Tips For Not Running Out of Money In Retirement

Most of your adult life, you've probably focused on building a retirement savings that will cover your living costs. But once you officially retire, your financial planning shouldn't stop. Managing your expenses to support your lifestyle is an ongoing requirement need, and a top worry for many baby boomers. In fact, 36% of boomers nearing retirement say that having enough money to cover basic needs is their biggest financial concern.
Whether you're nearing retirement or already retired, you can take steps today to help you ensure you don't run out of money tomorrow. Here are some financial tips to consider.
Create your budget.
If you've not yet created your budget, do this today. Your financial needs shift in retirement, and sometimes you end up spending more than anticipated. In fact, during the first 2 years of retirement, retirees tend to spend 46% more money than before they retired. And by their 6th year, 33% of them continue with higher living expenses than their pre-retirement costs.As such, to maintain a healthy financial standing, you'll want to make sure you have financial strategies that enable you to control your expenses. Budgeting will help you compare income and expenses, and see the true amount you need to live on. 

Prioritize Essential and Non-Essential Spending
As you build your budget, being realistic about items you truly need versus those you do not is essential. Retirees have standard costs that they must pay, such as food and clothes. But, non-essential costs could cause you to overspend. Cutting monthly spending like cable TV subscriptions or a cleaning service could help you live within your means. While you may be accustomed to paying for extra perks, your habits shouldn't trump the reality of what you can afford. Assess what spending you truly need versus what you can live without-and cut out superfluous costs.

Analyze Your Automobile Expenses
Are you in the habit of buying a new car every few years? Do you have car loan payments for a car you rarely drive? Consider looking at your automobile expense to ensure they aren't dwindling your budget. The average retiree pays $571 each month ($6,852 annually) for their transportation, and automobile insurance fees tend to rise after people turn 70 years old. Those costs could eat up a significant portion of your monthly budget. If you live within walking distance to places like your grocery store, maybe you can eliminate relying on a car altogether. The point is to see what transportation costs are realistic within your budget and lifestyle, and make decisions from that perspective.
Ultimately, retirees must account for a variety of expenses to ensure they don't run out of money. And each person's unique financial profile and living needs will drive what strategies work best. If you'd like to look at your retirement budget and assess what expenses you can better manage, I am always happy to help. 

Please call or email me anytime.

View my profile on LinkedIn
Like me on Facebook

For the Recently Widowed, Some Big Financial Pitfalls to Avoid

There are few more wrenching events in life than losing your spouse.  But to make matters worse, the death of a life partner also unleashes a torrent of financial tasks. And more often than not, it is a woman - a widow - who is taking them on.

Women live longer than men, and they're likely to outlive their male spouses, given that decades ago, many women married men a few years older. Plus, gender roles being what they were, men often took on most of the household finances.

As a result, many widows aren't as familiar with investing,  insurance and taxes as their dead husbands were.
Even if widows were the household money whizzes, however, they're likely to find themselves navigating an overwhelming mix of emotions. There is grief and despair, fears both rational and irrational and often a desperate urge to take action - any action - that will allow them to move on. But with important financial decisions, speed can make a mess of things.

The pitfalls for widows are so well-enough known that there are books for them, including " New Widow Financial Lifeline " and " Moving Forward on Your Own ."  

But even a brief pamphlet may be too much for the grief-stricken to digest right away. In the meantime, widows can avoid many of the big financial pitfalls by keeping just four things in mind.

THE RUSH  Some financial tasks you must do within a month or two of a spouse's death. Keep paying the bills, including any quarterly tax charges. Make sure you understand how your  health insurance works, if it comes from your dead spouse's employer. Collect on any  life insurance policies, especially if cash is running low.

Just about everything else can wait a little longer because you will probably not be in the clearest frame of mind. "I did not know my  Social Security number one day when I was filling out a form," said  Kathleen Rehl, a  financial planner in Land O' Lakes, FL, who is the author of "Moving Forward on Your Own." "I had helped widows before. But when I became one, I really got it. I was stuck in shock phase."

Jennifer M. Murray, who is also both a widow and financial planner, has a rule for her own widowed clients, who make up 50 percent of her practice: no irreversible decisions soon after the death of a spouse.

It can be hard to resist big, decisive moves, though, given that a lump sum insurance check may be landing and a widow may desperately want to march through every important decision and get on with her life. But hasty decisions about, say, paying off the  mortgage  can lead to a lot of regret if you need more liquidity years later.

Then there are the bad actors who prey on the recently widowed. Many surviving spouses immediately crave secure investments  offering regular income that never runs out. So you'll no doubt hear from people selling all manner of  annuities, which have the tendency to enrich the salesperson at your expense.

Even if you're certain that you want this sort of lifetime income stream, have an  independent financial planner who is  earning only fees from you look it all over. In fact, if you're tempted to do anything quickly with a significant chunk of your net worth, pay three different professionals for another opinion, just to be sure that you know what you're in for.

THE HOME One problem with rushing to, say, pay off your mortgage is that it may not ultimately be wise to remain in a house.

