My neighbor where I live loves to go to seminars. She decides whether she’s going to go based on where it’s being held, whether it’s a restaurant she likes or not. She invited me to go to one recently. It was on estate planning. It was all right. I can’t say I got that much out of it—my estate planning was done a long time ago—but it was fun to go and meet some new people.
The location: It was in the community center of the housing development where I live, so I only had to walk a block-and-a-half to get there. The advisor was also really good—very well-spoken and very knowledgeable. He wasn’t slick or pushy like most of those guys are. He just seemed like a straight-shooter, like he was doing it because he wanted to help people out. He gave out lots of free advice at the seminar, helpful hints about how not to run out of money in retirement, that sort of thing.
There was one I went to a couple of years ago. It was these two ladies that teamed up together. One was an expert in long-term care and the other one specialized in estate planning, I think. They were really funny, and at the end, they played a game where they said someone had a smiley-face sticker on the bottom of their dessert bowl. I think they got free movie passes or something. It was a lot more fun than some of the seminars I’ve been to.
My wife and I went to a seminar eight or 10 years ago that made a favorable impression on everyone who went. It was run by an advisor who mailed everyone a small card with a choice of topics on it. He asked everyone to put checks next to the topics they were most interested in. At the door, his assistant took the cards and tallied up the results while he was giving his opening remarks. Then the assistant told him what most people wanted to learn about, and he talked about those things.
We went to a seminar where the guy offered a 5-percent discount on his commission to anyone who came. That seemed like a pretty good deal, so we went, even though all our money was already tied up. We saw a lot of people filling out comment cards afterward, so I think it worked for him. Also, I remember the food was really good. It was Greek.
Mount Vernon, Iowa