As we approach my due date, I wanted to share with you why I will only be taking a few weeks off from work. My baby shower was over the weekend, so now reality seems to be sinking in. I’ve been getting a lot of comments about why I only want to be home with my baby for such a quick period of time. I’d love to hear your thoughts since it is such a big topic now. But before I get into my reasons, I want to say we all need to give mothers a break whether you are a working mom or stay at home mom (or as I say non-compensated spouse since you are most definitely still working!). I’ve had enough of this silly rival between moms, when we are all just doing our best to get by and not fail our children, our spouse, and ourselves. So I say enough of this I’m a better mom because I’m home raising my children or I’m a better mom because I work. We have to stop judging, stereotyping, and belittling our fellow moms. Let’s instead unite as moms, because we really do have the toughest job around.
I do feel our country really needs to be more accommodative for moms and dads, and that starts with better maternity leaves and paternity leaves. I’m sure I sound like a hypocrite since I’m only taking a few weeks off, but I do feel employers need to be better about men and women having children. It would encourage them to stay in the workforce instead of leaving. I’m lucky to have a husband who will have four weeks off when our daughter is born, which is NOT typical. And this is my #3 reason for coming back to work so quickly, I have an amazing support system. My mother and mother in law will both help with babysitting, and my husband will watch our daughter on his off days during the week. I CANNOT wait to see the outfits and hairstyles he has her in when I get home from work. It will all be worth it to see how many Duke Basketball onesies he can put her in. I didn’t grow up very close to my grandmothers, so I am thrilled my daughter will be extremely close with her grandparents. This is a huge BONUS in my eyes.
My #2 reason for my short maternity leave is I love what I do. I get so much satisfaction, happiness, and fulfillment from my job that I cannot imagine taking any more time off. And I do NOT think that makes me a bad mom (or mom to be). I’m so excited to come back to work, and have an entire journal of ideas, events, and blog postings to keep my excitement going. I can't wait to start my events again, continue writing, and help more women. Just to give you an idea of how enthused I am, I'll be planning 2 events right off the bat while I'm home. I'm going to throw a book party to celebrate my book, say thank you for supporting it, and to help raise money for a charity that helps abused women and families. The second event is an exclusive event for my female clients and will address one of the biggest concerns I hear: who will take care of me? Who will take care of me when I get older and need assistance? I've been taking care of everyone else my entire life so who will be there for me then?
And I'd love to hear what other events you'd like to attend, webinars you'd like to see, and what areas I can do some blog postings on. So please fill in the sheet below with your suggestions, I want to be as productive as I can because that is what makes me happy.
And my #1 reason is YOU. I have this urge to continue helping more women, and that passion won’t go away with my baby. I have a feeling it will only grow and ignite more fire within me to help you. I love my clients, my readers, and all the women I’m able to touch so I won’t stop until I help more. So please let me know what topics you want more information on, what events and webinars you’d like to attend, and how I can help you beyond this posting. Fill out the box below so I can continue on my mission.
Here I am with my mother (in yellow) and mother in law (in pink) at my shower. I was told to be more sassy in my pictures, so this is what you get! They did an amazing job with my shower, and I want to give them a big shout out and thank you!! Baby Girl will definitely become a strong woman with both of you in her life.
Any opinions are those of Jess Weaver and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.
When dealing with an estate, you really never know what you will find…and miss! It’s usually beneficial to bring in a professional to help you sort out all the ins and outs of the estate so nothing gets missed during the process.
Earlier this summer, my husband lost his grandfather. Pop, as I called him, had a great life and lived to the age of 90 despite his many health issues he encountered throughout his 80s. At times, it felt as if my husband was his uber driver going from one doctor to another nonstop. No one in the family would have guessed he’d live to 90, and always expected his wife to outlive him. Well did he prove us wrong!
He was a great man, had two sons, had three grandchildren, and a great granddaughter. He also got to hear the heartbeat of my little one, which made him very happy. Pop really was a man about his family, and because of that, he did a very good job planning for his loved ones. Therefore, it was no surprise to me when my father in law called me up to ask a few questions about his estate and the many life insurance policies he had. I’m a sucker for these types of policies, I know I’m a nerd, but I find them extremely interesting and cool!
The earliest policy we found was from the 1930s, and the death benefit was $500. Wow, I know that won’t get you much now a days, but that was a pretty penny back then. The policy was first bought by Pop’s parents, and they paid $0.15 a week for that type of coverage. And you may know the name of the insurance company, Metlife. Back then, parents bought life insurance coverage on their children to cover funeral costs in case anything terrible happened to their child. We found about 8 other insurance policies in his pile of documents and a few other items that added to his growing estate.
