We talk a lot about what happens when life happens and your plan gets thrown out the window. All the goals, the dreams, and hours spent thinking about your future, completely worthless now. But what do you do? If you’ve read my book: Strong Woman Stronger Assets, you might remember a chapter just on your reactions. 10% of your life is planning and 90% of it is reacting, so your reaction is everything in the end. Isn’t it?
You can take the crappy circumstance thrown at you and let it dictate the next chapter of your life or you can be at peace with it and move on! So what will it be? Stay stuck or move on to bigger and better goals.
This reactive mindset mentality was brought up during a meeting with a new woman, who was recently widowed. She had some amazing advice that I knew I needed to share with others, and it can be used in any instance where your world is shaken up. Her 2 rules were:
There is never a handbook on how to deal with grief because everyone deals with it differently. It is about finding what works for you. And everyone’s situation is different, so what worked for your sister won’t work for you. But to try and help, here is a few tips to get you started to put your financial life back in order after a death.
You might have noticed a trend with my tips, and my best advice is to take advantage of others to help. Embrace your family and friends during this time to either be there to simply listen to you or bring over pizza and a bottle of wine. And utilize the professionals instead of trying to do it on your own. Deaths are hard enough without having to deal with a financial mess on top of it. Even a simple estate can take over a year to close, so bring in the big guns. And it makes sure you aren’t missing a thing!
Here I will make it simple: call an estate attorney, accountant, advisor, and possibly a therapist when needed. Don’t know any, let’s talk.
Jessica Weaver, CFP®, CDFA™, CFS®
I was hypnotized the other day. I know, not the typical conversation starter right? Well I was very curious about it, and luckily I am friends with a hypnotherapist who helps people with anxiety. Since people tend to have a lot of anxiety around money, we thought it would be a great idea to combine our talents and do an event together. But first I wanted to see first-hand how it worked and what it is like, and I have to be completely honest with you, I loved it. It was the most relaxing hour I’ve ever spent. The time I was hypnotized for was only about 11 minutes long, but felt like I woke up from an hour of a very deep and intense sleep. And the bonus is, as Traci explained, the 11 minutes can be as restorative to my body as several hours of sleep.
It is pretty amazing how an hour spent dealing with your anxiety issues can be one of the most relaxing times of your life. And now I can first hand recommend Traci and her expertise!
Here’s how the appointment went:
Traci asked what I would like to address when it comes to anxiety. I explained how I get tension headaches that lead to terrible neck spasms during times when I am overwhelmed and very stressed. And then I get anxious that I’ll get a spasm during a really bad time like before a trip or my wedding day. So my stress only gets worse and leads to more spasms, like a never ending hamster wheel of anxiety, YIKES! I was excited to know that we can try to rewrite my brain’s programming so during times of stress my neck gets lose instead of tight. How cool is that?
Next we went through what leads to my headaches and what has helped them in the past. We went over new sayings or mantras that Traci will say to me while I’m in the hypnotized state. After she reads them out to me, I will repeat them back to her so they will be imprinted in my mind. Obviously, she is much better at explaining how this all works, but I’m doing my best!
And finally, the moment I was waiting for all week…I got hypnotized! I went so deep that I couldn’t even repeat anything back to her. I guess I was just so comfy and relaxed. Now I was a little skeptic how quickly these new mantras would work, but let me tell you, I felt a difference that night! And all weekend! I saw so much success that I repeat the mantras every day. And since Traci recorded the session, I can now put myself in a similar state of mind and go through it whenever I want.
Because I borrowed her belief that it would work, I did the correct actions and saw some success. Now I have my own beliefs that it will work and am repeating those actions every day to see more and more success. This success means less stress in my life, less anxiety, less headaches, and basically a much more enjoyable and headache/spasm free life.
Now I am going to ask you, what brings anxiety into your life? Does money have something to do with it? It probably does on some level if you boil it down. Money affects every part of our life whether we want to admit it or not. To help you, Traci and I are running a 2 hour workshop in January that is geared towards people’s money anxieties and stress. Don’t worry, Traci won’t hypnotize you, but she will have some amazing exercises to get your mind more open to the change you want to instill.
