- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
THE BONDHOLDERS: David Tuckerman
Question of the Day
Family: Four children, 15 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren
Amount of GM bonds invested: $20,000
Date of purchase: 2003
Percent of portfolio that were GM bonds at purchase: 7 percent
Percent of portfolio now: Less than 1 percent
Reason for purchase: A son and a financial adviser managed his portfolio.
Reason for holding after downgraded to junk status in 2005: Income
Original investment goal: Money for assisted-living care for himself and wife, Betty, who had Alzheimer’s disease.
Of all the Alzheimer’s patients at the Brighton Gardens assisted-living facility in Arlington, Betty Tuckerman was the only one whose healthy spouse came to live with her.
“I took care of her,” said David Tuckerman, 84. Mrs. Tuckerman died last year, but Mr. Tuckerman continues the couple’s long-standing tradition by reading to students at Randolph Elementary School.
Six years ago, when his adviser invested $20,000 in GM bonds, Mr. Tuckerman’s retirement savings were worth $260,000, he said.
He needed a lot of investment income to pay the hefty bills for Brighton Gardens. The bills at Culpeper Gardens, where he now lives, are much smaller — as is his portfolio.
His investments are now worth $90,000, hurt by the declining market and bad investments, including his GM bonds and the Brighton Gardens bills.
Mr. Tuckerman’s son and an investment adviser ran his portfolio until he took back control last year.
“I didn’t even know [GM bonds] were junk status,” he said. “I said, ‘Are these junk bonds? Why in the world did we ever buy those?’”
Yet he held on to the bonds.
“I was liking the [$2,174 a year in] income that came from them. I had no idea it was going to go down in value.”
With $13,000 a year in Social Security and a $7,000-a-year pension, Mr. Tucker depended on the $14,000 a year in investment income he was receiving. He now collects just $10,000 from the investments, largely because the GM bonds have stopped paying out.
“How can the government take over the majority share of the thing and leave the people who invested $27 billion to support GM next to nothing?” Mr. Tuckerman asked.
Still, Mr. Tuckerman remains upbeat. He has a large family to support him if he is ever in need. Some family members worry that he may be enjoying life too much, he said.
“I recently got my driver’s license again,” he said proudly. “I’m driving around in an ‘04 Cadillac DeVille. My children are upset.
“I also play golf once a week,” he said.
• Click here to view vignettes of seven other GM bondholders.
About the Author
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Trump-Carson a 2016 dream ticket
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Obama fundraises as the world burns
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: No U.S. support for Christian peril
- EDITORIAL: Gun-shy Obama
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Michael Widlanski
Leveling the battlefield to aid terrorists enables evil to fight on
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Norway expects imminent 'concrete threat' from ISIL terrorists 'within days'
- State Department indicates Nouri al-Maliki's days numbered as Iraq prime minister
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Hamas orders civilians to die in Israeli airstrikes
- Calif. dolls were meant to spread cheer, not chill
- Obama family set to buy $4.25M desert home in California: report
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq