T S I he

The Sharp Investor
The Sharp Investor
Good news and information for the clients and friends of Soard Financial Management
September 2012
Don Soard, President
Soard Financial Management
A Registered Investment Advisor
9905 S. Pennsylvania
Oklahoma City, OK 73159
Don Soard, President
Soard Financial Management
A Registered Investment Advisor
Good news and information for the clients and friends of Soard Financial Management
A thoughtful estate plan can make your heirs’ lives easier.
But it is your parents’ estate planning that will make your
life easier.
And, as a parent, if you are willing to share some of this information with your
children–especially if one of them is also the executor of the estate–they’ll appreciate
having the facts and be more prepared emotionally when the time comes. They will
know your wishes ultimately anyway, and good communication will lessen any
surprises ahead of time. They will benefit from knowing the answers to the following
Don maintains proficiency in federal retirement
financial and has worked with numerous
federal employees to maximize their retirement
Visit us online at:
To inquire about a complimentary
please call me today at (405) 703-2334
9905 S Pennsylvania
Oklahoma City, OK 73159
Hello! We are pleased to send
you this quarterly issue of
Retirement Advisor. It is our way
of saying that you are important
to us and we truly value our
relationship. Please feel free to
pass this newsletter on to friends
and neighbors. Enjoy!
How Is Your Parents’ Estate Plan? Do You Even Know?
Not every family has fostered the ability to speak openly in
love–I’ve written about that necessity in the past. But if you
have begun that process, here is an outline of what grown
children need to know about their parents’ business. In fact, adults of any age should
update their estate plan every year.
From the desk of
Don Soard, President
Soard Financial Management
A Registered Investment Advisor
September 2012
Social Security: Do You Understand?
I find that many people do not truly understand
Social Security; what it is and how it works. It
is not simply a benefit that you start receiving
at age 62. There are several decisions that need
to be made in order to maximize the benefit
for your specific circumstances. For instance,
if you decide to start receiving payments too early for either
yourself or your spouse, it could amount to thousands of
dollars lost in income and taxes over your lifetime. A social
security analysis can help you answer these impactful questions
concerning your Social Security:
1. When does it make the most sense for you and/or your
spouse to start receiving Social Security?
2. What is the impact on your Social Security benefit if you
work during retirement?
3. How much of your Social Security will be taxed each year?
4. Who can help me with strategies to fill the income gap
between what you receive from Social Security and the desired
amount of income you would like to receive in your retirement
Call for your COMPLIMENTARY Social Security Analysis!
(405) 703-2334
1. Do you have enough saved for a comfortable retirement? Many financial planners
use a safe withdrawal rate by age to make sure their clients will still have enough money
toward the end of their retirement. But this isn’t always the case, and it’s worth looking
If your spending is under this withdrawal rate, you have more than enough and probably
can leave a legacy to your heirs. But if you are over this rate, you may run out of money
and have to compromise your standard of living abruptly. It may be uncomfortable, even
embarrassing, for parents to share their finances with their children, but grown children
often want to know how their parents are doing.
Monthly Quotes
This month, some
famous quotes
on the coming of
Autumn in New York, why
does it seem so inviting?
-Vernon Duke, songwriter
A wind has blown the rain
away and blown the sky away
and all the leaves away, and
the trees stand. I think, I too,
have known autumn too long.
-E. E. Cummings, poet
Autumn is a second spring
when every leaf is a flower.
-Albert Camus, philosopher
Delicious autumn! My very
soul is wedded to it …
-George Eliot, novelist
The directory of information should list the assets of your estate along with account or
policy numbers and contact phone numbers. It also helps to indicate your intentions for
the distribution of each asset, which will help confirm you have the correct titling and
beneficiary designations on every portion of your estate.
There is a harmony in
autumn, and a luster in its sky,
which through the summer
is not heard or seen, as if it
could not be, as if it had not
-Percy Bysshe Shelley, poet
You may have structured your will to divide your estate equally among your children.
But if you have tried to make it easy for one child to access your bank accounts by
adding his or her name, you have overridden your estate plan and left that child joint
tenancy with complete rights of survivorship. This can be a problem.
I know the lands are lit,
with all the autumn blaze of
-Helen Hunt Jackson, writer
2. Where are the important documents? The five documents your children should be
able to retrieve quickly are a will, a living will, a power of attorney, a directory of basic
information and the latest end-of-year financial statements.
Titling and beneficiary designations are legal estate planning actions. It’s best to review
Did you know?
Take Our General
Knowledge Quiz
Answers below
What was a gladiator armed
with, in addition to a dagger and
What is the first title word of
Meat Loaf’s big No. 1 hit of the
Which caped crusader operated
in Gotham city?
them with your legal advisor. Various types of assets are best designated differently in
the estate plan. This is not the occasion for do-it-yourself thrift. It is a rare family that
has compiled and reviewed a complete list of estate assets: bank accounts, investment
accounts, retirement account, real estate holding, life insurance, health savings accounts
and so on.
3. Are there any special bequeaths? Any promises you want kept should be
documented. Your good intentions won’t matter if you aren’t around to implement them.
If you have promised money to a charity and want that obligation kept, document it. If
you have promised to loan a child money, document it. If you have promised to help
fund your grandchildren’s college education, document that. Without documentation,
none of these promises can be kept if you aren’t around to make the decisions.