During the event, we will go through what about money brings you anxiety and intense emotions. How do these thoughts impact your life and what would your life look like if you only had positive thoughts around money? Would you be happier overall? Be able to be more present when you’re with your children? Be more focused at work? Be more active with your social life? Be more likely to hit your goals?
Probably! Just like I was able to be more present during my weekend after just one session with Traci. I had fun with my friends, saw my family, and was fully engaged the entire time, which usually doesn’t happen. Why? Because I’m always thinking about the next thing I have to get done, the next item on my to do list. Aren’t you too? Do you lie in bed thinking about all the things you need to get done the next day, but can’t imagine you’ll have enough time to get them done, let alone shower that day.
This event is for you if money brings you a lot of fear and anxiety. If you correlate money with negative thoughts. If you want to make a major change in your life to live a happier and more enjoyable one. Don’t believe me? Borrow our beliefs that your life is worth this change, and putting just 2 hours of your year towards it, is the least you can do for your future.
If you answer yes to any of the questions below, sign up now for our
Live a Richer Life Now and Tomorrow Workshop.
Click below to get more information!
How organized are you? I’d say I’m pretty organized, but there is one drawer in my house that is a big, hot mess. It is a disaster, and my husband loves to complain about it. And my response is: I have one drawer that is my “catch all” and to just ignore it. So where do you fall on the organization spectrum?
Usually the thing we don’t feel like dealing with is also the thing we are the most unorganized with. Sound about right? How many investment account statements do you have littered throughout your house? Unopened statements, 20 year old statements, statements for accounts you no longer have…
Money can be tricky when it comes to getting it organized and staying on top of it, but it doesn’t have to be this way, and it definitely doesn’t have to give you a constant headache! Let me give you an example of a couple, and let’s say they were both teachers, who taught at multiple schools throughout their careers. And by multiple, I mean more than 10 schools! And at each school, they opened a 403(b) plan, which is similar to a 401(k) but for non-profits like schools, hospitals, police departments, etc. Sometimes when they changed schools, they transferred their 403(b) plan into the new school’s plan, while other times, they left it at the old plan. And fast forward to today, and now they might have 15 different 403(b)s.
15 different 403(b)s can be quite daunting to someone who doesn’t know what to do with one, let alone 15. So they ignored them and ignored them, and shuffled the paperwork and statements from one drawer in their house to another. Now you might think, what’s the problem? Well as this couple gets older, they will have to deal with Required Minimum Distributions. Once they hit 70 ½ they will have to start withdrawing money from each plan. You see when you turn 70 ½ the IRS requires you to withdraw money each year from your IRA, 401(k), 403(b), or other retirement account, and it is called your Required Minimum Distribution. The first year, the amount is 3.65% of your account value on January 1st of that year and it slowly increases each year. They go all the way out until you are 115 years old, and by then they require you to take out 50%!
Now if they never consolidated all of their accounts, they would have to go into each 403(b) separately and withdrawal this Required Minimum Distribution or RMD. If they were 15 401(k)s, it would be the same thing, 15 different RMDs. If they were 15 different IRAs, you would be able to take one RMD from one IRA, but it would have to total the amount of all the IRAs. Make sense? I know a little confusing, and just another thing you have to think about when retirement comes knocking at your door.
Anyway, this couple was having trouble staying on top of all these accounts, and you can barely say they were staying on top of them since they had no idea how they were invested, where they were located, and how much money was in them. Can you imagine how much better their accounts may have done if they were more active with them and were managed better and aligned better with their risk tolerance, time horizon, and goals? About 90% of the accounts were invested in high growth stocks, which can be very volatile and were no longer aligned with their current risks and objectives. What would happen if there was a huge market correction? They may end up needing to go back to work or having to downsize to a tiny house on their children’s yard.
For a few reasons, it made sense for them to consolidate and pay more attention to their accounts. Don’t you think for a couple like this, their stress level might go down after organizing their accounts and making it easier for their retirement withdrawals? For every minute we organize, we potentially save ourselves hours. And if you have ever tried to move over 403(b)s, you will know it can be a little difficult and time consuming. Part of the process is getting your old employer to sign off on the paperwork, which meant researching all the 403(b) plans they have and connect them to each school. But this upfront time, can potentially save them a lot more especially during retirement when you really want to enjoy yourself (and not potentially be stuck on the phone for hours a day trying to get someone to help you!).
