FEB. 1, 2020
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Great to Gone

By Jonathan Clements

ON THIS DAY in 1888, George Cope died at age 65. Two days later, he was buried in Anfield Cemetery in Liverpool, England, where his younger brother Thomas had been laid to rest 40 months earlier.

Together, in 1848, the two brothers had launched a successful tobacco company, which would be acquired more than a century later by Gallaher Group, then a major U.K. multinational tobacco producer. Gallaher itself would subsequently be bought by Japan Tobacco.

At the time of his death, newspapers described George Cope as one of Britain’s richest men. His estate was valued at £274,923—equal to some $47 million, based on today’s exchange rate and U.K. inflation over the intervening 132 years.

Why my interest in Cope? He was my great-great-grandfather.

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BELOW ARE the six articles published by HumbleDollar since last week's newsletter:
  • Want to avoid Medicare premium surcharges? James McGlynn discusses IRMAA, the scourge of high-income retirees—and how to keep her at bay.
  • Yes, the SECURE Act makes it less financially attractive to bequeath your IRA to your children or grandchildren. But don't expect a lot of sympathy from Richard Quinn.
  • "Many already worry about our society’s inability to manage money sensibly," notes Rick Connor. "When you couple that with easy access to sports betting, what are the odds this will turn out well?"
  • Many financial experts recommend holding bonds in a tax-deferred account. Dan Danford thinks that’s kind of dumb.
  • "The best yardstick for success isn’t whether you beat a benchmark or your neighbor," writes Adam Grossman. "Instead, the best measure is whether you meet your goals—while sleeping at night."
  • Want a comfortable retirement? Don't ignore inflation, forget to rebalance, take Social Security too soon or spend too much early in retirement, warns Rick Pendykoski.
This newsletter, a product of Jonathan Clements LLC, contains the opinions and ideas of its author. It is distributed with the understanding that the author is not engaged in rendering legal, financial or other professional services. If a reader requires expert assistance or legal advice, a competent professional should be consulted. While the author has endeavored to ensure that this newsletter is timely and accurate, the author makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents. The author specifically disclaims any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this newsletter.
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