Self Care pt 1

Staying Healthy to Stay Happy

A Guide for Women

Happiness, health and wealth are interrelated. So regardless of how healthy your finances are today, if you are not healthy and do not stay that way, you could end up being unhappy in retirement (and your finances could suffer too).

But have no fear, there are a number of things you can do to that can improve your health—and you can start right away.

 The basics

It starts with the basics. Yes, this seems obvious, but many women (and men) overlook these things or push them off until finally it’s too late:

  •  Have your annual physical—this can help keep you healthy and identify if there is anything going on you should be concerned about.
  • Have your pap smear, breast exam and colonoscopy annually—these types of exams are critical to finding cancer or other diseases early.
  • Visit the dentist twice a year (at least)—did you know that gum health is related to heart health? There’s even new evidence suggesting oral health is related to things like dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Take heart

Did you know that heart disease is the leading killer of women? It’s true. And even if you’ve never had a problem (that you’re aware of) with your heart, you need to be sure to be taking care of it. That includes:

  • Eating healthy, regular meals
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercising regularly
  • Reducing stress
  • And more

 Some of these items may be easier said than done, but there is one that can help you to achieve many of the others—exercising. Regular exercise can help you lose or maintain weight and can help you reduce stress, while keeping your heart strong. And exercise doesn’t have to be something you dread—it can be fun. It’s also a good idea to wear workout clothes that you actually like. Baggy t-shirts and ripped sweats may be comfy, but they may not be flattering and definitely don’t motivate you. And make sure the clothes fit too—there is nothing worse than trying to adjust your clothing while in a “down dog”. Trust me, I know.

Get moving

Exercise can be as simple as taking a daily walk or as strenuous as running a marathon. The key is to find something you enjoy and have fun with it:

  •  You can meet a friend and go for a walk or a bike ride.
  • You can get a group of women together to train for a 5k.
  • You can take yoga classes, boxing classes, spin classes or any number of things to get started.

There are also many services that let you stream workouts right at home to your smart TV, computer or phone whenever and wherever you are, like Beach Body, Daily Burn, Aaptiv and many others. And, of course, you can always hire a personal trainer.

It can be a great idea to simply try different things and mix it up, so you don’t get bored or frustrated. But the key is to just get started—every small step can make a big difference in your health today and your happiness tomorrow.

While some workouts are free, others can cost a pretty penny. Gasber Financial can help you determine how to fit these types of programs into your finances. In the next installment, we’ll discuss some ideas for taking care of your mental and emotional health.

"Bag Lady Syndrome"

How to Overcome “Bag Lady Syndrome”—a guide for women

 By Karen A. Miller, CFP®, CFPA 

You are a successful woman. But if you’re like most women, no matter how successful you are, you still have that fear in the back of your head that you may end up on the street eating cat food. Irrational or not, this fear can be overwhelming—and if you let it, can stop you from doing what you need to do to be happy and financially secure. In this issue, we’ll talk about a few ways to overcome fear in general as well as to help ensure this specific fear does not become your reality.

 Make a plan

Treat fear as a call to action

You’ve likely heard the saying that “no one plans to fail—they simply fail to plan.” This is especially true when it comes to your finances. Your fear in this instance should be your call to action. If you don’t have a plan, make one now. It’s never too late (or too early) to start planning for the future.

 And if you do have a financial plan, review it on a regular basis. This can help provide some peace of mind when you can see your progress. Gasber Financial is here to help you create and manage your financial plans so you can stay on track toward the future you desire.

 Meditate on the answer

When faced with something you fear, it’s typical to panic or freeze—as your brain works overtime running through the possibilities. As we discussed in our last blog, meditation can help you learn to let thoughts flow through your mind without reacting to them. And this, in turn, may help keep you from getting anxious or stressed about things you may fear—helping you to feel more centered, calm and present in the moment.

 Stay positive

It may sound a bit out there, but the mindfulness you hear so much about today can make a difference in all areas of your life, including your finances. Because when you change the way you think about money, you really can change the way you behave with it—and that can make all the difference in the world.

 Consider, for example, the “scarcity loop” illustrated below *. The thought that you don’t have enough money creates anxiety and stress which leads to poor decisions, like spending money to buy something you think will make you feel better, which creates the negative outcome that you have even less money than before.

 But imagine what can happen when you change the thought processes. When you start out, for example, with the idea of being grateful for the money you already have, you end up less stressed and are able to make smarter choices about your money, which can lead to you saving more money and feeling more secure.

And when you can keep this sort of positive cycle going, you can continue to improve your financial security. It may sound simple, but this can really work—and, like meditation, all it takes is practice.

Be grateful

Sometimes being positive and grateful can be as simple as remembering what you are grateful for even in negative situations. You can remind yourself of what you are grateful for—sure you’re stuck in traffic, but you’re in a warm, dry car. Sometimes simply saying the word “grateful” out loud can help you relax and stay positive.

Another idea is to remember to give yourself credit for the steps you are taking—no matter how small they may be. Every step should be acknowledged. At Gasber Financial, we believe strongly in the power of planning and positive thinking. We can help you review your plan to ensure you are on track toward the retirement of your dreams.