By tracking an old 1099 tax statement, we found out he also owned 101 shares of Prudential stock. No one would of known this if they didn’t do a little digging and found that 1099, and it would of costed them $10,000. Some other additions to his estate included additional life insurance from his old policies. You see whenever Pop took out a new life insurance policy, he was able to choose how he’d like to receive his dividends. Some people will take the dividends in cash, some will use the money to reduce their premiums or payments on their policies, and some will use the dividends to buy additional life insurance. Now remember, Pop was a family man and always put his family first, so guess which option he choose every time? He used the dividends to buy more and more life insurance for his family, and because of this, there was thousands of dollars of extra life insurance. You wouldn’t know this if you didn’t know how to read the original life insurance policy. From these additions, the estate grew by about $30,000, which may or may not seem like a lot to you. But hey, an extra $30,000 is still an extra $30,000, right?
What about if you’ve already settled an estate and now think you might of missed something? Well here is a great website to see if there is any money outstanding somewhere: missingmoney.com. You never know what might be lurking out there unless you search a little. The investment and insurance companies aren’t responsible to let you know if they have some of your decedent’s money, it’s up to you.
I remember one person saying if you don’t like someone, name them the executor of your will. Kind of a twisted sense of humor, but so many estates can be a complete and utter hot mess. The executor is the one who has to find all the inheritance, deposit it into the estate account, probate the will in court, and complete multiple tasks. It’s no wonder they can charge the estate for their time, estates can take 1 year to multiple years to settle. And don’t forget you have to deal not only with the money part of the estate but also the anxiously waiting family for their inheritance. We’ve heard one couple say at the funeral their sister-in-law was asking for money for her son’s college, AT THE FUNERAL! You can see why deaths cause so much friction between families. There are ways to make sure it doesn’t happen with your family, so you potentially leave your family in an even better place than before. Wouldn’t that be nice? If they can not only survive it, but thrive after, which is what Pop did with his estate. So here are my 3 recommendations when dealing with any estate:
Jessica Weaver, CFP®, CDFA™, CFS®
Any opinions are those of Jess Weaver and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Raymond James does not provide legal or tax services. Please discuss these matters with the appropriate professionals.
Links are being provided for information purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize, or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of the website or the collection or use of information regarding any website’s users and/or members.
Are you helping your children too much? Do you expect them to repay the favor if you run out of money from helping them all these years? And I mean, will they take you in, pay for your health care, and maybe change a diaper or 2? Don’t get any ideas mom and dad, already have your spots reserved at the nursing home. Ok, I’m just kidding, I will always be there to help them out as much as I can.
But, let’s take a look at how much help we can give our children without hurting their own futures and without debilitating our goals too. You see if you always give, give, and give, then we might run out of things to give. Then you yourself are screwed because you ran out of money, and the person you were helping likely never learned how to support themselves on their own. In reality, then you are hurting both you and your children even though you were only trying to help. In order to give and continue to give (this is key), we need to make sure our finances are in order first.
Let me tell you about one woman, we will call her Sally, and her struggle with helping her children. Her kids were in middle school, and of course they always wanted to newest and best sneakers, phones, video games, etc. well you get the idea. They needed to keep up with what their friends had! And she wanted to be a good mom, and buy all those things for them. Problem was, Sally was going into debt each month to purchase her kids all these unnecessary items. (Well they might call them a must have.) She was overspending by about $2,000 each month, and piling up her credit card debt to new highs!
She grew up the same way, where her parents always gave her anything she wanted. Since this was how she was raised, she didn’t really know any different and continued the pattern. Luckily I showed her how to track her money better and explained how she can continue down this road or make a change not only for her life but for her children’s lives as well. If she continued overspending, what would she be showing her children? They would learn exactly what she learned as a kid, how to spend freely and they would end up in the very situation she was in.
So while Sally thought she was doing the right thing for her kids by giving them whatever they wanted, she was just continuing a bad money habit pattern. She was able to make a change not only for her life, but for her children’s lives as well, which is more important in the end. What a great role model she has become for her kids, for her parents, and for herself.
Before you spend on your kids, whether young, teenage, or adult, here are a few things to consider courtesy of AARP:
The AARP suggested answering four questions, using a scale of 0 to 5, may help parents determine whether to give money to an adult child. The questions are:7
1. Will this investment add stability and security to my child's life?
(0 = entirely optional; 5 = absolutely necessary)
2. Is this a short-term or one-time cash need, or is it something that could go on for years?
(0 = guaranteed, long-term payouts; 5 = absolutely just one time)
3. Is there risk in the investment beyond the cash outlay, such as financial liability on a contract or damage to your credit?
