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Shape Your Legacy

Crossroads: Dead Ends, Chaotic Paths, and Cloverleafs

Shape Your Legacy
Crossroads - which road to take
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Ever found yourself zipping down the road of life, traveling in a fairly straight line, only to discover that you’ve unexpectedly run out of road and are facing a dead end?

I think we’ve all been there from time to time, haven’t we? Probably more than once.

If you’ve been traversing this planet for any length of time, you understand that dead ends happen; it’s just part of the deal. Even so, when the path runs out on us it usually comes as something of a shock. Things were going so well and then, Bam! They’re not. Everything comes to grinding halt and we’re left feeling confused and more than a little surprised, maybe even gobsmacked.

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A Bucket List How To Guide for Beginners

Shape Your Legacy
bucket list how to guide
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Goal setting for 2019: check! You used those SMART goals and you have a plan. Give yourself a high-five.

This time of the year it’s easy to find inspiration and a lot of conversation around the goals for the next year plans for achieving those goals. But what about longer-term goals? I know, I know, a year sounds like a long-term goal and in some ways it is. But stick with me here. What about goals that are even longer-term than a year: your lifetime goals.

What about a bucket list?

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Goal Setting Tips: Looking Forward for an Amazing Year

Plan for Tomorrow
goal setting tips
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Would you like to make 2019 the best, most productive, most fulfilling, and most amazing year of your life?

I bet that about ninety-nine percent of you answered yes.  But I’ll also bet that more than fifty percent of you added a caveat to your response – a Yes, but…Maybe more than one.

Yes, but I don’t have enough money.

Yes, but I don’t have enough time.

Yes, but I’m too old.

Yes, but I never finish what I start.

Yes, but I’ve said that before, year after year, and it never, ever, ever happens.

Believe me, I understand. continue reading

Goal Setting Tips: Looking Backward

Nurture Your Soul, Shape Your Legacy
goal setting tips

If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you know I am a big believer in the power and importance of goal setting.  There’s no better time to think through your goals than when getting ready to kick off a new year.

Please note: I’m not talking about making resolutions but about setting goals. There is a big difference!

RESOLUTIONS VERSUS GOALS

More often than not, making a resolution involves little more than throwing out some vague idea regarding how you’d like to do better in the coming year and hoping it will kind of, sort of, magically work.

Goal setting involves taking time to seriously consider what you want to accomplish and then coming up with a real plan to make it happen. Setting goals means coming up with an action plan that involves specific steps, strategies, and timelines for completion. It’s an activity I take very seriously and invest quite a bit of time in.

Why?  Because it works! continue reading

Make This Year Count: Setting and Achieving Financial Goals for 2019

Finances
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As I’ve mentioned, financial wisdom is about as exciting to me as tapioca pudding or reading a phone book. 

But it’s just so important for a woman to have a handle on her finances, especially in the years beyond 50.  This past year, my husband and I have put this at the top of our to do list. 

My search for financial wisdom promptly delivered me to the buy button on Amazon for Peggy Doviak’s 52 Weeks to Prosperity – Ask Peggy Doviak: What Your Accountant, Banker, Broker & Financial Adviser Might Not Tell You.

This book is awesome.  It’s simple and easy to understand  It offers actionable plans. It sets you up for success. 

You probably remember Peggy showering us with wisdom in her recent posts about when we can afford to retire and how to curb holiday spending. These happen to be two of our most popular blogs on the site! And for good reason. They are just chocked full of nuggets of wisdom. 

Financial Resolutions for 2019

The day after Christmas can be a little depressing. The last gift has been opened, the last Hallmark movie watched, and the cat finally has free rein over the Christmas tree. But don’t be sad. The holidays aren’t over yet. New Year’s Eve is only a week away with all the hope and promise of a brand-new beginning.

