What We Can Learn About Estate Planning from Yogi Berra
It’s baseball season. In the Bay Area, that means the Giants are running true to form–the best record heading into the All-Star break and now they’re playing like the worst team in baseball. Sadly, if you’re an A’s fan, you’re faring much, much worse. We love our Giants for their ability to play killer ball when it really matters, but no one expects the A’s to rally.
But let’s take a look at Yogi Berra
Yogi Berra, who made an extraordinary contribution to baseball, died last fall at the age of 90. Every baseball fan has his or her heroes, but Yogi Berra was extraordinary, a little guy who earned a big spot in the pantheon of stars. Yogi was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972 on the first ballot and had a historic baseball career: a .285 lifetime batting average, 358 home runs and 1,430 runs batted in. Not only was he a catcher for both the New York Yankees and the Mets, but he also managed and coached both teams. Yogi appeared in 21 World Series as player, coach or manager–and won 13 of them. No other player can touch this kind of record.
Another contribution: Yogi was a financial planner and adviser
But Yogi was also insightful, thoughtful and a savvy financial planner. We’re left with many of Yogi’s pearls of wisdom which we can apply to investing, managing money and planning for the future.
It ain’t over till it’s over. You’re investing for the long term, so stay focused on your long-term goal—college planning for your kids or retirement.
It’s déjà vu all over again. The fact that stock prices have been down much of this year isn’t unusual. We’ve seen declines before, and we’ll see them again. We’re enjoying a robust economy right now, but we all remember the recession. Economic cycles repeat themselves, so we should never get too comfortable.
When you come to a fork in the road, take it. You don’t need to choose between owning stocks or bonds; your portfolio should be diverse and should probably include both.
I usually take a two-hour nap from 1 till 4. If you’re wondering about investing in the latest hot stock, sleep on it. Do some research and talk to a financial advisor.
Pair up in threes. You should rely on a financial planner, a tax advisor and create a Living Trust.
It gets late early out here. If you haven’t started preparing for retirement, start today. If you’re waiting until you get old to create a Living Trust, “old” may have arrived. Yogi knew that you don’t have to be old or have an estate to need an estate plan, and that a Living Trust is an important component of this.
If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be. It’s impossible to be completely correct with every financial decision or preparation for end-of-life care. We live in a world of constant change, and there are too many variables over which we have no control. In the words of Warren Buffet, another sage who can afford to build his very own pantheon, “It’s better to be approximately right than precisely wrong.” This is the time to get started.