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A Father’s Advice for a Better Life
D E E V. S W E N S O N
Filia Press 100 West 12th Street / New York. Swenson All rights reserved. This book was developed out of a series of letters Dee Swenson wrote to his children and grandchildren in 2005 and 2006. The book has been edited and produced by Tree Swenson. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission. NY 10011 .Copyright © 2006 by Dee V.
CONTENTS Prologue / 7 Loyalty / 9 Importance of work / 11 Courage / 13 Spending / 15 Citizenship / 17 Become financially informed / 19 Truthfulness / 21 Financial obligations / 23 Patience / 25 Manage your money. don't let it manage you / 27 Compassion / 29 Discipline in money matters / 31 Forgiveness / 33 Use a budget / 35 Interlude / 37 Sincerity / 39 Make education a continuing process / 41 Respect / 43 Strive for home ownership / 45 Self-Control / 47 Cope with inflation / 49 Responsibility / 51 Food storage / 53 Attentiveness / 55 Make Sure You have Some Insurance / 57 Epilogue / 59 .
So each month. they had a committee evaluate all the traits and condense them into twelve attributes they felt would make their community a better place in which to live. 7 . One of you gave me a book for Christmas. “ Make Aiken an honest place to live. I cannot give proper credit for the gift. The people of Aiken decided to stress one of these traits each month for a year. They are now into their second year and feel that this effort has had a positive effect on their citizens. and features of our life. as it focused on different aspects of our American life and went into detail about some communities. The newspapers publicized it. companies. The people who planned the project were able to identify scores of attributes that they thought would make the people and their town better. South Carolina. One item that really caught my interest was a section on Aiken. they would continue for another year. the citizens were advised of what the goal would be for that month. such as. which if adopted by the citizens would make Aiken a better place to live. but you did not do what I always request and write an inscription at the front of the book – therefore. the community people felt they had succeeded. A movement to improve the community was started.PROLOGUE Dear Children and grandchildren. It was a book about our nation and the people we are. I found it very interesting. and one aspect of this movement was to choose several character traits.” If at the end of the year. and even the water bills had a note. After collecting many suggestions.
each month for the next year I will send you a letter telling you what the “Character Calendar” asks you to stress for that month. and keep in mind each month the goal of improving ourselves.I was very impressed with this program and thought that it would be a very valuable thing for everyone. Love. I will send you these letters each month unless you decide you do not want to receive them. Of course. I then realized that I couldn’t leave it at that. I am sure it will make all of us better people even though this is a family affair and not a community effort. Therefore. Dad / Grandpa 8 . If we all pay attention to the traits. so I decided to also include a second thought each month pertaining to your financial health.
We all have dreams of what we want to accomplish. Each of us might go to precinct meetings which select delegates to national and state conventions. It might be by attending meetings and voting. 9 . and other members of our family in trying to become the very best each of them can be.JUNE / CHARACTER LOYALTY The attribute the citizens of Aiken chose to emphasize for the month of June is loyalty. While this is very important and something we should all strive to achieve. S. First.” If we can all depend upon the loyalty of other members of our families. and once we form them. we should look at being loyal to our spouses and family. It might involve providing financial help or emotional support. Army has a great motto: “Be all that you can be. Each of us will have to find our own ways in which to be loyal. we should be loyal to ourselves. husbands. We should support our wives. Evans. we have all developed an idea of who we are and what we want to be.” I am reminded of a quotation by Richard L. It might be by speaking positively about a person or about the whole group. when he said “One of the great discoveries in life is finding a dependable person. As we have grown. as in being loyal to your country. Most of the time when we think of loyalty we think of it as a patriotic term. I think that loyalty should start much closer to home. we will have a most firm foundation. we should be loyal to our goals and try to live up to being what we think we should be. The U. Once we have achieved loyalty to ourselves. We can help each other by showing that kind of loyalty.
we have taken the greatest step we can toward becoming loyal to all of the other groups to which we belong. to do it in a constructive manner. Each day we should think of how we can be loyal to our school. 10 . our fellow workers. our work. our clubs and associations. and if we must do so. This month we should choose not to criticize or complain unjustly. and certainly to our state and nation.I think that when we learn to be loyal to our family.
11 . I am very much like that: I cannot remember ever having a job that I did not like. Each member of a family should look at work as their contribution to the family’s welfare. If we are able to make that our goal. Work is utterly basic to our financial well being. we can find a way to understand how important it is and how it contributes to the family and our own well-being. To be truly successful at work we must like what we do. For many years I did not do much to help Elaine with housework. and there is a way to make any job pleasurable. then each day we can look forward to the work we do and to the contribution we make. but I get a sense of satisfaction after the work is done. I have to admit that I still don’t like to do it. It sometimes seems that there is nothing that is more useless than housework: “It just gets dirty again. It was all fun. but we can nonetheless look forward every day to accomplishing something at work that we have to do. No matter how meaningless a task seems. and that includes using a shovel as a plumber’s helper. I know that some work seems that it just cannot have much value. “I never did a day’s work in my life.JUNE / FINANCE THE IMPORTANCE OF WORK Thomas Edison once said.” These days I often help with housework and I find great satisfaction in dusting and other cleaning. It should be a source of pride to do something at work that makes your family or your company more successful. This does not mean that there won’t be some days that we will dislike having to go to work.” I think anyone who feels that way about work is a very fortunate person.
Once we have earned that income. I am enclosing a copy of an article that will give you one suggestion for how to spend some of it. No matter how young you are. The article points out the importance of building a nest egg. 12 . you are not too young to begin investing in your future.Of course we mostly look at work as a source of income. we can start to think about how to spend it.
however. Please join the citizens of Aiken this month by having more courage. “When moral courage feels that it is in the right. This month I ask you to look at your courage. and resisting the pressure despite the condemnation or the derision of their friends is most difficult. and our government. This temptation is easier to resist as we get older – or maybe we are just not tempted as much. regardless of the consequences. I think the best definition of courage is doing what is right each day. organizations. It is not likely that you will be called upon to go into battle to prove your courage or that you will need to race into a burning building to save someone. or have sex – that for them is wrong.JULY / CHARACTER COURAGE Aiken’s character calendar for July is courage. many times each day we must exercise courage. There are. Each day they are encouraged to take some action – often they are urged to take drugs. I know almost all of us have succumbed to the pressure of friends and have taken some action we feel is not really in our best interest. there is no personal daring of 13 . I also hope that you see in yourself progress in becoming more loyal to your family. To those of you who have children. By this time you have had a month to think about your loyalty. look at them for courage. to drink. Leigh Hunt (an 1800s poet and essayist) wrote. company. I hope you have become more loyal to yourself. and that you see progress in becoming what you think you should be. I think those of us who are older should help those who are younger to have the strength to resist temptation.
it is something we must develop. 14 . Ralph Waldo Emerson once said. “What a new face courage puts on everything. Courage is not a gift to us. We develop it by doing what is right each day and finding that we are more satisfied with ourselves.which it is incapable. and will do what is right regardless of what others do or urge us to do. just as the people of Aiken are reminded to do during the month of July. I hope each of you will think about courage during the coming month.” I hope each of us will always feel we are in the right.” meaning that if we face our daily life with courage rather than with fear we cannot help but be more confidant that we will do the right thing.
