The Peace of Mind Account by Greg Hammond
Generation X & Y
If you were hit with an unexpected expense today how would you pay for it? Do you have money saved up and set aside for unexpected expenses or would you end up charging it to a credit card and then stress and worry about how to pay for it? This is where a Peace of Mind account comes in.
Do you have a Peace of Mind account? If not, you should. A Peace of Mind account or emergency savings account should be the cornerstone of your finances and is the first step in building a strong financial future.
A Peace of Mind account gets its name from the fact that it provides you just that, peace of mind. There aren’t many things in life that can be guaranteed, besides death, taxes, and the fact that unexpected financial events and needs will occur in your life. Whether it is an unforeseen car repair, unexpected health or dental bill, or a sudden job loss, various unforeseen expenses will happen. When they do happen wouldn’t it be nice to have the money set aside in a savings account just for unexpected expenses? This is what a Peace of Mind account is all about. No matter what unexpected expense may come your way, you can calmly address the problem because you have adequately saved money in a secure, liquid and accessible account.Read More
by Thomas Hadley
When you really think about it, “fear” isn’t something you ever want to overcome. Fear is a great ally of ours. If we didn’t have fear, there would be nothing to stop us from jumping off of a 10 story building. It is fear that prevents us from making a foolish error in such a case. It is fear that keeps us from doing something illegal even when we are very upset and not thinking rationally. Of course if you are success minded, you do not live your life “trying not to get into trouble,” but when we are under great stress, we do things that are irrational. So a fear of consequences of foolish action is a safeguard for us.
What we do want to eradicate is being afraid when we should not be. We shouldn’t be afraid to make that phone call to help a loved one that will very likely result in conflict. We shouldn’t be afraid to say “No” when asked to join in on a project when we know it is not the best use of our time. We shouldn’t be afraid to step out and make changes in our lives that are for the best because we are afraid of what our friends and family may think. However, all of these can be a challenge. The question is, “How do we overcome fear in these situations?”Read More
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It’s the excuse I hear most often—I don’t have time to exercise. I know it can be challenging to fit everything into your day, but what else are you making time for where exercise could go? Give yourself a little tough love and realize you are choosing to do something else instead. It’s true. There are people who are as busy as you who are getting ‘er done! And here’s the thing: You don’t have to carve out two hours for a workout—you can get an effective heart-pumping workout that combines cardio and strength training into 30 minutes. Yes, you heard me right. Find 30 minutes in your day and you can change your body.
Research shows that shorter, high-intensity workouts can do more for your health than longer, more leisurely workouts. You can improve your heart health and significantly reduce your risk for metabolic syndrome, a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors, including obesity, high triglycerides, low levels of HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood sugar (http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/10/for-better-heart-health-exercise-harder-not-longer/). Fast-paced walking can bring you more health benefits than a longer, more leisurely stroll, for example. (Of course, moving is always better than sitting on the couch!)Read More
Lack of a Financial Plan
by Greg Hammond
Many people spend more time and care planning their vacations than they spend on their financial and estate planning. They will pore over travel guides and find the best rates online, all in anticipation of a week or two in their future. Probably because of our human impulses, planning for short-term fun can trump long-term gain. With the future uncertain, risks to be managed, a retirement for which we fear we may not have saved enough, and worse yet, death and taxes, many of us understandably lack the requisite enthusiasm and courage to address this area of planning with commitment, energy, and urgency. If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there. To plot a course for a significant legacy, you first need a plan for yourself. Only then will you have the confidence and clarity to plan for others.Read More
By Thomas Hadley
How can we consistently tap into creative genius?
The process is not as difficult as you may think. We have all stumbled across creative genius in our own lives when we have come up with a solution to a problem or developed a life enhancing product or service to bring to the marketplace. The challenge is that these instances of creative genius are few and far between. What if you could do this regularly and at will? Here are some guidelines to help you to do just that.
1. Understand that Creativity is Natural
First, it starts with a mindset. We need to understand that creativity is natural. We all have creativity within us. The problem is that most of us think that it is something we have to “seek” after or that there are only a select few who have this “gift.” Think about it. When you were a kid, how creative were you? I’m sure we all have stories of our creative endeavors growing up. We could make a football out of a sock. An eight-year-old boy can make a gun out of a doll in a minute! As we got older and became adults, the creativity was quenched in most of us by our educational system and our jobs. However, it is still there. It shows up from time to time in our careers, family life and in recreation. We were born with it and can never lose it. This point is very important to remember because when we believe that creativity is natural, we don’t pursue creative ideas (which produces stress that is counterproductive), but we allow them to flow downhill to us.Read More
By Tami Broderick
Tomorrow we celebrate the Vernal Equinox, better known as the First Day of Spring. As the weather gets warmer, the annual “Spring Cleaning” of the house begins. Now is also the perfect time to spring clean your diet, starting with the fridge and pantry.
