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Fire and Consequences

(This Update was written by one of my colleagues, whose parents’ home was destroyed by a fire last week.) At 3:15 in the morning last Thursday, I received a call that anyone who has elderly parents never want to get. “CHRIS! This is your parents’ tenant, Laura. Your parents are fine, but THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE! You need to get here, QUICK!” In a foggy blur, I rushed to my car and sped over to the house, which is only a few blocks away. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to drive up...
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Risk Tolerance (A Client-Facing Education Model)

First of all, I would like to wish all of the Update readers a very happy and prosperous new year. Speaking of prosperity, in terms of market performance – as the Dow closes in on 20,000 – some of you may feel optimistic about the future; others not so much.   Regardless of where we are headed, you must put aside events that cannot be controlled, and instead focus on what you can.   The first step is to measure your personal “risk tolerance.” Your risk tolerance is defined by...
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Press Release 12-6-2016

  Women Will Face Higher Retirement Health Care Costs Than Men With More Limited Financial Resources New HealthView Services Report: “The High Cost of Living Longer: Women & Retirement Health Care” Reveals Women’s Projected Health Care Expenses, the Financial Impact of Being a Family Caregiver, Loss of Benefits From Recent Changes to Social Security Rules, Expenses for the Last Four Years of Life When Many Are Likely to be Living Alone...
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HealthView Services 2016 Retirement Health Care Costs Data Report Released   Retirement Health Care Costs for a 65-Year-Old Healthy Couple to Exceed $288,000 Projected 2015-2016 Retirement Health Care Inflation: 7.3% 66-Year-Old Couple Will Require 57% of Social Security Benefits to Cover Health Care Medicare Surcharges to Increasingly Impact Middle...
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A Ringside Seat on Rising Health Care Costs

As a Health Policy Commissioner, I had the opportunity to participate in a two-day public hearing organized by the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) in collaboration with the Office of the Attorney General and the Center for Health Information and Analysis. Attendees included the Governor of the State of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, the Attorney General, representatives from The Urban Institute, Harvard Business School, CEOs of major health care providers and medical...
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Virtue

I am certainly not a scholar on the topic of “virtue,” which the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines as “morally good behavior.” I’ve never read Aristotle’s treatise on what it means to live a good life or The Nichomachean Ethics, his best known work on ethics.  But that won’t stop me from applying ancient philosophy to our 21st century world—because at some point in school I scanned Plato’s classic philosophical dialogue about virtue, the Meno. At the beginning of...
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Milestones

I’ve managed to conquer yet another mini-milestone in the form of a birthday.  Looking back, I remember my father hitting various points in life as he aged, and I can state without any doubt whatsoever that I view those happenings much differently today than in years past. Yesterday, my ten-year-old daughter quizzically shouted, “Wow Dad, you’re really old!” “Compared to you I’m ancient, but much younger than Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.” My wife Marea ignores my...
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Best Interest

This week’s Update continues my ongoing discussion concerning the changing financial services’ landscape due to the new DoL Fiduciary Best Interest rule. As I’ve stated before, beginning in April 2017, financial professionals will have to disclose all fees that accompany certain investment products, such as IRAs and qualified annuities.  Not only must advisors reveal what they charge, but they are also required to explain why the recommendations are in the client’s best interest –...
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Evolution

Marea and I went to a Barbra Streisand concert at the TD Garden in Boston on Tuesday evening with our neighbors, Lara and Roland.  While I have enjoyed Barbra’s music over the years, I had little interest in seeing her perform live.  The festivities began with dinner in Boston’s famed North End.  Roland took charge of driving into town, which isn’t easy these days. “We’re going to hit a lot of traffic,” Roland advised. “That’s OK,” I said, attempting to add a little...
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