Monthly Archives: August 2013

Omar and The American Dream

by Guest Blogger Susan Scheide
Office Manager and Assistant to Tim Shanahan


Those of us of a certain age have no doubt all thought it at some time—things like, “Damn kids these days!” and other such anti Gen-X thoughts.  I know I have.  And if you know me at all, you know I have not been shy about saying what I think of today’s youth.  Even my own nephews have not been exempt.  It makes me feel very old when I hear myself, and yet I am so flabbergasted sometimes, the way some young people behave, I just can’t help myself.

All hope is not lost for the future as long as there are young people like Omar Mian in the world.  Omaris a young man I would be proud to call my son.  Hard working, polite, engaging, funny—and yet serious and concerned at the same time.  Omaris one in a million, and I know his new bride Lourdes would agree with me.
Omar and Lourdes Mian

Born in Pakistan, Omar and his family moved to the United States in large part due to his brother’s epilepsy. Like all good parents, his parents hoped to provide their children with better opportunities and medical care than were available to them in Pakistan. Omar became a US citizen in 2003. 



Omar Mian



The Mian family initially settled in Connecticut, but eventually ended up in Clifton Park, New York, where Omar attended junior high school and moved to Rotterdam, New York where he attended senior high school.  In 1998, Omar left home and moved to Boston by himself where he attended the University of Massachusetts.

It wasn’t long after Omarjoined our firm that his mother passed away.  At that time, I had not yet suffered the loss of a parent.  I was touched to see the obvious love for his mother he had.  He made the journey back to Pakistanfor her funeral, and he returns annually to honor her memory.  Being some 20+ years older than Omar, I hope it’s not too odd to have some maternal feelings for him.  After all, I ate cake on his 30th birthday.  Hugged him joyfully when he told us he was getting married.  Teased him mercilessly about his amazing beard growing capabilities.  And even spilled my guts to him about my own family issues, as he is a wonderful listener.

Omar and Lourdes, a beautiful young lady who is an aspiring singer, live in a townhouse in Norwood, Massachusetts.  They have two small dogs, Dooby, a Chihuahua, and Zoni, a Boston Terrier/Chihuahua mix they brought home from Puerto Rico, which is Lourdes’s place of birth.  They were married in Puerto Rico last year, with several Compass partners in attendance, including Tim and Elaine Shanahan, John and Andrea Ahern, and Walter Joly and his wife Jane Baldridge. 
From left to right: Walter Joly, Jane Baldgridge, Omar and Lourdes Mian,
John and Andrea Ahern, Tim and Elaine Shanahan

Omar joined Compass Capital in 2005.  He was just a kid, or so it seemed, but I noticed right away he was a very quick study.  I never had to show him how to fill out paperwork twice.  Show him once, and he knows it.  Initially, Omar was working closely with another advisor, sharing clients and responsibility.  That advisor has moved on to other things, and Omartook over the bulk of their joint clients and has managed, very successfully, to not just maintain his base of clients, but increase it.  But Omardoesn’t just coast—he actively works for his clients.  He makes himself available, and he treats each one of them with respect and caring.

Omar became a Compass parter in 2010.  He is a very active member of the Investment Committee, and I frequently find myself asking him questions about the market conditions and moves I should consider with my own funds.  And now that he’s a shareholder, and one of our most successful Advisors, Omar doesn’t demand special treatment.  He doesn’t lay his less-interesting work off on staff.  He continues to treat us with respect and courtesy.  In fact, when Omar travels, he never fails to return with small souvenirs for everyone.

When he’s not working, Omar and Lourdes enjoy the usual things—reading, exercising, travelling, and spending time with their dogs.  They’ve also developed an interest in paranormal investigation, AKA ghost hunting! 
Lourdes, Omar, and their dogs Dooby and Zoni

I think what makes Omarso very different from so many young people today is his respectful manner.  Respect for his elders.  Respect for the many regulations under which Compass operates.  Respect for his clients.  A deep understanding of consequences.  

I tell him all the time, “Your mother would be so proud of you.”  And it brings a little tear to my eye, hoping that she can see her son, living in a way that would make any mother proud.



Omar at his wedding, with a photo of his mother



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Get to know Tom Licciardello!

by Susan Scheide

Thanks to the kind comments from you, our readers, Tim has asked me to write some more blog postings.  I spent some time pondering what I would like to read, and decided what would interest me is learning more about the men and women who make up Compass.

First on the list: the irrepressible Tom Licciardello, the embodiment of the expression, “Good things come in small packages.”  While vertically challenged in stature, Tom has one of those personalities that fills a room.  I dare you to try spending an hour with Tom and not leave smiling!  Three things I can count on when Tom comes to Braintree for a company meeting: 1) he will be a few minutes late; 2) despite being tardy, he will be impeccably groomed and prepared for the meeting; and 3) he will give me a huge smile and a hug.

 

Tom Licciardello

Tom is a fascinating man, not just a friendly guy.  In addition to running a successful financial services office in North Andover, which is of course a part of Compass Capital (sometimes called “Compass North”),  Tom participates in triathlons, marathons, and something I’ve never heard of called obstacle course racing (OCR).  Did I mention that Tom is just ever so slightly over 60 years old?

