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20Apr
Thinking About Having a ‘Green’ Funeral? Here’s What to Know
Issues of Aging

Here’s an interesting article from the New York Times.

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500

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12Jan
The Psychology of Change
Issues of Aging

Credit for many of the ideas shared in this blog goes to Whitney Johnson. Johnson was interviewed for the January 2018 Insurance NewsNet Magazine. Her thoughts appear in an article called “The Success Curve of Disruption.”

Johnson states that one of the reasons it’s so hard for people to deal with disruption/change is because it seems very unpredictable at a very basic level. Johnson sites work done by Everett Rogers in 1962. Rogers created “the S-curve” to gauge how quickly an innovation would be adopted. Johnson believes that S-curve is valid today and has pointed out seven steps that anyone can take to deal successfully with change in our lives.

Here’s a brief comment on each of the seven steps:

  1. Take the right risks: This is an essential and fundamental step to mastering change.
  2. Play to your distinctive strengths: focus most of your time and energy on what you naturally do well that other people around you do not do well.
  3. Embrace constraints: people are successful not despite, but because of, their constraints. The law of physics says that we need friction. We must have friction to climb a mountain, to drive a car, and to climb the “S-Curve of Change”.
  4. Battle entitlement: rather than getting too comfortable with our current situation, a key question to ask ourselves is, “what could I be doing differently?” By doing, we choose to create necessary and desirable change in our lives.
  5. Step back to grow: Johnson suggests that “a way to get ourselves to step back to grow is to recognize that there really is no such thing as standing still. If we’re not moving forward, we’re actually moving backward.”
  6. Give failure its due: we must get rid of the shame that we sometimes feel when things don’t work out, because when we allow a mistake to become a referendum on us, our identity-the core of who we are-that’s when we lose. It’s the feeling of shame that limits change. Johnson suggests that “it’s shame that limits moving forward; it’s actually not failure.”
  7. Be discovery driven: this is the willingness to take a step forward, gather feedback, and adapt.

Now, for the good news… Johnson says that we do not need to master each one of these seven steps to be successful. Rather, she says discover which of the seven attributes/attitudes you do naturally and well. Then, “lean into using them when it comes to change.”

If you would enjoy knowing more about this topic, please consider Whitney Johnson’s book, Disrupt Yourself.

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500

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24May
What the Worldwide Aging Population Means for Women: Part 3
Health Care Costs

The first two parts of this blog provided the information supporting the fact that women face an unfair disadvantage in terms of planning for a successful retirement.

If you’ve not yet read parts one and two of this blog, please take a few moments to do so.

Here are the action steps that women can take to help prepare themselves for healthcare and retirement costs.

  1. Tell your story and expect to be heard and honored. You and your planning needs are unique.  You deserve the opportunity to “share your story as well as your hopes, fears and dreams”.

Regardless of your current life experience and financial knowledge, you deserve to be listened to without judgment.

You deserve to have all of your questions answered honestly and completely.

You deserve transparency around fees, commissions, and any other form of advisor compensation.

  1. Create a plan and follow it. Again, this is “your plan”.  It needs to be designed specifically for you to get you from “where you are to where you want to be”.
  1. Invest with appropriate risk level. Again, your investment portfolio needs to be designed specifically for you and what it is you want to accomplish.
  1. If you are of a pre-retirement age, be prepared to save aggressively to meet your goals.
  1. If you are already retired, then the allocation of your investment portfolio may be even more critical because you may no longer have the capacity to continue to save to reach your retirement goals.
  1. Be sure you understand how programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and employer-sponsored retirement plans can best be coordinated for maximum results.
  1. Consider products such as life insurance with long-term care riders, products that are designed to create guaranteed lifetime income in retirement, products that are designed to create income tax savings, and anything else that may be appropriate to help you reach financial peace of mind.
  1. Once your plan is in place, be sure to continue with annual conversations with your team of advisors.

As you can see, planning done well is complex and involves the integration of both programs, products and planning.

Do you remember the old Greyhound bus slogan, “Go Greyhound and Leave the Driving to Us”? 

It is suggested that the new slogan might be “Keep Texting and Leave the Driving to Us!”

Whether you find yourself familiar with the first slogan or relate more to the new slogan, we invite you to a conversation at Resonate.  Regardless of your age, our motto is to help you define and discover what Richness of Life means to you.  Then, it is our job to help create the pathway for you to experience this desired destination.

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500

 

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19May
What the Worldwide Aging Population Means for Women: Part 2
Health Care Costs

In the first part of this three-part blog, we talked about why the U.S. demographics of an aging society present more of a challenge for women than for men.

Here are some additional thoughts for your consideration:

In part one, we suggested that the fact that women still tend to outlive men by 3 to 5 years definitely contributes to the financial challenges that women face in retirement.

Here is a chart that supports that information:

The second reason that women face an uneven challenge is because we still experience a disadvantage in the work place.  In addition to the fact that women are still more likely than men to leave the workforce intermittently, we also know that women are more likely to hold lower- wage and part-time jobs, both of which are detrimental to funding future retirement.

