BLOG: Life Clarified

Eating My Own Soup: I'm Budgeting, You Can Too!

Prefer to see video? Me too, click this link to see the same message via video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQL0R1hmxUo&feature=youtu.be On the heels of Amazon Prime day and Christmas in July…. I know there are pressures everywhere you go to spend money. I personally find it VERY hard to say no to that spending too. What worked ultimately for me was putting a face to the things that I wanted my money to be used for. 5 years ago, that face was starting my own business.
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Financial Decision Making: When Emotions Are High

One of my main roles is helping people not get caught in the trap of making long term decisions based on emotions ~ fear and greed being the two biggies. With the now present 24/7 news cycle, news….good news and bad, is in front of many of us all hours of the day. With that being the case, it becomes even easier for us to fall into the trap of getting emotional about our money decisions, especially when it comes to investing and spending. When tensions are high, here are some tips to help
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What to Consider When You’ve Inherited Money

Inheriting Money? If so, there are lots of things to consider, and these decisions can come with deadlines and unintended consequences. Here's a checklist of things to think about as you build your action plan. 1. Do your research. What is the source of the funds? If it’s a retirement plan or an IRA, the gift may come with deadlines or options that you can’t un-do if
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You’ve inherited money…. Now what?

Have you ever managed the estate of a loved one or inherited money? If so, you know that it can be easy to stumble into some snafu's as you are putting your ducks in a row. If things aren't done correctly, these snafu's can cost us extra in taxes, legal fees or just lots of extra time. (And we have SO much of that!) Because of the complexities of getting it right, this month I've asked a local attorney, Stephanie Dahl to compile a list of top priorities for us to consider when
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Is An Annuity Right For Me?

Last month I touched on investing and addressed some of the challenges we have as investors each year as we try to digest and make decisions based on market news and forecasts. In that write up I mentioned alternatives to that traditional stock/bond investing route so today I want to take on the topic of annuities, one of those alternatives. Like stocks and bonds, annuities can be a great tool for future growth and or income but like everything else out there they are not necessarily the
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No One Knows, And That’s OK.

It’s been 10 years this month since the stock market bottomed in 2009. It’s crazy to think about, in many ways it seems like yesterday and yet it also seems like so long ago. For the last few years as I’ve been listening to market and economic expectations, I’ve been hearing comments about “when” the market will turn down, when the economy will slow down, when this concern and when that one. I’m here to say today that the truth is, no one really knows when any of that will happen….and that’s
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In The Confessional Box: Fear Has Cost Me Money Too

Have you ever bought something large and skipped negotiating the price? Or followed advice from the TV to later realize that what you got was only half of the advice you needed? Or not negotiated a salary? Was it because of fear? Me too. In fact, many of us walk around letting fear affect our finances, sometimes without even knowing it. Despite being someone who gets paid to help people plan their money lives, I’ve done it too. Looking back over my adulthood, there are three
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Kick Silence to the Curb and Start Talking About Money

Often times we don’t realize how our finances can directly affect our health and peace of mind. This is especially true in a society like ours where it’s so taboo to talk about money. I’ve spent the last 19 years working in a career in finance, and almost 10 of those years having intimate conversations with families about their wishes for their lives and their financial future. One surprising realization that I’ve had through all of this is how many families don’t talk, and how not talking
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A year in review: How 2018 Impacted our Finances and Investments

Interest rates have continued to tick upward. For our investments that means we saw bond prices go down some. The interest we receive off of many of those bond investments though will likely continue to trend up. This also means our own borrowing prices continued to increase too (mortgage and credit card interest rates). U.S Stocks ended down, and with more volatility
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Kick ‘Financial Shame’ to the Curb and Prosper in 2019

We’ve heard many times that “We are our own worst enemy”. From the way we talk to ourselves, to the day to day decisions we make, to the way we eat or the exercise we may (or may not be getting). If we look, we can see examples of it around us every day. One example that we don’t typically see is that of financial shame. We don’t see it, because most of us don’t talk about it. But I’m here today to say: Financial shame is alive and well, and for many of us it’s so strong that it’s
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Self Care: That Means Your Future You Too

I recently finished reading Being Mortal, an amazing book by Dr. Atul Gawande about aging, medicine and what truly matters as we near end of life. Whether you can grab a printed book or listen to a hard copy version, I highly recommend everyone investing time in this topic. It was fascinating to hear about the progression of aging and healthcare but what I valued the most was the learning about how most of us face the final stage of our life cycle by “trying not to think about it” and how by
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Being A Caregiver: A Golden Yet Stressful Job

In the last decade or more, we’ve come a long way to understanding the importance and fatigue of being the person providing care for an ill or aging loved one. As mentioned in the blog below by Western Care Partners, being a caregiver takes it’s toll on a person in four basic areas: financial, social, psychological and physical. In fact, she mentions that often times the stress is so high for caregivers that they are twice as likely to experience chronic conditions than those
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Safety is Relative but here are 6 ways you can protect yourself

It seems these days that risks are everywhere, and they are. Last month I had a cyber expert outright tell me to expect that all of our personal data is out there for the selling on the dark web. That’s comforting. So much of the time, we feel like our safety here is completely out of our control. While sometimes, that is the case…. there are some things that we can do to help keep our online records (and our money!) safer. Here are my top 6:
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Password Managers: An Option to Ease Your Password Pain

