Parenting is hard. From the moment you take that bundle home and try to figure out how to take care of it, you are in for it. A lifetime commitment of small steps that grow a tiny mewling baby up into an adult. We want the best for our children, we want them to be good people, to have great success, and to be happy. What we may not think about as much, when scheduling soccer, and tutors, and fishing crayons out of pockets in washing machines, is what financial values we are teaching our children. The truth is, whether you are having money talks with your kids or not, they are getting an education by watching you. Studies have shown that children may have already become set in their money behaviors by the age of 7![i] Since a 7-year-old is not doing a lot of accounting and bill paying, it makes one wonder what they have learned by then about money? Good or bad, those lessons have been coming from their parents. Every coffee through a drive thru, every comment about bills, every time you say no at the store. It’s been building a foundation that your child will carry with them. The best advice for any parent is to not think about financial education as a few conversations over a childhood, but rather a process where teachable moments are found everywhere and open talks about money are part of the household.
If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve. -Lao Tzu
Someone in your life is dying. This experience, the grief, the sadness, the stress will be one of the hardest in your life. Watching someone you care for grow ill and pass away while the world keeps moving and life keeps happening can be overwhelming. As we are born we are also fated to die. It is part of the circle of life and what makes our time so precious. Making sure to get the most out of the remaining time, finding ways to talk when it is hardest, and having no regrets or things left unsaid after your loved one dies, these are the goals. In this article, we will go over some advice and essential topics to help you through this difficult period.
As the clock ticks down on another year and we look toward new starts and new beginnings for 2019, figured taking a little time to think about New Year’s Financial Resolutions would be worthwhile. 27% of Americans planned to make financial resolutions in 2018[i], if a fourth of the population thinks they should reassess their finances in the new year, then it’s probably a good thing to go over. Unlike a lot of yearly resolutions, we’d like to help you stick to and meet this one.
The holiday season is a lot of things. It’s a lot of good: family, togetherness, tradition, but it also can be hard. It’s a stressful time and the heavy commercialism, unrealistic expectations, and overall business of the season can take its toll on even the heartiest of us. Past the life stress, there is the changing seasons, lack of sunlight and toll that seasonal depression takes on some. We also tend to overindulge, more drinking, more eating, more parties. One study showed 63% of people reporting they experienced what is called ‘The Holiday Blues'.
Marathon runners do not train and plan for the sole experience of standing on the finish line. The process, the training and the overall journey from beginning to end are all part of it. Knowing that hard work and effort paid off and a goal was accomplished, that is a remarkable feeling. Treating your retirement goals like a marathon, you work hard, you keep going and when you reach the finish line, all that time and labor pays off—you have the money you need to live the life you want. That’s a wonderful feeling.
Let’s do an exercise.
Close your eyes and try to picture your own funeral. Who is there? Who gets up to speak? Are you proud of your achievements and the life you led?
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