Don’t Let Holiday Stress Sabotage your Finances

We only have a few weeks left of 2015 and if your calendars are anything like mine the remaining days of the year are filling up fast with parties, bashes, gatherings, celebrations and all manner of holiday events.  As much fun as this time of year can be, it can also be one of the most stressful as we add to our already busy lives tasks like preparing the house for guests, making our favorite foods and finding and wrapping the perfect gifts for each of our loved ones.  If only I would have listened… [read more]
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Uncomfortable Conversations – Part II

As we age, the financial services industry bombards us with invitations to steak dinners and seminars promising to reveal the secrets for protecting our assets from estate taxes, probate expenses and Medicaid laws.  (I get them too!)  But we’re rarely offered any guidance on how to communicate to our family  and friends how we want to live out the rest of our lives, and how we can maintain control over what happens to us when we’re no longer able to live the way we do now. Remember Terri Schiavo?  She was the 41 year… [read more]
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Uncomfortable Conversations – Part I

Uncomfortable Conversations – Part I I don’t like to make people uncomfortable. I became an advisor because I wanted to take care of people – to help them feel safe and financially secure.  Asking questions and raising issues about difficult topics is hard for me, but I do it because it’s one of the most important jobs we do as advisors. One topic none of us is comfortable discussing is the process of growing old and dying.  Intellectually, we know we’ll age and eventually die of something.  But our society is built around denying that… [read more]
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A Difficult Conversation

Last night I learned my father had a Transient Ischemic Attack or TIA, sometimes described as a mini-stroke. He was standing in the driveway, talking to my mother about the mums she had planted, and all of a sudden his speech became gibberish.  He said he felt like he was having an out-of-body experience, because he could see himself talking and couldn’t understand why his words were garbled.  He knew what he was thinking, but it wasn’t coming out. Mom said he looked totally bewildered and scared – which understandably scared her too.  Of… [read more]
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In Case of Emergency – Tips from a Stressful 27 Hours

Stressful events in life are often learning experiences, but they can also be the most life-affirming. Last Wednesday evening my mother headed off to church for a worship committee meeting. Between the parking lot and the church office, she took a severe fall based on the blood they later found on the sidewalk. But it wasn’t initially obvious. She walked into the meeting in progress, was quiet and seemed confused, and it gradually became obvious that something was seriously wrong. On the ride to the hospital, she kept asking why she was in the car,… [read more]
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My Health Care Plan

These days, few topics are as politically charged as healthcare. On October 1st, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act moved to the next stage of implementation with the rollout of the state insurance exchanges, and we’re all waiting to see what impact the Act will have on our personal finances and government spending in the future. Last week I attended a conference in Philadelphia for financial advisors, where the impact of healthcare costs was covered by Dr. Sanford Barth, a professor at Thomas Jefferson University who specializes in health care policy. Based on research… [read more]
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How Do You Want to Die?

(from Seth Godin’s blog dated 6/13/2013. Click here for the original post. Seth is a world renown speaker, entrpreneur and author who has written fourteen bestselling books that have been translated into more than thirty languages. He focuses on the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and, most of all, changing everything.  Check out www.sethgodin.com to learn more.) Let’s assert that you’re almost certainly not going to be the very first person to live forever. Also worth noting that you’re probably going to die of natural causes. The expectations we have for… [read more]
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Worry More!

Chip returned from a recent conference of fee-only financial planners with a new approach to financial concerns. Whether your biggest worries are your personal finances, the direction of the economy or something else, his advice might be to worry more? Watch below to learn more or click here to watch directly on YouTube. [read more]
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A Little Hope for Healthcare?

My younger grandson Ezekiel had a bad cold the week before Christmas, and I was reading to him while his grandpa helped his older brother get ready for bed. He was enjoying the book so much that he looked up at me with a big grin – and then promptly sneezed in my face. I knew I had been hit with a germ bomb. By Christmas Eve, I had a bad upper respiratory infection. I couldn’t get in to see my doctor due to the Christmas holiday, but I had no luck scheduling anything for… [read more]
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Accounting for Health Care

I may sound like a broken record at times, but an effective financial plan goes far beyond investment selection. I was recently quoted in an article for an industry publication on how advisors approach Medicare and health care planning with clients.  I thought the approach we took would be fairly commonplace and somewhat standard for the industry.  Instead, I was shocked to learn less than a third of seniors who utilize financial advisors discuss Medicare.  The article was published on a subscription based site, but the headline and preview of the topic can currently be… [read more]
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