Federal Reserve is working hard to stimulate the economy. That means first-time home buyers have a rare convergence of super low interest rates and depressed home prices.

Number three, all signs point to banks finally lending more money this year -- yes, banks lending more money -- and that in turn could mean more jobs.

Number four, the mass layoffs, folks, are over. It doesn't feel like it, but the economy created almost a million new jobs last year. This year the way to find new jobs will probably get a little shorter for people newly laid off.

And finally, number five, if you have a job, this may be your year to move up at work. Studies show job satisfaction is low and the majority of workers are on the hunt for a new job, in fact, according to one survey, 84 percent of employees say they're going to, at the very least, poke around for a new job this year. Wow.

Ryan Mack and Paul Sullivan are both authors of brand new books. Ryan's first book, "Living in the Village," will be available later this month. Already on shelves is Paul's the "Clutch." And joining us from San Francisco is Charles Purdy, a senior editor for "Monster Hot Jobs."

Charles, if you have a job, you are looking for a new one, you need to kind of keep it quiet, if you're one of those 84 percent, you got to keep it quite at the office that you don't want to lose the job you've got, right? CHARLES PURDY, MONSTER HOT JOBS: Absolutely. You want a balance between protecting yourself and doing what's right by your current employer. So yes, keep it quiet, but at the same time, doing the right thing by your current employer means not using company time, company resources on your job search. So, schedule those interviews before work, after work, if possible or take some PTO. Doing things bad by your employer could really damage your reputation. In an increasingly interconnected world that can be dangerous.

ROMANS: But Charles, are you seeing this and hearing this that people want to jump ship, they want to move, they have been stuck for two years and are ready to go?

PURDY: Absolutely. And people are feeling optimistic, this year. They're sensing that the employment market is getting better and they're feeling more hopeful. So, people who maybe have been stuck in jobs where they are not satisfied or feel no opportunities are preparing now or thinking about not settling anymore for these jobs where they are not happy.

ROMANS: Paul, in your book "Clutch" is about people, some people succeed, some don't, some people choke, some people can, you know, get through the clutch. When you're looking for a job, how does that resonate?

PAUL SULLIVAN, AUTHOR: It's the ultimate pressure situation. I mean, because you go in there and you have to sell yourself and I mean, the number is staggering. This 84 percent of people think or they're going to start looking for a new job. I mean, that makes me worry about three of the reasons that people choke under pressure. They don't accept responsibility for what's going on. They're overconfident and they over think their value to an organization. Those last two could really hurt people if they stroll in there and think look, I've been in a crumby job for the past two years, but I haven't gotten a raise, I deserve a new job. Well, people may think, no, there's still, you know, close to 10 percent unemployment, you can hire a lot of people very cheaply right now.

ROMANS: Are those 84 percent delusional? Oh, wait me and 83 percent of the other people think that we're going to get a new job.

SULLIVAN: Absolutely. It's wonderful optimism and I applaud it, and I hope they succeed, but I think they have to be careful going into that interview. Because the employer has a lot of choices. Now, I have found that people who are great under pressure, you know, the five traits that they exhibit, two are very relevant, here. They're adaptable and they're present in the moment.

What does that mean? Well, if they're adaptable and they go in there and they think they have 30 minutes to make their pitch, 30 minutes to do the interview and the hiring manager says look, got to go to lunch, I only got 15. They've got to adapt in a second and say OK, in 15 minutes this is why you should hire me, this is why I'm relevant and being present is important because it keeps you focused just on that job interview. You don't want to go in there and tell somebody all the great things you've done in the past. You want to tell them what you can do, what skills you have and how they can help that company and then maybe you will get hired, maybe you'll be one of that 84 percent.

ROMANS: And Ryan, in your book, you have some great cases of people who have started their own business in a downturn. This is a time for people to think about starting your own business.

RYAN MACK, AUTHOR: Right. Definitely in the book we like highlight those individuals that are positive. I mean, we've had individuals like a Daman Jenkins (ph) who was able to, coming fresh out of prison, starting his own construction company and essentially he was able to do it by just using the resources right in his own community. We walked him down to the bank, walked him to Inc-It-Now, purchased his LLC, he got his license, he got his constructions license, now he's getting from a felony to unemployed to now his own construction company hiring 20 other people.

