How to Avoid Being Scammed pt 1

How to Avoid Being Scammed  a Guide for Women - pt 1 

There is no end to the number of ways criminals will try to part you from your money. And while most of us would like to believe that it can’t happen to us, it can. From doctors and lawyers to Wall Street legends, extremely wealthy businessmen and even famed conmen, anyone at any age can be scammed under the right circumstances.

One type of scam that is growing in popularity, and is particularly useful on women, is the romance scam. According to the Federal Trade Commission, victims reported losing more than $210 million in 2019* to these types of scams. In fact, the FTC says these types of scams result in more losses than any other types of scams. 

Here’s how it can work:

  1. You meet someone online through a dating site
  2. You start texting and maybe talking over the phone, but there is always a reason why they cannot meet you in person and may not even be able to FaceTime with you
  3. They tell you they love you and you are the one for them—they may even talk of marriage. BUT, they can’t marry you, be with you, or meet you live until they do something else that requires money [need to pay off a debt/start a new business/finish a new investment]
  4. It’s all very convincing—they want to live with you/marry you/be with you after all, so perhaps you send them the money
  5. Some of them may keep you on the line, trying to get more and more money from you, while others may immediately ghost you and delete their accounts. Either way, no relationship will ever truly come from it and you will not get your money back. 

Too good to be true?

Another, newer romance scam revolves around sites designed to help you find or become a sugar daddy or momma. Perhaps you’re thinking, how will I get scammed if they’re going to be paying my bills? But that’s precisely how they get you: 

  1. You develop a relationship with someone online and either they agree to pay your bills or to pay you for your company.
  2. Naturally, they will ask for the credit card information in order to pay it off or they’ll ask for your banking information in order to make a deposit into your account.
  3. Once they have this information, they can access your credit and bank accounts at will. 

It’s worth noting that this type of scam can work even if you are the one willing to pay the bills. The other party may simply say they need your banking information in order to let the credit card company, or whomever it is, know where the payment or deposit will be coming from.

 Helpful tips

In order to try to avoid falling prey to these and other scams, here are some tips that may be helpful.

  1. Always be cautious about people you meet online, trust your instincts and take it slow
  2. Never give your financial information to anyone you have not met face to face
  3. Report anyone you meet online who asks you to send them money to the appropriate site’s administrators

Gasber Financial is dedicated to helping you keep your assets safe. In our next installment, we’ll discuss other popular scams and tips for avoiding them.

 

*https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/looking-love-online-romance-scammers-steal-your-heart-steal-your-ncna1135766

 

The “Desire-ment” years—redefining retirement pt2

The “Desire-ment” years—redefining retirement pt2

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “retirement?” Do you envision an older couple in a rowboat on a lake? You may not be far off from the original definition. Consider that the word “retire” actually means to withdraw for privacy, go to bed, withdraw from danger and, of course, to stop working. 

But, what does retirement mean to you? Chances are it’s something quite different than it meant to your parents. In the first installment, we discussed how to envision your retirement. In this one, we’ll provide a few practical ideas for making it the retirement of your dreams, no matter what that means. 

The “Gig” economy

Many people start new careers or new businesses in retirement, while others continue to work in their original job, expand their volunteering—or any number of other things. There are actually many ways to earn money during retirement, while also keeping your mind and brain active. Today there is a thriving “Gig economy” where women can create great income streams on a freelance basis and have fun. Some ideas include being a: 

  • Tour guide
  • Temp or a tutor
  • Market researcher or mystery shopper
  • A babysitter, pet sitter or dog walker
  • AirBNB host
  • Consultant or direct salesperson
  • Virtual assistant or transcriptionist
  • Teacher at your local community center 

Some great sites for finding gigs include fiverr.com, behance.net, Guru.com, freelancer.com. You can also look for full time employment through sites designed explicitly for seniors, like Workforce50.com, retiredbrains.com, Seniors4Hire.com and RetireeWorkforce.com, to name a few.

 Continuing your education

Retirement can also be a great time to consider going back to school, whether you just want to take a few classes here and there or to finally get that degree you’ve wanted. My aunt was taking online classes to finish her master’s degree at age 80, which just proves you are never too old to challenge your mind or work toward a goal. Of course, education can be expensive, so you will likely need a strategy to pay for it. You may qualify for scholarships (look at scholarships.com, fastweb.com, return2college.com and others) or even a student loan (check out studentloanhero.com), but there are other ways to pay for it too. Gasber Financial can help you to develop the right strategy for you.

 Make your move

Retirement can be an opportune time to move, whether you’re interested in cutting down on your maintenance costs, moving to a warmer climate or just want a change of scenery. Of course, if you are going to move, you should consider things like where you may be able to live most affordably, where you can avoid state income taxes (yes, you will likely still pay income taxes in retirement), or maybe just the best overall places to live in retirement.