Are you making any New Year’s resolutions? If you are, do any of them involve your money? If so, you’re in good company. Common New Year’s resolutions include paying off debt and saving more. Unfortunately, our resolutions, money or otherwise, tend not to fare very well. In fact, 35% of us will have given up by the end of January. Most of the rest of us aren’t far behind. continue reading

The Fierce Way to Curb Holiday Spending

Cherish Relationships, Creativity and Crafts, Finances
holiday spending

As I mentioned in my recent post about love, gift giving is my love language. I show my love by sending the most thoughtful gifts to those I love. I must say I’m quite good at it.

But there’s just one little problem. 

Things can get, well, a little out of hand. 

It’s so easy to get caught up with the gift-giving spirit of the season, and the catchy Christmas carols don’t exactly help…Santa honey one thing I really do need, the deed to a platinum mine…or I want a hippopotamus for Christmas…or all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth…or all I want for Christmas is you…

You get the idea. Whether it’s your Instagram feed or your friends or the displays at the store, everywhere you look, you are prompted to want something or buy something. Charge it and pay for it later.

I’m not saying gifts are bad. But really, do your loved ones and friends want you to blow out your budget on things you can’t afford? Probably not. 

This year, make a plan and stick to it. My friend and financial sherpa Peggy Doviak, whose book has been helping the Chairman and I get a handle on our finances, shares a few ideas on how to make this the best Christmas ever without breaking the bank. 

We had such a great response from Peggy’s last post on planning for retirement, I wanted to bringing her back to shower us all with her bright, shining financial wisdom. 

Here’s what she had to say. 

The Best Christmas Ever

Do the upcoming holidays fill you with joy or dread? Are you already wearing cozy holiday sweaters, drinking hot cocoa, and watching Hallmark movies? Or do you find yourself wondering whether Scrooge was right, and we really should be boiling people in their own plum pudding?

I think money is one of the leading causes of holiday stress for people. We want to create the perfect event, and we try not to think of the bill that will arrive in the mail around January 15th. Well, here’s the good news—it’s possible to have a great holiday season and stay out of debt. Planning ahead, being willing to spend hours rather than dollars, and knowing how to say “no” can help you have a wonderful, prosperous December. continue reading

Health insurance for 50 Years and Over (before Medicare Kicks In)

Health and Fitness, Plan for Tomorrow
Health insurance for 50 Years and Over
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For a long time, I never thought about health insurance. We simply had a health plan through my husband’s job. But now that my husband has shifted his focus from a full-time job to several consulting and board positions, we don’t have a group health plan like we’ve enjoyed in the past. 

On top of that, and maybe many of you are in the same boat, my husband is a bit older than me and already reaping the benefits of Medicare. But being young and fierce, I still need normal health insurance.  Now that I’m on my own during open enrollment, I’ve realized that the health insurance marketplace is 1) expensive, 2) confusing, and 3) sends me into an emotional tailspin that only crafting or a Great British Baking Show binge can cure. 

Even though I am pretty healthy, keeping up with my Weight Watchers goals, and exercising regularly (hello, triathlon!), I still need health insurance. Like I mentioned in a recent retirement planning post, numbers aren’t really my thing. And that includes health insurance, and all its tricks and numbers and costs and acronyms and weird jargon that I may or may not be pronouncing correctly.  continue reading

When can I retire? What if I can’t afford to?

Finances
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Have you noticed that here at FierceBeyond50, I post about all kinds of topics relevant to the beyond 50 lifestyle, everything from health and fashion, to downsizing and personal relationships, but not finances?

There’s a reason for that.

I suck at money. Big time.

When the conversation drifts toward topics of personal finance, one of two things happens. Either I start to feel very bored and very sleepy, or I experience the anxiety that can only be overcome by starting a new craft project.

Financial discussions confuse me and scare me.  The first response tends to exacerbates the second response, I’ve noticed. The less I understand about money matters, the more frightening they become.

