Your Financial Haven

3 Thoughtful Gifts for Grandparents’ Day

Grandparents DayThroughout history, families have been guided and strengthened by the support of their devoted grandparents. That’s why, on National Grandparents Day, we honor our grandparents for their immeasurable love and wisdom, and for their contribution to who we are and what we have achieved.

Grandparents often grapple with the legacy they will leave to the coming generations. They reflect on their years of decision-making based on what life has brought them. They wonder if they are where they should be, financially and in other ways, and what’s in store for their glory years ahead.

According to AARP, the average age of a grandparent is 47. As baby boomers and early GenXers, they may have a living generation older than them in addition to two younger generations behind them. These grandparents could conceivably be caregivers of their own parents, their adult children, and their grandchildren. This is why they are known as “the sandwich generation,” often shouldering the financial costs of caregiving due to lost wages and paying for many direct costs.

As you celebrate the grandparents in your lives, consider these gifts to show them that you are invested in them as much as they are invested in you and your family.

The Gift of Financial Inquiry

Instead of expecting the grandparents in your lives to leave money to you, ask them if the resources they have are sufficient to take care of their own needs. Although you may encounter some resistance or lack of engagement (“We’re fine, don’t you worry about us”), it is important to plant the seed of inquiry and nurture it over time. Shining light on family finances allows proper planning for the future.

The Gift of Document Discovery

Knowing the location of estate planning documents, such as life insurance policies, wills, and powers of attorney, can provide great relief and a sense of organization to your family’s financial affairs. These documents capture a significant aspect of sharing and protecting the legacy of your grandparents and the next generations.

The Gift of Long-Term Care Insurance

Genworth reports that the 2016 median monthly cost for nursing home care for a semi-private room is $6,844, and for an assisted living facility this cost is $3,628. Most people prefer to age at home; the median monthly cost of home health care is $3,861.

Families without long-term care (LTC) insurance run the risk of being cared for under undesirable conditions. Adult children may want to consider contributing to LTC premiums for their parents to offset what they may have to pay if LTC becomes necessary.

On Grandparents Day, we show our love and appreciation to our grandparents and to the elders in our community who have shaped and enriched our lives. Let us endeavor to continue their legacy and to be those men and women who create a better future for our family, community, and country.

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Mind You Own Business (Part I)

39156843 - business acronym myob as mind your own business. yellow paint line on the road against asphalt background. conceptual image

Have you ever told someone to mind their own business? The saying, “Mind your business” is usually a response to an annoying invasion of privacy. However, when placed in a financial context, “Mind your own business” can serve as an important reminder—even a mandate—for our lives today.

What is your business? When speaking before a group, I asked the question, “How many of you are entrepreneurs?” In response, only a few people raised their hands. I suggested to them—and I suggest to you—that we all should consider ourselves entrepreneurs and manage our households like profitable business ventures.

To mind your business, you must change your mindset. To be mindful is to be aware, focused, and engaged. When you mind your business, you are financially conscious and determined to succeed.

Knowing what’s behind your financial decisions and determining what you value most are critical. Whether your goal is to enjoy a certain lifestyle, follow your passion, pursue advanced education, participate in charitable giving, fund retirement, leave an inheritance for children and grandchildren, or care for parents—when you are mindful of your business, you can define your own success.

You also must examine your attitude about money. People hoard it, hide it, or squander it. Some are enslaved by it. Others fear it, thinking that it carries a corrupting influence. However, money is not evil; it is the love (or worship) of money that is the root of all evil. Money is simply a means of financial measurement, exchange, or purchasing power that is useful in achieving your goals.

How well are you with managing the money you earn? Are you turning your income into wealth?

Taking a non-emotional look at your finances enables you to accurately assess and take steps to improve your financial condition.

The following questions can help you evaluate how well you are minding your business.

• Do you know much money you need to run/operate your household per month?
• Do you have adequate savings to cover expenses for 3-6 months in case of emergency?
• On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, what rating would you give yourself for financial decision-making and financial management to include investing for now and the future?

If you find yourself with answers that are not satisfactory, don’t let FOG—fear, obligation, or guilt—stop you from seeking the help you need to get your business on track.  Take this opportunity to figure out how to mind your business. Follow this blog series and engage deeper into operating a profitable household which allows you to achieve your goals and realize your dreams.

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