April, 2000 Meeting Notes

by Fredson T. Bowers, Jr.

The April 29 meeting at the United Parish Church of Auburndale was attended by approximately thirty-five members and guests. Jeb Cogger, Senior Financial Planning Specialist from Merrill Lynch, gave a slide presentation entitled, "Financial Planning Strategies for the Twenty-First Century." He was accompanied by Cindy Wolf, also from Merrill Lynch.

Jeb began by asking three questions, "Where are you now? Where would you like to be? How will you get there?" He then proceeded to answer these questions by outlining four major areas of financial planning. A preliminary step to any planning is to calculate your net worth by identifying all assets and liabilities, then deducting liabilities from assets.

Retirement planning involves determining the lifestyle you want in retirement, the effects of inflation, sources of retirement income and financing any shortfall by increasing assets.

Jeb discussed estate planning including objectives, reducing estate shrinkage by reducing the tax burden through wills, trusts and appropriate beneficiary designations as well as joint titling of assets.

He outlined the principles of portfolio planning including investing assets to accomplish one's objectives, planning concepts, sources of investment risk, asset allocation and monitoring investment performance.

Finally, he identified potential roadblocks such as long term disability and long term care needs as well as resources available to your survivors.

The presentation was followed by refreshments, socializing and informal networking, and both he and Cindy were available to meet with members and guests. Many thanks to them both for their time and interest. Also, thanks to the Newton Girl Scouts Troop who assisted with the refreshments and to the volunteers who set up the hall and helped with the chairs.

Members who were unable to attend the meeting who would like a folder of financial planning materials passed out at the meeting may request one by calling our voicemail telephone line.

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