Tag Archives: focus

Anxiety 401k: Parents’ Over-compensation

Parents’ disorder: anxiousrexia money nervosa. Kid’s inheritance: moolah hoarding? Saving your style.   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I’m 25 and my parents…are so freaked out about their financial situation… they’re insisting I put ¾ of my salary towards my retirement. I think that’s way too much, help me get them to get off my back! I’m being responsible, but how do I tell them nicely that just because they neglected to take better care of their own stuff, that I’m not doing the same thing and a better planner than them? I am planning on staying at home another year (to save up a downpayment, I’m almost there!) and they really want to help me, but I swear every other conversation in this house is about my retirement. Old Before My Time

==

Dear Old Before Time,

Three-quarters of your salary does seem too much towards your retirement at your age — and yet there’s no time like the present for retirement savings! Investing is all about understanding and embracing your risk tolerance and balancing it with your current life age/stage toward attaining your ultimate financial goal values (e.g., education, home ownership, retirement. Go find yourself a good mentor or professional financial planner). You are just starting out. Since you don’t mention having debt but saving for house down payment, I will assume your presentation of your finances is accurate and speak to that. The only person I personally know who started saving for his retirement first from age 19 on, and then started buying rental property(-ies), was my college BFF. He paid cash for everything (then was shocked he hadn’t built credit) and saved every penny — but he has indeed been set for retirement at minimum 25 years ahead of his. While that is some amazing and awesome peace of mind (especially in these continuing uncertain economic times) I believe it’s important to choose to live a balanced life (cheap can evolve into miserly as habits set, but it’s important to live within your means while meeting your needs, too), and that starts with our thoughts, and yes, I’m still talking about saving and investment here.

Money is emotional.  Much like your investment style, weigh whether your relationship with money (How you are in relationships with others is a strong indicator of how you are with your money, i.e., do you wait for others to take care of things, or are you straightforward and assertive with people? Think about everyone close to you and I’ll be surprised if you can find an exception to that) is a subconscious manifestation of your parents’ worried projections, or if it’s more a reflection (and practice) of your own values — that’s the real financial goal I would focus on attaining.

Bless your blessings,

BadWitch

==

Dear Old Before Time,

Well, your parents have some good advice for you, though they may be a bit over-zealous. Here’s the thing: compound interest is your friend. The more you can put in now, the bigger your win at retirement time. Though 75% of your salary seems a bit extreme as you start to save for your new life, the more you save now, the more your money works for you over time.

David Bach, author of Automatic Millionaire and Start Late, Finish Rich, offers a chart that compares the amount of savings three individuals have by the age of 65. The first starts saving $250 per month ($3000 per year) at 15 years old and ends up with $1,615,363.40. The second person starts at age 19 contributing the same $250 per year. But with 4 less years of investing ($4800 less in investment) our second investor has $1,552,739.35—more than $62,000 less than the 15 year old investor. Our last investor starts investing $250 a week at 27 (12 years later than our 15 year old investor; $14,400 less in capital) and earns $1,324,777.67 by age 65—$290,585.80 less than our early investor.

In other words, start early and set up a set amount automatically deposited into a compounding interest retirement account. The more you put in now while your overhead is low will go a long way towards working for your continued solvency through retirement. Some to house savings, some to retirement savings and some towards enjoying your life—do that and see life blossom before you—with a strong foundation to support you.

Good luck and happy savings,

GoodWitch

==

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders.

What’s jamming your juice in life? What emotion is hardest for you?  Tell us what’s important to you, what you think about. How we can help you thrive—not just survive—modern life. Email us at: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

Share

Advertisements

Lose-Lose Situation. Hating Life

Making lemonade out of lemons. Start stepping. One day at a time. Every day is a new opportunity. Lightening up, already!  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Help! I hate my life. I can’t get anything going right. No Win

==

Dear No Win,

While some people are kicking butt and taking names, the on- and offline feedback our article ‘Trapped! Horrible Job No Hope’ got, showed me that you’re not alone in your feelings. Also check out our Giving Thanks post. Still, I want to echo a tenacious friend’s annoyance at our collective malaise, or at least less than stellar energy to thrive. She commented about the latest soft drink trend of “relaxing” vs. energy boosters with something like, “We need more coffee or other stimulants to get us past this enforced apathy.” To know her is to love her.

