The Retirement Survival Guide
How to Make Smart Financial Decisions in Good Times and Bad
Julie Jason
Author and Money Manager at Jackson, Grant Investment Advisers
Feb. 13, 2018

“Always remember – be a healthy skeptic.” With these words of caution, Julie Jason, author and money manager at Jackson, Grant Investment Advisers in Stamford, took 63 Y’s Men of Meriden on a crash course in financial planning on Feb. 13.

Jason is a highly regarded financial planner with impeccable credentials. She began her career as a Wall Street lawyer, having earned an advanced law degree at Columbia University, and subsequently serving as a FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) arbitrator and mediator, and also serving as president of the managed futures fund subsidiary of a major broker/dealer and president of its trust company. She founded Jackson, Grant more than 20 years ago and remains its Chief Investment Officer.

Jason is the author of seven (and soon to be eight) books regarding retirement planning and retirement investing strategies. And she has written more than 1000 weekly financial education columns during the past 20 years, published in various regional Connecticut newspapers and syndicated nationally by King Features.

During her presentation, Jason intermixed words of investment wisdom with multiple financial graphs and tables, with an emphasis on retirees. One study cited found that 87% of retirees say they don’t know enough about managing investments to make their savings last; indeed, only one in four are planning for a retirement that lasts 25 years or more, despite modern longevity that often carries folks into their 80’s and 90’s.

She noted that “anticipation, not reacting, is key” for a successful investment strategy. Sudden market declines occur periodically, and no one has been able to successfully time the market, but the overall trend has been upward; the longer your timeframe, the more solid this trend becomes. The world is flooded with news, but “you will be defined by your actions when the markets move down”.

But will history repeat itself? Future unknowns include computerized trading and new technology, government intervention, new regulations, higher taxes and inflation, terrorism and possible nuclear holocaust. So, take advantage of time diversification and always be prepared for volatility.

A Morning with Bing Crosby
Phil Callan
Former radio broadcaster
Feb. 6, 2018

With a mere 36 hours’ advance notice, Y’s Men of Meriden member Phil Callan came to the club’s rescue on Feb. 6 after the scheduled speaker abruptly cancelled due to illness. Callan, a former radio announcer, presented several videos to the 64 attending Y’s Men from two Bing Crosby classic movies, lacing them with his own commentary.

“Sing You Sinners”, a 1938 black-and-white American musical comedy film starring Crosby, Fred MacMurray and Donald O’Connor (13 y/o at the time), is about the three singing Beebe brothers who go to California to find their fortune. Featured clips included "I've Got a Pocketful of Dreams" with Crosby on guitar, MacMurray on clarinet and O’Connor on accordion as they sing and dance through a smoke-filled barroom; then another video showcased Crosby performing a solo vocal routine in "Don't Let That Moon Get Away".

After another comedy routine sited at the racetrack during which Crosby keeps trading his purchased ticket on a 50:1 long-shot nag with another gullible bettor, Callan projected a video of "Small Fry" (written by Hoagy Carmichael and Frank Loesser) in which the son (O’Connor) pulls a fast one on his pop (Crosby) by putting castor oil in his beer. Apparently, the son is annoyed by his dad (wearing an unsightly beard and glasses) chastising him for smoking and skipping school, while “mother” MacMurray serenely rocks in her chair, pulling on a corncob pipe.

The scene then switched to a 1947 black-and white Hollywood film “Welcome Stranger” starring Bing Crosby, Joan Caulfield and Barry Fitzgerald. Aboard a train in the communal washroom, Crosby’s boisterous singing first annoys Fitzgerald as he tries to shave using a straight razor. The action then continues in the dining car, where Fitzgerald is forced to sit across from Crosby, only to find his nemesis has eaten the last trout breakfast available.

The Spectacular Southwest
Jack Brooks
Accomplished traveler
Jan. 30, 2018

Jack and Barbara Brooks are closing in on their dream of visiting all 58 of America’s National Parks, running their personal number to 40 in Oct. 2017 as they visited eight more in our spectacular southwest. Sharing this recent odyssey with 26 attending Y’s Men of Meriden on a snowy Jan. 30, Barbara had a virtual presence during this photographic presentation with her narration embedded in the program.

