Two Minute Retirement Readiness Tips

Thursday, November 18, 2010

2010 Seacoast Half Marathon

Here I am with my friends at the start of the 2010 Seacoast Half Marathon, the first for all of us. It was a great day and a great race. We all finished and already looking forward to next year.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Adding Details to Estate Planning

Over the past few months, I have had to the occasion to help clients organize the assets of deceased family members as they prepare to settle estates (including my own family). In most cases, wills or trusts were prepared, however details regarding the assets referred to in these documents could not be found. Stock certificates were missing, investment statements and tax returns were not available even contact information for accountant, financial advisor and attorney was buried in old boxes, drawers or had disappeared over the years.

The experience of trying to help locate missing documents has led me to suggest as part of an estate plan’s preparation to create a “Detail Book.”
1) Start with a list of contacts, be sure to include; financial advisor, attorney, accountant, tax preparer, physician, and funeral home (if chosen).
2) Next a list of requests you might want carried out at your death; i.e. cremation, family only, favorite song, prayer or poem, type of service.
3) If you have prepaid for your funeral a copy of the agreement should be included. Usually arrangements are made years in advance and a readily available copy can help family members as they prepare the arrangements.
4) Location of original will, or trust.
5) Copies of end-of-year bank, brokerage, investment, and retirement accounts, if you have multiple investment accounts held directly consolidating them in a brokerage account might make sense. If you have physical stock certificates, depositing them into a brokerage account or having them held in book form by the transfer agent can save a lot of the time and cost associated with replacing them.
6) Include a copy of the previous two or three year’s tax returns. The information on these forms and their support paperwork (W2’s, 1099’s, 1099R’s etc) can be invaluable. They will list sources of income, dividends, and transactions, probably one of the best sources of information.
7) Copies o f life insurance and annuity statements, these are tax deferred and will not show up on tax forms it is important to have information regarding issuers and policy numbers.
8) Review your beneficiaries on accounts, make any changes necessary with the appropriate custodian, trustee or issuer of the account, make a copy of the form and keep it in the book. If you are satisfied with the current listings, make a copy and save that in your book.

Depending on your situation you mad have additional items to include in your “Detail Book”, I tried to list the most common issues. Once you have completed the book put it away for safekeeping and make sure you let the administrator of your estate know where it is. When the time comes, it will help to make a difficult time easier.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I made my weekly call to my mom on Thursday September 2nd for our weekly chat. It was a little later than normal and I got her voice mail, not surprising, mom wasn’t one to be hanging around waiting for a call. I assumed she was in the Great Room of the assisted living home where she was living, or out shopping (her favorite pastime) with one of her friends, or just out running around with her brother Jack.

On Friday I got a call from Jack, mom was in the hospital, she had been complaining about not feeling well and the doctor had admitted her. She had a recurring problem and was going through a routine treatment and Jack thought she would go home Saturday.

That Saturday was a busy day went for a run then, Karen and I took care of our regular Saturday errands. Around 8PM I noticed a message from Jack, without listening to the call, I called him back. He told me my mom had passed away. She had gone home earlier in the day and had been visiting with one of her neighbors, after a time she returned to her room and a few minutes later she was found slumped over in her chair.

It caught me off guard, each week we spoke and she sounded great, her voice was the same I had been hearing all of my life. When Karen and I went to visit in June she kept up with us step for step.
My mom will never be mistaken for June Cleaver or Harriet Nelson, like all of us she had her own issues to deal with and demons to battle but, she was the one who cooked my favorite meals, took me to the doctor when I got sick, laughed at my jokes and smiled when I walked into the room.

Last Thursday when I couldn’t reach her I left a message on her phone. “Hey it’s me, where are you, out goofing off? I will give you a call tomorrow, love you.” I feel short changed that I didn’t have the chance to talk to her, having her go without a return to my call, keeps a loose end.

Maybe she knows what I am writing, “I miss you and love you”.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Interview With Artie Lynnworth

Here I am interviewing Artie Lynnworth about his new book "Slice the Salami" on the "Mike Bonacorsi Show."

Friday, August 27, 2010

Back To The Grind

I think coming back from vacation is one of the toughest things to do. Think about it, one minute you’re kicking back, chillin’, not a care in the world then all of a sudden Monday morning comes and BAM you are back in it. It is so much easier to slow down and go away than come back to the chaos.

Sure, after a week or so you get your rhythm back and settle down in to your routine but until that happens, you feel like you are trying to get solid footing in the middle of a tornado.

Several years ago I read an article (not sure where) discussing the benefits of not taking time off, the article suggested maintaining the same daily routine. The claim was we could function better without the disruption and stress of starting and stopping our daily habits and schedules; up every day at the same time, work the same hours each day, and go to bed at the same time each night.