You might have heard the quotation. who writes a financial column.” Elaine said she was mad at him but I don’t really think she was. then much of the credit goes to Elaine. If I am able to tell you how to make good spending decisions I would first suggest that you never buy anything impulsively. or for which we are being charged too much interest. Bud interjected. if we seem affluent to you. Bill Schultice. All of us can look back at some purchase we have made and later realized that it was very unwise. and much of that comes from bad judgment. for which we paid too much. but by spending it. When you make good spending decisions it is just like putting money in your pocket.” At the time I didn’t understand what he meant. Even worse is committing ourselves to payments over a long period of time for something we should not have bought. I said that I was more affluent than I had thought I would be. Bill’s response was that in his experience affluence came not from making a lot of money. I am not sure I can tell you how to make good spending decisions. After thinking. Always 15 . but from being frugal in the way it was spent. “Good judgment comes from experience. “People get money not by making it. because she is careful about every expenditure she makes. Truly. Bill asked me what about retirement was different than I had expected. then Dee should be very affluent because Elaine is very frugal. but I later realized that what he said was true. and she also rides herd on me. “Oh.” Most of you have heard me tell of the time when I was having lunch with Bud Hebeler and a friend of his.JULY / FINANCE SPENDING One of my customers once told me.
A drink with lunch or dinner can add as much as 30% to the cost of the meal.000. My advice to you is: “Spend Your Way Into Affluence. For example. if we include interest on the money if it were instead saved and invested. Just be aware of what the cost is over a period of time.take time. Credit cards are the major cause of the many bankruptcies filed each year. and especially with your spouse. we are often spending far more than we think on everyday purchases. so don’t think I am suggesting that you forgo these small pleasures.” 16 . but the cost includes thousands of people killed each year in auto accidents. For example. a cup of coffee or a Coke five days each week can cost $2880 over a ten-year period. to think about any purchase that is more than you have in your pocket or more than you have in your checking account. A comparison can be made with credit cards and bankcards: they surely make our lives easier. new things that benefit people come with a cost. the automobile has greatly benefited mankind. Most of you know how much pop I drink. Always discuss any purchase that costs any substantial amount with other members of your family. A latte could cost perhaps as much as $10. at least overnight. However. Often. Always take time to compare what else is available and at what price. but they also certainly make it very easy to get into debt over our heads. Most of the time when we consider how we are spending our money we are considering major purchases.
I know you have all heard me complain about taxes – that is 17 . but that we should feel good that our taxation rate is among the lowest in the world. It would not be possible to list all the things that you can do to be a good citizen. all recognized that the title of “citizen” was a real compliment – that a “citizen” was the foundation of our nation and even of the family. but I do hope that each of you had some opportunity to use personal courage to accomplish something special during the last month. but a good start is voting – after becoming knowledgeable about the issues we are voting on and about who we are voting to put into office. Patrick Henry. We should feel that paying taxes for that privilege is well worth the cost and the sacrifice.AUGUST / CHARACTER CITIZENSHIP I hope none of you had to dash into a burning building to rescue anyone lately. such as John Adams. Evans once said. we are in danger of loosing our freedom and security. We live in the greatest nation the world has ever experienced. Richard L. “The arm of the law is only as long as the alertness of its citizens. I don’t mean we should not complain or be concerned about how that tax money is spent. The character trait emphasized for the month of August is citizenship. Our founding fathers. No government can give us freedom or anything else without the participation of the citizens who live in that country.” From this we should understand that if each of us does not perform the duties of citizenship. and Thomas Jefferson.
Make your feelings known! By the way. Often we need to do what is right even if it hurts. In Aiken. Your congressional and state representatives get relatively little mail.one of those privileges we have as citizens – but we owe it to our country to pay an honest tax. Don’t let me set your goals! 18 . In the end. be active in programs such as parent teacher associations. and therefore. any letter we write to them gets far more attention than you might think. and I did not want to break the law. Most of you know how I agonized over paying taxes on the capital gains from the sale of the Chelan condo. and zoning meetings. except for two things: that tax was something I owed. That should be your approach as well. Other examples would be to attend local government meetings. all of the ideas I am sending you about these character traits are my own. One example might be to write letters to your representatives about matters that are important to you. I almost felt that I could avoid paying the tax. the citizens are just given the trait and it is left to each individual to decide how to put that trait into practice. South Carolina. Each of you can think of many things you can do to be a better citizen.
As a bit of history. and thus the corporation is born. as a new business is started. Just as today. whatever their wealth. The building of the railroad was such a massive endeavor. and especially with the building of the transcontinental railroad. Many people go through life never understanding what is involved in financial matters. This was just about the first time that no one person had enough money to finance such a project. partners become necessary. Following are few terms you should know: Annuity Bull market Bonds Short selling Basis points Puts & calls Bond fund Zero coupon bond Bear market Stock Broker Capital gain Mutual fund 19 . many people go through their entire lives not understanding the purpose of the stock market or how it functions. could afford to build an airline company or to start any major worldwide company.AUGUST / FINANCE BECOMING FINANCIALLY INFORMED My suggestion to you as the financial thought for this month is to get the knowledge you need for financial health. Therefore. Buying stock is merely a way to become a financial partner in a company without having to become active in running the company or risking all that you own should the company not succeed. the stock market really came about with the industrialization of this country. yet. All of you know I have been involved in the stock market for most of my life. no single person.
Assets bring you money. Those who will have to survive on Social Security spend all of their money buying liabilities. it is so only if it increases in value. Both are readily available. I have not mentioned the two most important terms and the two that will be just about the only knowledge you will ever need if you truly understand them: assets and liabilities. but is it enough for the future you want? A little money in a saving account or an automatic investment in a mutual fund is something everyone should have. interest. We must buy many liabilities in order to survive. What is the difference? Simply that liabilities continue to cost you money. People who are successful financially spend as much as possible on assets. Every purchase you make will fall into one of these two categories. and if it provides you shelter at a reasonable cost. or use the library. by Phillip Fisher. It is a liability because you will pay taxes. Following the old advice to “Pay yourself first” will contribute to your financial well-being. Or better still. Uncommon Profits. I would suggest any one of several magazines.12-B1 fee Spiders Stock dividends DJA Municipal bond IRA No-load mutual fund Closed mutual fund Index funds Roth IRA ETF funds Living will If you have an understanding of these terms. These two terms will determine your future. If you want to become financially informed about the above terms. by Andrew Tobias. However. An old one that is still very good is Common Stocks. with the possible exception of a house. Even though you think of a house as an asset. Certainly a retirement program is an asset. Become financially knowledgeable! 20 . upkeep. you can find some very valuable books. Everything else you spend your money to buy is either an asset or a liability. such as Kiplinger’s or Money. and improvements as long as you own it. but each month we should try to spend a little money on an asset. you will have to read. you are on your way to a financially secure future. or The Only Investment Guide You Will Ever Need.
and forgave her. R EBECCA ’ S A FTERTHOUGHT Yesterday.SEP TEMBER / CHARACTER TRUTHFULNESS This month I suggest you join the citizens of Aiken in striving to be more Truthful. – Elizabeth Turner 21 . Rebecca Mason. In the parlor by herself. she thought of going Very quietly away. Broke a handsome china basin Placed upon the mantel shelf. And the moment she reflected. Quite alarmed. Of her being there that day But Rebecca recollected She was taught deceit to shun. Loved her better. Not a single person knowing. Told her mother what was done. Who commended her behavior.