Just doing this one thing can save you time, energy, a whole lot of frustrations, and help to keep you in control over your money.
So what will you organize this week? Pick one item, and consider holding yourself accountable by emailing me what you picked!
Jessica Weaver, CFP®, CDFA™, CFS®
In educating you on available options, each of which has potential benefits and drawbacks, we’ll look at your specific situation to help determine which option may be in your best interest.
The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Jessica Weaver and not necessarily those of Raymond James
Stephanie, a business major and head of a creative agency, quit her job and relocated with her husband a few months before she had her baby. In a brand new place, recent motherhood and lack of support, it was difficult to pursue her career dreams. Fast forward a few years, she is now a licensed yoga teacher, teaching yoga at various elementary schools and senior centres.
There are numerous smart, hard working & motivated women whose career paths have changed for many reasons - family, relocation, economic factors like layoffs etc.
For women, pivoting and relaunching careers is ubiquitous. Yet how many of us understand, acknowledge, prepare and gain from it?
Every day of our lives, we go about as friends, volunteers, Facebook acquaintances, often unaware of the untapped talent next door, the professional skills or aspirations of the women we cross in our daily lives.
After a (some) disastrous branding mis-steps for her company, Lisa, a tax professional was surprised to discover that her neighbor Gwen was a graphic designer. Soon, Gwen was working on branding, Infographics and social media in close coordination with Lisa for her business.
Can you imagine a world where you could easily view every woman’s professional skills or aspirations, recommend, barter, collaborate and thrive, all on a single platform?
In today’s digital landscape, change across careers is happening at breakneck speed. We can be uncomfortable and not make the time for it, but we cannot ignore change.
Moena, an avid writer and journalist by training, witnessed the steady decline of the paper publishing world and the numerous jobs that ceased to exist as a result. In the past 5 years, she has undertaken 3 intensive courses on blogging, digital marketing and SEO and now has a flourishing copywriting business.
Change is leaving no industry untouched. While we grow businesses, build our careers or speculate on a new career path, are we contemplating our direction with an eye on the future?
Women are wired to be more social. Among internet users, a greater percentage of women use Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter. They use social media less than men for business reasons and rather use social networking sites to make connections and stay in touch.
Is it any wonder that there’s only one social network that boasts more men (24%) than women (19%)- the professional-networking site LinkedIn. Maybe because their focus is purely business and does not take into account the social aptitude of most women, which even transcends into their professional lives.
Look carefully and witness a healthy wave of collaboration today - women watching out for each other's backs, sharing resources and referrals, online virtual coffee dates, mentoring and totally echoing the fact that a rising tide lifts all.
So we thought? Why not blend the professional, social and collaborative aspects of a woman’s personality and give #WomeninCareers a place to brag about their current skills or business, network, hire, review and collaborate?
Imagine a bold(strong) color. Now picture an ancient symbolism of women coming together under a mighty Oak for a community experience -sharing tips and helping each other. That’s the thought behind the symbiosis Maroon Oak.
Maroon symbolizes courage, control and maturity through life experiences. And the mighty Oak powerfully stands tough through it all. Isn’t that the perfect representation of a woman?
Two years ago, while working together on an IoT start-up, Business & finance major Pooja Krishna and Design Professional Aditi Tandon discovered the power of such synergy.
At a friend’s brunch, the conversation triggered from how difficult it is to find a local entertainer for a school event and meandered to discussions about the career journeys of several women sitting around the table.
It was an aha moment - listening to women recount the career decisions they made at various cross-roads in life. For the first time, by putting every woman’s skills first, each of them was looking differently at the way their friends were identified (as mom, wife, daughter etc).
Two mom professionals raising daughters, who themselves made career choices keeping motherhood at the forefront, Pooja and Aditi had been friends for more than a decade and personally understood the career trajectories and challenges of #WomeninCareers; The ambitions put on hold and the mom guilt that persists despite giving it your all. Of the everyday management skills a work-life juggle demands, the overwhelm of managing it all to the fear of leaving it all behind.
It was their belief that a strong professional presence is as much about skills as it’s about work experience. The journey to grow your career shouldn’t be a lonely ride and each of us can use the right help and relevant answers to our career questions. Answers which can come from experts or peers.
