July 29, 2015

Help for Caregivers

The mission of Share the Care (http://sharethecare.org) is "to improve the 'quality of life' of anyone who needs support–and to reduce the stress, depression, isolation and economic hardship of their caregivers.
"Caregiving will touch everyone at some point in life yet it often remains in the shadows of the public/media spotlight because it does not make for a picture that melts the heart but rather one to be avoided at all costs. Not so much because people are uncaring but rather frightened and uneducated.
Sometimes, friends disappear when illness strikes because they don’t know “what to do or what to say.”
And often the person needing support and their caregiver hide the fact and carry the entire burden alone rather than admit they could use help.
STC’s focus is on educating caregivers, patients and their concerned friends, neighbors, co-workers and acquaintances about the profound personal benefits to everyone involved through sharing the care.
Because we find that family caregivers often tend to be isolated and therefore less likely to reach out for help, we target professionals, and faith communities. They see caregivers and patients on a daily basis and are best situated to identify those who could benefit from a STC group. We also seek to reach working caregivers through corporations."
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July 28, 2015

Will College Pay Off?

While a college education provides much more than a ticket to a job, the focus has definitely shifted from the benefits of a well-educated populace who can think, analyze, and make rational decisions, appreciate the arts, and contribute to society. The emphasis now is on the financial aspects: can I get a good job when I graduate? And with the explosion in student loan debt, students and parents need to be a lot more savvy than in the past, especially when it comes to for-profit higher education. University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Business School professor Peter Capelli, new book, Will college pay off? A Guide to the Most Important Financial Decision You Will Ever Make, provides plenty of information for prospective students and their parents to consider before deciding on higher education. Check out this link to an interview with the author for more info: http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/will-college-pay-off-a-surprising-cost-benefit-analysisision-youll-ever-make/

July 26, 2015

"Will college pay off? A guide to the most important financial decision you'll ever make" by Peter Capelli is a must read for anyone (parents included) considering college or other post-secondary education. The book presents a very up-to-date perspective on college choices, whether to borrow to finance, getting internship experience while in college, and the first and subsequent job. I just finished reading the book and found it enlightening.
Check this out: http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/will-college-pay-off-a-surprising-cost-benefit-analysisision-youll-ever-make/

More evidence that financial advisers may not benefit clients

As recently reported in The Wall Street Journal,by Daisy Maxey on July 24, research in Europe found that:
"Investors trading stocks with assistance of financial advisers are more diversified and overcome some common pitfalls, a new working paper from European researchers found.
But they are worse off overall than investors who trade independently, because their stock purchases underperform, the study says.
The findings suggest advisers “do not help investors make superior stock purchases,” wrote the researchers, who examined client transactions at a large, unidentified Swiss bank.
There was “consistent evidence” that stock trades made by investors in conjunction with an adviser underperformed benchmarks as well as trades investors made independently, the researchers say.
Moreover, the underperformance was “particularly severe if the client-advisor contact was initiated by the adviser, suggesting that advisers actively approach clients with rather poor trading ideas,” the paper says.

July 22, 2015

Avoid Medicare Enrollment Mistakes

About to turn 65? Need to know more about Medicare?Watch the short video and check out the additional links to help you understand how Medicare works and what you need to do to enroll. All this is included in
this terrific blog post from the Squared Away Blog at http://squaredawayblog.bc.edu/squared-away/avoid-medicare-enrollment-mistakes/

June 23, 2015

Estate Planning for Digital Assets

Bet you never thought about what would happen to your email, Facebook, Twitter, and other digital accounts after your death. Well, here's one more thing to add to your estate planning. Check out Consumer Action's Digital Estate Planning Guide at http://www.consumer-action.org/downloads/english/spring_2015_digital_estate_planning.pdf