It makes sense many of our ancestors followed this routine and managed to make it work. It also sounds boring, same thing same time every day. I don’t know about you but I like to mix it up, I like to get away, I like to sleep late some days, I like to change my routine it keeps it fresh and exciting.

Still, coming back to work after some time off is a bear.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Can’t Be That Old-I Don’t Feel It

Thursday night, I was flipping through the channels, and landed on PBS to watch the Leonard Cohen Live in London Concert, Karen came into room, listened for a few minutes and asked about the performance unfamiliar with the music.

“This is good, who is it?” “Leonard Cohen, he has been around for a while I first heard him around forty years ago, Burke used to play his album.”


What did I just say? Did I just admit I have memories that go back forty years and longer? Impossible, it seems only a few years ago I was a kid, old people talk refer to memories by how many years ago they happened, not me.

I suppose as I think there has been a lot of water under the bridge but, forty years, has it really been that long since I was sixteen.

I don’t feel half way through my fifties but, then again I don’t know how I should feel, I remember how my parents and their friends described their aging process as one of continuously slowing down, fifty was old, sixty older, and past that ancient.
I know I am in better shape than I was in my twenties, thirties and forties I may have been stronger when I was younger but my overall condition is better, due to major lifestyle changes. I am smarter, I made mistakes and learned from them, I have more experiences and most important, I finally realized I don’t know everything and have a lot more to learn. Sure, I am a little gray around the edges, maybe a little thinner on top, but I have friends that had the same issues in their twenties and thirties.

Maybe it is my attitude, sure there are time to be serious and behave like an adult but if it isn’t necessary I like to laugh hard, sing loud, and as Karen says “behave like a twelve year old.”

As long as I don’t feel old enough to have memories that go back forty or fifty years ago who cares if they happened. The way I feel I feel I will be telling someone about the blog I wrote, fifty years ago.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Radio Show-Why I Do It

After a recent radio show, someone commented on how I focused on not just financial issues but had guests dealing in various areas of life planning on my show.

“Wouldn’t it make more sense to talk about investments and products like the guys on TV?”

I took a deep breath and explained, there are many people offering investment advice (myself included) but what I am trying to do is go beyond products and returns. I want my listeners to realize planning for their retirement goes beyond the value of their 401k. It involves setting goals, celebrating milestones, and envisioning the lifestyle they want.

It means understanding their current position, identifying strengths and weakness and creating strategies for their unique situation not a “boiler plate cure-all”. I also want them to realize the importance of preparing now for when they are gone.

I want them to understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle and the possibility of living twenty, thirty years past traditional retirement, maybe even longer.

I want them to rethink and recreate the old ideas of retirement no longer thinking of it as the “beginning of the end” but to enter this new stage of life prepared and ready to live it like they own it‼

Friday, July 9, 2010

July 4, 1965

Celebrating the Fourth of July last week got me thinking about the fun we had as kids on the holiday. We lived in Lawrence but had a camp in Georgetown (about 12 miles) where we spent time during the summer. The neighborhood was summer camps and year-round homes built around Rock Pond where we spent most of our time boating, swimming and fishing.

Most of the residents were belonged to the Association, the money paid to the Association maintained a private beach and provided activities during the summer at the Hall. The Hall was a small function room with a bar in the back, on weekend afternoons the men would play bocce for beers (losers pay) and the evenings there would be a dance or bingo for the kids.

The Fourth was the day we waited for early in the morning we would start getting ready for the first event of the day was the races. We would line up by age when the starter gave us the go, we would charge to the finish line the winner would receive a ribbon everyone else – nothing.

Next, the watermelon-eating contest, tables of ice cold melon triangles laid out; pick your wedge, hands behind your back, go! No manners needed here, three or four bites and it was over, you looked around the table and your friends and competition had cheeks full of fruit and juice running out of their mouths.

Then hot dogs, hamburgers, Orange Crush and Coca-Cola, a quick swim, and off to the center of town for the parade. Back for more swimming and hanging with your friends, after supper, it would be time to go to the carnival at the schoolyard and a giant bonfire would finish the day.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Mike Bonacorsi Two Minute Retirement Readiness Update- Social Security

Mike Bonacorsi is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, author of the book Retirement Readiness; Creating Your Vision, Knowing Your Position, and Preparing for Your Future, and host of the Mike Bonacorsi Show on WSMN Radio. The Focus of his practice is helping clients create plans and strategies for retirement built around the key areas of Lifestyle, Wealth and Health. Mike believes that retirement planning is more than just the value of your 401k.

When are you going to start collecting your Social Security Benefit? This is not a decision to be taken lightly. There are options available and each has it’s pros and cons.