by Carol deLaski | May 24, 2018 | Finances, Podcast
by Carol deLaski | Apr 27, 2018 | Finances, Jane Helm
What does financial independence mean to you?
Maybe you think being independent financially doesn’t pertain to you because you are in a marriage or committed relationship.
Perhaps you think that if you are independent, you are excluding your family and loved ones from your financial decisions.
If you’re single, it may be that you take your financial autonomy for granted. Financial independence is your way of life.
As a Financial Coach, my perspective regarding financial independence has changed drastically over the years. I used to think in traditional ways about money and independence. Through working with female clients, I have learned the importance for women to have their own sense of independence in managing their money. Statistically, we are more likely to be in situations that require us to be autonomous with money. Women live longer than men. We earn less than our male counterparts, and as a whole, we are more likely to live alone either by choice or circumstance.
While I was single, I was the only one who I needed to consider when making financial decisions. After getting married, I made the transition to sharing my finances with my husband. These were easy tasks: creating a joint checking account, adding each other as beneficiaries on our retirement accounts, making sure that both of our names were listed on our assets, all of which felt like a rite of passage. In addition to our marriage vows, I felt these steps were a part of “sealing the deal.” It wasn’t difficult, but I now know we missed a few crucial steps in the process. Steps that would have saved us from financially stumbling and ultimately falling through the first decade of married life.
The first (and most important) step we missed was not talking about money. We were in love, and talking about it didn’t seem necessary. We were optimistic about everything! Our love buoyed us above the mundane topics, floating on the optimistic notion that this love would see us through, no matter what the future had in store for us. We had no idea of the dangerous waters churning below the surface that would pull us down to despair, almost drowning both of us.
Early in our marriage neither of us had an independent voice in making money decisions. We found ourselves making these decisions on the fly, not wanting to rock the boat. We didn’t discuss how the decisions we were making early on may have long term consequences. The tsunami of financial fallout wouldn’t overcome us for a few years, but the emotional queasiness was already taking hold. My inner voice was sending me warnings, but was drowned out by my outer voice-the one who wanted to pretend that we were navigating our finances with ease.
The next misstep was not understanding what each of us valued. I valued being perceived as being successful. I wanted the beautiful, shiny things that I thought made us look well-off. The cars, the clothes, and the perfectly decorated house, all to show the world that we were prospering. Little did I know that my husband valued doing whatever made me happy–not rocking the boat that was already being thrashed about by the huge wave of consequences that would almost sink us in the not too distant future.
Our vision for our future was wrought with unspoken truths, and navigating the unruly waters of denial would prove to drown us in overwhelming debt. There would be no future without finally speaking our truth and committing to a future by starting over. In order to save ourselves, we took the step of talking about our individual visions for the future and worked toward a common vision for us as a couple.
Sometimes, in order to move forward, we need to step back. The choppy waters of finance can be navigated by finding your voice and understanding your values and vision with money. By using these as your inner compass, you will bring true authenticity to your relationship with others, and more importantly, your relationship with money. Financial independence is the lighthouse that will keep you (and anyone you may share your money with) on the right course!
To learn more about Jane’s approach to financial independence, attend her evening retreat, Be Independent on May 30th from 5:30-7:30 pm.
Today’s Author: Jane Helm is the Principal of Money Mentor Group. As a wealth coach, Jane combines decades of financial services experience with a degree in social work and psychology to bring positive financial change to her client’s lives. She is a Partner Coach with the Wholistic Coaching Coalition and co-founded the Build Your Own Business networking group. Jane can be reached via email at [email protected]
by Carol deLaski | May 12, 2016 | Finances, Guest Blogging, Retreats
Financial Documents. Planning for the future. ‘What if’ scenarios. The state of your aging parent’s finances. Words and phrases that can often strike fear and anxiety in most of us. But it doesn’t have to be that way. As with any subject, the more you can learn, the more you can release your fear around that topic and begin to plan and use the information to your benefit.
So, what do I mean by Financial Documents? It is the documents and information that should be in place in case of a ‘Life Event’, which is something that has a significant impact on your life, both financially and personally. This could be retirement, funding a child’s education or wedding, death of a spouse, divorce, job loss, and the like. Many of us don’t want to think about some of these topics, or don’t feel that there is any way we could ever be prepared, and so therefore, the topic gets ignored. But the reality is, the more you can educate yourself on this topic, the more prepared you will be to face an inevitable life event. Ignoring it doesn’t make it not happen, but addressing it makes the event much less stressful.
