Broker Check

Inside Your Wealth - February 2020

A Note from Marilyn and Ora 

2020 Is Just Whizzing By Us!

February brings us Valentine’s Day, Presidents’ Day among several other notable holidays such as Black History month and American Heart Month. As we prepare for the wondrous season of tax planning and filing, please make an effort to continue taking care of your health and especially your Heart Health. So many of us make health and exercise goals and by this time, may have put them off for other more important and pressing objectives.  For women, cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. 

The American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” research program, is a leader in educating us on misconceptions about heart disease in women. 

We wish you all the happiness and dark chocolates for Valentine’s Day and throughout the month of February this leap year!

Best wishes as you weather the 2020 tax season. Let us know how we can serve and support you! 

Marilyn and Ora


The Real Numbers Behind Walking

Some of the conventional thinking about walking is changing. For many, walking is their favorite way to get in some quick exercise. Whether you prefer it to the more strenuous activity of running or jogging or just enjoy being outside for a bit every day, it seems like more people are looking to “get their steps in” each day.

The famous “10,000” steps goal, however, might not be as scientifically accurate as many might think. It turns out that the 10k number came about thanks to the manufacturers of early pedometers. This number, which has been around since the 1960s, is being challenged by new research from Harvard Medical School. The study finds that those who walk 7,500 steps or more in a day had the lowest mortality rate out of 17,000 responding women, aged 66 to 78. More walking was not significantly correlated with any increased benefit. In fact, even walking only 4,400 steps in a day was associated with a diminished mortality rate. According to Professor I-Min Lee, one of the contributing researchers to the Harvard study, most Americans average about 4,000 to 5,000 steps each day. Professor Lee advises a new rule of thumb: whenever possible, make your goal 2,000 more steps than you normally walk in a single day. So, synchronize your pedometers!1 

Getting a Good Value for Winter Rental

Thinking about renting a house for your winter pursuits? If you’re chasing the snow for skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling, the first thing to remember is that you’re not the only one!

With winter sports as popular as ever, you might be tempted to take a trip overseas. If you can afford to visit the Alps or Scandinavia, you’ll find no shortage of exotic and exciting destinations. But don’t discount options closer to home. Creating comfortable and affordable winter accommodations is big business all over the country. In addition to the traditional ski lodges and resorts, you may also be considering some of the internet-based rental services, which match vacationers with property owners. While these websites offer reviews that you can research, giving you a glimpse into the experiences of previous renters, you might still experience some hesitation. Don’t be afraid to ask the owners to talk with you via a video chat service. This would allow them to give you an impromptu “virtual tour” of the property. You may also want to consider renting a larger house and sharing it with another family. In some cases, this might prove to be less expensive, overall, than renting a house of your own. It also offers other opportunities to share costs, not to mention building memories together.2  

Recipe of the MonthCelebration Chocolate Cupcakes 

¾ cup pastry flour, sifted

½ cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)

¾ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

2 large eggs

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup brown sugar, unpacked

⅓ cup coconut oil, melted

2 tsp. vanilla extract

½ cup buttermilk, room temperature

Frosting of choice 

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Two muffin pans, line with 14 cupcake liners.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the following dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla together in a second bowl until combined and smooth.
  5. Add half the egg mixture into the flour mixture, followed by half the buttermilk, then mix.
  6. Add the rest of the egg mixture and buttermilk and stir, but do not overmix.
  7. Carefully add the batter into the liners with a spoon, only halfway.
  8. Bake for 18 to 21 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Cool completely, then add preferred frosting and sprinkles, or otherwise, decorate to taste. 

Recipe source:


Planning Your New Garden

With spring just around the corner, chances are that you might be thinking about what to prepare for your garden. In many parts of the country, there are water conservation considerations as well. Even if there aren’t restrictions in your area, you may either have an interest in some of the coincidental benefits of so-called sustainable gardening.

For instance, plants that need less water will need less watering, not to mention less tending, in general.  Native plants often fit these criteria, depending on the variety.

If you’ve already established a garden, you might choose to let it “re-wild” a bit. This is the process of  allowing frequently pruned bushes and shrubs to return to their natural shape as well as allowing the grass and some wildflowers to grow. Not only do dwarf hybrids need less watering and pruning, but they also take up less room, which is ideal for people with smaller yards. 

A final touch: plants that produce fruit, vegetables, or herbs can be both ornamental and edible all at once. After all that gardening, you could probably do with a nice snack.3


Money and GardeningWealth Tip 

Money management is a bit like tending to a garden. You have to plant seeds, feed, water and trim back the shrubs from time to time.Sometimes you have to remove, re-plant, andre-design your garden due to a wind storm, or other natural disasters. There are many analogies we can use. Pay attention to the growth, to the changes in your financial garden as the seasons change. An independent woman can take care of all parts of her life’s garden, including money management. Let’s try!  

Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.  —Ayn Rand


Savvy Women — 

Genuine Connections are Challenging Today — are you Missing your Power of Connection? 

One would think, with all our new snazzy technology, that CONNECTING would be easy and a snap to make new friends and colleagues. Yet, it seems that genuine connections are challenging today and are becoming a “lost art” in our society. 

I don’t want to go too far, however, many of us are glued to our screens, both small and large. Even during a conversation with another friend or colleague, technology, rather than bringing us together, has seemingly made us more distant, even within a family or a team at the office. 

With the advent of Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, etc., we can be become isolated and impacted by all of the “perfect” pictures and posts that our friends, family and colleagues provide. Does that make us any less a friendly and humane person that one would want to get to know better beyond a “screenshot”?? 

Connecting takes time, energy, and compassion. We have to work to overcome the habit of being taken over by our screens!  How many of us have seen a couple or family at a restaurant where everyone is glued to their phones, or done it themselves? Many of us allow our toddlers to use a screen to distract them so we can have an “adult” conversation. 

Let’s get back to having a conversation where people truly matter. We need to have is deeper interest in what is said so we can come away with a better understanding of our friends, family or our business colleagues.    

Let’s be curious about the person(s) we are meeting or sharing a meal with. That will make a difference and an impact on your connection whether personal or business. 

Make a pact with yourself and your inner circle to spend more time in human interactions and practicing the art of the conversation, truly connecting, whether in business or in your personal life. 

Let’s put our best self in the conversation without fear or self judgement and see how it goes! Trust that your intuition, your curiosity, and your head, heart and soul will lead your conversation exactly where it needs to go! Best wishes for a fabulous 2020!