Overwhelm is a natural feeling from sadness that becomes depression, until you are simply not responding to positive stimuli because you can literally no longer see it.  You’re rewired for disappointment and failure. Instead, retrain your brain by becoming conscious of your thoughts. Break the overwhelm by focusing on one area of your life at a time, and one aspect of that area daily, until your capacity to see when things are going right, well, excellent, once again has been reconnected, switched back on and powered with continuous effort. Come back to the light one day, one area, one thought at a time.

C’mon Get Happy!,

BadWitch

==

Dear No Win,

It’s time to put a different spin on this life thing. Maybe you are not the most popular, the most admired or the most successful, but that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t do anything right. Success is judged by you. For instance, maybe you don’t win the race, but you run your personal best time ever. That’s a win if you look at it from the right angle.

Put a little PR spin into your internal monologue. Instead of telling yourself , “You suck!” Congratulate yourself for having the balls to try. Right now you can thank yourself for having the guts to reach out for some positive advice.

Earlier today a group of friends and I were laughing about being dorks. “When did you first know you were a dork?” was the question of the day. Somewhere in there we discovered the things that made us dorks in high school were the very things most appreciated and celebrated about us now.

This place where you are now is not your whole life. It is a moment in time. Want more out of each moment? Tell yourself “good job” more often than, “You suck.” Recognize when you have done well and recognize where practice makes more perfect. You are merely human which means sometimes you win and sometimes you are a loser. Decide to be happy now no matter what and you’ll win. Frankly, that is all any of us can do.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

==

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

Share

Is Your Intention Aligned Your Actions? (GW)

Your focus is where you spend your energy. If you are finding that you intend to do this or that, but in fact, are doing something else—guess what? You are not aligning your focus with your intention.

Decide what you want to focus on and then set your intention. Think of giving yourself a Blue Sky Goal. Then either create a visual representation of your intention (vision board) and meditate on your intended outcome.

Of course, the most importance step is action. Set easily reachable goals that can lead you to your overall goal. Do something small every day to reach your goal. Your intention can become your reality, if you are willing to align your action with your will. — GoodWitch

==

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

Share

Bank Robs Client: And Other Tough Relationships

High credit interest loans got you down? Feel your banker just doesn’t understand you anymore? Maybe you should take this one personally.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — After five years at the same bank with good credit and relationships, they just turned me down for a personal loan! Or more accurately, they offered me one at a really high rate. Before I leave them, do I have any recourse? — Credit Where Due

==

Dear Credit Where Due,

Credit cupcake, before you dis your bank right back, just stop and realize that this is yet another one of those messy things we all have to deal with in our lives. I’m talking about: relationships. We all drag unresolved issues right into the next relationship, and the next… Granted you are a puny individual and your stud muffin bank is likely a faceless corporate Goliath, but relationships are relationships regardless of what they may look like on the surface. Get straight on what you bring to and how you behave in yours, and you can start to get a clearer picture of why the amazing banking guys/gals you’ve been so devoted to for the last five years don’t bring you flowers anymore, but an overpriced “Happy” Meal.

When asking for any loan, your credit scores (all three of them) will be examined, and interest points will be largely determined by them. Make sure your credit scores are in the range you imagine they should be. A part of your scores but not the whole picture, assuming the relationship with your bank you stated is with an actual personal banker and not just the tellers who can’t help you in credit’s regard, are what your banker is reviewing, but may or may not also give some sway to your character (which in this case includes your employment, your personal (versus just financial) histories with landlords and other creditors, and possibly collateral, if any). Credit cupcake, I cannot say this loudly enough while saying it with sincere empathy: take control of your destiny by responsibly and respectfully co-existing with your credit/money. Or else you will find unsatisfactory “credit due you” at the next “bank” and the next, and…

Understand your money, your self,

BadWitch

==

Dear Credit Where Due,

Well, we knew the economic crisis has tightened the purse strings on the banks. And, I understand your disappointment at seemingly being let down by a relationship you have nurtured for the last few years. However, do we ever have recourse when a friend says, “No”?

