College Checklist for Parents

If you are preparing to send a child off to college for the first time this month, you are likely feeling a bit overwhelmed and under-funded.  Speaking as a parent who is currently sending child number 5 to college, I understand your angst.  However, as a Financial Advisor, there are a few items that you cannot afford to neglect as you get ready for this momentous day. Essential protections for the parent Believe it or not, at 18 years of age, your children are considered adults and are therefore protected by the privacy laws.  This means that you no longer have full access to their information. For Medical Emergencies – You should prepare Health Care Power of Attorney (HCPOA) and HIPAA waiver documents for your 18+ year olds as these legal documents determine who is entitled to have access to medical records and act on their behalf in the event of a medical emergency.  Imagine you live in North Carolina and your college student who attends school in New York is taken to the emergency room. Because your student is Read on! →

Retirement Realities – July 2013 Newsletter

We read every day that the average consumer is not adequately preparing for their eventual retirement.  Maybe that comment hits home when you read it or maybe you think they are talking about the guy down the street.  Whatever your reaction, it may be time to consider the realities of retirement and what you can do to protect your future. In the days of Franklin Roosevelt, there was a philosophy called the “community society” where an American worker had a hypothetical three-legged stool to rest upon in retirement.  The three legs consisted of a government Social Security benefit, an employer pension benefit, and an employee’s personal savings.  These three legs were viewed as entirely adequate to fund a retiree’s remaining years, which incidentally lasted only 5-10 years.  As an aside, the third leg, the employee’s personal savings, was really viewed as “gravy” for the extras that might be desired in retirement. Over the last fifty years, times certainly have changed.  Consider the following items which have thrown this philosophy on its ear. Life expectancy has increased dramatically.  The chart below Read on! →

The Many Faces of Aging

I recently attended “The Many Faces of Aging” seminar hosted by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Council on Aging and The Ivey.  It was an extremely well attended event and had a panel of nationally recognized experts in topics of aging.  I attended initially because I am familiar with one of the speakers, Ron Manheimer, who is the retired ED of the NC Center for Creative Retirement at UNCA.   This was my first interaction with Sandra Timmerman, ED for the Metlife Mature Market Institute.  Both are nationally recognized experts in the field of aging and were wonderful sources of information and education. What I learned is that while Charlotte is not typically seen as a “destination” for retiring adults like Asheville or Pinehurst might be, there are a large number of senior adults in the city who are interested in improving their overall situation.  This search for improvement encompassed topics like finding ways to connect with other seniors, locating appropriate and enjoyable volunteer opportunities, and learning more about the community services available to enable “aging in place”.  I appreciated that the seminar Read on! →

Successful Aging

A recent article from Marketwatch talks about the concept of “successful aging” and what that looks like.  We all know those who age gracefully and look much younger than their birthdate indicates. However, is that the result of genetics or purposeful steps they took along their life’s journey?  The article suggests that we need to be doing all that we can today to stack the odds in our favor later in life.  As I look around me at those who are 10-15 years older than myself and getting ready to retire, it doesn’t take much looking to realize that the likelihood that some of them will experience “successful aging” is pretty slim.  They are overweight, inactive, and in many cases, already experiencing major health issues.  Most will tell you that they plan to change when they get some free time.  However, I would say that by waiting until their mid-60’s to begin to incorporate healthy routines into their lives, they may have already done irreversible damage. Although it is difficult to incorporate healthy habits into your life when you are Read on! →