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No Matter the Age, There’s No Place Like Home

For many, — hopefully most — “home” represents security and acceptance. A place to retreat when things don’t go your way; a place to celebrate when they do.

Not long ago, the holidays were the one time of the year when the family reconvened to spend time together under one roof. Now, it’s not uncommon for relatives to share a home year-round. Gone are the days when a son or daughter moved on to college or a career at the age of 18, only to return on special November and December occasions.

For better or worse, boomers are growing accustomed to welcoming back grown children, as well as seniors seeking care from a familiar face.

Retirees typically prefer to live in the comfort of their own home as long as possible, but the best alternative may be moving back in with adult children.

As your financial professional, we focus on helping clients feel confident in their finances now and in the future, and, if necessary, develop contingency plans, because even the best-laid plans can go awry. If we can help you with your retirement income plan, please contact us for a meeting.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “The ‘elder orphans’ of the Baby Boom generation,” at CNN, May 18, 2015.]

Most people need more than just a retirement strategy — they need an aging plan. An aging plan has two components. First, a place to live that is suitable for seniors, such as a one-story home, preferably with large doorways. The second component is access to people willing to offer help when needed.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Retirement: Are Tiny Homes One Big Fix for Senior Housing?” at The Ticker Tape, Oct. 30, 2015.]

While moving in with adult children certainly meets these criteria, there are alternatives. Cooperative communities have been popping up all around the country via shared homes, clusters of homes, condominium and apartment communities.

These communities give residents a network of neighbors who can check in on you, take you grocery shopping or drive you to a doctor’s appointment. Not surprisingly, the housing arrangement seen on the hit TV show, “The Golden Girls” is becoming more prevalent, as retirees pool resources to look after each other and become less isolated.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Meet the new Golden Girls (and guys): How boomers are coming up with creative living arrangements,” at The Globe and Mail, Nov. 12, 2015.]

Whether you prefer to live alone, with family members or in a cooperative community, we’re here to help make that a possibility financially. If you have any questions about where you stand now and in the future, give us a call.

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives.

The information contained in this material is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions.

If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

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Digital Evolution Changes Way We Shop, Interact

The Internet, much like radio and television before it, has changed modern society and the way we interact with each other. It’s even changed the way companies market products to consumers.

Social media has essentially redistributed power from brands to individuals thanks to immediate and evergreen feedback that customers can write about the products they purchase and use.

In a way, we’ve reverted back to the days when people relied more heavily on recommendations from friends and family to help decide what to buy. Now, no matter how slick a marketing campaign or sales pitch, people can perform due diligence to help get the real scoop before making a purchase.

In our business, we rely on referrals from clients, friends and family as well. When it comes to your finances, you must be able to trust your financial professional.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Imagine There’s No Marketing … It’s Easy If You Try,” at Knowledge@Wharton, Nov. 13, 2015.]

Computers, tablets and cellphones are now conduits for mass quantities of information, which can make it even more difficult to make decisions. Because there is so much greater choice now, you can’t always get recommendations from friends for something you want to buy.

However, you can tap the resources of social media — namely point-of-purchase reviews by strangers who nonetheless have already purchased the exact same product you’re considering.

According to recent research, 90 percent of consumers have read online reviews to determine the quality of a local business, and 39 percent do so on a regular basis. On many websites, merchants provide the opportunity for customers to leave both good and bad reviews about their products.

Be wary, however, of a merchant that has only good reviews — it’s possible they may be filtering out negative input or submitting their own positive remarks. If you want feedback but there is none available, perform a Google search to see if there are reviews for the product at other sites. Once you’ve read them, you can always go back and purchase the item from the original site.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “88% Of Consumers Trust Online Reviews As Much As Personal Recommendations,” from Search Engine Land, July 17, 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “5 Predictions about the Growing Power of Online Customer Reviews,” from Entrepreneur, Aug. 28, 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Amazon sues more than 1,000 sellers of ‘fake’ product reviews,” from CNN, Oct. 19, 2015.]

People do more than read, shop and chat online. For example, 25 percent of college students have taken at least one class online, and more than twice as many now take a class online as live on campus.