I cannot say whether late payments or outstanding balances on your credit report may have undermined you. My suggestion is to check your credit report, as there may be items listed on the report that are out of date or just incorrect. Be sure that what creditors are reading on your credit report is up to date and accurate.

Your recourse is that you have the power to give the bank your continued business or not. My suggestion would be to sit down with a representative of the bank and find out why your loan was denied and why the only product left available to you comes at such a high interest rate. Then decide whether to stay or go.

Talk to some other banks—once you’ve cleaned up your credit report as much as possible. Find out what other options you have. Perhaps a credit union will have better rates than a traditional bank. Investigate.

Just remember, in this very capitalistic society, the most effective recourse and vote is usually with your dollars. Give your business to businesses that support you.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

==

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

Share

How Money Works: You 101

Before making more purchases, pay off most or all debt and save a safety cushion for yourself, too. Whoa. Easier said than done, especially when no one teaches you the basics. — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — This is hard and embarrassing for me to admit, so be gentle with me. I haven’t been good with money EVER. Why don’t they teach these things in school? Now I’m noticing that all my credit cards are showing me how many months and years it would take to pay off my debt if I paid the minimums. Is it ok to pay the minimums if I now know when it will be paid off? I guess I’m not really sure what that information means to my wallet? — Minimum Minnie

==

Dear Minimum Minnie,

Excellent and timely (holiday season) question, brave chica. Our society, while hailing you-can-doism, doesn’t take the time to teach the basics of personal finance. Additionally in listening to their stories, many women especially seem to me to have Old Skool and dysfunctional relationships with money. How we handle our selves, is how we handle money, and shows up in our credit scores. In life, we all have our strengths and weaknesses, but it doesn’t follow that you would be self-disciplined (or even moderately paying attention) in one area of responsibility in your life without being similarly so around your money, too. Respect your self/your money and it will respect you in return.

As for understanding what the pay down information on your statements mean, I suggest you might want to find a credit organization, either an official business or a local bank or church that offers basic consumer credit courses for free. [In the broadest strokes, the lower the monthly payment you make on a purchase, the longer it takes to pay off and you will ultimately be paying more in interest than the principal cost of the item. It does not behoove you to pay the minimum, generally — but building up a safety cushion of savings is supremely important, simultaneously (and in all economic climates, ladies!). Also, educated yourself about annual percentage of rate (APR) and the differences between nominal APR, and effective APR, so please understand what interest rates you are actually paying.] Understanding how your money works is tied directly and bindingly to understanding how you work your life. I’m down with money maven Suze Orman’s basic and general views on women and their money . I don’t sell her books or recommend her products except in the most personal ways of appreciating how she communicates basic life ideas and ties them to basic money fundamentals.

The steps to learn about how to pay your bills and save/invest, are not rocket science. The more challenging part is realizing and grasping that it’s all about your attitude in and about how you live your life that really counts to adding up your monetary wealth.

Own your self,

BadWitch

==

Dear Minimum Minnie,

Congratulations on taking the first step—admitting that you don’t know. Too often—especially with money—we pretend we know because it seems like we should. But sweeping the issue under the rug in this case can be very, very costly.

First off, let’s do some really simple math. Let’s say you have a credit card at 17.5%. If you borrow $100, you have promised to pay $117.50 in return. If you owe $1000, you have a signed contract that says you will pay $175 beyond original loan. At a $10,000 debt, you will pay an additional one thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars. That, however is only if you pay the entire amount of the debt off at once, immediately within the first month. Otherwise you are paying 17.5% on the total amount you owe every month. Paying the minimum means you will pay thousands over your original balance . So that $200 blouse will have cost $2000 by the time it’s paid for. Now, is it really worth $2000?

Nothing in this life is free and this money you are giving away to support your credit card company could be in your savings account. As Dave Ramsey, the Total Money Makeover author says, “Winning at money is 80 percent behavior and 20% head knowledge.”

Decide to educate yourself. Listen, you can take steps to understand how to budget and how to get out of debt on your own or wait until your finances are so tight your sanity and your bank accounts are on the rocks. Trust me, as I speak from personal experience, it is never too late to get real with your money situation. Know how much you have in the bank, how much you can afford in “discretionary” fund. Developing spending behaviors that limit debt is actually one of the most self-affirming actions you can take. My sense of self-esteem shot through the roof when I decided to take the road less traveled.