T RUTH Truth is the trial of itself And needs no other touch; And purer than the purest gold, Refine it ne’er so much It is the life and light of love, The sun that ever shineth, And spirit of that special grace, That faith and love defineth. It is the warrant of the word, That yields a scent so sweet, As gives a power to faith to tread All falsehood under feet. – Ben Johnson I had a difficult time deciding which of the above two poems to use to illustrate this month’s character trait, and then I realized that one is very good for younger people and other one for the older, but both have good messages for all ages. In this series of letters, I have always given you not only the character trait for the month, but also my own suggestions of how we may apply the character trait. It is difficult to improve upon the poems I have included here. One thing I have always thought of when talking about being truthful is that you must have a very good memory if you are to be untruthful. That is, that when you are untruthful you must remember not only what is true, but also what you were untruthful about. We all know that there are some times we must avoid the truth to avoid hurting someone’s feelings, but I cannot think of any other times when it is acceptable. I think that is what is meant by the statement “The truth shall set you free.”
SEP TEMBER / FINANCE
What I offered you last month as financial advice could be the most important financial information you will ever receive. I hope you will always remember the difference between assets and liabilities. You should spend the rest of your life trying to acquire assets. I do hope you were able to acquire at least one asset during the last month. It could be as little as $10.00 deposited in a bank account that will be used to buy a share of stock or a mutual fund. But if it is an asset, it will make money for you for the rest of your life. I do hope that this one asset you acquired last month is in addition to your regular contributions to your retirement program. The advice I will offer to you this month is something that as far as I know you do not need – at least I hope that you don’t. That is, I hope that you already consider any financial obligation you have as a commitment that ranks as high as the most important things in your life. I think back to when Gary and I decided to start a new business in Washington. Both of us felt that we should begin immediately to establish a reputation for being completely dependable as far as financial obligations were concerned. To put it directly, we decided that we would proceed by always paying our bills on time. Our watch-word was to be “First we pay the bills then we eat.” By the time we had been in business a few years we had almost unlimited credit with our suppliers. I remember fondly when we placed an order with Columbia for a railroad car full of bowling balls. Columbia called to make sure that is what we wanted. We thought they might turn us down because of the huge cost involved. Instead,
they told us that it was the largest single order they had ever received, but that they would ship to us based on our record of having paid our bills. A reputation of this type is priceless. I hope each of you will sometime look back knowing that your reputation for financial integrity is above reproach. I know that each of you have at times struggled to manage your financial affairs and I feel that is in the long run good for each of us. It teaches us the importance of good financial management. I think that by now each of you realize that one of the real keys to making this work is to keep our wants and purchases in line with our expected income. I have dealt with many customers in the bowling business who saw money coming in very easily during the bowling season and failed to realize that the summer coming up was not going to provide the same income. It is like the fable of the “Ant and the Grasshopper.” If you do not know this fable, you can call me to learn the moral of the story.
Side Note: Elaine was telling to one of our friends, Billie Jean Marquis, about the letters I write each month. Elaine said it was inspired by a campaign held in some city but that she did not know where. Billie Jean, who had recently completed a mission in Nauvoo, IL, was able to tell her that the city was Aiken, SC. She knew because she had served with some people who were from there. They were proud of the efforts of their community in improving life there. If our attention to these character traits has an effect on us, we can also be proud of our efforts.
I have said several times. A few minutes later something else came up. I know our lives will be much more pleasant when we control our emotions. and it is not too difficult. still. but these times are much less frequent and they pass much more quickly than in the past.OCTOBER / CHARACTER PATIENCE I thought quite a bit last month about being truthful. and I responded to her in a nice manner. I think some people manage to have patience naturally. My children who in the past have accompanied me to restaurants where service was poor will no doubt think I am the last person to be suggesting that anyone should develop patience. The first week of September I was with a group in Canada playing golf. and honestly.” Others of us do not have this trait naturally. While at dinner one of the men who was with us was upset that a waitress was not prompt in service. October’s character trait might be much more difficult. He was rude with her and we were all embarrassed at his outbreak. I think of my daughter-in-law. When I considered truthfulness. I feel that it did not take much effort to be truthful during my day-today activities. I think she is naturally gifted with patience. Lori Jane (who is the world’s best daughter-in-law). I hope we can join the citizens of Aiken in developing our sense of patience. There are times. “I have never seen her angry. I trust you have found the same to be true in your life. That was easy. and life will also be more pleasant for those around us. The man 25 . when I am impatient. but must develop it. I truly believe that patience must be developed. I honestly thought this family would not have much trouble with that character trait.
26 . and then. your strength will not forsake you. It seems that Shakespeare had a quotation that fit any situation. In this case it is: How poor are they who have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degree. I might have been the one who felt an apology was necessary. It seems that I can always find a quotation that says what I want to say better than I can say it myself. Had I not developed a better sense of patience. when unforeseen trouble or calamity comes.complimented me on the way I handled the situation and later apologized to the waitress. Learn to meet the everyday trials and annoyances of life quietly and calmly. gave advice that I feel is invaluable: Be patient in little things. In this case William Plumer. founder of the New Hampshire Historical Society.
such as a new car. because a portion of each dollar we receive should be set aside. I intended to emphasize what I thought were the key points in the enclosed article. just a little later than someone who started earlier. We will arrive a little late but at least we will arrive at our destination. Of this money we set aside. a vacation.OCTOBER / FINANCE MANAGE YOUR MONEY DON’T LET IT MANAGE YOU I cut the enclosed article on managing money out of the paper a few weeks ago and thought I would send it to my older grandchildren. As I have looked at it I thought it would be good advice for any of us.00 does today. but as I read them I couldn’t find any of them that were more important than the others.26 to buy what $1. some should be for later purchases. Actually we have not missed the boat – we can catch the next one. which is a nest egg for your retirement. When I tell you to “mange your money. I am sure as we look at it we will feel that if we are over 25 we have missed the boat.” I mean we should always have a plan for using our money. Then you must also make provision for the really long term. A little less than 40 years ago (1968) Elaine and I bought a house in California for 27 . If you think that is an exaggeration then think about this. or for some longer-term usage. I urge each of you to look at each item and evaluate what importance it has in your plan for retirement or for the future. I did not say spending our money. Maybe the most sobering fact is that the estimate is that 40 years from now it will take $3. such as a new roof. a home. or an addition to the house.