Their journey took them back and forth across the Texas/New Mexico border, starting with Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1937 to provide a breeding and wintering habitat for migratory birds. Watered entirely by underground springs, it has become home to hundreds of bird species and dozens of mammalian and reptile varieties, as well as over 90 species of dragonflies and damselflies. Like many of our national parks, much of the construction was accomplished by Depression era workers under FDR’s New Deal Program.

Then on to dramatic Carlsbad Caverns whose limestone caves were water-sculpted in the Guadalupe Mountain region many million years ago; huge spectacular limestone formations greeted the Brooks at every turn. It was discovered by a young boy, Jim White, who explored the cavern with his homemade wire ladder; he named many of the rooms, including the Big Room, New Mexico Room, Kings Palace, Queens Chamber, Papoose Room, and Green Lake Room. Nearly a million Brazilian free-tailed bats emerge daily at dusk from Carlsbad Cavern’s uppermost chamber to feed on flying insects. Then Guadalupe National Park provided vistas of beautiful McKittrick Canyon and Frijole Ranch (a former stagecoach station), followed by Big Bend National Park (named for a u-shaped twist in the Rio Grande), resplendent with wild life and stunning rock formations.


Carlsbad Caverns


White Sands National Monument


Gran Quivira Ruins

After a visit to Fort Davis National Historic Site, built in 1854 and named for then Secretary of War Jefferson Davis (and used to protect settlers and travelers from Comanche and Apache attacks), and a trip to Organ Mountains National Monument, the trip continued to White Sands National Monument, famed for its snow-white 60-foot-high “sand” dunes (actually consisting of gypsum crystals dissolved from surrounding mountains). This was the home of the White Sands Missile Range, where the world’s first man-made atomic explosion (code-named “Trinity”) took place on July 16, 1945.

And this 1500-mile eight-day excursion concluded at Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, showcasing the ruins of 17th century Spanish Franciscan missions including subterranean kivas (used for kachina rituals by ancient Pueblo people) and the Gran Quivira mission.

Up West Main Street and Down Memory Lane
Ruth Borsuk
Past President, Meriden Historical Society.
Jan. 23, 2018

Some 61 Y’s Men of Meriden were treated on Jan. 23 to a scenic trip along the city’s West Main St., albeit in 1953, as Ruth Borsuk, Past President of the Meriden Historical Society, escorted them on a photographic journey down Memory Lane. Projecting a series of photographs, many previously donated by Atty. James Ullman, Borsuk (assisted by Chris Ruel and Deborah Patterson) quickly found the audience participation she sought, as Y’s Men members chimed in with their recollections.

Setting out from the corner of Colony and West Main St., a view of the historic traffic tower quickly gave way to images of Styltex, S.S. Kresge (later to become Kmart)., Whalen Drugs, Thom McAn Shoes, Liggett Rexall Drugs and Cooper’s Ladies Apparel. Then passing farther west past High School Ave. (now called Barrister’s Court), images appeared of Grossman Shoes (owned by former Meriden mayor Abe Grossman), The Women’s Shop, Brein Luggage, JC Penney, Ann Grace Dresses, Millinery Fashions, Walsh & Massari Opticians, Hyman’s, and the Youth Shoppe.

Many of the parked autos were recognized by the audience, including a ’52 Buick and a Hudson Jet. Buildings were often separated by small openings, allowing access to the numerous apartments above the stores, often inhabited by women or serving as offices for doctors and dentists.


Loew-Poli Palace

Hyman's Clothing / Walsh & Massari Opticians

Traffic Tower

Capitol Flower Shop / Rosamond Miller Shoes

Republican Party Headquarters

Democratic Party Headquarters

Moving westward from 55 W. Main St., photographs captured J. Papandrea Jewelers, Rosamond Miller Shoes, the Capitol Flower shop, Billie Burns (a candy shop), Nixon-Lodge Headquarters (with political posters covering the windows), Sears (for catalog orders), and Pappas Luncheonette. And finally, the Citizens for Kennedy Headquarters, Mark’s Luncheonette, the Meriden Pet Center, Judy’s Shop, Green Stamps Redemption Center and the vacant Loew-Poli Palace Theater.

Today’s program was a treat, especially for audience members who have called Meriden home for most or all of their lives. The Meriden Historical Society is located at 424 West Main St. (203-639-1913, meridenhistoricalsociety.org).