(0 = very high levels of risk; 5 = no additional risks)
4. Can you lend or give this money without fear of damaging your relationship with your child? Or, will it cause tensions or resentments for the people involved?
(0 = guaranteed tensions or resentments; 5 = everyone is happy)
If the combined answers total 13 or higher according to AARP, the answer is yes, give money to your adult child. If the total is less than 13, you may want to think twice before opening your wallet.7
Now will you do me a favor? Please remind me to read this post when my daughter is old enough to start begging for things!
Happy Saying NO to your kids!
Jessica Weaver, CFP®, CDFA™, CFS®
Any opinions are those of Jessica Weaver and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Raymond James is not affiliated with AARP.
Mirror Your Message: Reflect Your True Self in Your Style
Do you ever wonder how people see you? Is it what you want them to see?
It's human nature to make assumptions about people based on what we see. We believe our perceptions paint an accurate picture of the whole person. First impressions happen in a matter of seconds, and once they’re made, they’re virtually impossible to change. Your appearance instantly conveys who you are and what you stand for.
Personal branding is a way of communicating what differentiates you from everyone else – your values, passions, strengths, and personal style. It’s your unique promise of value. Your signature style is the outward expression of your personal brand through your clothes and appearance. It visually communicates your brand message as well as your personality. It’s a key way to stand out and not blend in today’s competitive business landscape.
So, how do you translate your personal brand into your signature style? By merging the key principles of branding and style to create a holistic approach to help you achieve your goals and “dress the part”. My seven key principles for translating your personal brand into your signature style are as follows:
1. Have a Style Point of View
People have expectations about what you should look like in your role or profession. The magic happens when your appearance instantly and accurately reinforces your role and professionalism, as well as communicates your unique brand and personality.
2. Be Authentic
You don’t need outlandish gimmicks or false personas. You want to understand and bring out the real you, expressing it through your style. The key to personal branding and your signature style is in its authenticity. I see some women struggle when they attempt to assume the appearance of someone they are not.
3. Consistency MattersWhile first impressions are very important, they can also be manipulated. We wear our best suit when we prepare for an important interview or dress for a first date. But what about the rest of the time? You never know when chance encounters will lead to a great opportunity. I’m not saying to wear your best suit every day, but you should be wearing appropriate attire that goes along with your brand on a consistent basis.
4. It Takes Some WorkFor most women, style doesn’t just magically happen. It may appear effortless, and you may assume it’s a natural-born talent. In reality, it takes some work. You can be sure that the secret to stylish women’s success is planning. Investing in your professional image is not a luxury, but a necessity.
5. Learn the Basics of StyleAs an architect designing your personal brand, consider basic style principles (Fit, Color, Quality, Accessorizing, etc.) as your foundation. You need to know what styles and colors look best on you and how to wear them.
6. Mirror Your MessageWhen you look in a full-length mirror, your goal is to see your own best advertising staring back at you. While your image is influenced by external factors (e.g., your work environment and client perception), your identity is influenced by your own personality and values. Your signature style combines both your image and identity.
Clothes have a language all their own. So, how do you know what they are saying? By understanding the design characteristics of clothes, you can decipher the messages they’re sending.
Not all jackets, for example, say the same thing. A blue, traditional cut, suit jacket says “I mean business”. “I’m trustworthy” "I’m to be taken seriously”. While a black leather motorcycle jacket says, “I’m adventuresome.” "I’m hip and edgy” “I’m relaxed and having fun!”
7. Avoid Gimmicks for Gimmick SakeDon’t let uniqueness and quirkiness go too far! If you wear bright colored hair purely for shock value and to draw attention to yourself, you may be memorable for all the wrong reasons! Reaction to your look depends on your brand and profession. A purple-haired accountant may get unpleasant stares, while a purple-haired musician or artist won’t get a second look.
On the other hand, if a specific clothing item or accessory is true to your style, and you are known for this, then by all means leverage it as part of your signature style.
If you need help creating your Signature Style, check out my website at www.FirstImpressionStyle.com or contact me at Carolyn@FirstImpressionStyle.com.
‘Any opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Carolyn Curtis and First Impression Style, LLC is not affiliated with Raymond James Financial Services.’
Links are being provided for information purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website's users and/or members.