Passwords are a constant challenge in my personal and professional life…so much so that I find myself often day dreaming for that day that I can fingerprint or retinal scan myself into everything. But alas, that day is not here yet! Based on the amount of you that show up in my office having trouble logging into things, I know I’m not in the minority. So, today, I want to share one way you can simplify your own e-life and increase the security of it too is through the use of a
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I’m Sorry is Awkward

I’m Sorry is Awkward And 4 other things to know when someone you love experiences the death of a loved one. There’s no doubt about it that the death of a loved one is and will be one of the toughest times of our lives. Yet, many of us, have no idea of what to say or how to help when someone we care about losses a loved one. Let’s be honest, we’d actually all like to avoid the topic of death altogether ~ right?
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Guest Vlog: Jamie Sarche, The Gift of Your Presence

If you're ever unsure of what you can do to help a person in grief, just... be there for them. A death in a person's life can, and does, throw their world off its tilt, and being present and available to them with open, loving arms is so important so that they have something stable to lean on when they need it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gh1LbJHci6c&authuser=0
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When to DIY….and When to Hire Out

I am constantly being bombarded with choices. So much information, and so many choices. Ordering dinner at the Cheesecake factory seems like more of a chore than a treat, and I can’t even tell you how many hours I spent planning my own wedding or preparing and executing the shopping list ahead of the birth of my son. (Analysis paralysis at times has my name written all over it.)
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What is the difference between A REALTOR®, Discount Brokerage, real estate agent

When you are looking to sell or purchase a home, you can certainly list it yourself. Many people do. However, I’d like to offer some insight as to why I feel that enlisting a REALTOR® is really your best option. Keep in mind that even with agents, there are a few things to consider. First, is choosing one! You can go with a friend’s recommendation, you can find one online by searching your area. You can roll your finger through the phone book (yes, those do still exist!) or you can choose
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Financial Exploitation & Fraud: What We All Need to Know

June is Elder Abuse Awareness month….Whoa, don’t stop reading yet! Yes, I too tend to quickly jump away from an article that starts out with something like “abuse” or “awareness”. Most of us don’t want to spend our lives, our time, thinking about something that has negative tone or painful outcomes. I see first-hand, on a regular basis how many of us would prefer to instead “avert thine eyes” and just hope for the best. ….Not this time.
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“I Trust You with my Life!”

In honor of Elder Abuse Awareness month this month, I've asked a friend and aging specialist Jill Eelkema, MSW to discuss the important (and often un-addressed!) topic of Powers of Attorney. Though, yes....I just stated that this is Elder Awareness month, this is NOT just a topic for our elderly Jill highlights some important things to consider, and as she usual does, is able to infuse a little humor into the topic! Jill, thank you for your contribution to Life Clarified this month!
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Making the “Right” financial decision isn’t always making the easy one….

Deciding what to do with our money at times can be easy: I want those shoes, I buy them. I’m too tired to cook, we eat out. But sometimes deciding what to do with our money can be painfully difficult. Other times, the decisions may come easily but the reprocussions are painfully difficult. (Have you ever had one of those?)
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Finding Your Inner Strength

Finding your inner passion and strength can change your life! Once you make the discovery and take action to make it happen, you may find that you have a new career, a new business, a new weight, a new look or more!
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Feeling Exposed: Facebook Privacy and Our New Future

Facebook has been in the news in the last few months for what some are feeling is a huge violation of their privacy to be used for political gain. So, I asked social media marketing expert Catherine Tidd, owner of Social Seed Marketing, her thoughts on this latest development in digital technology.
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Choosing to Use Money as a Tool for Your Life’s Purpose

Many women, (I’ve found especially) are much more interested in tending to their money when they have some kind of meaning behind it. When it’s looked at differently than a score on a score board and instead becomes a tool to move toward inner joy. Inner joy brought on by tending to the family we love, career we love, the community we love, or doing the travel that helps us find and be who we are.
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Travel Insurance: What it is and when you may need it

Wondering if you REALLY need travel insurance? I've asked Travel Agent Deb Clark about when you need it and when you don't. CLICK HERE for tips that might save you money and headaches when you travel!
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Hiring Service Professionals: Who do you trust and why?

Uh-oh! You're overwhelmed with decisions and know you need professional guidance about your options. Where should you turn? First, take a deep breath and understand that you are in control. You will drive the process to find the professionals you need by following these quick tips!
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‘Til Death Do Us Part: Then What?

‘Til Death Do Us Part: Then What?   Have you ever really thought about it?  Every day, we are surrounded by loved ones, friends and family that we know, someday will experience a health event (and even death).  Call me morbid, or dreary but as a professional planner, I call it thinking ahead.  
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Living With Your Whole Heart, Hope for the New Year

As we reflect on the past year and make plans for 2018, set yourself up for success by developing goals and resolutions that are meaningful, measurable and attainable. LFS-1995016-011618
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Mars & Venus, Part II: Investing

The women that I've encountered, do seem to invest differently than men....for better and for worse. How, you ask? Let's take a look!
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Mars and Venus: It’s True in Financial Planning too!

Between taking time off to care for children, career breaks or caring for other family members, its not uncommon for a woman to spend several years less in the workforce then their male counterparts. What does this mean?
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Welcome to Life Clarified!

Working so closely with women for so many years, I've decided to create a blog dedicated to addressing some of our biggest concerns, our most pressing challenges and, most of all, lending a little clarity to the things we encounter every day.
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