 

Cheapest states to live in retirement*

States without income taxes

Best overall places to live in retirement**

1.       Pennsylvania

2.       South Dakota

3.      Idaho

4.      South Carolina

5.      Georgia

6.      Missouri

7.      Ohio

8.      Iowa

9.      Tennessee

10.   Alabama

 

1.       Alaska

2.       Florida

3.      Nevada

4.      South Dakota

5.      Texas

6.      Washington

7.      Wyoming

1.       Asheville, North Carolina

2.       Athens, Georgia

3.      Bella Vista, Arkansas

4.      Bluffton, South Carolina

5.      Boone, North Carolina

6.      Colorado Springs, Colorado

7.      Columbia, Missouri

8.      Fargo, North Dakota

9.      Green Valley, Arizona

10.   Iowa City, Iowa

 

 

 

At Gasber Financial, we believe strongly in the power of planning and positive thinking. We can help you review your plan for the retirement of your dreams—whatever that means to you.

 

*https://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/retirement/T006-S001-cheapest-states-where-you-ll-want-to-retire-2018/index.html

 

 

The "Desire-ment" Years

The “Desire-ment” years—Redefining Retirement pt 1 

To many, retirement means getting put out to pasture to live the rest of your days in peace. This isn’t surprising, as the word “retire” can have negative connotations, like when it pertains to retiring a piece of equipment because it’s old and no longer useful. And we can sometimes think of people this way too. Yikes! I think we need to redefine it, since this doesn’t seem to be what retirement means to most people today. 

Personally, I think we should call it “desirement,” because it should be about getting to do the things you really want to do. And for most of us that simply doesn’t mean endless rounds of golf, gardening, or doing any particular thing all day, every day. How boring would that be?

Designing your day

To get a true idea of what your days will look like, consider: 

Will you still work? If so, will you stay in your career or try a new job (see the next installment)? Take some time to imagine how you might feel if you were not doing your current career anymore. How tied to your career is your identity? Will you be happy if you are not doing that job anymore? It’s important to consider these things to help ensure you will truly be happy in retirement. 

Now, if you will be going from full-time work to part-time, or to not working at all, consider how you will spend the rest of your time each day. If you dream of gardening, horseback riding, knitting, reading or other things, try to be realistic about how much time you will truly want to spend doing these things each day. It may not be as much as you think, so you will want to consider what else you will do each day. 

If you plan to volunteer, consider which groups you will want to volunteer with and how much time you plan to volunteer each week or month. 

Will you work out? If you worked out near your place of business, will you still go to that gym or will you need to find a new one? In fact, if you do a lot of things near your job, like shopping, socializing and more, you may want to think about where you will do things once you retire. You may no longer be willing to commute to do these things. And, if there are no facilities near you, or if you feel your home will be too remote once you retire, you may want to consider moving. 

Another thing to consider is who you will socialize with. Where do your friends and family live? Are they close to you or far away? If you are going to be home more, perhaps you want to consider a community that is designed to be more social. 

Getting support

If it seems overwhelming to think about, a great way to gain support is to find a lean-in circle, as these groups are designed to help women encourage and support each other, rather than compete.  Inspired by the book, Lean In, written by Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, they:

  • Are often small groups of 8-12 members at a similar stage in life or with shared goals
  • Meet monthly in informal settings to learn together and share information and experiences
  • Have been highly successful at helping women take the next steps in their lives

You can learn more at leanin.org. 

Gasber Financial can help you not only to define and envision the retirement of your dreams, but also to help ensure that your finances stay on track so you can make your dreams a reality.

Honoring Womens History Month

Women Helping Women

Honoring Women’s History Month 

In honor of women’s history month and International Women’s Day, we wanted to celebrate some of the strides women have made over the past several decades. Although we’re still waiting for equal representation in government (among other things), women have done some pretty amazing things. And one of the first is that we earn more college degrees than men—60% of all degrees in the U.S. in fact.1 

 

Bringing home the bacon 

We’re still waiting for equal pay, but we’ve been making strides at work, earning higher salaries and better positions than they have in the past.

  • In the U.S., more than 25% of married, heterosexual women earn more than their husbands. 2
  • As of June 1, 2019, 33 of the Fortune 500 companies are led by women. While that’s still a small percentage, it represents a significant step forward and a nearly 30% increase from the previous year.
  • As of 2019, women now hold more than 20% of board positions in the top 3,000 publicly traded companies. 4

 

Taking care of business

 Women also tend to make great business owners—employing millions of Americans and generating more revenue by far.