You know, some people say what's the best way to give back? And it's great to be a mentor and it's great to be a tutor and I do all those things as well. One of the best ways to give back is start a company and hire somebody. Sixty to 80 percent of all new hires are going to come from small businesses. so, you have a small business idea, you know, a lot of the ideas that we have the most successful ideas are found in the graveyard, we're never going to be able to see them, so we want to make sure that this economy, we're moving forward, individuals are maximizing their skills, their talents, they put some things out on paper, starting their own companies and building for a better future for America.

I don't look at companies like the Microsoft. I look at Microsoft as 60,000 jobs that people are working and employing themselves and that's what the beauty part about -- beautiful part of capitalism, without the greed, though, OK? But never -- great, ungreedy capitalism is the best thing that we can do for this society.

ROMANS: Charles, at the end of the day, you say you've got to be the solution to an employer's problem. What do you mean?

PURDY: Yes, I think a mistake some people make going into job interviews is presenting themselves as a series of past accomplishments. It's much wiser to approach a job interview as a chance to present yourself as a solution.

Employers create jobs or fill jobs because they are problems to solve. It's up to you to analyze what those problems are by analyzing the job ad or by just using what you know about the company and the industry. Present yourself as someone who is ready and equipped to solve the problems that the job, open job indicates.

ROMANS: All right, Charles Purdy of "Monster Hot Jobs, thank you so much. Also, Paul Sullivan, fascinating, great new book, "Clutch" available on newsstands, right now. And Ryan Mack, his book, "Living in a Village," will be available quite soon.

Thanks guys. Happy birthday boomers, 10,000 baby-boomers every single day will turn 65 years old, this year. A pattern that will continue for the next two decades. And guess what? They are not ready for retirement. Now, before you feel sorry for the boomer, should you blame them?


ROMANS: Starting this year, every single day, 10,000 baby- boomers will turn 65, a trend that will continue for the next 19 years, but the boomers, they are not ready for retirement. It's estimated, more than half of boomers, those are people between 55 and 64, lack the financial resources to maintain their current lifestyles.

Ryan Mack is here. also joining us is Rick Newman, chief business correspondent at "U.S. News & World Report," and from Richmond, Virginia, Jim Bacon, author of "Boomergeddon."

Jim, you know, I love the title of that book, "Boomergeddon." You say boomers, for a very long time, lived for today. Does that mean a lower living standard for tomorrow for America's boomers?

JIM BACON, AUTHOR: It sure does, Christine. You have to save up money over a lifetime in order to be able to build the net worth it takes to retire comfortably. It's as simple as that.

ROMANS: You can't make up those 20 years of the money that they spent or took out of the house kids through college without saving someplace else. You can't make that up if you're 60 by the time you're 85.

BACON: Well, no. By the time you're 60, you only have five or six years to save the money and by then you're pretty entrenched in your ways and you've got a house, you probably got family obligations, you've got cars, you've got all these expenses and you're not going to suddenly to be able to downsize your lifestyle by half in order to save the money that you need to save. So, it's a little late to start at 60 years old.

ROMANS: And you probably got that you're going to live longer, you've got health care expenses, rising health care costs, you've got all kinds of different -- you've got your parents to worry about and your generation-wide kids.

And Rick, the house is a big part of this equation, isn't it?

RICK NEWMAN, U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT: To be fair to baby- boomers, I think a lot of them thought they were saving a lot of money even though their savings rate, the amount of money they may have been putting into savings accounts and investments got close to zero because of their homes. They thought, well --

ROMANS: They were told, it was the wealth effect. Even the Fed chief said there's this wealth affect, so the savings rate isn't exactly --

NEWMAN: That's right, and not too long ago everybody encouraged you to stretch when buying a home, you know, go for it, because you'll grow into your home, your home will appreciate in value. Well, we now know, we've now had a 100-year flood in the housing market, basically. Home values are down by 30 percent, generally, a lot more in some markets. Americans lost something like $9 trillion worth of household wealth and a lot of that is just home values, so -- and that is not money you can just make up. So, that's where the hole comes from.

ROMANS: No, and you can't even say, oh you need to downsize right away and live in a smaller house and cut your cost, because you might not --

NEWMAN: Because you're stuck.

ROMANS: You might not even be able to sell that house.

Ryan, you advise people about what to do with their money. You advise boomers, too. What do you tell them?