One of the positives of online educational opportunities is that it can help solve the problem of student debt. It used to be that the only way for many students to get a college education was to take out a student loan. Now online classes can be both less expensive and offer the flexibility for students to get an education while holding down a job, caring for children or living in a rural area.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “One in Four Students Takes Online Classes,” from Social Media Today, Nov. 12, 2015.]

Then, of course, there are the downsides of social connections. A recent survey found that 60 percent of Americans check their email while on vacation and 25 percent become restless and unwell after just three days without access to email. In fact, doctors have estimated 11 million Americans suffer from “email addiction.”

One way to downplay the tendency to constantly check your phone is to turn off email and other notifications from social media sites. If you are at work or in the company of children or elderly parents (or anyone, really), allowing your focus to shift every time a new email arrives takes up a lot of energy to both respond and then get back to the task or conversation at hand.

Not only can this multitasking make you less effective, it sends the message to the people right in front of you that they are a lower priority.

As for checking emails first thing in the morning, experts suggest waiting at least half an hour to an hour after you get to work before checking your inbox. That’s because the brain is generally most alert, most focused and most creative in the first part of the morning.

If you waste this mental acuity on responding to emails, you’ll be less sharp when you get to tasks that would benefit more from it.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Five ways to use mindfulness to manage your email,” from Knowledge@Wharton, Nov. 13, 2015.]

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives.

The information contained in this material is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions.

If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

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Making the Most of Life After Work

Most working folks go through the daily grind week after week, counting down the years to retirement.

But before you get too excited about walking away from your 9 to 5, consider the alternative lifestyle that comes with not going to work.

Whether your working years are winding down or already behind you, many retirees will tell you the grass is almost always greener. With that in mind, there are two important ways to prepare yourself for retirement: (1) financially, and (2) finding something to do once your “spare time” becomes all the time.

When it comes to the retirement income planning aspect of retirement, we’ve got your back. In fact, if your post-retirement plans involve travel, an entrepreneurial venture or another expensive consideration, we may be able to help you there, too.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Rethinking Work,” at The New York Times, Aug. 28, 2015.]

For some, retirement may come sooner than expected. If you’re in a good spot financially, this may not be too detrimental, but keep in mind you lose more than just income once you stop working. Health insurance goes out the door, and if you have to begin Social Security early your checks will be smaller as well.

In the U.S. today, the average retirement age is about 61 years, but a lot of people don’t have much choice in the matter. Some people are forced out of their job and unable to find a new one, while others are forced to retire due to health issues or caregiving responsibilities. One study revealed that almost half of workers retire earlier than planned.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Is The Risk of Forced Retirement Rising? How To Enter Retirement On Your Own Terms,” at Forbes, March 5, 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “More Than 1 Million Baby Boomers Are Secretly Unemployed,” at AOL Jobs, May 3, 2013.]

Meanwhile, there’s one place that has trouble getting its workers to retire: College campuses. Professors who have tenure can keep working as long as they are able, and since many are driven by the intellectual questions posed in academia, they can’t imagine doing anything else.

A recent survey found that 72 percent of university and college faculty plan to work beyond age 65. Sixty percent say they’ll work past 70, and 15 percent of them plan to stay until they’re 80.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “On Campus, Older Faculty Keep on Keepin’ On,” at NPR, Oct. 9, 2015.]

Whether you retire early or late, unexpectedly or on your own terms, everyone wants to be assured that when their working years are over, they’ll have plenty of income waiting for them. As your financial professional, that’s what we’re here for. If you ever have questions about your financial situation, give us a call.

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives.

The information contained in this material is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions.

If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

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Indefatigable Solutions

Some people put off looking into long-term care, either because they think it’s too far down the road or they may not need it altogether.

Despite research showing people are living longer than ever, only 22 percent of respondents to a recent survey believed they would need long-term care in the future, while about one-third thought that their parents, spouses and other family members would need it.

In reality, experts predict that approximately 58 percent of women and 44 percent of men will need long-term care during their lifetimes. Ironically, the healthier you are today, the more likely you’ll need long-term care in the future. That’s because if you’re fortunate enough to live a long, healthy life, you’re more likely to eventually experience the physical and mental effects of old age.