I knew Tom had run in the Boston Marathon for many, many years (35 consecutive), so naturally I asked him about his running:

When did you start running seriously?

In the summer of 1976, I realized that I was gaining weight and losing the athletic capabilities that I had in college, so I began biking…a lot.  After doing my first “century ride” (100 miles) a friend who was training to run a marathon told me that dividing the number of miles ridden by 3 is an equivalent run.  I asked how far a marathon was.  As it’s “only” 26.2 miles, I concluded it would be easy.  I put my bike in the garage, bought a pair of running shoes and went for a run.  My friend lied. However, I persisted and ran my first marathon on December 7, 1976 in 2 hrs 54 minutes,  fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  I promised my wife, Lyn, that I would run it only once.  I lied.
While Tom has decided not to run the marathon any more, he continues to serve on the Boston Marathon.
In all his years of running and other sports, Tom has never had a serious injury.  An amazing track record, and one I hope continues for years to come. 

Tom was present at this year’s Boston Marathon when the terrorist bombs went off.  I cannot possibly say anything about that terrifying day any better than Tom himself.  Please feel free to read his moving comments at this link:

Have you run in marathons other than Boston?

I’ve run a total of 88 marathons in 13 states, including several ultra marathons (longest was 50 miles). Among others, in addition to Boston, I’ve run New York, the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, and the World Championship Ironman in Kona, Hawaii in 2007 (2.4 mile ocean swim, 112 mile bike ride, and then a 26.2 mile marathon).

My marathon best was 2:33:17 (1981!) Still had dark brown hair.  Best Boston finish was 321st with a 2:35 finishing time back in the early 80s.  As a point of reference, there were about 5,000 in the field then.  If I could run that fast now in the current 27,000 runner field size, I’d finish in the top 100!

On August 11, 2013, Tom was the officiant at a wedding held at the start of the Falmouth Road Race.  See here for the full story!

Obstacle course racing is, apparently, exactly what it sounds like!  Here’s how Tom described it to me:

My new passion is obstacle course racing (OCR).  It’s a great opportunity to test overall strength as competitors climb walls, crawl under barbed wire through mud, leap over fire pits, and other acts of, well craziness.

 

Lyn and Tom Liccardello

 


Tom Licciardello and the “acts of craziness”

I’m a member of The New England Spahtens (yes, that’s the correct spelling).  I’m also very proud to be a member of an elite (nutty) group known as GRTs – GoRuck Tough.  To become a member of that group, you must complete a GoRuck Challenge.  Basically it’s a Special Forces inspired test of strength/endurance/tenacity.  Our event was on June 28th in Manchester starting a 9 PM and concluded at 6:30 AM.  Proud to say that I am now the oldest official GRT. 

As with all interesting people, there is another side to Tom.  Tom and his wife Lyn have been married for 43 years.  Lyn is involved in running, cycling, and swimming as well, and the Licciardellos have turned obstacle course running into a family affair. 

 

The Licciardello Family

 

Lyn Licciardello
Tom and Lyn have two daughters.  Crissy Licciardello Lippman works with Tom in their North Andover office.  In fact, Crissy is who I turn to when I have questions on our company health insurance plan since Tom is our insurance agent.  Crissy lives in North Andover with her husband Ahren and their two children, Lexi and Zach. 

Tom and granddaughter Lexi

Tom and Lyn’s other daughter, Amy, lives in Connecticut with her husband, Scott and her three kids, Ben, Cassie, and Sophie Rose.

I thought my grandfather was cool because he could stand on one leg and jump over his other foot.  Can you imagine a grandfather who runs around in the mud for fun?  Awesome!

I asked Tom if it was ever difficult separating Tom the employer from Tom the father/grandfather, and I found his response very touching.  He said,  “Not at all.  In all three cases I feel the obligation is to first be a good example in the way I live my family, business, and personal life.”

Tom and Lyn also enjoy skiing, a passion they share with Tim Shanahan, who has been lucky enough to spend some time with them in their condo up north.

 

No bunny slopes for Tom and Tim

 

Tom and Tim and a really cool ice moose

I’ve had fun teasing Tom over the many years I’ve processed some of his paperwork for him.  One thing I’ve learned about Tom via my insider’s view of his business is that Tom goes the extra mile for his clients.  He never leaves them hanging, and when they ask him to make financial moves for them that are ill advised, he tells them so, and why.  Being a Trusted Financial Advisor and Compass Capital shareholder means something to Tom.  While I may enjoy laughing with Tom and cracking jokes, I’ve also asked him some serious questions about my own investments, and found his answers to be helpful, insightful, and in plain language, no jargon. 

Tim likes to talk about Compass’s “depth of bench,” and I can say, as someone who has worked with Tom for 13 years, he is a huge asset to our firm, and someone I would trust with my own money.