June 11, 2015

Make your money last as long as you do

While there are a variety of strategies for spending down retirement investments to try to last for a lifetime, the only sure way to accomplish this is through the purchase of single payment life annuities (SPIAs). Lewis Mandell, Ph.D. explains why annuities are ideal for accomplishing this task in his book "What to do when I get stupid: A radically safe approach to a difficult financial era." See: http://lewismandell.com/. At the same time that our ability to make prudent financial decisions declines with age (after peaking at age 53 and really declining after age 70), confidence in our abilities actually increases! This is a scary combination well documented by extensive research. "The two major questions posed in the book ask how we can generate sufficient guaranteed real income to last the rest of our lives, not matter how long we live and what are the best ways to protect our lifetime income against possible irrational decisions of our future selves" (p. 152). This is a MUST READ for everyone approaching or in retirement AND for their children. I've heard too many stories of how elderly parents were taken advantage of by financial professionals with dubious interests, and by outright fraudsters, draining assets meant for heirs and leaving the adult children to support their parents.

How Utah Became a Bizarre, Blissful Epicenter for Get-Rich-Quick Schemes

Considering multi-level marketing... or just curious as to why Utah County is the epicenter of MLM? Read this fascinating account of a journalist's exploration of Utah MLM. "It’s early May and I’m at a Marriott hotel in Salt Lake City for a conference of Q Sciences, the company that sells EMPowerplus Q96. Here, everyone but me is a salesperson, which means these testimonials are also pitches. Q Sciences is a multi-level marketing company, selling not in stores but through regular people, who earn commission from selling products as well as recruiting others to do the same. This last bit makes multi-level marketing unique—and controversial. Trying to wrap your head around the concept of selling a business opportunity to sell a business opportunity to sell a business opportunity can feel like being lost in a hall of mirrors (after ingesting grainy, off-white powder). It’s profitable: The industry’s biggest players, like Amway, Mary Kay and Herbalife, each bring in upwards of $4 billion per year, according to Direct Selling News, a trade publication. To figure out how much the workers make, head back to the hall of mirrors. Tales of newly-minted millionaires circulate like cash, as do stories of people who’ve lost fatal amounts of it. Money is only part of why one joins, though: Here in the Utah Valley, distributors preach a gospel of mind-body wellness, founded on healthy supplements and spiritual growth. These suburban towns nestled at the foot of the Rockies are the epicenter of a global industry worth $183 billion. Depending on who you ask, this industry is either a bastion of American innovation or a scam of epic proportions, the Giza of pyramid schemes. Meanwhile, facts that might help you decide which one it is—such as whether distributors earn or lose money, and how much—are difficult to pin down." Read "How Utah Became a Bizarre, Blissful Epicenter for Get-Rich-Quick Schemes" by Alice Hines at: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/theslice/mormon-utah-valley-multilevel-marketing-thrive-doterra

June 10, 2015

Single female boomers are happier, healthier and more confident

It's great to read some good news about single women.

"Over half of unmarried female baby boomers plan to stick with their job for at least five years, according to a survey by Del Webb. "We've seen that single female boomers are happier, healthier and more confident than ever, and our survey results show that those who are still working aren't rushing to retire," Division President Lindy Oliva said." Read details at: http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2015/06/09/forget-retirement-older-single-women-love-their-jo

June 9, 2015

What small changes can you make to build your retirement security?

"What would you be willing to sacrifice to get a bigger nest egg for retirement? Seven in 10 workers — 69% — say they know they can save $25 or more per week than they currently save, according to data from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). That would turbocharge their retirement planning." BY , INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY
"What would they give up to get that $25 or more a week?
Almost half — 46% — told the EBRI that they would be willing to kiss off dining out or takeout food.
Here's what others would be willing to sacrifice:
•13% would give up soft drinks or snacks from vending machines.
•12% would forego movies, videos, DVDs or online streaming.
•11% would drop coffee from specialty shops.
•8% would cut back on lottery tickets.
So why aren't workers already cutting back on expenditures to save more?
Half — 50% — say they simply can't afford to give up anything. They need everything they're already spending money on.
Other reasons the workers cited:
•11% said they are out of work or underemployed.
•8% blamed education expenses for their inability to cut spending.
•7% said they spend every spare dollar to pay off non-mortgage debt.
•5% said all of their spare money goes to paying off their mortgage or other housing expenses.
One in 10 workers said they already are saving enough or can save enough without sacrificing anything.
And 6% said they haven't thought about it."
What about YOU?
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