That house would sell for over $750. S. at that time Motel 6 started business. Paying attention to these little things and driving a little slower has saved me about 15% of my gas (sorry.$38.00 and as much as $50.000. Two weeks ago I sent you an article about how to get better mileage driving your car.00. This will give you the maximum protection against inflation. Good luck to all of you. This means that gas essentially costs $2. Also. This is why I urge you to put your long-term savings in mutual funds. Today Motel 6 rooms are at least $30.00 per night. Since then I have tried to follow those methods.85. and start managing your money today! P.000 today. Dan). the best I have gotten since I bought it new in 1993. 28 . I can report that I got 22 miles per gallon with my Cadillac. and all of their rooms were $6.43 rather than $2.
A connoisseur. "'Tis Mary. Then came. Shameless. the Mother of God." So I painted a halo round her hair. I hid all trace of her heart unclean. I painted her as she might have been If the Worst had been the Best. I painted a babe at her breast. and I heard him say.NOVEMBER / CHARACTER COMPASSION My Madonna I hailed me a woman from the street. so fair! I bade her sit in the model’s seat And I painted her sitting there. She laughed at my picture and went away. oh. with a knowing nod. And she hangs in the church of Saint Hillaire. And I sold her and took my fee. – Robert Service 29 . but. Where you and all may see.
but as people in need. more than anything else. observe the almost twin of patience. A few months ago the important character attribute was courage. but the Mother of God. to the relief of those who are in distress. The passerby saw in the painting not a harlot. That means that you stand by others in times of danger or stress. by moderating the violence of love of self in each individual. – Emily Dickinson The citizens of Aiken will.” Compassion. contributes to the preservation of the whole species. To do this we must learn to look at others not in judgment. David Hume once expressed this by saying. makes our world a better place in which to live. If we are to have compassion for our fellow humans we must learn to look at them and see what might have been. “Compassion is a natural feeling. It is this compassion that hurries us.If I can stop one Heart from breaking I shall not live in vain If I can ease one Life the Aching Or cool one Pain Or help one fainting Robin Unto his Nest again I shall not live in Vain. That is compassion. which. this month. 30 . without reflection. Compassion requires us to stand with others in their distress. The painter painted what he perceived the woman might have been if given a chance. The Robert Service poem illustrates so well that how we look at others makes a great difference.
Take the time to maintain your possessions. How much is gas? 4. it would be smart to start planning for it now. 3. They will last longer and hold their value. Keep up the maintenance on your car. Don’t treat everything as a consumable. Cherish your belongings.” or more succinctly S-A-V-E. One way is to not eat out too often (sorry Elaine). “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Shopping at garage sales and thrift stores can save lots of money. Don’t be swayed by advertising. It is “LBYM. It is cheaper and healthier than pop or juice. I can suggest 6 ways to start doing this: 1. and honestly examine your wants versus needs. Buy from stores like Costco and Sam’s. Start by looking for places to spend less and save more. but this may mean you have to make fewer trips to the store. Don’t buy anything until the waiting time is up.) 31 . Drink more water. Then implement a waiting period of a few days for your wish list.” Buy generic brands unless you are convinced there is a difference. Why should you bother? Simple! Because your future and your retirement will need to be financed somehow and unless you plan to work until you are ninety. You will have to buy in larger quantities.NOVEMBER / FINANCE DISCIPLINE IN MONEY MATTERS I would like to suggest to you a new term that may be valuable. Take your lunch to work. Don’t buy on credit! (Exceptions might be housing and automobiles. Don’t wait until the brakes squeak or the engine smokes.” which stands for “Live Below Your Means. You know the old saying. 2. Make a wish list for things you want.
The most expensive time to buy something is when it first hits the market. Look for these things. Put long-term savings into an index mutual fund. Check your budget often for places you can potentially cut back. 6. but do not feel that you must have the latest thing or toy. such as Vanguard Total Stock Market. Your cable package is often larded with things that you can do without at a considerable saving. How can you do better? 32 . Can you bank cheaper? How about your insurance? There are many telephone packages. Is yours the right one for you or can you find a cheaper one or one that offers more features you need. the next question is: "What do I do with long-term savings?" The answer is very easy. If you are able to S-A-V-E. Wait a while and you can buy a better product for less. This fund will do better than 90% of all professional money mangers. Always keep in mind that new ways of satisfying your needs are being developed every day – many at lower cost.5.
Often a third 33 . a basic book from the L. but totally different to the other person involved. I will depart from avoiding religion for this one time because I cannot find anything more pertinent to forgiveness than a commandment from the Doctrine and Covenants. It is: I. although there is evidence that most of these traits have a basis in the teachings of faith.DECEMBER / CHARACTER FORGIVENESS I have been careful to keep all of the suggestions for the character traits out of the area of religion.D. I know that there are many things that. I think our challenge should be to make this period of time shorter. church. then perhaps we should forgive sooner. When I was finally able to forgive. the Lord will forgive whom I will Forgive. If we feel that we may be able to forgive after a time. and thus save ourselves the resentment that builds up in our feelings and makes us a little less than we should be. When we think about that quotation we may feel that asking us to forgive everything seems all but impossible. Strangely.S. at the time when they happened. Most actions look one way to one person. it was largely because I was able to put myself in the other person’s shoes. many things that seem unforgivable to us when they happen seem not so very important to us after some period of time. Yet we know that time has a tendency to reduce the pain we feel. I felt would never allow me to forgive someone. but of you it is required to forgive all men.
As you proceed you see two people talking to each other. and they are people you respect very much. Ask yourself what they will be saying. Their virtues should be written on tablets of love and memory.party will view what happened very differently than either of the persons involved. As you approach you realize they are talking about you. “We should write the faults of our brothers in the sand. I would offer you something I once used when I was asked to talk in church: Imagine that you are invisible and walking down the street. They do not know that you can hear. In conclusion. Then ask yourself. we will live a better and happier life. a life that is more in keeping with what we should be.” If we can follow this advice. “Do I live my life so that I deserve to have them say the things I want to hear? 34 . I once heard someone say. “What would I want them to say?” Now once again ask yourself.