Perhaps part of this denial is simply that people don’t want to pay insurance premiums for something they may never use. However, we have some alternative strategies for how to help afford medical care as part of your retirement income plan in the event that it is needed. Schedule an appointment today, and we’ll help you find a strategy that can fit your particular situation.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Long-Term Care: How Big a Risk?” from Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, November 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to read the report, “The Next Era of Palliative Care,” from The Journal of the American Medical Association, Oct. 20, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “New Products Address Shortcomings of Long-Term Care Insurance,” from Bank Investment Consultant, Sept. 1, 2015.]

Here’s another thing that that changes as we get older: We stop asking questions. One researcher observed that, “A child asks 300 questions a day. By middle school, the number is down to practically none.” Obviously, we don’t know all the answers by sixth grade. Instead, the study concluded that our natural curiosity is trained out of us. Parents, teachers and employers want correct answers, not questions, so we lose our natural inquisitiveness to question why things are the way they are — like why the correct answer is the correct answer.

By the same token, some researchers say that creativity is inherent in most, if not all, children. As adults, continuing to exercise our creative instincts can make us more creative. Not using them causes our creativity to become latent.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Companies Value Curiosity but Stifle It Anyway,” from Harvard Business Review, Oct. 21, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Can Creativity Be Taught?” from Knowledge@Wharton, April 27, 2014.]

Albert Einstein once said, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.” This is often true of problem solving. Sometimes we must assimilate what we have learned, mix in a little creativity and resourcefulness, add some new knowledge and data, and transform it into a new strategy tailored for our specific needs.

That’s what we try to do for each of our clients. Your wisdom, our knowledge of the industry and a little imagination can work wonders.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “This Infographic Depicts 9 Domains of Intelligence,” from Gizmodo, July 24, 2015.]

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives.

The information contained in this material is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions.

If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

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What could your future look like? How today’s societal trends are shaping tomorrow’s retirements

If your picture of the typical retirement consists of a retiree spending her days strolling the grounds of her pricey assisted living complex with her spouse of forty years, today’s picture of the modern retirement may surprise you.

While many seniors enjoy growing old with their spouse, the marriage statistics for younger generations make that plan appear less likely. According to recent studies, in 2014, for the first time ever, there were more unmarried American adults than married ones. Additionally, 20 percent of American adults have never been married (a record high), and experts predict that as many as 25 percent of millennials will never get married.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Singles nation: Why so many Americans are unmarried,” at Christian Science Monitor, June 14, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Why 25% of Millennials Will Never Get Married,” at Time, Sept. 14, 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Why more women choose not to marry,” at CNN, Oct. 15, 2014.]

Some experts attribute financial constraints and the slow job market to the reduced interest in marriage. In fact, some women would rather not marry at all than marry someone unemployed or with poor job prospects.

The financial struggles of today’s retirees have led some to consider alternative living arrangements that benefit them both economically and socially.

Several community programs are being developed to utilize the time and talents of older adults to address social problems, such as providing care for overwrought single parents, foster parents or adults with developmental disabilities.

Communities that enable people to support each other are also forming. For example, at the Hope Meadows neighborhood in Rantoul, Illinois, seniors who move into the community volunteer a certain number of hours each week in return for reduced rent, an ideal fit for many widows, empty nesters, retired school teachers, etc., who live on a fixed income.

This model of care provides a synergistic support system. For example, a young single mother drives a retired woman to her doctors’ appointments and takes her to the grocery store. In return, the older woman looks after her first-grader after school.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “A Community Built around Older Adults Caring for Adoptive Families,” at NPR, Aug. 4, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Who Will Care for America’s Seniors?” at The Atlantic, April 27, 2015.]

Perhaps you’ve put off thinking about how to plan for your own long-term care situation. If you’re single, this may be a big concern; if you’re married, you may want to consider a contingency plan should one or both of you need an extra hand as you get older.

One of our focuses is helping people create retirement income strategies that can include different types of housing options. After all, aging at home doesn’t necessarily mean staying in your own home. Sometimes, downsizing or moving to a shared community, such as Hope Meadows, can offer both financial and social living opportunities.