Even in my ignorance, I do understand that it’s important for a woman to have a handle on her finances, especially in the years beyond 50.  That’s why, with a certain amount of trepidation, I’ve recently undertaken a personal quest to do exactly that.

Not surprisingly, my search began with books.  And, lucky for me, it soon brought me to the exact book I needed – 52 Weeks to Prosperity – Ask Peggy Doviak: What Your Accountant, Banker, Broker & Financial Adviser Might Not Tell You.

I highly recommend this book.  It’s very clear and easy to understand and has specific action plans to help readers corral and steer their financial futures. If you know me at all, you know how I love a good action plan! Having a whole year to work through them seemed less intimidating, like something I could actually do. My husband and I are already working through some of these steps and it’s been an illuminating experience. (I’ll be blogging more about that in the future, so stay tuned.)

Something else I loved about this book was the warm, conversational tone of the author.  Peggy Doviak seemed like somebody who would be easy to talk to, the kind of lady who I’d want to invite into my kitchen for a cup of coffee and a good gab.

Since Peggy lives in Oklahoma and I live in Oregon, a coffee date would be complicated. That’s why I decided to do the next best thing – invite her to guest blog. Actually it’s even better than a coffee date because I get to share her with all of you.

Today I’ve asked Peggy to write about a question that’s on the mind of so many Beyond50 readers –  When can I retire?

Read on for Peggy’s answer to this very important question!

 

Are you terrified you can never retire? If so, you’re in good company. We’ve all seen the statistics about saving money in our twenties, and the young people who have committed to that strategy just rock! However, many of us did not plan for our retirement in our twenties, thirties, or sometimes even forties. We always had a “good” reason, but still, we didn’t save. Suddenly, OMG, we’re closing in on being 65! We need a solution, and we need it now.

Unfortunately, the financial services community understands our panic and, all too often, tries to exploit it. Over plates of cold chicken fettuccini and a never-ending PowerPoint, a local financial adviser tells us that if we haven’t saved a million dollars by now, we will be eating cat food during our twilight years. The adviser may also warn against counting on the viability of both Social Security and any pension we have earned. But never fear—he has the perfect product to meet our needs, whatever they are. Just sign here.

DON’T! Maybe the sales pitch really does offer an appropriate product, but don’t make your decision from a position of fear. When people are anxious or ashamed, they are desperate for a quick solution that provides peace of mind. When an investment product claims to offer financial certainty, it’s appealing. But remember—they bought you the fettuccini. continue reading

The Prepared Pantry: A Fierce Guide to Dehydrated Food and Smart Shopping

Plan for Tomorrow
dehydrated food
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One thing leads to another, so they say.

After our move to Central Oregon, a beautiful region with an increased risk of forest fires, I decided it was time to start getting a little more serious about emergency preparedness. But after I completed a family evacuation plan and kits that would allow us to shelter in place for up to two weeks, my husband wanted to take it a little farther.

Having learned about the remote but not unheard of possibility of earthquakes that could disrupt supply chains, he asked me to look into longer-term food storage.

My response to his request was what I’ve come to call my Prepared Pantry. It’s a sensible, practical, money and time saving approach to creating a long-term food supply. continue reading

Emergency Preparedness 101: The Fierce Guide to Preparing for the Unexpected

Plan for Tomorrow
emergency preparedness
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A lot of people’s idea of emergency preparedness amounts to hoping it won’t happen, not to them.

Until fairly recently, I was one of those people.

Sure, I understood that emergencies and natural disasters can happen.  Having served as a translator for a medical mission in the wake of a hurricane in Mexico, I had firsthand knowledge of the devastating impact of natural disasters. I also understood that the impact is even more devastating for people who are unprepared.

Still, though I understood that disasters can happen, I couldn’t quite make myself think they could happen to us.

When I did allow myself to contemplate the possibilities of natural disaster, I would quickly tap into my inner Scarlett O’Hara. I would think about it tomorrow.

Somehow, tomorrow never came.  Sound familiar?

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