This means that the Social Security Administration will not be able to provide as much as you might expect. To a certain extent. on the average people are not saving anything. This is terrible news for 35 . In other words. it is a fact that people who have trouble living within their income will succeed better by using a budget. I have been able to stay on a budget because I always limited my access to money by living on an expense account. There were many times I realized that I was spending more than the expense account and have had to reduce expenditures to stay within the funds available. Bud told me that we as a nation now do not save any money. since Elaine and I have never really lived on a budget. In spite of this. We have been fortunate to have never had any real financial problems. In fact if she were to use a budget it would probably require her to spend more money than she does now. even if it is somewhat informal. One reason we have been able to maintain financial security is that Elaine has a built in ability to stay within a budget. I know that using a budget is something that will make your life better. As all of you know from what I have told you for years staying within your income means also a very solid savings program. I think Bud may be the nation’s best authority on saving for retirement.DECEMBER / FINANCE USE A BUDGET This month’s financial advice will be a little difficult for me to give you. This savings program means saving in addition to what you put into Social Security or any pension or IRA account. During this last week we have had Bud and Mirriam Hebeler here as visitors.
and although this is tougher. Do plan to save at least 15% of your income! I know this is tough advice and it is something I did not have to face when I was your age. I don’t want to seem to be a prophet of doom to you. Things have changed. Your best defense is a strong savings program and a good IRA account. we must plan to expect less from our defined pensions and Social Security. The trade-off is that you as an individual must take more responsibility for your future and especially your retirement. but it is important to face the future with as much knowledge as is possible. Living on a budget could be an important first step in doing this.our country since it also means that funds for expansion of industry will not be as available as in the past. 36 . there are many ways in which things are easier for you. Thus.
it is great progress. 37 . your employer and the world in which you live. loyalty to yourself. September was the month when Truthfulness was emphasized. in spite of what others think or what the consequences bring.INTERLUDE Dear Children and grandchildren. For myself and for you. In August the trait selected was Citizenship. This should probably have been selected for the month in which we vote. we might have personally improved ourselves in the following areas: June. This will be the eighth of twelve character traits and with this letter. your family. we will be three-fourths of the way through the year. July was the month in which Courage was emphasized. since most adults change very little or not at all. In review. I feel that if we have changed just a little. This is a cover letter for this month’s suggestion for improving yourself by thinking about the attributes selected by the citizens of Aiken. the beginning of this series of letters emphasized Loyalty. if you choose. I think it might be a time to review and ask ourselves if we have progressed. but maybe August was better because it could remind us that being a good citizen is a twelve-month-a year responsibility. and if we have become better people. Probably our best chance to show courage is in doing what we know is right. This might be a time to reflect upon our truthfulness to ourselves and to others. Personally.
but we also should remember that this too is a twelve-month-a-year responsibility. since it is mostly for people involved in drugs and alcohol. I trust you also have made progress. I am sure you will find in this another area in which you can improve. I made the comment that it was not a choice I would have made. I thought I had really improved until last night when our golf group decided to make a contribution to a charity. How about you? December brought a trait that was certainly timely. Dad / Grandpa 38 . which will be Sincerity. Compassion was the watchword for November. but maybe the trait in which I think I have been most successful in improving. They choose the Coachella Rescue Mission. Forgiveness is part of the Christmas season. We certainly should find time to have forgiven someone at this time of the year. Oh well.October brought Patience. Now we go on to January. Perhaps the most difficult for me. A discussion with our friends that followed showed that I was not compassionate toward those people. it shows that I still need to improve.
although he had thought the same thing about previous salesmen and would again. It might help to look at a dictionary definition of “sincere. When he talked about his wife he would say without reservation. one of the two best friends I have had through the years. I know he meant it. you’ve got it made. as it illustrates a total lack of sincerity. By now you know I like to add quotations to illustrate the character traits the citizens of Aiken have selected.” When you heard him. In spite of that I know he said those things in complete sincerity.” Sincere is defined as being without deceit. Most of you remember Stan Olson. George Burns once said: The secret to succeeding in show business is sincerity. All of these things are certainly traits that anyone would like to have. and 39 . you had no doubt he meant it with no reservations. This is not a quotation that we should seek to emulate. If you can fake that. If they have.JANUARY / CHARACTER SINCERITY It would be interesting to know whether or not the citizens of Aiken have become more sincere. He often said to me that I was the best salesman Brunswick had ever had. However. “She is the best woman God ever put on this earth. then certainly Aiken has become an even better place in which to live. pretense. Stan had a way of issuing compliments that in my opinion was unsurpassed. straightforward and honest in a desire to help. or hypocrisy. or being truthful. if we recognize false sincerity it will help us to cultivate true sincerity in our daily lives.
Doing so will certainly improve life for both you and whomever you come in contact with. As I type this I realize that the important thing about sincerity is that we develop it not in a selfish manner. As I looked at the ladies on the stage I realized Elaine was certainly the most beautiful lady there. is to avoid being insincere.even more. but in a manner of giving. but instead I told Elaine this. She should have. Too often we pass up a chance to tell someone something complimentary. would like to have others show in their actions. Never pass up a chance to give a compliment to someone when you can do it with sincerity. it must be done with complete sincerity. We should avoid being insincere even more strongly than we strive to be sincere. and maybe even more so. Today I went to the Christmas program put on by the Palm Desert Singers. 40 . When we give compliments. because it was true. Probably just as important. I could have dropped it there. Somehow I felt that she believed me.
Now he is the most knowledgeable person in his company here in America. – Harry S. Then he learned even more and was able to advance. but because he has learned more about the operation of the equipment than anyone else in his company. Truman I would think we have several examples of this in our family. Holly has never lost her desire to learn. from what I know. Rich started by knowing how electronic equipment was made and what the theory of electronics entailed. Today there is nothing she 41 . I doubt any of them could compete with Dan in overall knowledge of operation. I also know most of what he has learned has been learned the hard way. I always wondered how she learned so much about the publishing industry in a small backwater location (sorry Holly. but this is true) like Port Townsend. Chris struggled with school and did not find it as easy to learn as her siblings. not at a specialized school. Although there are many highly trained engineers at the refinery. He often has to go to sites that someone else should handle.JANUARY / FINANCE MAKE EDUCATION A CONTINUING PROCESS Once again I will start with an old quotation: It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts. yet she never stopped trying. I am constantly amazed by how much Dan knows about the operation of the Tesoro Refinery. he is needed. There was a time he probably knew more about this than his coworkers.
going to school again. the younger grandchildren are still undergoing their basic education. she is doing it the hard way. Several of us depend upon her for computer operation and being thorough in her follow-through.cannot accomplish. and as they do. expanding from framing to siding and roofing. we should all encourage them to get all the education they possibly can. Stephanie continues to progress with new challenges in dentistry by learning to work in the hospital and new areas of responsibilities in dentistry. Of course. Each should recognize that every new thing we learn opens new opportunities for further learning. And never stop urging them to continue learning. We should do all we can to make education easier for children and grandchildren. 42 . I am also aware of the progress being made by all of the grandchildren. finds time to pursue her desire to become a nurse. Lacy is now perusing a long held desire to excel in photography. and as he learns will continue to enter other areas of building. even after they know it all. Lori certainly knows the value of continuing education. Alicia. while doing very well at The Archer and making a good deal of money. Mac is making progress with his business.
we must learn to respect ourselves. he passed a building that had a cornerstone with the architect’s name and the following inscription in a Scottish brogue: WHAT E’ER THOU ART ACT WELL THY PART To him this said that he was to respect himself and always act in accordance with what he perceived himself to be. then spend the rest of our lives trying to be just that. Being more careful in our treatment of the environment can also be considered a 43 . However. When I was young it was a sign of respect to call all adults by either Mr. It does not mean there is a lack of respect. When we have that self-respect we can then turn to a larger task. I am probably wrong. I think my parents felt that the younger generation (mine. that is. That is also true today. The fact that we as a nation are more tolerant of those of other races and colors is a far better sign of respect than using a title. McKay was on an LDS mission to Scotland. that is) did not. It seems to me we should first decide what we are and just what we want to be. This is not common today.FEBRUARY / CHARACTER RESPECT Many years ago when President David O. A better way to judge respect is to observe how we relate to people. Most older people feel that the younger generation does not have the respect they had when they were young. respecting others. or Mrs. It seems that I was taught respect for others more so than most young people are today. That is.