[CLICK HERE to read the report, “A Profile of Older Americans: 2014,” at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources, 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “The ‘elder orphans’ of the Baby Boom generation,” at CNN, May 18, 2015.]

A proper retirement income strategy is an important part of enjoying your retirement to the fullest. If you ever have questions about your financial situation, we’re here to answer the call.

The information contained in this material is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions.

If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

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Values of Adulthood: A True Cause and Effect

Sometimes it’s interesting to think back to how our upbringing determined how we developed our specific set of ideals. After all, the situations and experiences we faced early in life can have a big impact on the paths we chose in adulthood.

Our earliest impressions of the world are an extension of the behaviors we observed and the lessons our parents taught us. As we grow older, our life experiences often align and reconfirm the validity of those early influences.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Do Children Just Take Their Parents’ Political Beliefs? It’s Not That Simple,” at The Atlantic, May 1, 2014.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Who Had Richer Parents, Doctors or Artists?” at NPR, March 18, 2014.]

One aspect of growing up is finding people who share your same values, and this can create strong relationships. As financial professionals, we live and work in the same community as many of our clients, and in many cases, share the same values in terms of work ethic, prudence and money management. Having a similar belief system as our clients has enabled us to develop strong, long-term relationships.

As your financial professional, our goal is the same as yours: To help put you in the best position possible to have an optimal retirement.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “More Students, Secular but Feeling a Call, Turn to Divinity Schools,” at The New York Times, Oct. 16, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Race, guns, culture and change in S.C.,” at ABCnews.com, Oct. 16, 2015.]

While we can work together to monitor your financial situation, other aspects of life are left to chance and perhaps even determined before birth.

For instance, a recent study revealed that people with summer birthdays tend to have a higher birth weight and grow taller than those with winter birthdays. The contributing factor appears to be that their pregnant mothers were exposed to more sunshine in summer — and its inherent vitamin D, which has a measurable effect on childhood development and health.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “People born in summer are taller than those with winter birthdays,” at The Telegraph, Oct. 12, 2015.]

Another interesting cause and effect: Economic downturns tend to produce better teachers. When jobs are scarce, there is an increase in highly-educated, well-qualified people seeking teaching jobs. Normally, the pool of people who want to become teachers is much smaller, in part because pay for teachers is relatively low compared to other professions.

While there are obvious downsides to growing up in a time of economic turmoil, quality teaching is one of the most positive influences a youth can experience.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Why recessions produce good teachers,” at World Economic Forum, Aug. 6, 2015.]

On the flip side, sometimes children can have an influence on us. Anyone with children understands how priorities change after entering parenthood. As they’re exposed to other stimulus in the world, the beliefs and values they develop can in turn have an impact on how their parents see the world.

The relationship between parent and child comes full circle, as parents impart their values on youth, and vice versa.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “CEOs with Daughters Run More Socially Responsible Firms: An Interview with Henrik Cronqvist,” at Harvard Business Review, November 2015.]

It just goes to show you that while wisdom and experience are invaluable, we are never too old to learn something new — and no one is too young to teach us.

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives.

The information contained in this material is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions.

If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference. 

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Talkin’ ’Bout My Generation

A generation gap exists whenever different age groups interact, but never are the differences more evident than when parents are in the process of raising teenagers.

There are a plethora of factors that differentiate generations — communication mediums, interests, values, work ethic — and the list goes on and on. Psychologists say the divide between parent and teenager is a natural progression to help both prepare for their eventual separation: Teenagers rebel toward their independence; parents start looking forward to an empty nest.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “When Parents Get Angry at Their Adolescent,” from Psychology Today, June 15, 2015.]

Marketers have conducted exhaustive research differentiating and defining the generations that co-exist today, from the greatest generation all the way down to Generations Y and Z. Despite all our differences, one common thread is that every era has some kind of financial dilemma, such as the 2008 recession’s effects on adults and the student debt millennials now face.