So what can women do about this?  That will be the focus of part three in this series.

If you’ve already read enough, please contact us now.  Otherwise, please be sure to read part three.

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500

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11May
What the Worldwide Aging Population Means for Women: Part 1
Health Care Costs

In his annual letter to shareholders, BlackRock’s Larry Fink shares these thoughts on April 10, 2017.

“The graying of the population in developed countries is without precedent in human history.

While most developing countries outside of China can look forward to a demographic tailwind for many years, developed countries are rapidly aging.”

 

 

(1)

“According to estimates by the United Nations between 2015 and 2030, the number of people in the world aged 60 years or over is projected to grow by 56%, from 901 million to 1.4 billion.  The number of people aged 80 years or over, the “oldest old” persons, is growing even faster. Projections indicate that in 2050 the oldest old will number 434 million, having more than tripled in number since 2015, when there were 125 million people over age 80.”

If you happen to be female, the situation is even worse.  For decades to come, women’s life expectancy on average will continue to be 3 to 5 years longer than that for men.  This results in higher healthcare expenses in addition to coping with inflation for a longer period of time. (2)

If you are age 50+ and in relatively good health, please do not wait any longer to contact us!

We will work with you to determine what you need in the way of income and assets to help assure a successful retirement.  Then, we will work with you to create a plan to fulfill that goal.

Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®
Resonate, Inc.
(513) 605-2500

 

Source:
(1) World Bank
(2) “Missed Opportunities” by Sue Watt, Morningstar April/May 2017
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28Mar
What Keeps You Up at Night?
Blogs / Articles
There can be many answers to the question ranging from “my health, my kids, my grandkids, our currently divided country, how to afford the cost of education, the rising cost of health care”, to name only a few.  I want to share an interview with Richard Orlando.

Orlando is CEO of Legacy Capitals, and Ned Dane of the Oppenheimer Family of Funds asks the questions.

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14Mar
HSA Account Owners Beware!
Health Care Costs

The interaction among employer-sponsored health plans, Medicare and health savings accounts (HSAs) is increasingly complex.

Many Americans become eligible for Medicare at age 65.

The exception to the rule is if someone is 65 and still covered under his or her own employer-sponsored health care or that of a spouse.

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27Jan
A Physician’s Perspective on Aging
Issues of Aging

Regardless of age, most Americans are concerned about the aging process – either for themselves or for a loved one.

Resonate shares your concerns.  I recently read an interesting article called “6 Warning Signs of Financial Decline and Better Health While Aging” by Leslie Kernisan, MD.  I thought she made some important points and hope you find value on the following thoughts.

Dr. Kernisan begins by citing a study from the National Endowment for Financial Education, which was covered in the New York Times.  She begins her article by sharing the key warning signs of financial decline from this study.

They are:

  • Taking longer to complete everyday financial tasks
  • Reduced attention to details in financial documents
  • Decline in everyday math skills
  • Decreased understanding of financial concepts
  • Difficulty identifying risks in a financial opportunity

For each of these warning signs, the New York Times lists several specific examples (e.g. taking longer than usual to complete a check register).  If you’ve had any concerns about an older person’s financial abilities, I highly recommend you use this list as a guide.

It can be found here.

Now, here are five important things Dr. Kernisan adds that we need to know about aging and financial decline.

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11Jan
Money… From Source of Stress to Valued Resource
Intergenerational Planning

Money… for many of us….is a complex, controversial and sometimes competitive topic.  While each generation has its distinct challenges, money can also be the number one stressor for individuals, couples, and families.

In this blog, I explain how each generation relates to money, how money stresses the generations, and offer solutions to the crushing stress factor.

Let’s begin with the World War II Generation or those born between the years of 1925 and 1942.

For many in this generation, also called “The Silent Generation”, money was associated with the deep scars of scarcity created by the Great Depression.  Therefore, the emphasis was on saving and always spending less than they earned.  This generation was largely content with keeping one house for as long as possible and keeping cars and other possessions until they wore out.  The primary money motivator for the WW II Generation was to replace scarcity with “having enough” or sufficiency.

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13Dec
Social Security Myth
Issues of Aging

soc-securityThere seems to be an increasing amount of misinformation circulating in regard to the Social Security system. The following information is sourced from: www.ssa.gov.

The purpose in writing this blog is to correct this myth:

The Social Security System is going to be bankrupt by 2034 (or any other year you may have heard).

Here’s why this statement is not true:

People who are employed will continue to contribute to Social Security from each and every paycheck.

In fact, we now know that those earning over $118,500 a year will pay Social Security taxes up to $127,200 of annual earnings.  This represents a 7.3% increase in the “maximum taxable earnings amount” from 2016 to 2017.

What is true is that the 2016 Social Security Board of Trustees report does anticipate the program will exhaust its $2.8 trillion-plus in existing spare cash by the year 2034.

What this means is the Social Security administration would pay out in benefits what it receives in payroll taxes.

Without other changes to the Social Security system, the trustees anticipate this could lead to a 21% reduction in benefits across the board.  Of course, there are many options that could be implemented between now and then to create better results for those receiving a Social Security check.

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