MACK: Well, first thing you have to is you have to be realistic and there's no silver bullet, I mean, sometimes individuals say, well, you know, I'm 60 years old, but I want to retire in two years from now, but again, as he was saying, I haven't put a dime away for retirement, I have no savings. That's just not realistic.

I mean, there's only three things you can do with your money, you can earn more, you can save more, you can do both. So, we have to figure out ways and we have to save more, putting money in, using those additional allocations to make, should be catch-up contributions in your 401(k) and your IRAs.

Putting money into -- you might not be as aggressive as a 25- year-old, but you should be a little bit more aggressive than that other 60-year-old who has saved a lot more money for their money. But understand that you might have to work for another additional 10 maybe even 20 more years, putting money aside, getting an additional moneys on the side in order to compensate for the money that you've lost out on by not putting money away.

ROMANS: So, here's what I don't get, Jim, I don't know if you should -- do you pity the boomers in the situation they're in or do you blame them, because it was, after all, their generation that lived, maxed it out and actually lived beyond this means, something that the previous generation didn't do and there were signs everywhere. I don't know if you pity or blame the boomers here at this point.

BACON: Well, I think you can do both. I mean, the boomers have recently had a recent run of bad luck with the global financial crisis, no question, but again, they had a lifetime to save and they were just very optimistic, they never suffered kind of hardship and they just thought oh, things will always turn out OK. The one thing that I really respect about boomers and I think is going to be their savings grace is that boomers are -- they identify themselves through their work, they're hard workers.

ROMANS: That's rights. BACON: And by and large, most of them, many, many boomers will say, well OK, if I have to work three or four more years longer, I will. Maybe a full time, maybe a part time job, maybe start a home business or something like that, but they are willing to put the shoulder to -- to the grindstone.

ROMANS: I think we can all agree with that, because we've seen some of the most amazing inventions in American history have come this period when boomers have been in charge and boomers have been at the helm of innovation.

Ryan, generation X and Y are going to have to do a little bit better, though. There's an instructive lesson, here.

MACK: Well, that's the only -- we're look at things, but look at learning from those mistakes is one of the best things that we can to do to make sure coming behind them. But one positive note for the boomers, there's over five million of individuals over 55 who are considered to be self-employed. That number between 2000 and 2007, according to the SBA, has increased by 52 percent. So, they understand that they might have to start earning their own additional income.

But what we can learn in X and Y generation (INAUDIBLE), if you didn't save, maybe I should start saving, spending less then what I earn and just basic things which you talk about in your book and other folks around, what we can start doing to prepare ourselves for that retirement because it's going to come faster than we think.

ROMANS: Well, because the goal here is to live a little below your means when you're working so you don't have to live below your means when you're not.

NEWMAN: Right, and this is not fear and loathing, either. I mean, we think like, you have to retire when you're 60 or you're a failure somehow.

I mean, a lot of people retire and they say, this actually is kind of boring and not very fulfilling. You know, people look for volunteer work to do, they look for other ways to stay engaged. I mean, the fact is, working, you don't have to work full time, by the way, you can work part time, you maybe can do something other than you've done for the better part of your career. You can maybe start an Internet business, something on eBay. Who knows. There are more possibilities than ever today, partly because of technology. Some of those are very fulfilling, they keep you very engaged of what's going on, they keep you young, they keep you active. It's not the worst thing in the world.

ROMANS: It would be nice to do it with some financial breathing room, to do it because you wanted to and you were engaged and excited about it not because you had fire under you.

NEWMAN: The longer you put off draining your other resources, so, you know, a couple extra years of work can maybe create that kind of breathing room. ROMANS: All right, gentlemen, a fascinating discussion. Jim, Rick and Ryan, thank you so much, gentlemen.

Millions of boomers are eligible for free, yes, free perks in health reform. What they are and how to get them. And, you ready to pay, wait for it, $5 a gallon for gas? Stew over that for a minute. We're back in just 60 seconds.


ROMANS: A warning this week that high oil prices threaten to derail the fragile economic economy recovery among developed nations. The chief economist for the International Energy Agency warns that, "Oil prices are entering a dangerous zone for the global economy." Oil's above $90 a barrel, some say on track for $100 and some fear it could mean $5 gas prices for you.