Whatever your current financial concerns are, our team of professionals is here to answer any questions you might have.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Market crash of 2008 still affects Gen Xers, boomers,” from BenefitsPro, Sept. 22, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Student Debt Squeezing Parents and Children Simultaneously,” from ABCnews.com, Oct. 5, 2015.]

One positive of having distinct generations is that everyone brings something unique to the table. For example, baby boomers have had a clear influence on both the economy and culture over the last 40+ years and continue to drive new innovations and industries with vivacity and longevity.

[CLICK HERE to read the report, “Generational Identity: The Power of ‘Boomer,’” from Pew Research Center, Sept. 2, 2015.]

The post-baby boomers who make up Generation X tend to get lost amid the headlines that surround the more populous boomer and millennial demographics, but the fact is, many Gen Xers have had their own unique financial experiences as a result of the recession and real estate decline that hit just as they were nearing their mid-career earning potential.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Most Americans have less than $1,000 in savings,” from Marketwatch.com, Oct. 8, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “When It’s Time to Cut Financial Support to Your Parents or Adult Kids,” from Time.com, Aug. 10 2015.]

The millennials, now just as populous as boomers, are now a coveted market in the consumer world, and the teens of Generation Z are nipping at their heels.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Millennials Outnumber Baby Boomers and Are Far More Diverse, Census Bureau Reports,” from the U.S. Census Bureau, June 25, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Millennials on Steroids,” from Knowledge@Wharton, Sept. 28, 2015.]

We make generalizations when it comes to generations, and each does have its own set of circumstances, but sooner or later, everyone can use the advice of an objective professional to help create a financial strategy and stay on track to meeting their goals. We’re fortunate that you chose us to provide you this guidance, and we’re available to discuss your future whenever you feel the need.

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives.

The information contained in this material is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions.

If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference. 

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Feeling Like a Fish Out of Water

As the 2016 election approaches, immigration is being brought up more than ever.

But the issue is nothing new, and will still be around long after the next U.S. President is elected.

Some have viewed immigration as a concern since the French, Spanish, Dutch and Swedish settled in America back in the late 16th century, while others argue none of us would be here in the first place if it wasn’t for immigration.

We’ve all had a first day at a new school or job where we had to wonder how we would be treated and if we would fit in. Imagine that predicament if you moved to a place where everyone around you had a different native tongue.

On occasion, consumers unfamiliar with the world of finance may feel like everyone’s speaking a whole new language. Our job as your financial professional is to clear this confusion and help ensure your financial strategy is suited to your unique needs.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Immigration Timeline,” from The Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “U.S. Immigration Before 1965,” from History.com, 2015.]

Like any other time in our nation’s history, viewpoints on immigration are all over the spectrum. Today’s presidential candidates have proposed interesting ways to deal with immigration, from building a wall with a big, welcoming gate, to tracking people the way UPS tracks packages.

[CLICK HERE to view the article and video, “Trump Gets Down to Business on 60 Minutes,” from CBSnews.com, Sept. 27, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Ben Carson Immigration Reform: Let Undocumented Immigrants Work on Farms,” from International Business Times, Sept. 16, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Where Do the Presidential Candidates Stand on Immigration?” from Bloomberg, May 6, 2015.]

Some economic analysts offer a different perspective. For example, in response to a comment made by Donald Trump early in his campaign, one scholar reveals that the immigrant crime rate in the U.S. is very low compared to native people.

Many also believe that more immigration is necessary to replace the tens of millions of retiring baby boomers over the next two decades, and that it is a tremendous driver of economic growth. In fact, many of Silicon Valley’s startups in the 1990s were founded by immigrant entrepreneurs.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “The Immigration Boogeyman: Separating Fact from Fiction,” from Knowledge@Wharton, Sept. 30, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “The Immigration Act That Inadvertently Changed America,” from The Atlantic, Oct. 2, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Modern Immigration Wave Brings 59 Million to U.S., Driving Population Growth and Change Through 2065,” from Pew Research Center, Sept. 28, 2015.]

It takes more than luck and courage to try something new and succeed, yet for hundreds of years, millions of immigrants have done just that. The same can be said for deciding on the strategies that can help you feel confident in your family’s future.

