In November2014-11-12 08.54.24, I’ve helped the Duxbury Council on Aging deliver the financial educational portion of the Aging Mastery Program, or AMP for short. AMP is a national program that aims to help millions of older adults take key steps to improve their welfare and add stability to their lives. AMP focuses on health, stronger financial security and overall well-being.

Joanne Moore, Angela Sinnott and the team at the Duxbury Senior Center run awesome programs. I was grateful to be part of it. Every Wednesday morning for three weeks in a row, we met at the Duxbury Senior Center. We started with a great breakfast and then dug in to our subject matter. We discussed the usual financial topics: budgeting, financial planning, estate planning, insurances, stocks and bonds. Last week, we spent the entire morning discussing fraud schemes and identity theft issues. We learned how to protect ourselves. We had a special guest, Sgt. Kristin Golden from the Duxbury Police Department, come to brief us on some the latest scams working their way around our district. There’s scary stuff out there, so be on guard!

For me, it was a rewarding and fun experience. Even though I was delivering the content, I still had a tremendous opportunity to learn from the attendees. I was fortunate to have a room full of citizens with a lifetime of experiences to learn from. I heard so many times, “We need to teach this stuff to younger people” or “I wish I knew this when I was younger.”

My new challenge to everyone is to get financially fit. Modest changes will produce big results. The best way to start is to get educated. I almost never endorse specific products, people or things. However, there’s a new book hitting the shelves that I believe will have a major impact. Tony Robbins, the 7-foot tall motivational speaking giant has released a new book titled, “MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom.” The book challenges conventional wisdom. It will also give you a straightforward action plan.

Robbins took four years to write the book. He immersed himself in the topic by interviewing 50 of the most influential financial minds in the world. Names like Carl Icahn, Jack Bogle from Vanguard, Charles Schwab and Steve Forbes, to name but a few. Robbins took their best ideas and boiled them down to a seven-step blueprint that is designed to promise financial freedom for people at every stage of life and level of sophistication.

I’m two-thirds through this 600 page financial blockbuster. From what I’ve read so far, Tony Robbins has the uncanny ability to turn the most complex financial concepts into impactful stories that deliver simple steps to get you financially fit. It’s a must read, and I highly recommend it.

I want to wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving. We are truly blessed to be living in this great country. Almost half the world, more than 3 billion people, lives on less than $2.50 a day. Eighty percent of the world lives on less than $10 dollars a day. It only takes $34,000 a year, after taxes, to be counted among the richest 1 percent in the world. Be thankful you live in America, and count your blessings! I am.

Bill Harris is a certified financial planner practitioner. He is a member of the board of directors for the Financial Planning Association of MA and an Ed Slott Elite IRA Advisor. He is a co-founder and principal of WH Cornerstone Investments in Duxbury and Kingston. He can be reached at www.whcornerstone.com or 888.797.9009. – See more at: http://plymouth.wickedlocal.com/article/20141207/News/141209482/?Start=2#sthash.f81ZRov3.dpuf

This article originally ran in the Old Colony Memorial.

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