You could think of switching to a hybrid or more fuel efficient car or immediately you can check out these Web sites to find the cheapest gas in your neighborhood:,, You can also download these apps for your Smartphone and remember what your dad always taught you, inflate your tires properly, drive the speed limit, don't carry more in your trunk than you need to, stay of the gravel roads. For more driving tips, you can always head over to

Millions of you set to get free new health care benefits this year, we'll tell you what they are in 90 seconds.


ROMANS: Piece by piece, the new health care system that is the law of the land is falling into place, despite Republican threats to gut it. We've invited our good friend Andrew Rubin to tell us what has changed for millions of Americans as of January 1.

Andrew, there are things happening, right now. You are hearing the squabbling in Washington, but for millions of people, the changes are falling into place. Tell me first about seniors and the doughnut hole. Anybody who's, you know, maybe under 40 doesn't know what the doughnut hole is.

ANDREW RUBIN, NYU LANGONE MEDICAL CENTER, This is a big deal. So the doughnut hole is the portion of the drug cost that seniors have to pay on their own once their insurance has run out, essentially. And starting this year, on January 1, 50 percent of the costs for drugs, once the seniors enter that doughnut hole is paid for by the government, so it essentially cuts the doughnut hole in half.

ROMANS: So, it is a benefit that the people are going to see immediately.

RUBIN: Instant savings for drugs.

ROMANS: But, will Medicare premiums rise, do you think? RUBIN: So, Part D premiums, which are for drug costs, actually aren't' really rising. The increase in premiums are for physician services, Part B, they're go up 4.4 percent for seniors who make over $85,000 a year as an individual or $170,000 a year as a family.

ROMANS: Let's also talk about some other free things from Medicare, Medicare recipients. They're eligible for all kind of free preventive care and examinations, right now. Tell me about that.

RUBIN: That's right, this is a big deal and this is a big change, an annual physical with no co-insurance and deductibles, where seniors can go in and get checked out, they also get -- they have no co-payments and co-insurance amounts for immunizations, colonoscopies, blood pressure screenings, immunizations, things like that.

ROMANS: What other kind of changes can people across the board expect to be? We know that preventive care coverage applies to everyone.

RUBIN: It does, but not all employers or private insurance plans offer it with no co-pays and co-insurance amounts, but under health care reform most of us who get our insurance through our employers will have no co-insurance for colonoscopy and mammograms and things like that. And in addition to that, you know, children under age 26 that we've talked about a lot, will be able to stay on their parents' policies, children with pre-existing conditions won't be excluded from the health care system anymore, so big changes there.

ROMANS: Speaking of preventive care, an astounding 87 percent of health claim costs are driven by individual's lifestyle choices, that' according to one university study. Here with some simple tips for a healthier 2011 on a much smaller budget, is Keri Glassman, a registered dietitian and author of "The O2 Diet."

Let's talk about first about vitamins and supplements. I mean, you spend a lot of money, Kerry, trying to be healthy with all of this to try to prevent these costs that are going to come on to you later in life. You have some tips about that.

KERI GLASSMAN, DIETITIAN: Exactly. So, because we know that being unhealthy will jack up medical expenses; however, being healthy for many people costs a lot of money, but it doesn't have to. So first, with supplements. Take inventory of your medicine cabinet. So many people spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars a month on pills that they don't know what they're taking them from. So, take a look at your "medicine cabinet" and consult with a registered dietitian or your doctor and find out if you really need to be taking call of those.

ROMANS: A multivitamin might be cheaper and might be the right thing for you.

GLASSMAN: It might be the only thing you need. Obviously, we need to get our nutrients from whole foods, first and foremost, but many people do need a supplement, but they may just not need that 10 to 15 that they're popping every day. ROMANS: Let's talk about the gym. I mean, this is the time of year when everyone's spending fortune starting up a new gym membership. That can be a big expense.

GLASSMAN: It can be, so what I always recommend is don't double up. So many people these days belong to a gym and a yoga studio, and a spin studio and they're not even going to any of those places. So really take a close look at what you're doing, and if you only go to spinning and you don't go to the gym, don't go to the gym anymore and maybe, you know, go for a walk outside or go for a run to get more cardio in.

