As heads of major public retirement funds in different states, the commuter marriage of James M. Hacking and Lori F. Hacking has gotten got a lot longer — about 1,600 miles longer.
In August, Jim Hacking took up a new job as administrator of the $5.6 billion Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System, Phoenix, leaving the $13 billion Illinois State Universities Retirement System, Champaign, where he was executive director.
But with Lori Hacking still executive director of the $64.5 billion Ohio Public Employees' Retirement System, Columbus, their commute to see each other appears to have gotten less grueling.
"Actually it's going to be an improvement," said Ms. Hacking.
"It was a 4%BD;- to 5-hour commute (by car) between Ohio and Illinois one way. Jim was doing it every weekend. With the move to Arizona, it will be a 3%BD;-hour flight. You can get work done on a plane. You really can't do any work driving."
Mr. Hacking agreed: "The time required to travel the distance has actually declined."
"It's more expensive," he added. "But it's a more divided responsibility. In the past, I was the one on the road. But now we will share the trip."
The longer distance commute "was a fact we had to weigh in this … decision," Mr. Hacking said of his move to the Arizona fund.
"It's not ideal, but it wasn't ideal before," he said of the commuting.
"We're looking forward to it," Ms. Hacking of said the new itinerary. "I have a schedule of flights for the next month and take advantage of when airfares go down. Columbus has a great airport, and great flight connections. We're not a hub for anyone so there is price competition. America West and Southwest have direct flights. But there are other airlines that have connections and have price competition."
They plan to commute just as often as before — every weekend.