For many people, trying to navigate the financial world can make you feel like you’re not in your element — a fish out of water. Luckily, it’s our world, and we welcome the opportunity to help you make decisions that can benefit you now and for years to come.

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives.

The information contained in this material is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions.

If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference. 

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You Might Be Overdue for a Leadership Shakeup

In September, a celebrated visit from Pope Francis made quite an impression on Americans. During a political era when discussions of both church and state are increasingly divisive, somehow the Argentinian leader of the Catholic Church grabbed attention from every end of the spectrum for his message of unity and cooperation.

In many ways, Pope Francis has transformed papal leadership with his willingness to depart from traditional norms or expectations. From his access to the public — even mastering social media — to his outward demonstration of the value he places on all people, which includes inviting the homeless to eat with him and empowering his subordinates with decision-making authority, his leadership style alone has impressed believers and nonbelievers alike.

An effective leadership style can make all the difference, and when it comes to your personal finances, we hope you’ll find that we lead by giving you the information you need to take charge of your financial future.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Pope Francis, in Congress, Pleads for Unity on World’s Woes,” from The New York Times, Sept. 24, 2015.]

Even the United States is grappling with the issue of leadership as the two biggest parties gear up for the 2016 presidential race. Certainly, there are various types of leadership styles, with varying levels of success. As American voters consider who will sit in the White House next, it’s important to recognize, too, that a style of leadership that may have been very effective in one circumstance may not resonate with all constituents; some may respond well while others do not.

We see this again and again with different critiques of leaders, such as Carly Fiorina’s role as chief executive officer of Hewlett Packard, and the soon-to-be-former Speaker of the House, John Boehner.

Whether these critiques are fair or not, it is undeniable that, at least for the Republican voter base, a leadership shakeup, or a departure from “business as usual,” is attractive. The top polling candidates for the GOP — Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson — are newcomers to politics. None have held public office, which is traditionally a “must” on the resume of the top elected public official in the country. Whether their current traction in the race is sustainable or not, their lack of experience in the public sector has helped rather than harmed the three candidates in the polls, reflecting a growing reconsideration of what “leadership” means.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Carly Fiorina’s Legacy as CEO of Hewlett Packard,” from Harvard Business Review, Sept. 25, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Boehner departs as least-popular speaker in three decades,” from The Washington Post, Sept. 25, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Poll: Fiorina rockets to No. 2 behind Trump in GOP field,” from CNN Politics, Sept. 21, 2015.]

You can also work on a personal leadership shakeup, regardless of whether you are responsible for several people, a business, a family or just yourself and Bubbles the goldfish. The qualities being repeated in headlines and talking head soundbites can be equally effective within your own life, helping you accomplish your own goals. For example, take some of the leadership qualities of Pope Francis:

  • Accessibility — Be available to loved ones, family, friends and colleagues.
  • Compassion — Show others respect, no matter their circumstances.
  • Empowerment — Vet well and trust others to make decisions on your behalf.
  • Courage — Sometimes the greatest risk is to speak up or act on your convictions, even when you know you’ll go against the grain, but it is better to be authentic.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “5 Leadership Lessons from Pope Francis,” from Fast Company, Sept. 25, 2015.]

Applying these qualities in your own life might help you to feel more involved or more empowered to act. Remember, your actions today are the beginning of your legacy and your future. And as always, if you are ready to act in the area of finances, we are here to help.

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives.

The information contained in this material is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions.

If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference. 

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Young Adults Left Waiting on Post-Recession Employment

Underemployment is a problem that has been particularly difficult on recent college graduates, but its effects are felt by all demographics.

Although the unemployment rate is down, you could say we have the most well-educated bartenders and busboys in history. The World Economic Forum found that most college-educated workers took jobs in low-earning industries between 2000 and 2014, and wages of young college graduates are 2.5 percent lower than they were in 2000.

This has an impact on more than just graduates and the parents they may be moving back in with. Unemployed and underemployed people spend less on consumables. In turn, low demand for goods and services leads to lower growth, and companies that aren’t growing don’t create more jobs.

As a whole, the nation’s