Your Estate Plan in the Wake of the SECURE Act

The SECURE Act of December 2019 was intended to give Americans a better shot at retirement security. But retirees whose estate plans depended on the so-called stretch IRA may see that as, well, a bit of a stretch. That’s because the law sharply curtails this simple, tax-efficient way of leaving money to future generations. Take, …Read More

A Year of Grieving, Loving, and Persisting

The team at Bell tells me that many of you as clients and friends often ask after me and want to know how I am doing. This heartens my soul to learn of your care and concern. My purpose in writing to you is to tell you just that. Let’s catch up. November 20 marked …Read More

An Expert Who Listens to Your Values

In Being Mortal, an immensely compassionate book about the final phase of life, Atul Gawande writes about his father. A vibrant and healthy man his whole adult life, Gawande’s father starts to feel a persistent pain in the back of his neck and the loss of sensation in his fingers. An MRI reveals an incurable …Read More

What Will Make Up the Content of Your Days During Retirement?

Depending on how close you are to your planned retirement date, the above question will be either frighteningly urgent, or so far in the distance that you won’t be able to focus on it for any length of time at all. But what I have noticed most about this question now that I am in …Read More

When Can I Quit My Job?

Financial Planning answers many significant life questions. For example: How much do I need to save for my daughter’s education? Can I afford to buy a home? When can I retire? In my 27 years as a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®), the answers to those questions and others produce highly emotional and strategic impacts. Knowing …Read More

Providing for Your Children and Others with a 529 Plan

The three biggest financial commitments that most people will make in their lifetimes are buying a home, raising children, and retiring. Of the three, the cost of raising children might be the most surprising. While the cost of a home is easily found on websites such as, the cost of raising children is hidden …Read More

Middle Retirement Planning

If you read financial planning textbooks, you might be left with the impression that people report to the financial planner’s office to begin the planning process as soon as they land their first job. However, that’s not how it usually happens. Instead, people need a sense of urgency to get started. This often comes after …Read More

“What’s Bonnie Going to Do?!” – Part 2

Most of you know by now that, as of January, I began cutting back my hours at Bell and moving into a career transition most commonly known as “Semi-Retirement.” I have to say, it has been smoothing out a bit since the first quarter of the year, which is good news. Don’t get me wrong, …Read More

What is a “Normal” Interest Rate, and Why Does it Matter?

At a 2010 lecture discussing the financial crisis of 2007-2009 – Navigating the New Normal in Industrialized Countries – Mohamed El-Erian (now chief economic advisor at Allianz) said, “The crisis was not a mere flesh wound. The crisis cut to the bone.” Once you start cutting bone, you change the structure of whatever is being …Read More

“It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times . . .”

…So wrote Charles Dickens in his famous opening line of A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens wrote this novel in part as a warning and as an encouragement to his fellow citizens of Great Britain not to devolve into indiscriminate mass murder and mob violence as he compared the relative safety and stability of London …Read More

Market Analysis

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“There Are Better Things Ahead Than Any We Leave Behind”
January 6, 2021

As December came to a close, the global equity markets added several percentage points to their …Read More


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Webinar: 2020 Election Impact – What Investors Should Know
October 22, 2020 Presenters: Laurent Harrison, CFP®, Senior Investment Advisor and Financial Planner Ryan Kelley, …Read More

Career/Life Coaching Blog

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Thoughts from Bonnie on Balance in Times of Stress
May 12, 2020

Originally Posted March 15, 2011 Back in 2011, the world was in a different form of crisis. The …Read More