Welcome Back to School and the Advent of the Fall Season!
August has traditionally been known for “Back to School” events and enjoying the last summer adventure. You may be surprised to learn August has other notable celebrations to help us celebrate the “Dog Days of Summer.” August 5th is “Work Like a Dog Day” (makes us think of curling up and snoozing)! August 26th is “Dog Appreciation Day.” For those who have dogs as pets, be sure to give them extra love on their special day.
The last 18 months have indeed been challenging. We wrestled through the pandemic’s first phase and now hope the post pandemic era will end soon. The delta variant is wreaking havoc on our country and the world. Yet we are slowly moving back to a “New Normal” lifestyle both at work and at home.
We hope you and your family are thriving, and that each new day offers moments of gratitude and hope. The strength of our attitude and our mindset will help us steer and deliver the bigger, brighter future that we envision. With Fall approaching, we have the opportunity to rekindle relationships, to add new spark to our work lives, and continue caring for ourselves and those we treasure, while supporting the causes you care about deeply. We are hoping to host one or more live events this year while being mindful of public health regimens. Watch for our announcements. Enjoy these remaining days of Summer!
Be safe and be well,
Ora and Marilyn
Caregiving for a disabled or chronically ill family member or elderly adult is seldom easy.
Many caregivers struggle with the stress of balancing work and caregiving responsibilities. But there are ways to manage stress and keep it from overwhelming you.
A large part of caregiver stress comes from being overloaded. There may be many competing demands on your time, and these demands may not leave much, or any, time for doing the things that you enjoy. At the same time, you may feel the emotional drain of caring for someone whose condition may not improve. If you are holding down a job and raising a family at the same time, the stress can seem overwhelming at times.
Recognize the signs of caregiver burnout
Some caregivers are reluctant to acknowledge the strain associated with their role, seeing this as an admission of failure. But acknowledging and recognizing stress is the first step toward reducing it. This acknowledgment is important, not just for the caregiver, but for everyone around him or her — the disabled relative, family and coworkers.
Here are some common signs of caregiver stress:
Key Points to Consider
The most important thing to know about caregiving is that you do not need to do it alone. Getting support for your role as a caregiver is your first priority.
Three action steps for women balancing business and personal finances
"Women launch and lead businesses at a rate five times faster than the
national average. They are also majority owners of nearly 48% of the country’s businesses, up from 29% in 2007.1"
However, for many entrepreneurs, building an equally strong personal financial plan sometimes takes a back seat to building their business: 2 in 5 say they are better at managing their business than their own personal finances.2 Fortunately, these two issues don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The key is to define financial goals for both business and family – and then integrate these priorities in ways that work best. This guide outlines three of the most vital issues to consider in creating a successful personal financial plan. Working with a trusted financial professional can help piece together a roadmap toward a more secure financial future for you, your family, and your business. Let’s examine a few details for each core step.
Step 1—Reducing Risk
Build and maintain an emergency fund
It’s always advisable to have cash reserves set aside, but as a business owner, it’s even more important. After all, your personal financial security is heavily dependent upon the success of your business. Some experts recommend that business owners set aside 20% of their annual income for unanticipated expenses,3 but a more conservative approach calls for three to six months of income.4 Whatever the amount, the idea is to build a personal financial cushion should your business experience an unexpected slowdown.
Balance personal debt and external financing
For both start-up and expansion financing, women entrepreneurs are more likely than men to use personal and family savings. And more than half of women business owners have carried business costs on a personal credit card.5 Every business has different needs, and no financial solution is one size fits all. However, shaping the future of your business may require a wider mix of financing sources, both internal and external.
A financial professional can offer guidance in this area, so that personal resources aren’t stretched too thin. This advice might include identifying alternative funding sources – perhaps through Small Business Administration programs in your region, business accelerator organizations, grants, commercial lenders, or investor and venture capital groups dedicated to your industry or to women-led start-ups.
Step 2—Investing in Yourself
While some entrepreneurs forgo a regular salary in the interest of boosting growth and profitability, it’s helpful to create a reasonable compensation policy as the business grows and matures. Nearly half of women entrepreneurs with multimillion-dollar revenue say they have plans to increase their salaries, but many women entrepreneurs have never given themselves a raise.7,8
Maintain adequate insurance coverage
As a business owner, having suitable personal insurance coverage in place can offer peace of mind and financial protection.
Here are critical coverages to consider:
Life insurance – To protect those who rely on your financial support, or to provide a tax-advantaged asset that builds cash value over time.
Health insurance – Because even though female entrepreneurs enjoy better health overall than their male counterparts, business owners are more likely to lack health coverage than do workers as a whole.9
Long-term disability – To replace income if you become unable to work due to illness or injury.
Key-employee insurance – To help the business survive the unexpected loss of a key employee, founder, or partner on whom the continued successful operation of the business depends.
Your financial professional can help assess how much coverage is right for your situation.
Step 3—Planning for the Future
Save for retirement
Business owners have more options in setting up retirement plans that qualify under the tax code, which generally means your contributions and earnings aren’t taxed until you withdraw money from the plans. These options give you the ability to put aside more tax-deferred funds than people who work for someone else. Typically, there are four types of plans that business owners might consider:
Simplified Employee Pension Plan (SEP IRA) For businesses with any number of employees or for the self-employed.
Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE IRA)
For businesses with 100 or fewer employees.
Self-Employed 401(k) Plan
For business owners with no employees, but with a business partner or spouse.
For a larger enterprise.
Your financial professional can offer guidance for growing your personal nest egg even further. Make time for conversations about your legacy goals, and how to protect what you’ve built and those you care for. Your financial professional can make referrals to estate-planning specialists, who can outline the use of trusts and other asset-protection options that may deliver significant tax.
1. The State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, American Express OPEN and Womenable, 2018.
2. Insights on Wealth and Worth, U.S. Trust, 2016.
3. Back to Basics: How Much Money Should I Have in My Emergency Fund? FiGuide, National Association of Personal Financial Advisors,
4. Do You Still Need an Emergency Fund as You Get Older? Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, July 2016.
5. Annual Membership Survey, National Association of Women Business Owners, 2018.
6 . Female-Founded, VC-Funded, PitchBook, March 15, 2017.
7. Business Outlook Survey, Women President’s Organization, 2014.
8. Annual Membership Survey, National Association of Women Business Owners, 2018.
9 . U.S., Female Entrepreneurs Thrive in Purpose Well-Being, Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, October 2014.
10. Insights on Wealth and Worth, U.S. Trust, 2015.
Like it or not, we’re all involved in running the “family business.” We worry that our parents might outlive their retirement savings, we are worried about our kids going to college, and what our own role in both might be. We’re often comforted by the thought that family members would probably bail us out if we got into money or personal trouble. We strive to help our children financially, and we’d like to bequeath them at least part of our nest egg. Families in the United States are an important part of the social construct. Families care for one another.
In short, our family is our asset, liability, and legacy. Now here’s the contention: It’s time to build this notion into the way we manage our money. Many people are willing to help their family members out financially, so we should recognize this, not just ignore it.
Here are just some of the reasons why:
Raising Children: Parents do have a legal responsibility to care for their children. If you are fortunate enough, you might want to continue this financial support into college years and beyond. However, that can be a drain on your own wealth and perhaps even hinder your retirement savings. If you don’t want your adult children swimming in credit card debt, missing mortgage payments, and constantly asking you for money, start by teaching your children financial literacy and best practices at a young age. This is how most people learn about money. Try your best to instill in them positive financial behaviors from a young age. Even if you are not born into wealth, you can teach financial literacy to your children.
That’s trickier than it seems. Children can grow up sheltered from the money talks at home, only seeing spending and not the earning, budgeting, and saving. After all, for children, all purchases are free, so why should they fret about the price tag or control their desires? Instead, teach children the basics of money, about earning money, and the importance of saving. One way to do this is to make your children feel like they’re spending their own money. Give them an allowance when they are younger based on doing chores, and a clothing allowance when they are teenagers, and insist they live within this budget. This way, instead of you constantly saying “no” to your children, they will learn to say “no” to themselves. They will also learn the benefits of positive spending habits.
Launching Adults: Once your children get into the work force, you want them to get into the saving and investing portion of their financial life cycle where they are steadily building wealth. However, if they do not understand debt, they can fall behind quickly and struggle to ever catch back up.
It is also important to discuss student loans and credit cards with your young adult children. These types of easy access funds can quickly have a snowball effect, because the young adult can quickly borrow and push off the pain of repayment into the future.
If your young adult children can start down a positive financial path early on, the easier it will be for them to meet their goals and less of a financial drain on you. To that end, encourage your children with your words and with your fine example. We don’t have a duty to just support our kids financially, but to teach them how to be financially independent later in life. This starts with the basics of financial literacy.
In my own experience and many of my friends and colleagues, hard work was the basis for success, job satisfaction and overall happiness. Like the endorphins you feel after a great workout, the feeling of accomplishment when you have worked diligently to reach a goal, passing an exam with an "A", finishing a fantastic presentation, completion of an engineering design project, closing a critical sale, working with happy customers and clients…it's an incredible feeling! It's a feeling you want to repeat time and time again. Working hard to reach a goal, whether academic, work or personal, is Work worth doing.
Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life. —Confucius Nothing will work, unless you do—Maya
Eating healthy doesn't need to mean subjecting yourself to salad all day every day. These grain bowls are packed with good-for-you ingredients that'll fill you up without weighing you down.
1/2 lb. sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into rounds
1/2 lb. brussels sprouts, halved or quartered if large
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp. paprika
4 c. cooked wild rice
4 oz. Tuscan kale leaves, chopped
1 c. whole cranberry sauce
1 c. California walnuts
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. maple syrup
Preheat oven to 425º. Place sweet potatoes on one half of a large baking sheet. Place Brussels sprouts on other half. Toss each vegetable with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper, keeping them separate and in even layers. Roast until tender and golden, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining tablespoon oil. Season chicken with paprika, salt, and pepper and add to skillet. Cook until golden and no longer pink, 4 minutes per side. Transfer skillet to oven and roast until cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Let rest 10 minutes, then slice into thin strips.
In a medium skillet over medium heat, toast walnuts until they smell nutty and are slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together Dijon with lemon juice and zest, then slowly whisk in oil and maple syrup. Arrange wild rice and kale side-by-side in a shallow bowl. Add chicken, roasted vegetables, and cranberry sauce before drizzling with dressing.