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It seems that you can’t turn on the news or walk down the street without hearing something about The Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.” Eric’s blog from July 16th addressed The Affordable Care Act from the standpoint of small business owners. This week, I will break down some of the key issues that you, as a consumer, should know and understand as some of these changes begin to be implemented later this fall. 1. Where will individuals and families obtain their health insurance coverage? You can still obtain coverage through your employer, individually, or through government programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid. If you are not already covered under a health insurance plan, you can purchase insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, also known as the health insurance “exchange,” beginning October 1, 2013. The Health Insurance Marketplace (or Exchange) is administered by either your state or the federal government and provides one location to compare plans and enroll easily. Visit healthcare.gov to learn more about the Health Insurance Marketplace and see the details for your state. 2. Is Read on! →
As a small business owner I have observed the machinations of the Affordable Care Act from a safe distance. From its inception, it has served as a divisive focal point for our elected representatives. As with most comprehensive government policy initiatives, the respective sides have spun the details in a way that works to their advantage. The Affordable Care Act has not been exempt from this posturing and continues to have its share of supporters and detractors. Over the years I have found that most new initiatives never fully meet the needs of everyone but if looked at more closely, often have appealing features for certain groups or individuals. While not completely sold on every aspect of the Affordable Care Act, I have decided to assess the various components. I plan to use this forum to highlight a few basics and expand further in future writings. In time, my goal will be to make an informed decision on whether the Affordable Care Act is right for my business, my three associates, and for me and my family. The Basics Beginning Read on! →
Money and yoga. We don’t typically think of the two together. Why would we? One creates stress and anxiety while the other instills balance and peace. We don’t feel relieved when the markets go down and we don’t celebrate when we pay the bills. Who would want to reflect on stressful things when trying to find inner peace during “downward dog?” Financial planning and yoga are two of my passions, so when The Wall Street Journal decided to publish an article about the two, I couldn’t pass up the chance to reflect and share. It turns out that the integration of yoga and money is older than we might think, according to modern yoga researcher, Mark Singleton. Yoga requires deep concentration and discipline. When we think of this in terms of our financial lives, the two don’t seem so different. As your financial advisor, we practice disciplined asset allocation, diversification, and structured rebalancing to help you maintain balance during turbulent markets. We also look beyond market returns to ensure that your life aspirations are considered when developing and maintaining your Read on! →
PER·SPEC·TIVE: (1) a measured or objective assessment of a situation, giving all aspects their comparative importance (2) a particular evaluation of a situation or facts, especially from one person’s point of view Last week my son turned 13 years old…a teenager!!! [Queue the scary music… “DUN-DUN-DUNNN”] As parents we try to pass-along all of our positive life experiences to our children in order to better prepare them for life. We also bring up all of our negative experiences so they don’t share the mistakes that we, as parents, have made. We hope that the lessons and words we use sink into our children’s scattered brains to ensure they are better prepared than we were! However, the bottom line is that we have perspective because of our life experiences and it is difficult for our children to relate. We need perspective as wealth managers to educate clients, just as we educate our children. Two weeks ago, the Dow Jones’s dramatic 550-point 2-day sell-off, coupled with interest rates spiking over 0.5%, dealt investors a double whammy of stock and bond market losses. Read on! →
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! →