I was the youngest child in my family — a happy surprise, I like to think. Because I was so much younger than my siblings and my parents were older when I was born, my family opted for the” just do it for her” rather than teaching route. This later developed into my own questioning whether I was even capable, since even as I got older everyone else assumed I needed someone else to do it for me, pay it for me, take care of me. Fast forward to getting a divorce with two children in tow and listening to my family worry about how I will survive.

Did I do everything right? Hell no. But I learned after quite a bit of denial and finding myself in the corner shorting Peter to keep Paul from turning off my lights. You can make a number of decisions, including Consumer Credit Counseling, but it all comes down to making the decision to over-throw the consumer addiction. Live on less. Maybe you don’t need to spend $150 on cable every month. Perhaps you can get by on $75 worth of channels.

Aren’t you ready to build wealth instead of debt? Get information from the experts. Read David Bach’s Automatic Millionaire. The little cuts invested well can add up to millions. Take the first steps for yourself. You’ll build you sense of your personal capability. You’ll know you have power over your life. And you are powerful. Just decide to own it.

Happy wealth building,

GoodWitch

==

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

Share

Late Bloomer: Ms. Daisy in the Driver’s Seat

Later learning new skills that are old hat to others, can feel daunting as well as be fraught with all kinds of baggage we might bring to the task. Leaving your bags on the sidewalk and learning to drive later in life. — BadWitch

P.S. HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all our friends and families! Just before your first bite into that turkey (or tofurkey), think of GWBW giving thanks for you. Peace.

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Is it crazy to think I can learn to drive at 32? Unfortunately, I have no choice since I moved to a suburb where everything is miles and miles away. I’m scared and nervous but I think I can do it. Any ideas to relax more or study for the written test better? — Former Ms. Daisy

==

Dear Former Ms. Daisy,

Lovin’ it! While I know I’ll get flack from some greenies, I gotsta be me. I love to drive. As a Cali kid, I can’t identify with not driving, but I feel your pain universally when we all try to learn something new — or “teach an old dog a new trick.” I want you to shout your enthusiasm for this task from the rooftops, because you will not only be learning new skills, becoming more mobile, but also seeing things in new ways and physically using old muscles differently, too. This is how brain plasticity is stretched and utilized to help us build new neurons and fire more synaptic connections, and this helps us build the “brainage” (my word) that helps stave off degenerative brain issues.

As for the driving specifically (in my experience, written tests aren’t designed to be tricky and just requires standard studying. Do look up (your state’s laws on) the ones that tend to trip up people like “What does a yellow light mean?” – hint, it’s not speeding up! Some states have sample tests online), Former Ms. Daisy, practice makes perfect (and for another driver I would want around me and my sled). While learning to master your vehicle and skills behind the wheel, stay off busy city streets loaded with other vehicles and pedestrians. My dad took me in circles around an empty business park (streets, driveways, parked cars, traffic signs and lights to obey) on a Sunday, then we hit the freeway home. Because of where we lived, we moved on quickly to a mix of city streets and highway. When you’re more comfortable with the concept of propelling forward a ton or two of metal with your mere foot, seek environments that echo (then challenge) your daily commute and short jaunts. Have fun! Wheeee!, I do enjoy driving and welcome others on the road who have genuine enthusiasm, too. Passion over fear makes for a safer driving environment.

“D” on, baby!

BadWitch

==

Dear Former Ms. Daisy,

Grrrrllllll, please, claim your freedom! It’s CRAZY to think you should not or could not learn to drive because you…32! I did not learn to drive until I was almost 27. One of my best friends is learning to drive now at 39. One of my aunt’s did not learn to drive until she turned some age above the marker of 39, which a polite Southern lady will never discuss.

In truth, this is a great thing to do for your self-confidence and your brain. Continued learning and “exercise” of the brain has been clinically proven to slow the onset of alzheimers. Learning to step beyond your comfort zone to discover the world beyond your previously determined boundaries is excellent for personal growth, as well as a defining moment in upgrading your assessment of your capabilities.