4. Do you have access to Veterans Benefits? If a Veteran has served during a declared
war time, then he/she may be eligible to apply for benefits already designated for such
Benefit eligibility can fall under two categories:
Which bandleader Benny was
“The King of Swing”?
1. Compensation due to disability. A Service Officer with the VA or other
service organization (VFW, American Legion, etc.) can be of optimal assistance for such
an application.
What color is an Oscar?
2. Pension to be paid to Veteran’s and/or their surviving spouse at the point of
out-of-pocket expenses paid for in-home care or facility care. We can, in partnership
with a certified VA attorney, assist your Veteran or Spouse with an application for this
pension - AT NO COST!
In horse racing, which Triple
Crown race is held on Long
Island, N.Y.?
Where was a wall built to divide
a city?
Which shoe company did
Michael Jordan famously
Please call our office with your questions - it would be a pleasure to talk to you.
5. Are there plans to remarry? If parents have remarried, intergenerational estate
planning is even more critical. Prenuptial agreements and careful estate planning are
required in the case of second marriages to avoid disinheriting children or grandchildren
from the first marriage. The default is rarely a good option.
6. Do you have any prepaid funeral arrangements? Do you want to be buried or
cremated? Do you have any preferences for a memorial service? Although it may seem
macabre to plan your own funeral, a memorial service takes time and thought. It will
be that much more special and comforting to your family when it is filled with your
favorite music and readings.
Encourage your children’s interest in your estate planning. Most of the time, their
intentions are honorable. They may simply want to understand your values and therefore
your wishes.
Can Clouds Help Beat Global Warming?
They’re the final frontier of climate science. Clouds, which have a major effect on
climate, are seen by many as humankind’s savior from earth’s ever-increasing – and
scary – warming.
(Answers: a net, I’d, Batman,
Goodman, gold, Belmont,
Berlin, Nike)
Global warming is caused by an increase in greenhouse gases. It means that the
temperature of earth’s atmosphere has been gradually increasing, causing a shift in
earth’s physical geography. This could be catastrophic.
Because they can change the energy flow coming from and returning to the sun,
clouds can either warm or cool the earth. Climate skeptics believe that they will have a
moderating effect, while others suggest the impact will be neutral or even negative.
From there, it turns political. Those warning of the damaging effects of global warming
say the skeptics are giving policy makers a reason for not acting to limit greenhouse
gases and their negative impact. Skeptics believe clouds can save us from global
In fact, the impact of clouds remains a mystery. Stay tuned.
How Craftsmanship Is Making a Comeback
The rise of careful craftsmanship is one of the more interesting trends that has gained
traction over the last few years.
You can see it in the repurposing of vintage furniture and
found objects, which become unique home décor objects in
the hands of a skilled craftsman. You can see it in the 100-mile
movement, with its emphasis on local, home-grown food and
its extension into handmade crafts produced by local artisans.
And you can see it in craft circles, artists’ collectives and local
artisans’ markets, which are thriving across North America.
Even interior designers are seeking out craftspeople for special projects, and the website
www.custommade.com, which connects clients to craftspeople, boasts some 36,000
completed projects.
The trend does in fact reflect a desire for unique items, but another possible stimulus is
the decline in the quality of today’s manufactured goods, which has sparked consumer
interest in well-made and long-lasting products.
Today’s consumers want to know what they’re purchasing, where it came from and
how it’s being made. “They demand to be informed of every step of the process, for
it is the only way to be sure that you are purchasing a quality product,” comments
CustomMade’s Heather Bailey on http://bostinno.com. Their products may have a
modern twist, but today’s artisans channel their colleagues from the crafts movement of
the early 20th century. While modern technology offers them easy access to information
and networking, their passion for creating and pride of workmanship reflect the values
of bygone days, with unique and amazing results.
Are You Managing Your Finances Wisely?
Is your money being invested wisely? Are you nervous about the stock market right
now? If you are curious about how you could invest profitably right now, why not see if
I can help you? Just give my office a call for a no-fuss, professional consultation.
I will not try to push you into making any quick decisions and I will not waste your
time. I will just give you the honest facts about your financial situation. And maybe I
will help you earn a few dollars along the way!
Just give my office a call at 405-703-2334 to arrange an appointment. Alternatively, stop
by at the office. The address is on the back page of this newsletter.
Why Not Pass Me to a Friend?
If you’ve enjoyed this newsletter and found its information useful, please pass it to a
neighbor, friend or co-worker. And if you have any comments about it, don’t forget to
give me a call or send me an email!
It’s a Strange Old
World: Bizarre News
You May Have Missed
• One Cuban man is putting
some distance between
himself and his fellow
cyclists, garnering attention
and snagging some much
needed cool breezes. Felix
Guirola rides through the
streets of Havana 13 feet
above the crowd. Guirola
has been building – and
riding – tall bikes since
• They say opposites attract,
but that’s not the case for
the U.S town of Boring,
OR, whose citizens recently
voted to twin with Dull, a
small village in Scotland.
• The world’s fattest cat is
currently on a diet at a New
York shelter where he lives.
Sponge Bob, who weighs 30
pounds, is having difficulty
finding a home due to his
incredible size.
• It might be the social media
contest of a lifetime. Natalia
Valdivieso, 19, recently won
a new home after becoming
Venezuelan president Hugo
Chavez’s three millionth
Twitter follower. Critics
have criticized Chavez
for lavish spending of
government money.