Hot Topics: Billionaires and Boomers Dig Deep
Big Donors Should Show the Way. Billionaire investor Ted Forstmann tells CBS News that joining The Giving Pledge to part with some of his fortune shouldn't be seen as a great thing to do, but as the only thing to do. "To the extent that you can help out, if you don't, you're a jerk," he tells anchor Katie Couric.
In the same report, AOL founder Steve Case -- another recent member of an elite group of 58 billionaires who vowed to give some of their money to charity -- says he hopes that people of all means will follow his example. "It's how do you inspire everyone to give back, not just the people writing the big checks," Case says. "It's really the people who are putting a dollar in at church or helping out at the Boys & Girls Club or at the Salvation Army. We have big problems in this world; we have to solve them, and this is one way to do it."
Small Donations Add Up. Unlike Forstmann and Case, Portland resident Barbara Cooke is no billionaire. Still, the high school testing coordinator found a unique way to make her charitable dollars stretch as far as possible. In April when Cooke turned 60, she gave 24 friends $60 apiece, asking them to donate the money in ways that would maximize the investment. Some used the cash as seed money for their own fundraisers. Others canvassed for additional contributions. By this week, Cooke's $1,440 has yielded $23,265 given to schools, aid organizations and social welfare agencies throughout Oregon and as far away as Washington, D.C., Baltimore and New York. "I felt true joy," Cooke says in an Oregonian interview. "When you give, you receive."
Adventurer of the Year. National Geographic named 42-year-old Roz Savage one of its adventurers of 2010 for being the first woman to solo row across the Pacific Ocean. Savage, a former management consultant, completed the 8,000-mile trek in three stages, reaching Madang, Papua New Guinea, on June 3 after some 2.5 million oar strokes. "It's amazing how resourceful you can be when you're in the middle of an ocean," Savage told the magazine. "I used the TomTom out of my car to navigate the first leg. And I fixed the oars with duct tape and the wheel axles off my spare rowing seat." Her next crossing: the Indian Ocean, set for 2011.
Glum Boomers. With the first boomers turning 65 on Jan. 1, the baby boomer generation is more downbeat about their lives and the country's prospects than any other age group, according to a new study. Eighty percent of people 45 to 64 expressed dissatisfaction with where the country's headed, according to a Pew Research Center poll taken earlier this month. When it comes to personal finances, economic security and expectations for retirement, boomers feel more damaged by the recession than do older adults, according to the report.
A Furry Second Act. After retiring as a Veterans Administration nurse, Jan McMinn got bored sitting at home. So the 63-year-old used her experience raising show dogs to open a high-end pet store in Carson City, Nevada. The Nevada Appeal recently featured McMinn and her new business, Sierra Le Bone. McMinn still shows dogs, too. She recently competed with Annie, her 6-year-old Borzoi, in the American Kennel Club-Eukanuba National Championship in Long Beach, Calif. The event -- considered the World Series of dog shows -- airs on ABC on Jan. 23.
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