And the same goes for if you're only going to the gym, don't go to that studio and maybe get DVD and do that yoga DVD at home. The other thing is, if you don't belong to a gym and you're thinking about joining one, now is the time. Every gym across the country has some sort of deal going on. Also, check out local community centers. People often forget that their local community center has great classes and offerings and it's a great way to obviously you can go work out with a friend.

ROMANS: And it's free to walk the stairs and not the elevator. And that's something -- I know a cardiologist who's in my family who always says, you know, everyone should take the stairs, this can really help you cut down your cost later in life and keep you out of the hospital.

GLASSMAN: One hundred percent, get exercise in where ever you can throughout the day.

ROMANS: All right, Andrew Rubin, thank you so much, Keri Glassman.

All right, last but not least for us this morning, the best and worst jobs of 2011, the top five. I'm going to tell you about pay at least twice what the bottom five jobs pay. Where the jobs are, that's next.


ROMANS: The geeks strike back. How's that for a headline, Ali Velshi?


ROMANS: No, I'm not talking about you. I'm talking about the CareerCast list of the best and worst jobs for 2011. Ali, take a look at this. Top five jobs of the year all require math and a college degree: Software engineer, look at that, makes $87,000 a year. Scroll down to computer systems analyst, 77,000. The pay of the top jobs, Ali, more than double of the worst jobs. Here they are, taxi driver, roofer, lumberjack, iron worker and roustabout, that's an oil worker. And CareerCast says no wonder oil rig worker is on there last, BP had that terrible disaster last year. You put an excellent article in "Money" magazine, on newsstands now, your choice, accounting for the job you want your kid to study for.

ROMANS: Right, so I got two ideas here, for you. First of all, it's great, because when I was a kid, engineers and accountants, you only became one because either your parents were or you weren't a very good communicator and had something wrong with your personality. They own the world now. They're going to fix everything that is wrong with the world, because the things that are wrong with the world are physical sciences and finances. So, these people are going to rule the world.

Accounting is a great, great profession to get into. It is a hard profession to get into. You actually have to have some knowledge of finance. You have to have some understanding of numbers, and it does take a long to do that, and I've written about this in the investing guide, "Money" magazine's "Investor's Guide" that's on now.

Now, that's a great job to get into, Christine. It's not a great job to transfer into and right now we have a lot of people who have lost jobs --

ROMANS: So, if you're 55, Ali, and coming from a different --

VELSHI: That's not -- right.

ROMANS: -- career altogether, you're not going to recoup your investment in getting into accounting.

VELSHI: No, because it's like becoming a dentist or a doctor, you don't get advance standing for everything you did in life. You start with everybody else and now you're going to be 59 or 60 applying for jobs with 23-year-olds. What you want to do, according to that list, and according the research I've done, if you're a mid-career, information technology, software stuff.

ROMANS: Yes. And you know, if you're a young person good with numbers or you're even good with information, we have such a flood of information out there. If you can analyze and synthesize, distill information so companies and people can decisions based on it, that's another -- maybe we call it information engineering. I don't know what it's called, but that's something like statistics, right?

VELSHI: The thing about information technology is it's, you and I have talked about it, it's like health care, right? There's lots of different levels of it. There are some that you need four year degrees, but there are some you can start off with much earlier certifications at a lot of community colleges or private colleges that have courses. There's an amount of John the job learning and there's this great upward mobility.

So, you can start off at one level and continue your training, whether it's on the job or outside of the job and really work your up to higher levels. There's such demand in information technology that they will take people and they will give you some advanced standing for some of the stuff, like you said, it if you're analytical, that you can do. So, if you're mid career, take a look at information technology. If it's for your kids and you're young and you're watching us and you might have some facility for numbers, I love all those science technology and engineering and math, the stem subjects. Engineering is great, but accounting is definitely a safe, safe profession to get into. It will be necessary for years to come, and, like engineering and like math and like science, they're international jobs.

ROMANS: All right, you heard it from two liberal arts majors, right there. Ali, what's on the show "YOUR MONEY," today?

VELSHI: Same topic. We're talking about jobs. We had that big jobs report out on Friday, well what does that mean to you, what are your chances of getting a job? How do you improve your chances of getting a job and what are things going to look like in 2011? It's all going to be about the jobs this weekend.

ROMANS: Yes, fun stuff. All right, Ali, can't wait. Thank you.

That's it for us, but "CNN SATURDAY" picks it up, right now. Randi Kaye, take it away.