Maroon Oak for you
We want to channel the career conversations on social networks into one simple place where women help each other professionally by sharing, contributing, inspiring and even hiring.
Maroon Oak is the only Online Career Community that offers a Free solution for just that - a collaborative, Networking Platform for all the professional needs of #WomeninCareers
On Maroon Oak, your skill /aspirations will define you first. The ability to customize your profile, enables you to list your current business endeavor or skill, your website and social media details and a place to post or view opportunities and special promotions- all on one platform.
Share information on your subject matter expertise through our Video Blog or get inspiration from our blog, with articles intended to provide you with solid takeaways to act upon or get inspired from.
The objective is to help YOU capitalize on your network - whether it's to connect to find a job, offer a job, look up locally available skills, check out or team up with competition, broadcast your talent or side hobby to take it to the next level - the possibilities are endless.
The best part - a Membership and all benefits are completely free!
We provide connectivity not only to grow professionally, but also as an important career survival skill.
The question we ask of our Members every day - where are you in terms of opportunity, skills, collaboration and visibility? This helps us enable career aspects ranging from building professional credentials and your brand presence, updating digital skills, using social media or simply finding the right people to connect with as well as a platform to peer mentor and collaborate.
Specifically, we work with:
Skilled solo women entrepreneurs, looking to promote their businesses and find resources for collaborations, but no single platform where they can showcase themselves or locate talent based on skill, availability and location.
Talented women choosing to work part-time and creating connects with the number of companies and entrepreneurs willing to offer part-time work but unable to find the right candidates.
On Maroon Oak, Shannon, an aromatherapist collaborated with Ruth, a flower vendor in the neighboring town, to develop new fragrances for her product line. Karen, Anita and Catherine collaborated for guests posts.
Kim, owner of a pharma start-up, needed a local project manager at a reasonable salary. Tamara, a recent empty-nester looking for a job, was the perfect match.
Simultaneously, we strongly emphasize that women need to stay updated on skills and connections even while on a hiatus.
Why Collaboration Counts!
Since, women often search for local talent online, a positive brand presence and recommendations by peers go a long way. For the multitude of providers getting lost in the gig world, collaboration with peers will make them stand out more. Pooling resources and connects will offer better chances at business success as more and more large employers will be hiring on contracts rather than on full-time basis.
Here’s a simple exercise to drive home our point. Look around you today and identify 5 women - friends, neighbors etc. Do you know what they do or want to do? Can you help them professionally - connect with customers, mentors, coaches or just have an inspiring career talk? Who knows what changes are sparked by simple conversations.
Help Us Connect You
Join us on MaroonOak.com. It’s Free and easy to sign up. Follow us on Social media for even more inspiration. We would love to hear from you and your career journey.
Help us get the word out to encourage every career woman to be a part of the community. Share and strengthen the network together.
Because alone, we are strong. Together, we are exponentially powerful!
Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the opinions or services of the author, Aditi Tando or Maroon Oak. 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.
The 3 money lessons I learned from childbirth:
So while my husband kept telling me on our way to the hospital, “they will probably tell you to go home,” I kept laughing to myself and thinking I’m having this baby today.
There will always be curveballs thrown your way, and you need to be ready to make adjustments to your plan. Maybe you thought you’d work a little longer, but your health won’t let you. Maybe you thought you wouldn’t be getting a divorced, but your husband had different plans. It’s all about your attitude and approach to these life challenges that can help set you up for the next chapter or put you in a downward spiral. I’m not saying it’s easy, but I am saying it’s doable.
If you don’t know a lot about money, educate yourself. If you don’t know about budgeting, get a spreadsheet started. Learn as much as you can about your money habits and how you can adjust them to better suit your goals. The more you know how your money is working for you, the less stress you are likely to have. It can help you to gain confidence that you are on your way, control over your money issues, and clarity over why you doing all this hard work to get ahead in your life.
My new saying for this year is to love your life and love your money. You can have both and it just starts with taking action. Check out my new book’s website where you can gain so much knowledge and insights into your money.
Jessica Weaver, CFP®, CDFA™, CFS®
Any opinions are those of Jessica Weaver and not necessarily those of Raymond James.