As we enter the final quarter of 2020, we hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and well. This year, 2020, has been full of challenges, changes, and with more to come with the upcoming election and the status of the COVID-19 virus in our nation and our communities. We have been keeping you updated via our weekly Ask Marilyn Zoom sessions, as well as in monthly and weekly updates on our economy, global markets and other topics that may impact our daily lives.
As you look back on these past eight months, we hope you see some positive results and perhaps a pivot or two to avoid a negative outcome. We all have had to look deeper into our lifestyles and our daily regimens to see what has served us well. As you enjoy the change of season this Fall, please take time to count the good things that have happened and the actions you took to positively impact your lifestyle.
Let’s all FINISH STRONG and look forward to a fresh beginning in 2021.
Be Safe and Be Well
Some of us share a common experience. You’re driving along when a police cruiser pulls up behind you with its lights flashing. You pull over, the officer gets out, and your heart drops.
“Are you aware the registration on your car has expired?” You’ve experienced one of the costs of procrastination.
Procrastination is avoiding a task that needs to be done—postponing until tomorrow what could be done today. Procrastinators can sabotage themselves. They often put obstacles in their own path. They may choose paths that hurt their performance.
Though Mark Twain famously quipped, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.” We know that procrastination can be detrimental, both in our personal and professional lives. Problems with procrastination in the business world have led to a sizable industry in books, articles, workshops, videos, and other products created to deal with the issue.
There are a number of theories about why people procrastinate, but whatever the psychology behind it, procrastination potentially may cost money—particularly when investments and financial decisions are put off.
As the illustration below shows, putting off investing may put off potential returns.
If you have been meaning to get around to addressing some part of your financial future, maybe it’s time to develop a strategy. Don’t let procrastination keep you from pursuing your financial goals.
Let’s look at the case of Cindy and Charlie, who each invest $100,000. Charlie immediately begins depositing $10,000 a year in an account that earns a 6% rate of return. Then, after 10 years, he stops making deposits.
Cindy waits 10 years before getting started. She then starts to invest $10,000 a year for 10 years into an account that also earns a 6% rate of return.
Cindy and Charlie have both invested the same $100,000. However, Charlie’s balance is higher at the end of 20 years because his account has more time for the investment returns to compound.
John and Mary are nearing retirement and they have a lot of items on their bucket list. Longer life expectancies mean John and Mary may need to prepare for two or even three decades of retirement. How should they position their money?1
One approach is to segment your expenses into three buckets:
Next, pair appropriate investments to each bucket. For instance, Social Security might be assigned to the Basic Living Expenses bucket.2
For the discretionary spending bucket, you might consider investments that pay a steady dividend and that also offer the potential for growth.3
Finally, list the Legacy assets that you expect to pass on to your heirs and charities.
A bucket plan can help you be better prepared for a comfortable retirement.
Call today and we can develop a strategy that may help you put enough money in your buckets to complete all the items on your bucket list.
1. John and Mary are a hypothetical couple used for illustrative purposes only. Diversification is an approach to help manage in-vestment risk. It does not eliminate the risk of loss if security prices decline.
2. Social Security benefits may play a more limited role in the future and some financial professional recommend creating a retirement income strategy that excludes Social Security payments.
3. A company’s board of directors can stop, decrease or increase the dividend payout at any time. Investments offering a higher dividend may involve a higher degree of risk. Keep in mind that the return and principal value of stock prices will fluctuate as market conditions change. Shares, when sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost.
Comfort food means different things to different people. For some, peanut butter and fluff sandwiches invoke feelings of well-being. For others, fried baloney, matzo ball soup, or meatloaf may conjure contentment. If you’re looking for some great comfort food, Southern Living recommended this recipe:6
½ (16 oz) package cellentani pasta
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes and green chiles
1 (8 oz) package pasteurized prepared cheese product, cubed
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 (10-¾ oz) can cream of chicken soup
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1-½ cups (6 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper and sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in tomatoes and green chiles and prepared cheese product; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly, or until cheese melts. Stir in chicken, the next 4 ingredients, and hot cooked pasta until blended. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 10-inch cast iron skillet or 11” x 7” glass baking dish; sprinkle with shredded Cheddar cheese.
Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.
As we mature, we spend much of our time trying to measure up to someone else’s standards. We learn from our parents, that a “B” is not good enough when an “A” is expected on a report card. When we don’t take the time to congratulate a child or team member on a project for a job well-done, that could have delighted them for the rest of the day. We make that person, or ourselves, begin to want to be that other “ideal” person and lose themselves in the process. Trying to please or keep up with the “ideal” YOU is not a very pleasant way to live.
Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are. —Marilyn Monroe
Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it. —M. Scott Peck
We love this topic of “Building Up and Supporting Women” as that is a basic foundational principle of our financial planning and wealth management practice. In our work with our clients, some of our women clients may be experiencing a life transition, such as widowhood, divorce, or a business or career change. As many of you may have heard me say: “Your wealth is more than your money- It’s about your family, your friends, your community and the causes you care about deeply”. And most importantly it is about YOU and how you step forward and through a life transition.
May we share one story of a professional woman, mid-career, who wanted to make a change in her life-style and her career. On the personal front, she was single and open to a relationship that seemed to elude her while she was so busy sharing her talents and skills with her non-profit employer, who she loved. However, Laura wanted to build her own therapy practice serving young families and children. With her full-time work, she could not find enough time to plan, manage and execute a complete transition. Couple that with the fear of losing a stable paycheck, health benefits and the unknown of being a business owner. She had some clients that she served on a part time basis, but not enough to sustain a lifestyle in Northern California.
We began to work together to build her potential new business, from the ground up, one client, one business tenet at a time. Laura really knew what she wanted in her practice, who she served and how she served. We supported her with an initial business and marketing plan, which then we integrated into her personal financial plan. We brought solutions for health benefits and retirement planning as well, so she was comfortable and confident with her future.
She took fast action and decreased her hours at the non-profit and opened her Saturday mornings to serve families with two working parents. She immediately had success through her physician referral network. She also raised her hourly rate, which was challenging at first, as she is a giver and wanted to share her talents. We reminded her that she is in business to serve her clients, but the business needs to serve her as well.
She left her nonprofit 5 months early as she had built a firm schedule of clients and had confidence that her marketing and business development would sustain her practice as clients completed their work. We were thrilled for her success and in the interim, while she was managing her transition, she met a prospective partner, who now is her husband and they are enjoying life together.
The lessons learned are many: Know what you truly desire. Put action plans in place to reach your goals. Ask for support to reach your dreams. This is a recipe for success and a lifestyle of abundance.