  • Women own 40% of U.S. businesses (that’s 12.3 million)—and they generate nearly $2 trillion a year in revenue5
  • Between 1997 and 2017, the number of women-owned businesses in the U.S. increased by114%, while the growth rate for all companies was 44%.6
  • As of 2018, women-owned businesses were responsible for the employment of 9.2 million Americans. What’s more, although employment for all firms declined by 0.8% between 2007 and 2018, it rose by 21% for women-owned firms. 6
  • Women-owned businesses tend to deliver more than double the revenue of companies established by men. 5

 

 Financially independent 

And according to Suze Orman, women are more financially independent than men for a number of reasons as well, including:

  • Single women spend less than single men, as they focus more on day-to-day expenses and more aggressively paying down debt7
  • Women know they have to work harder because of the pay gap—so they do7
  • Women try to take the right risks7 

Women have done a number of other amazing things, including inventing white out, disposable diapers and the dishwasher.1 Gasber Financial is proud to help wonderful women like you to achieve and maintain their financial independence, enabling you to plan for the future of your dreams.

 

 

1 https://nationaltoday.com/international-womens-day/

2 https://www.forbes.com/sites/biancabarratt/2019/09/24/becoming-the-primary-earner-female-breadwinners-share-their-advice/#4c8956ee5910

3 https://fortune.com/2019/05/16/fortune-500-female-ceos/

4 https://www.bizjournals.com/bizwomen/news/latest-news/2019/09/womens-representation-on-boards-reaches-a.html?page=all

5 https://www.fundera.com/resources/women-owned-business-statistics

6https://medium.com/small-business-big-world/celebrating-achievements-of-women-business-owners-and-entrepreneurs-942aeb35367c

7 https://www.hermoney.com/earn/careers/women-more-financially-independent-than-men/

Self Care Pt 2

Staying Healthy to Stay Happy

A Guide for Women 

In the first installment, we discussed some ways to get and stay physically healthy—which is critical to being happy today and in retirement. But to be truly happy, you also need to be taking care of your mental health. And this is something women often overlook. We think, “I had my physical. I’m practicing self-care.” But the truth is that if you’re not focused on your mental health as well, you’re not really taking care of yourself.

We’ve gathered a few simple, but powerful ways to start taking care of your mental health.

 Embrace the joy of missing out

You’ve most likely heard people talking about FOMO, or the fear of missing out. It’s a very real thing that can cause high stress and anxiety. Did you know, however, that there is power in choosing to miss out on things? Scientists have proven that empowering yourself to find the joy in missing out (JOMO) can help you become a much happier person. Here are some simple ways to find your own JOMO:

  •  Take a tech detox—leave your tech at home when you go on a date or when you’re on vacation or simply put it down for a set number of hours per day. Try a “screenless Saturday.”
  • Disconnect—take a break from social media for a few days or a week
  • Reflect—set aside time to do nothing
  • Reconnect—with the people you care about live or over the phone
  • Say no—to parties or events that feel more like obligations, rather than something you’ll truly enjoy

You can find books on JOMO on amazon, can subscribe to the JOMOcast podcast here, and can find countless other tools and articles online.

 Meditate

You may be thinking, “Nope. Not for me,” but hear me out. There have been numerous studies on the benefits of meditation and it doesn’t have to be complicated or take a long time. There are countless books, audio recordings and apps (Mindfulness, Calm and Headspace to name a few) that can help you become a master of meditation. But here are a few tips you can use to get started right now: 

  • Step 1: Close your eyes and focus on your breathing (some count their breaths to 10 and start over)
  • Step 2: Try to acknowledge the thoughts you have as they come, but to let them go, rather than going down any particular rabbit hole
  • Step 3: Don’t judge—if you can’t relax or feel like it’s not working, simply try again later or tomorrow 

Even just a few minutes each day can help you feel more relaxed, less anxious and happier. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

While many believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness, I believe it is a sign of strength. And the truth is that everyone, regardless of how healthy they are, can benefit from a person or people who can listen to what they have to say without judgement. There are a number of ways you can get the support you need, including: 

  • Talking to a friend—never underestimate the power of confiding in a girlfriend
  • Traditional therapy—sometimes we need or want a professional to help us
  • Group therapy or group coaching—realizing that we are not alone in our experiences or what we think and feel (sometimes being a mom/wife/entrepreneur sucks) can be one of the most powerful realizations you can have 

Any and all of these outlets can help us to understand that it’s okay to feel how we feel, that we are more powerful and capable than we realize, and that we are not alone. And these ideas are critical to helping us become happier and stronger mentally—today and during retirement.

 Gasber Financial can help you make sure that your finances are staying healthy and that you are on track toward your retirement goals.