Thank you so much Tom, for your cooperation with this, the first in a series of blog entries. And happy anniversary Tom and Lyn!
Tom and Lyn Licciardello

Tom and Lyn

Review Your Estate Plans Before It Is Too Late

A Cautionary Tale of A Man Who Knew Better
by Guest Blogger Susan Scheide
Office Manager and Assistant to Tim Shanahan

Susan Scheide, and father Richard

In February of 2013, following a 13 year battle with Alzheimer’s, my father Richard Scheide passed away. The emotional and financial toll was terrible, and the whole family was relieved when his suffering ended.

My grandfather, Philip Scheide, also died of Alzheimer’s, as did my uncle, Philip Scheide. It’s hard to pin down exactly when we started to see signs of dementia. My first recollection is an event in the year 2000, in Kenya. We were able to brush it off as possibly a little too much “cheer” around the post game drive camp fire. Eventually, it was impossible to ignore that Dad was not himself. He went to see a number of doctors, and after a while he was told that yes, in all likelihood, he too had Alzheimer’s.

Dad was a devoted husband, a good father, a proud American and Marine, and the former head of the trust and private banking departments of a major Boston-based bank. We assumed everything was in order long prior to his death. After all, that was his entire life’s work. Trusts. We knew he had a trust. “Everything” was already in the trust. Or was it?

Married in the early 1950s, my parents had a traditional marriage where my father was the breadwinner, and my mother took care of the kids and the household. It worked well for them. When Dad’s mental status declined, Mom found herself learning to pay bills, file taxes, and make investment choices. She also assumed their estate plans were solid, and nothing needed to be done. They were clients of a private banking department, and Dad’s trust was prepared by a major law firm and professionally managed at the bank. There was a will, power of attorney, health care proxies, and of course the DNR forms.

By the time Dad looked into a long term health care policy, to protect everything he had worked his entire adult life accumulating, there were too many red flags in his medical records, and he was denied coverage. Alzheimer’s patients survived an average of 7 to 10 years when diagnosed before the age of 90 (source: National Institute of Health). It’s easy to see how their life’s savings could be depleted quickly should he require nursing home care.

Mom cared for Dad at home for as long as she could. When his body had all but given out along with his mind, he was moved to a nursing home. Cost: $12,000 per month. Mom sold their home and purchased a unit in an assisted living facility, and also took a small apartment for herself. After two years, Dad was moved to a different nursing home closer to Mom, and fortunately the cost was slightly less. He lived another year in new facility. Cost: $10,000 a month. The math is pretty simple to do. ($12,000 x 24) + ($10,000 x 12) = $408,000. All out of pocket.

After Dad passed away, imagine our surprise when, having submitted all the paperwork we thought was necessary to claim his life insurance, we were informed that the beneficiary of all of his policies was a trust dated 1998. All of Dad’s other assets were held in a newer trust dated 2003. And, oddly, the newer trust did not have language indicating it was a restatement of the older trust. It was its own entity. And when his trust officer had asked him about his life insurance, he told them, “The beneficiary is my trust.” Who can blame them for assuming that someone who used to run their department and would have been their boss if he was still working meant the correct trust?

What does this mean, practically? It means that instead of everything seamlessly passing to my father’s 2003 Trust, with my mother as the beneficiary, Dad’s $60,000 of life insurance is in an estate that now has to be probated. In addition, Dad’s will named a corporate executor (a bank) in addition to my mother. Dad’s trust was moved to a different bank years ago, but he never updated his will to reflect his desire to have the new bank and trust department act as executor. We had to ask the original bank to decline to serve, which they did, and apply to probate court and ask for permission for the new bank to be appointed to settle the estate.

How did this happen? Well, honestly, that money wasn’t being counted on to save the day. It was a collection of small policies purchased for Dad by former employers, and largely forgotten about. They were paid in full, and when Dad wrote a new trust, he just forgot about them. It was an easy mistake to make. He thought he had everything wrapped up tightly, so Mom would not have to worry or really do much of anything. He just forgot. Alzheimer is a cruel, insidious disease that slowly but surely destroys your brain. I know he TRIED to do everything right. But he waited just a little bit too long.

If the former head of the trust department can make a mistake like that, it’s easy to see how those of us who do not live and breathe estate planning can overlook things. Mom’s trust officer estimates it will be a year before she sees that life insurance money. She’s fortunate that she doesn’t actually need it to live on. But Dad would be terribly disappointed that his plan didn’t go quite as expected.

I wanted to write about this because I know many people who have no estate plans at all. They think about it. They intend to get to it. And then one day it’s too late. Or they get married or divorced. Life changes. Your estate plan has to keep up. My own brother has a small life insurance policy, and despite being divorced for many years now, just hasn’t gotten around to changing his beneficiary from his ex-wife to his three sons.

You’re really never too young to have an estate plan, and it need not be a terribly costly thing to have a will and a trust drawn up. There are even “do it yourself” health care proxies and many other such forms. Remember, your estate plan isn’t for YOU, it’s for those you love that you leave behind. Don’t leave them any surprises that make life difficult.

Your Compass Capital Trusted Financial Advisor can help you find and work with the appropriate professionals to get your estate plan started, or get your plan updated if it’s time.

I’ll close this with the two words that embody who my father was, words most of you will recognize— Semper Fidelis.

Richard Scheide with the loves of his life