I was someone who did not want to face reality that something could go wrong, because I honestly thought that I would not be able to continue on. I would ask my husband, Sam, ‘what do I do if anything happens to you’. But when he said to me, ‘Karen, you could take care of things’ my answer would be a resounding ‘No way!’ and I’d end the conversation. I did not want to think about the possibility of a future of my life without him. So when the worst case scenario happened – he died very unexpectedly at the young age of 49 – not only was I not prepared financially, but I had lost the opportunity for his guidance on what I should do moving forward, especially with our business. We had our financial documents, but they weren’t adequate for what I needed after his death. So, in addition to dealing with the gut-wrenching agony of losing Sam, I was also dealing with the very stressful and anxiety-ridden topic of how in the world I was going to move forward, both financially and without his guidance.
Being prepared for a Life Event centers around two main topics – financial documents and conversations with your loved ones. Action steps you can take in those areas:
- Gather your important documents together
- Review the documents with your significant other or a loved one to become familiar with them and their contents, if you feel comfortable doing so
- Make an appointment with appropriate professional advisors to review the documents and determine if they are adequate for a Life Event
- Have regular conversations with your significant other and/or family members about the basics of your financial documents and/or situation
This can sometimes be an overwhelming topic to think about, let alone move forward. However, it is very important not only for yourself, but also for your loved ones. Acknowledgement, education and setting intentions, as with anything, is the key to moving forward.
Join Jane Helm and myself on May 25th as we lead the ‘Be You . . . Be Intentional’ seminar centered around being intentional with your financial life. For Details and registration information, click here
Today’s author, Karen Smith Racicot is a business and life coach assisting women and business owners with organizing their inventory of financial documents and being better prepared for a Life Event. She enjoys helping clients create more structure and organization in their financial life, assisting them with developing a path toward their life and financial goals.
Karen is the President of the Women’s Business Network, an Affiliate Coach with the Wholistic Women’s Retreats, a 2014 graduate of the Chamber’s Leadership Frederick County program, and a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Middletown. Visit her website E3coaching-md.com for information on working with Karen.
by Carol deLaski | Apr 29, 2016 | Finances, Jane Helm
I had always believed that setting goals was instrumental in staying on track and getting things done. Goals are always related to a future result. They helped in advancing my career, improving my relationships and especially in creating a life of financial well -being. To achieve a goal, we know we need to make specific, measurable steps towards a desired outcome.
Goals can be tricky, though. They are easily sidelined by everyday life. Goals, while moving us toward what we say we want, can take us out of the moment and create a feeling that what we have isn’t enough. A background feeling of unease can come over us if our goal-oriented life discounts our present moment. In short, while goals can move us forward, we can also feel victimized when we aren’t moving towards achieving the goal as expected.
I once set a lofty financial goal of having a certain amount of money in my savings account. I strategized, re-worked my budget and was determined to save as much money as I could. My focus was completely centered on a number. Over the next several months I experienced a few setbacks including an unexpected vehicle repair, and unforeseen medical expenses. Within a short amount of time I felt discouraged and demoralized. In this case, the future result that was opposite of my goal–I was exasperated. I almost decided that it would be easier to give up on the possibility that my future would include any version of financial security than to focus on such a goal.
Living your intentions, on the other hand, is much different than having a goal-oriented focus. Being intentional allows you to focus on how you want to be in the moment, independent of whether you are winning or losing. Allowing intentions to guide your moment to moment focus, means you are living your values and what matters most to you.
Focusing on our intentions does not mean we give up our goals or desire for achievement. By partnering goals with intentions we enjoy the journey as much as the destination! Here are three differences between goal setting and intentions:
- Goals are focused on the future. Intentions are in the present moment.
- Goals are a destination or specific achievement. Intentions are lived each day, independent of reaching the goal or destination.
- Goals are external achievements. Intentions are your inner-relationships with yourself and others.
Instead of setting a specific goal, had I set my intention regarding my savings account, I could have focused on feeling financially aware and empowered rather than frustrated and defeated. Even though several emergencies had taken actual dollars away from my goal, I could have focused on my intention of being empowered–I was able to pay those bills!
When our intentions are aligned with our goals we can experience a life of authenticity. What better gift than to spend our lives in being true to our core values and beliefs!
I am excited to share the power of intention at the “Be Intentional” Evening Retreat and hope you will join me there.
This will be an opportunity to shift your focus to what is possible when we connect with our inner values, allowing our intentions to be the guiding light to living in the moment.
Click here for details and registration information.
