WH Cornerstone Newsletter
Independent solutions for life's financial opportunities June 2005

in this issue

You're Not Alone

Trusts for Every Need

Make Your Final Wishes Come True

How Would a Disability Affect Your Business?

Pension Plight

Steady Payments for Life

Ladies-Take Charge of your Financial Future!


You're Not Alone

If you think you need to learn more about investing, you're in good company. In a recent poll, 97 percent of American investors said it was important to increase their investment knowledge. Almost half said they could have avoided a negative experience in the market if they had known more about investing.

In the old days, many workers retired at age 65 with a gold watch and a lifelong pension. They didn't need to know how the stock market works or understand issues affecting bond prices. But as more people are discovering, responsibility for retirement income has shifted to the individual.

One advantage you have is the ability to tap a source of professional advice to help with the decisions you are likely to face as you prepare for your financial future.

Do It Yourself or Do It with Help? If your refrigerator stopped working tomorrow and you wanted it repaired, you would be faced with a decision: hire a qualified repairman or learn how to fix it yourself.

So it goes with investing. You could set out to learn for yourself what works and, given enough time and money, could probably become an accomplished investor. But time is a key element in successful investing. After you had learned any lessons from your mistakes, there might not be enough time left to apply what you had learned to reach your goals.

The alternative is to take an active role in planning your retirement, using professional guidance along the way. Of course, professional advice is no guarantee of success, but it may help you make more informed decisions and better use of your time and money.

Most people could afford to learn more about investing, but don't let a lack of knowledge stand in the way of your retirement goals. Call today if you would like to review your personal financial situation.

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Is the prospect of planning for your financial future overwhelming? Maybe it is because it is so far away? Or maybe because the amount of money you will need seems unattainable? We agree. We believe that you need to think about your financial future in short sprints of one to three years at a time. If you practice good fiscal responsibility each day, the long term picture will begin to take care of itself.

Time to Share. Create a Buzz. The Downtown Women's Club (DWC), a business networking group based in Boston, is pleased to announce Paula Harris, co- founder of WH Cornerstone Investments in Duxbury as the Director for the new DWC-South Shore chapter. Currently in its eighth year of existence, DWC-Boston group has launched several satellite clubs to meet the needs of their suburban members. "Paula's energy, dedication and strong networking skills make her a natural leader on the South Shore," commented DWC founder and executive director, Diane K. Danielson. "Under Paula's direction I expect that the South Shore chapter will be one of our strongest."

The Downtown Women's Club brings together talented, energetic businesswomen to connect, share ideas and help propel each other toward success. Founded in Boston in 1998, the club also has chapters in Worcester, NYC, Pittsburgh, and Washington, DC. For more information, or to subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter, "The DWC Dish," visit the website. Downtown Women: It's an attitude, not a location.

  • Trusts for Every Need
  • Americans love to give. Whether it's to family or charity, many Americans make a habit of giving during their lifetime and cherish the thought of leaving a lasting legacy. In fact, U.S. charitable giving is about $250 billion per year, rivaling the gross annual economic output of such industrialized nations as Sweden and Switzerland.

    If your family has a fondness for giving, or if you plan to pass on the fruits of your life's labor to younger generations, you may want to employ a giving strategy that relies on trusts. Trusts can help increase the benefits to both the giver and the receiver.

    Read on...
  • Make Your Final Wishes Come True
  • In a 2003 AARP survey, 75 percent of individuals responded that not being able to communicate their wishes would be worse than death. Despite this belief, less than half had taken steps to ensure that their wishes would be carried out.

    Although death is not an easy topic to discuss, end-of-life planning can mean the difference between survivors carrying out your wishes or second-guessing them. By drafting a letter of instructions, you can ensure that your preferences are known, help protect your estate, and make decision making easier for your loved ones.

    Read on...
  • How Would a Disability Affect Your Business?
  • Business owners should be prepared for the unexpected. One unexpected event is the possibility that you may become unable to work for a period of time. And because the odds are as high as 50/50 that you will suffer a disability, it's important to take precautions to protect your livelihood.

    Well over half, 65 percent, failed the quiz. Only 39 percent understood the relationship between bond prices and interest rates, and 97 percent thought they needed to be better informed.

    Read on...
  • Pension Plight
  • Just when you thought the future of Social Security was the biggest problem facing American retirees.

    When United Airlines received permission from bankruptcy court in May to terminate $9.8 billion in pension obligations, the American public got a peek at a problem that has the potential to affect a vast segment of the population. The airline's decision to default on four of its pension plans is seen as a bellwether by some experts.

    Read on...
  • Steady Payments for Life
  • Stock market volatility over the past several years has led many investors in search of opportunities to lock in guarantees. As a result, many retirees are turning to immediate annuities for guaranteed income during retirement.

    By providing a guaranteed income stream for life, an immediate annuity can help you preserve wealth during your retirement years and ensure that you always have income to help meet your needs.

    Read on...
  • Ladies-Take Charge of your Financial Future!
  • Have you ever said any of the following before?

    • "I don't have enough money to pay my bills; let alone think about retirement."
    • "It's my husband's responsibility to take care of the finances and I take care of the children."
    • "When I get married, my husband and I will make those decisions together."
    • "I don't need to plan; I'm going to receive an inheritance."
    • "I don't have the knowledge."
    • "I don't have the time."

    Well, it's time to stop making excuses and take charge.

    Read on...
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