Personal finance: The skinny on money

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Michelle Singletary
Thursday, October 14, 2010; 10:57 AM

I know it's important to watch your weight, but I didn't know employers might be watching it, too. And they may be rewarding the skinny people. A blog item on the Wall Street Journal's Web site takes a look at the benefits one gets in THE workplace if he or she is svelte. The conclusions are fascinatingly disturbing.

Shelly Shellenberger discusses a recent study that finds that weight matters when it comes to how much people earn. The study, she reports, is the first to look at the effects of being very thin and how they might be different for men and women.

So what did researchers find? Thin is in.

But I don't think we really needed researchers to tell us that. The shelves of diet drugs and supplements tell us so. The touched-up magazine covers rub it in our faces.

Still, it's always good to have proof. Researchers found that women weighing 25 pounds less than the studied group's norm earned an average $15,572 a year more than women of normal weight. Women who weighed 25 pounds above the average weight earned $13,847 less than an average-weight female.

But if you're a rotund man, the standard flips. Overweight men got more pay than average-weight men.

I want to hear from you. Have you experienced pay discrimination because of your weight? Send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com and put "Thin is in" in the subject line.

Not Feeling So Secure

Many seniors around the country may be getting some more bad financial news - again.

The government is expected to announce that there will be no increase in monthly benefits next year for more than 58 million Social Security recipients, reports the Associated Press' Matt Sedensky.

This would be two years in a row without an increase.

Watch this video in which a reporter for ABC World News Tonight interviews seniors about the pending decision (I was also interviewed for the segment).


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