Know that you can do it! Take one section of the driver’s manual at a time. Lemongrass essential oil can help you focus at study time. Review, review, review and talk to other drivers you know about what you are studying. Ask questions and point out other driver’s maneuvers when you are in the car with friends and/or family. You’ll get a real world sense of why the rules of the road are what they are.

Then log in your driving time with reliable, responsible drivers—preferably compassionate and calm. However, one cannot always choose who will be willing to risk their car and limbs to teach you to drive.  So practice relaxation techniques] in the 15 to 30 minutes BEFORE your driving lesson. It will help you be more present and relaxed when you start to drive.

You can do this. And it is how we rise to our challenges that defines us—not that we are faced with difficult tasks. Face the challenge, head on, knowing that persistence, perseverance and patience are needed to succeed. Also know that it is not as hard as you think it is. Your body memory is being reset with new input. Relax. Pay attention and go for it. Welcome to the driver’s freedom trail.

Congratulations,

GoodWitch

==

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

Share

Giving Thanks for Life’s Major Disappointments

How do we get over losing something that has represented our life’s pinnacle?Learning lessons and beginning to turn the juice back on.   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — How do I deal with not getting something I’ve been working towards all my adult life? That’s almost 15 years of working on this goal, focusing on making it happen and now I find my dream is gone (it’s not a job or a relationship). All that time and energy wasted. Any thoughts on getting my “juicy” back as you call it? I’m angry, sad, low energy, all of it. — Unplugged

==

Dear Unplugged,

Disappointment is an unleashed bitch. Managing our expectations is a typical (avoidance) response and has its place, but it’s disappointment’s lesson task mistress aspect that we should run towards, embrace and be grateful for. In other words: Opportunity! Drill down truthfully to see what you are actually feeling embittered about — it’s not usually The Thing — is it the “time wasted,” or the “recognition not given,” or “unrewarded hard work.” Look for the lessons. What of this situation has you most hopped up and hot under the collar? You also describe suffering from the low energy of depression. What part of this makes you feel that way automatically when you merely hear the word? Your core lesson about this major life disappointment lies within it, if it doesn’t outright go by that label.

Embrace what your true disappointment really says about who you are today. Learn so you don’t have to repeat the same old theme lessons, different day, Groundhog Day, but rather build the strength of learning to move on!, self-promote…to the next new disappointment or “problem.” That’s how life actually lived actually works, Unplugged.

Thankfully we’re all students,

BadWitch

==

Dear Unplugged,

Coping with disappointment is one of the hardest and most consistent issues humans must learn to deal with in this 3-D existence.

I am sorry that you have found your dream is gone, but that is just the very specific outcome of the dream you wanted. Sometimes the Universe has bigger things in store for you. For example, perhaps a woman has always dreamed of being a famous actress. She sees herself winning awards and receiving huge acclaim for her acting abilities. This is her dream. She works hard for this dream, taking acting lessons, moving to a city that has more opportunities and going to countless auditions thinking each one could be her lucky break. But her lucky break never comes. She feels her dream is lost.

In order to make a living for herself she begins teaching her own acting classes. Her style is unique and she develops a large following. She trains countless actors who go on to define a generation. She has trained the celebrated, the acclaimed and the award-winners.

Did she really lose her dream or was the Universe’s dream bigger?

In your case, you have put time and effort into your dream. What have you learned in the process? Who have you met, befriended  and loved during your journey?

We cannot know where our destiny lies. We can only know the road we have traveled and the gifts we have been given along the way. It is true that you requested the gift I the polka dot box with the pink ribbon. Will you refuse to see the other gifts you are given? Somewhere beneath the regret and disappointment is the truth of lessons learned and experiences gained. Somewhere, when you focus on the gratitude, you will find a diamond. Perhaps it is wrapped in blue paper with a polka dot ribbon.

In other words, even as you mourn the loss of your dream, as you wanted it, realize another gift lies just beyond the recrimination and it has been waiting for you all the time. Be grateful for all the little gifts you have found along the way and you’ll start to see the outline of a new dream coming into focus. It may not swell your heart with the passion you felt before, bt it has the capacity to give you great joy—if you let it.

Breathe. Count your blessings. They are more abundant than you are allowing yourself to see.

Gratitude is the attitude of abundance,

GoodWitch

==

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

Share