public employees. I think this is something that we often overlook. not only of the environment but of the others who live on this earth and of the future generations. To whom should we show respect? Really the list is endless. We will be better people if we are able to observe this character trait. We should also show respect to our children and other young people. children and grandchildren!). 44 . military. such as employees. Every person on earth deserves some measure of respect. and all with whom we come in contact.sign of respect. Maybe I still don’t do it as well as I should. people who serve us in stores and restaurants. pedestrians. I don’t know when I started to look at my children and respect them as individuals – probably it was not as soon as it should have been. Perhaps the most difficult group to remember is those who in some way seem beneath us. We might start by respecting our parents and elders (get that. A list might include law enforcement. someone doing us a service. From there we could make a long list of people to whom we should show respect. or those who are destitute and on the street.
Never refinance your home to get money to use for a purpose other than home ownership. When you first own a home it is only the beginning. I know that a person of average intelligence can make over 90 percent of home repairs. I truly think that the idea of home ownership is one of the key things that has made the United States the most stable and secure nation in the world. or start making plans to move into a better or more valuable home. That is a loosing game. Perhaps you noticed that I used the term “continually. From the first day you start into home ownership. then call someone who can show you how to make these repairs. Strange as it may seem to each of you. Having a home means many things to people. At this point I would like to offer some advice. If you don’t know how. Calling a plumber or an electrician can be very expensive. the most valuable thing they will ever own is a home. It means such things as security against old age.FEBRUARY / FINANCE CONTINUALLY WORKING TOWARD HOME OWNERSHIP For most people. As far as I know.” By this I mean that just owning a home is not enough. this is something which is not common any place else in the world. a refuge from the trials of the world – it provides a hedge against inflation and gives us the pride of ownership. each of you are doing that. you should think of what you can do to enhance this valuable asset. a safe place for a family. Another thing that is very important is that you should learn to take care of your home. 45 . What I mean is that you should learn to make repairs by yourself.
you will pay only about forty percent as much interest.A few examples would include putting a new gasket in a faucet. meaning you have a difficult job resurfacing the valve or replacing the entire faucet. If you wait too long before getting a leaking toilet fixed. I hope each of you can reach this goal. When you finance a home you should try to pay off the loan as soon as possible. the leak will eventually cut a groove in the valve seat. Thus the word “continually” is again a key to good home ownership. If you leave it. I can also tell you that one of the most satisfying days of my life was when I was able to pay the last of a mortgage and to own our house free of debt. If your mortgage is thirty years try making an extra payment at least once per year. Years ago a twenty-year mortgage was rare. A leaking toilet is usually a minor problem. Now a thirty-year mortgage is almost standard and we are beginning to see forty-year paper. it can take only a few minutes. it will often mean replacing the flooring around the fixture. it begins to get dirty again and attract insects and vermin. The savings in interest will be substantial. Unfortunately. 46 . If this is done as soon as a leak is noticed. If you are able to pay off a mortgage in fifteen rather than thirty years. Keeping the house clean and orderly will keep insects from multiplying and eventually damaging the house and your possessions. It will be a blessing for you and your family. as soon as you get the house clean.
Some people will purposely try to push your buttons looking for a response.” 3. don’t see them. Or one of the best responses is to remove yourself from the scene. as this old tale shows. We should know that too much of anything. Compliment them and ask for information. Look for hidden gifts. If you cannot accept them as they are. Don’t react. even a good thing. Everyone responds to that kind of attention. you will be upset and disappointed. When you know someone might 47 . Following are six suggestions for getting along with anyone: 1. Surprise them by not reacting as they expect. If you do.MARCH / CHARACTER SELF-CONTROL The ancient Greeks had a famous saying: “Nothing overmuch. Everyone has some talent or skill. Almost every time we will look back and regret our actions. realizing that what happened did not justify our lack of self-control.” The maxim calls not for total abstinence. may prove to be our undoing. Expect the expected! If you are going to see someone who annoys you or who is not always agreeable. Try “Oh. 4. then choose a gift certificate. Practice self-defense. there is Susan I must go talk to her. If people don’t appreciate gifts from you. but rather reminds us to avoid excess. don’t expect them to change. I think one of the most important ways to maintain self-control is to get along with people. We need to recognize when enough is enough. 2. You will not change them. I don’t think anything is more embarrassing than losing our temper.
” Another thing that can help you in getting along with anyone is to remember two of the previous suggestions by the citizens of Aiken: Compassion and Patience will greatly assist you in your relations with others. 5. both friends and family. If you know that someone’s actions will annoy you. Know your limits. choose something that will not trigger a response. If you can only stand them for five minutes. Silence your critics. 6.not appreciate a food or some attention. 48 . then make sure that your time with him or her is limited. If someone asks a question that is none of his or her business. then plan to excuse yourself after that time. “Why would you ask a question like that?” Or when someone questions your activities respond with: “Thank you for being concerned about my health but ---------. Ann Landers used to suggest that the response to a rude question should be: “Why in the world do you want to know that?” Or. be prepared with a response.
the money from the house sale would only buy a small condo. you will have to pay income tax on the 2% you did earn. That means that if you save $100 for ten years then try to spend it. She sold it for a good sum and put the money in the bank so that she could buy a condo when she moved back to Salt Lake. There is nothing more difficult than preparing for inflation. then decided to sell it. you will note that experts say that inflation is low. I might use an example to show you how devastating inflation can be. 49 . Actually.MARCH / FINANCE COPE WITH INFLATION It has not been too difficult for me to offer advice about your financial health on the subjects I have chosen in the previous months. You will be paid only about 2% on the money. and will loose 3% through inflation. but it is still at least 3% per year. while she was in Seattle. you will find that it will buy only about half of what it would when you put it away. It may seem so. money in the bank is a loosing proposition. In addition to that. which was worth only about 35% of what her house had been worth. the country underwent a period of very high inflation (as much as 16% per year). I strongly feel that inflation is the greatest enemy of security and retirement. Unfortunately. She rented it for a year. This month is different. When she returned to buy a condo. She knew she could no longer take care of her home in Salt Lake City. My mother moved to Seattle to be near me for a few years. If you read the paper. It was beautiful home overlooking the entire Salt Lake Valley.
it will be the best protection against inflation that I can suggest. the purchasing power of his pension declined by over 50%. I know that most of you are not now thinking of retirement. Boeing. In mutual funds. how do you protect yourself from inflation? One of the best ways is to own your home. and oil companies. During the first ten years of his retirement. but when you look at how much you need for retirement. but be careful that you don’t have too much invested as cash or in a money market fund when inflation rears its ugly head. the ones that are considered value funds have a degree of protection. The only other suggestion I can make to you is that you own stock in companies that grow with the economy. The only protection you can have from this is that you must save at least 15% of your retirement pension so that you can keep up your purchasing power. Another example I can give is what Bud Hebeler told me about his retirement pension. 50 . Rental property is also very good protection against inflation. I have suggested before that unless you spend some time studying the stocks you would be better investing in mutual funds. This is a good idea. I know you will see many suggestions that you keep some money in cash or some other form that is easily accessible. rental property is not the best investment for most people.So. If you keep your home up-to-date and keep the majority of your money invested. Companies that meet these criteria are McDonald’s. however. you better increase it by at least 15%. Most of the time homes increase in value at least as much as inflation.