1. Eliminate unhealthy and expired foods
February is gone, as should be all of the Girl Scout Cookies. If not, it’s time for them to go – donate any leftover boxes to your local food kitchen. Take a look at all of those soup cans and boxed mixes hidden in the back of the pantry. If you can’t remember when you bought them, it’s time for them to go, too. Don’t forget about your spice rack. Although spices won’t spoil, they will lose their strength over time. Always date your spices, and keep for no more than 2 years.
2. Swap In Healthier Alternatives
Replace high-fat, low-nutrient foods like mayonnaise and ranch dressing for the healthier options like guacamole, Greek yogurt and hummus. Replace blocks of cheese with light string cheese sticks and try flavored mustards and salsas on sandwiches and wraps. Keep cans of tuna, salmon and beans on hand for quick-cooking protein options.Read More
7 Things You Must Know About Designating Beneficiaries
When it comes to estate planning, reviewing your beneficiaries periodically is extremely important. Even if you’ve recently met with an attorney to review your will, or completed a revocable living trust and have a big binder with all of the detailed documents, it’s important to review your beneficiary forms. No matter what kind of estate planning you’ve done, the only document that matters to the custodian of your IRA, 401(k) or other retirement account is the beneficiary designation form.
1) Your will or trust or any other legal document will not supersede the beneficiary designation form. Illustrated by a story in the New York Times titled “Pension Pickle,” the article is about Bruce and Anne Friedman. The Friedmans were happily married for nearly twenty years when Anne, a former city school principal, died suddenly of a massive heart attack in September 2001. At the time of her death, Anne had saved into a retirement account with the New York Teachers Retirement System. It was worth a little over $900,000. After morning the loss of his wife, Mr. Friedman thought that he would receive the retirement funds. However, officials at the Teacher Retirement System could only find one beneficiary designation form that was filled out 27 years ago, four years before the couple met. It indicated that Anne’s mother, uncle and sister were to receive her retirement funds. Since Anne’s mother and uncle had predeceased her, the entire account went to Anne’s sister. Her husband for over twenty years was left without a single cent. The sister would not give him anything.Read More
This Podcast explores the notion that there are NO hard and fast rules and formulas that work for every single person. There are only evolving possibilities, based on a persons individual and unique position and experiences in life.
Travel & Exercise on the Go
by Chris Freytag
When you’re working to eat healthy and stay fit with exercise, a business trip or two could derail all of your hard work. Finding the time and energy on a daily basis to exercise and eat right can be difficult. Throw in frequent business travel, and the task can seem almost impossible.
Like many of you, I travel almost every week for business. To ensure that your dedication at home doesn’t go by the wayside on the road, here are a few simple steps that you can take to keep your waistline and your calorie intake in check.
1. Include workouts in your travel itinerary. Exercising on the road is just like working out at home–it requires planning and commitment. From airline reservations and rental cars to hotel reservations and itineraries, every detail of the trip is planned well in advance. Why not schedule your workout like you do a meeting? Put it on your calendar and email yourself a reminder so that you don’t forget.
If at all possible, exercise in the morning. When you travel, the days can be long and last-minute client dinners can interfere with your evening workout. Exercising in the morning helps ensure success.Read More
By Greg Hammond
A potential injury or illness could prevent you from doing your job, causing you to lose your paycheck. Even a short-term disability could be financially devastating. This doesn’t need to be the case if you plan for this potential risk by purchasing disability insurance.
Many individuals overlook the need for disability insurance as part of their financial picture. A poll of 1,200 private sector U.S. workers by the non-profit Consumer Federation of America found that two-thirds of them did not have disability insurance coverage. Individuals often don’t see a reason to purchase additional insurance for something they don’t think they will need. This is understandable, but many of us don’t realize the many ways we could become disabled.
When mentioning the term “disabled,” many of us think of someone in an accident who has lost the use of their legs, eyesight or other bodily functions. Few of us think about becoming disabled due to illness or various other health conditions. The non-profit Council of Disability Awareness notes that 90% of disability claims in the U.S. are unrelated to workplace injury. Rather, most claims are filed for acute or chronic illnesses or health conditions. Musculoskeletal disorders, such as arthritis, spine and joint disorders, fibromyositis and back pain, represent more disability claims than any other condition.Read More