 

Work Life Balance pt 2

Why Work/Life Balance is Important—A Guide for Women part 2

By Karen A. Miller, CFP®, CFPA 

In part one of this series, we discussed how putting yourself first and learning to say yes and no in different ways can help you achieve a better work/life balance. In this installment, we’ll talk about how finding a better balance in your life now can help you better plan for and live in retirement later.

 Focus on friendships

Having friends is important. According to a study in Personal Relationships, people who invest in close relationships have better health, happiness and well-being.* But building and maintaining friendships can take time. So, try to spend time with the friends you already have and maybe try to cultivate some new relationships. An easy way to do this may be to do activities that you would do anyway but do them with a friend. For example, you could meet for a power walk, which gets you exercise and socialization—that’s a win-win. Another idea would be to run errands together so things like picking up necessities at Target or Costco don’t seem so mundane.

 You’ll want to have people to hang out with when you’re retired. So just remember, like with any investment, the time you put in now can pay greater dividends later.

 Cultivate hobbies/find new interests

Although you may think you are too busy to develop a new hobby, the truth is that hobbies can help your physical and mental health, your social life, your creativity and more. In fact, busy, stressed people may need hobbies more than anyone else. Plus, hobbies you enjoy now may be things you look forward to in retirement.

 Finding the right one (or two) for you can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. A good way to pick hobbies you might enjoy is to start by considering: 

  • Things you enjoy doing already, but don’t often get the chance
  • The things that you’re interested in doing or learning
  • The things you might know how to do, but would like to get better at

 There are tons of groups, articles and sites online that can help guide you to hobbies you might like and groups that may do them (Facebook, for example, has groups and meetup.com lists local groups and events in your area). And you don’t have to make a long commitment either. For example, you can try a paint and sip place for one evening or take a one-day class on stained glass or pottery through the local museum or Parks & Recreation department to see if you’re really interested in art.

 Finding new hobbies now can make it easier to envision how you will spend time in retirement and can help you cultivate those all-important friendships—and make new ones too.

 It’s worth noting that while some hobbies are free or may help you make money, others can cost you significant money. Gasber Financial can help you develop a plan to invest the earnings from your hobby (cupcakes anyone?) or to pay for your hobby (car racing can get pricey).

 *https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/apr/30/how-to-make-new-friends-adult-lonely-leap-of-faith

Work Life Balance pt 1

Why Work/Life Balance is Important—A Guide for Women, part 1

By Karen A. Miller, CFP®, CFPA 

There’s a reason that flight attendants tell you to secure your own oxygen mask before helping anyone else in an emergency. Because if you are not taking care of yourself, you cannot help anyone else. 

This is something that many women are guilty of, myself included, and it’s no wonder. In between being a rainmaker at work, you are also likely a chef, chauffeur, caretaker, supply manager and more for your family. But finding the time to achieve balance can not only help you with your mental and physical health now, but may also help ease your transition to retirement later. In this first installment, we’ll discuss a few ideas for helping you achieve a better work/life balance. 

Learn to say yes and no

You say these words every day, but has it ever occurred to you that you may be saying them to all the wrong things?

 Women tend to say yes to that extra project you don’t have time for, yes to the extra errand when you can’t even get your own things done, and yes to whatever extra responsibility people ask of you. Often, we’re afraid to say no because we don’t want to disappoint someone or because we want to be seen as perfect. But the truth is that saying no can provide a lot of power (and believe me, the world won’t end). Saying no to some things can help save your sanity—and the more you say it now, the easier it will be to say it in the future.

 Of course, on the flip side, women too often say no to themselves or to things that will actually bring joy to their lives. No, you don’t have time to play with your kids or have lunch with your friend. No, you don’t have time (or money) to take a vacation. No, you can’t open your own business—you need the security of a paycheck. 

These answers may also be driven by fear or anxiety, but sometimes they’re driven by the “idea” that you’re too busy or that you cannot afford it, rather than by that reality. Consider that there will certainly be more dishes to clean tomorrow, but will your kids still want to play with you? Without a vacation, will you be too stressed to function at your best? Will your friends still be there tomorrow if you don’t nurture the relationships today? Will that business opportunity still be there? 

 Learning to say yes (or no) today and being willing to invest time and money in yourself may offer you the biggest dividends in the long term, helping you to lead a happier, richer, bolder life.

 Put yourself first

When you are doing it all without truly taking care of yourself, you have the potential to burn out. And the problem is that when this happens, it can have a waterfall effect on your family and your workplace.

 Consider that John Bowen of CEG Worldwide interviewed about 300 CEOs to find out the qualities that leaders have in common. And what he discovered is that successful business leaders make sure they get their own time before they share themselves with clients, colleagues or anyone else.

  • First, they get up early and get their workout in (they know it won’t happen if they don’t do it first).
  • Next, they often meditate, pray, or recite affirmations in order to start their day on a positive, calm note.
  • Then they go to work.

 The bottom line is that, like these leaders, you need to find balance in order to be at your best in all aspects of your life

 At Gasber Financial we believe strongly in the importance of finding work/life balance now and we’re happy to help you determine the best ways you can achieve this. In part 2, we’ll dive deeper into tips for achieving balance now and carrying that into your retirement.

Dimensional Reduces US Mutual Fund Management Fees

One of the many reasons we use Dimensional, also known as DFA, mutual funds extensively in the construction of our clients portfolios is their commitment to price their funds fairly as well as very competitively. This results in management fee reductions from time to time as explained in the following year end release.

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