For the want of a battle. 51 . To be irresponsible is immature. and the battle was lost – as the king shouted: “A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!” From this we have learned: For the want of a nail. When we help our children become responsible. a battle was lost. To be responsible is to be answerable or accountable. In King Richard III Shakespeare tells about King Richard preparing for a battle. the King was left alone on the battlefield. King Richard spurred his horse forward but a shoe came off. but the groom was in such hurry to get the King’s horse he refused to give the blacksmith time to make the last four nails for the horseshoes. we increase our maturity. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail. When we increase our responsibility. The horse fell. a shoe was lost.APRIL / CHARACTER RESPONSIBILITY To respond is to answer. a horse was lost. For the want of a shoe. a kingdom was lost. For the want of a horse. As the battle started. we are helping them along the road to maturity.
it is in the middle of the state from the North to South. This was dangerous. It might be best if I do not because I would be disappointed if I found that this campaign has not been a success. The citizens of Aiken. We will not have to make excuses. Some things I can think of are: 1. sometime along my growing up I was able to improve on my lack of a good character trait. I feel that I would like to visit there. For me. I wonder how many of you have been curious about where Aiken is located. I know I was often irresponsible in not doing my best in schoolwork. but almost on the border of Georgia. and later realized how much better we would have been if we had been a little more responsible. We will certainly reduce stress upon ourselves knowing that what we promised to do has been done. in that it can become a lifelong habit. We will become more valuable to our employers or customers. It might help in becoming responsible if we think about the benefits we still derive from becoming responsible people. Fortunately for me. It is interesting to think about what kind of a community we would be experiencing if all the people with whom we come in contact were in every sense responsible. Our family life will improve because our family can depend upon us to do what needs to be done. I just hope we as members of a family have profited by thinking of character traits that will make us better people. If any of you are interested. are being urged to improve their sense of responsibility. 2. 52 . 3. a failure of responsibility. As I have written about the city this past year.I think each of us remember some time when we failed to take some little action. South Carolina.
Dried foods are good but must be protected from moisture. There is no record of any earthquake before or since. and maybe a month to six weeks. and if you think you are immune to that one disaster. but don’t forget to keep a manual can opener on hand. Although I don’t think it is necessary to have that much food storage I do suggest you have enough in storage to last you and your family for at least two weeks. the LDS church urges all members to have two years’ supply of food in storage in case of an emergency (it used to be one year). Missouri. If we have learned nothing from the hurricane Katrina it is that unforeseen emergencies do happen. you might be right – but if you eliminate that one vulnerability. Wherever you may live. Be assured that no place on earth is immune from such an occurrence. Canned goods are particularly good for keeping. The Midwest is such a place. You might give some thought to what foods are good for storage. As you know. yet the greatest earthquake in our nation’s history occurred in New Madrid. you will most likely find that your area is susceptible to several others.APRIL / FINANCE FOOD STORAGE It seems that the things I want to suggest to you often have some relation to church. you might think something like that could not happen there. Volcanoes are mostly predictable in the areas where they exist. Frozen foods are not good since most emergencies will mean a loss of electric power. since they provide great nutrition at a 53 . Beans and dried peas are some of the best foods to store. Some areas of the country think they are not in danger of earthquakes.
You might influence them to start a food storage program of their own. telling them it is your way of using food that is kept for an emergency. Wheat is certainly the best possible thing to have for food storage but I do not recommend it because you will not use it except in the case of an emergency and it is therefore a waste of money. Perhaps you could use the food that is a little old and have a party with friends. It might save the life of a child – your child or grandchild. You might also consider keeping the food until it is close to the expiration date and then give it to a food bank. hard candy is a good storage item since it stores well and provides great energy though not good nutrition. One of the most important things to take into account if you start a food storage program is to store foods that you will use and then replace them as you use them. 54 . Curiously. Think what a blessing it might be if you are the only one in your family that has food when an emergency occurs.very low price. making sure you immediately replace it. Buy a few cans of beef stew and each time you use one or two buy two more and rotate your stock.
or paying attention to personal relationships in our daily life. I can’t tell you how to become more attentive. not only with Elaine. I try to tell her that if she will give me a little more time I will notice. or some new item of decoration around the house. I often think of the things to which we do not pay enough attention. we might first think of this in relation to our spouses or other members of our family. but one thing that would help is if we make sure to take some action when we do notice something new. I am probably one of the most unobservant people I know. I do know that I was not careful enough for too long. 55 . She is very good at calling my attention to my failure to notice these things. For example. Attentiveness certainly applies to many more situations than that. observant. vigilant. but also with daily life as well. watchful. It is especially called to my attention when Elaine has some new item of clothing. As with many of the character traits chosen for emphasis by the citizens of Aiken. Most often our lack of attentiveness is our failure to be observant. and perceptive are a few words that are elements of attentiveness. We could talk about paying attention to our work. a new hairdo. I don’t know just when I realized that the sun was dangerous. you all know I just had surgery for squamous cell cancer on my lip. I think we often do not pay attention to our health. paying attention to our community and country. I know attentiveness is a weakness of mine.MAY / CHARACTER ATTENTIVENESS How often have we said to our children and others “Pay Attention!” We could find many words that come close to this statement: alertness.
I have heard it said that people cannot save money until their children are gone. your weight. Preparing for the expense of health care. Most illnesses give warning symptoms. but if you accept this. then occasionally look at that list and ask yourself if these items are getting proper attention. Preparing to finance education for your children and grandchildren. so you must do it for yourself. sugar intake. It would be nice if these items would work together. Often they come during difficult times of your life. which is now consuming almost 20% of the average person’s income. but more often they actually oppose each other.Do pay attention to things like sunlight. and most important of all. 3. pay attention to them! THE TRIFECTA Most of you probably know that a trifecta is a racing term. it is a recipe for difficult budgeting and perhaps a very sparse old age. I feel that you and others your age face that kind of difficulty in your near future. To some extent this is correct. blood pressure. Please make sure you save enough money that none of the ladies in my family have to do hard physical work in their old age. 56 . The three important decisions you must make correctly are: 1. it almost breaks my heart to see a woman well into her 60s waiting tables in a restaurant. but there are just too many of you. I suggest that you sit down and write down a list of things that you are apt to overlook. Setting aside enough money to insure a secure retirement. It means choosing correctly the first three horses in a race. 2. For some reason. I wish I could have enough money to provide for each of you.