Today’s Author: Jane Helm is the Principal of Money Mentor Group. As a wealth coach, Jane combines decades of financial services experience with a degree in social work and psychology to bring positive financial change to her client’s lives. She is an Affiliate Coach with the Wholistic Woman Retreat group and co-founded the Bring Your Own Business Success networking group. Jane can be reached via email at [email protected]
by Carol deLaski | Sep 6, 2012 | Business, Children, Family, Finances, Fitness, Health, Laura Hall, Nutrition, Success
I am so excited to be giving you a little preview of one of the upcoming workshops being presented by Lisa DiSciullo and myself at the upcoming Wholistic Woman Retreat! We’ve titled it, “Spark a Wholehearted Life” and it’s being based around the work of Brene Brown. I first learned about Brene Brown after watching one of her TED talks http://home/wholisu6/dev.wholisticwomanretreats.com.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html and if you haven’t seen this, I highly recommend it. Her work has given me permission to be perfectly imperfect and as a “recovering perfectionist” this is just the permission I’ve been waiting for.
Wholehearted living is about recognizing your worthiness, that you already are enough, and then living from that place in harmony with your perceived imperfections. It’s about turning inward and acknowledging what is true for you and embracing that. It’s about letting go of allowing other people to dictate who or what you are supposed to be, and choosing your authentic truth, and then being courageous enough to stand up and say this is the real me. I’m done pretending to be something I’m not. I’m done trying to live up to unrealistic expectation. I’m done living by someone else’s rules for me. Here I am world, vulnerabilities and all! It’s not easy, but as someone who has been practicing this, I promise you, it has been well worth it!
Of course, this is life, and life is sometimes messy, so of course there are things that can get in the way of living a wholehearted life. Some days are better than others, but knowing what the potential road blocks are, allows us options, or detours, around these potential pitfalls. And on the positive side, there are also daily habits you can create that will assist you in wholehearted living. We will be looking at both of these aspects.
If this piqued your curiosity, if this leaves you wondering how effectively you are living a wholehearted life, if this has your imagination soaring about what would be possible if you started living life on your own terms, then please join us!
So, what are you doing September 28th and 29th? If you’d like to join us at the retreat, sign up TODAY as space is limited. You can do this at wholisticwomanretreats.com
Here’s to changing the world, one wholehearted life at a time!
Today’s author: Laura Hall is an iPEC certified life coach who believes every woman deserves a coach. She offers both one on one as well as group coaching services. She can be reached at [email protected] or check out her website at http://home/wholisu6/dev.wholisticwomanretreats.com.hallcoaching.com/.
by Carol deLaski | Aug 19, 2012 | Business, Children, Family, Finances, Fitness, Health, Linda Norris, Nutrition, Success
What a way to get out of my own head!!
Wwwhhheeee!!! Flying down a zip line, through the trees, on a 90-degree summer evening and feeling the wind—I could even feel it through my tennis shoes as my feet dangled down in the breeze. Now if that doesn’t clear the cobwebs out of your head from a day of sitting in the office, nothing will.
I loved the chance to do this Zip and Sip (of course we had to celebrate with wine and picnic dinners afterward) with other wholistic women on Tuesday, July 17th. I like hanging out with these ladies–not only the life coaches, who are the glue that holds the Wholistic Community together, but the women they draw to them.
I’m not a coach, even though I spend a lot of time with them. I’m like the rest of you: worried about your kids, your job, your husband, your health, your Mom’s doctors appointment, your son’s new girlfriend….you name it, and you’re taking it on, just like me. Personally, its my kids, my work, my hot fla……..well….we won’t get too personal but you get the drift.
Yet when I get together with this group of women, its like a book club, a baby shower, a business meeting—–all wrapped into one. It gets me away from my worries and allows me to relax, yet at the same time, if one of my worries is on my heart and I feel an affinity with the woman I happen to be laughing with, its ok to share a worry–not only OK, but release. Because the women drawn to our group are non-judgmental, good listeners, and will always share some perspective they’ve experienced that relates to my problem—-and I feel so much less alone!
As you look at this Zip Line video, you know now why I come to these social events put on by Wholistic Woman Retreats–not just the weekend retreats, which are a double- or triple-dose of what I enjoy, but the socials, workshops and other things we’ve done. Its a space to work things out for myself, but supported by other women who have the same worries. Let me know with your comments if you feel the same way!
Linda Norris, NW Communications lind[email protected] 240-315-8876
Check out our new website: www.nwcommsyourstory.com