On the other hand. as well as either a health maintenance organization or a Medigap health policy. and probably some type of prescription coverage. and auto insurance. Term insurance is the best type for you at this time of life because you will get more insurance for less money. There are kinds of insurance you will likely need all of your life. but then it too late. Being under-insured can cost you dearly. Anyone with a young family should have some life insurance. It is just as easy to become under-insured. your health insurance can be very expensive. At 65 Medicare will kick in. True it lacks that promised payout at the end. If you don’t have this. Often your employer will help provide your health insurance. Some of these are medical. You will not have to pay so much to get adequate insurance. Most of the time this is not the best choice. Somehow each of you needs to reach some kind of compromise. but you will be much better off finan- 57 . People whose house is flooded or damaged by another disaster can testify to that. especially as you get older. some who are over-insured find that too much money has gone to insurance leaving not enough for a comfortable retirement. which will help at a time when your health costs are increasing. Even at that time it will be important for you to sign up for Part B. homeowners.MAY / FINANCE MAKE SURE YOU HAVE SOME INSURANCE It is very easy to become over-insured. People who are hit by big liability lawsuits or personal injury items are often left destitute. If you buy from a life agent he will try to steer you to a type that includes some type of savings program.
58 . which means you are selling your house on time payments. then invest it in something like a mutual fund. Second are those who have enough wealth that they can afford the very high costs of private care. make it just enough to carry the family through funeral and recovery. When the investment makes money the life insurance company keeps part of it and gives the rest to you. since most often the kids are better off than the parents. you will eventually not own the house. If you still feel the need. but this is apt to be after you are no longer alive. someone who will have very little in retirement so that their costs will be covered by Medicaid. He was not aware of this clause.) One source of money for a late-life health problem is your home. this field is filled with charlatans who are not willing or not able to properly explain what you are buying.000 per year. Just be careful in buying LTC. Private care often cost $70. Unfortunately. he found that it only applied while he could care for her at home. Yes. this should not be a consideration. After your children are grown and on their own you probably will not need any life insurance. most people resist this in a desire to leave “something for the kids. There are two types of people who do not need this. First. My suggestion is that you consider this. (A friend of mine bought such a policy. As soon as she went to a home the policy ended. which can often be used to provide long term care. Why not make your own investment and keep all of the increase in value? Perhaps the most daunting decision is whether or not to have a long-term care (LTC) insurance policy. A reverse mortgage is used to provide monthly cash.” At this time in your life. Most life insurance policies take your money.cially if you just buy the term insurance and put the extra into savings that go into a mutual fund. so as you can see you have to have a considerable amount to cover this. and then when his wife developed Alzheimer’s.
I wonder how many of you realize that the letter I sent you last month was the twelfth letter in which I have advised you of the “Character Attribute” chosen for emphasis for a month. I surely realized it. RESPECT Mar. RESPONSIBILITY May ATTENTIVENESS June LOYALITY July COURAGE 59 . I hope each of us has gained something by concentrating on these twelve traits of character chosen by the citizens of Aiken. because I knew that the first of each month was a deadline.EPILOGUE Dear Children and grandchildren. The twelve traits are: Jan. but now I am through. I am going to conclude by reviewing the letters I have sent you through the last year. SELF-CONTROL Apr. SINCERITY Feb. Writing letters and finding something to say was not easy for me.
” and as Christ said. I just hope and trust they have also changed 60 . Love thy neighbor as thyself. and with all thy soul. the second is like unto it. each of us we would find that different traits would be the most important depending on the stage of our life and development. I am reminded of the time when Christ was asked which of the Ten Commandments was the greatest. for me. And the second is like unto it. PATIENCE Nov. FORGIVENESS One thing you learn if you have ever been a teacher. I know that writing these letters for the past year has had more effect on me than reading them has had on you. I would like to tell you what I think.” To me these two traits often go hand in hand. I just hope there have been a few times you have thought of ways in which you could improve yourself. TRUTHFULNESS Oct. especially if you are called upon to teach something with which you are not familiar. which always had to do with becoming a better person. This is the first and greatest commandment. is the greatest of the Character Traits we have reviewed. I know I always learned more than my students. Just as that is true. I found this especially true whenever I was called upon to teach a church class. CITIZENSHIP Sept. I also think that if we were to review in later years what we choose as the most important. If each of us were to choose what we find the most important I think we would find that most of us would choose a different trait.Aug. I know that it is often impossible for someone to say which trait is the most important. “Forgiveness. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart. “Compassion. is that in preparing to teach you always learn much more than the students to whom you give the lesson. and with all thy mind.” In thinking of this. COMPASSION Dec. The most important to me was November. He answered.
Importance of work. Strive for home ownership. Food storage. When I chose to write of the character traits. Meet financial obligations. Sept. Nov.me for the better. I had to draw upon my own experience. Dec. Make education a continuing process. If any of us have changed or improved even a little. When I decided to include a financial item with each letter. Become financially informed. it was easy because someone else had prepared the list of traits. we are to be congratulated. Aug. Good spending choices. Jul.B. Mar. Oct. Use a budget. since most people change very little after becoming adults. L. Maybe there are one or two that have touched you and changed you for the better. Feb. Manage your money. Cope with inflation.M. The second part of these letters has dealt with financial matters that I thought would be of value to us. Jun. I hope these twelve subjects contained something that was of 61 . Apr. They have been: Jan. Discipline in money matters. May Make sure you have some insurance.Y. Live beneath your means. don't let it manage you.
” I feel the term “Live Beneath Your Means” is perhaps the best advice I could possibly give to you. I hope these letters have been of some value to you. I send this letter to you with my love and affection. Dad / Grandpa 62 . the first I would emphasize is “Discipline in money matters. then I feel that I have not wasted my time. And the second is one that helps to achieve that. I feel this is the time of the greatest concern. Don’t you run out of money. I do know that I often think of things that I have advised you to do. Just as I chose to emphasize two of the character traits.” I really feel that if each of us pays heed to the above items.” I know that each of us can look at some of the above subjects and find things we could do to enhance our financial condition. For me. That is the way I look at the economy today.” If you do not use a budget how do you know when you are living beneath your means? Using a budget will also help us to make good spending choices.value to you. it is “Use a Budget.” I guess I live in constant fear that one of my children or grandchildren might “run out of money. I would like to suggest that you choose two of the financial items which have the greatest value to you. It is so good that it scares me as I have never been scared before. Then sell it when everyone else thinks it is the hottest item they have ever seen. Some of this might have related back to a picture that Liam had hung in the bathroom of their house in Somerville. Maybe some of you have seen it. we will greatly lessen the danger of ‘running out of money. If even one of you has been able to make some change in your life or spending habits. It was of an elderly Indian woman obviously malnourished and near death. Just now as it looks so good that we have nothing to worry about. The telling words beneath the picture said “She just ran out of money. and trust that I am being faithful to the suggestions I have made to you. The best wisdom on Wall Street is that to be successful in the stock market you need to buy something when everyone else is sick to death of it.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?