Even if the mortgage and real  estate taxes  seem manageable, there is the lawn, snow removal and the endless repairs that go along with home ownership. "All of these are expenses that most women don't seem to anticipate until they happen," Ms. Murray said.  When her husband died in 2004, she was 43 years old and decided to stay put with her two children in Chatham, N.J. The house isn't big, and neither is the mortgage; her son handles snow and the lawn.

Ms. Rehl, who is 64, also stayed in her Florida home when her husband died in 2007, but she understands the instinct to put it on the market and flee. "That empty house can be terrifying," she said.

O ften, adult children will urge their widowed mother to move in with them in a different city. Ms. Rehl suggests caution here. "The idea of living with your son and not being alone may sound wonderful," she said. "Granted, that might be the right decision. But maybe think in terms of a long visit first, and then come back and think."

THE PURSE It isn't just annuity salesmen who see widows as a source of income. People much closer to her may have the same outlook.

Adult children may see an opportunity to request an advance on their inheritance. Cunning offspring will push all the emotional buttons. "How can you deny me this when we're going through so much emotional pain already?" they may ask. Or they may trot out this gem: "Dad would have given me the down payment money if he was still here."

Saying no will not be easy. If you have a financial planner or accountant helping you, you can let that professional be the stingy one. And if you succumb to the advance-on-my-inheritance approach, put it in writing so that there's no confusion later on why one sibling is getting a bigger share of any future estate than another.

Then, there are the not-always-gentlemen callers. Wily widows of means are wary of men seeking "purses" (or nurses, for that matter). "They thought I would be a soft touch," Ms. Rehl said of some of the men who turned up in recent years. " I tell my widowed clients that it is probably a good idea to investigate them. I have done my own criminal background searches and discovered that one person who I didn't date that long had a lien on his property and had declared bankruptcy in the past."

The point here is not that all adult children are greedy and that all older men are gold-digging deadbeats. But with sadness comes vulnerability, and there is nothing selfish about saying no, a lot, in the first few years after you lose your husband.

THE GHOST  Once you're a widow, your budget and long-term planning needs will almost certainly change. Oddly enough, however, many men try to dictate financial advice from the grave.
People do this with the best of intentions, but it can be terribly misguided. Take the trust that  Anthony J. Ogorek, a financial planner in Williamsville, N.Y., saw once. "He carved it in stone 30 years earlier that the money could only be in AT&T stock and AAA-rated  bonds," Mr. Ogorek said. Fast-forward to today: AT&T is hardly the monopoly it once was, and the United States government no longer has a pristine AAA rating.

Mr. Ogorek refers to this as "fighting the ghost," where stubborn dead men leave concentrated collections of Cooper Tire & Rubber or United Parcel Service stock along with instructions never to touch it. And their widows, either as a gesture of loyalty or because they genuinely believe that this is the last bit of protection that they have left from their late spouse, can't bear to defy them.

But it is rare that a concentrated position in any investment is good for a widow. "In the quest to protect her, he's created a vulnerability," Mr. Ogorek said.

Solving for this emotional trap can be relatively simple, though. It is possible, after all, that your late husband was right at the time and that the stock has done well and paid dividends. So your desire to take fewer risks isn't tantamount to declaring his investment plan a failure.

But things change. And given that you're in the middle of one of the most transformative ones of your life, you have every right to alter your investments a little bit, too.

Source:  The New York Times

This Senior Citizen Has A "Senior Moment" And Comes To A Hilarious  Realization

Recently, I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D. -
Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.

This is how it manifests:
I decide to water my garden.
As I turn on the hose in the driveway,
I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.
As I start toward the garage,
I notice mail on the porch table that
I brought up from the mail box earlier.

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.
I lay my car keys on the table,
put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table,
and notice that the can is full.
So, I decide to put the  bills back
on the table and take out the garbage first.

But then I think,
since I'm going to be near the mailbox
when I take out the garbage anyway,
I may as well pay the bills first.
I take my check book off the table,
and see that there is only one check left.
My extra checks are in my desk in the study,
so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the
can of Pepsi I'd been drinking.

I'm going to look for my checks,
but first I need to push the Pepsi aside
so that I don't accidentally knock it over.
The Pepsi is getting warm,
and I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.
As I head toward the kitchen with the Pepsi,
a vase of flowers on the counter
catches my eye-they need water.

I put the Pepsi on the counter and
discover my reading glasses that
I've been searching for all morning.
I decide I better put them back on my desk,
but first I'm going to water the flowers.
I set the glasses back down on the counter,
fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote.
Someone left it on the kitchen table.
I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV,
I'll be looking for the remote,
but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table,
so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs,
but first I'll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers,
but quite a bit of it spills on the floor.
So, I set the remote back on the table,
get some towels and wipe up the spill.
Then, I head down the hall trying to
remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:
the car isn't washed
the bills aren't paid
there is a warm can of
Pepsi sitting on the counter
the flowers don't have enough water,
there is still only 1 check in my check book,
I can't find the remote,
I can't find my glasses,
and I don't remember what I did with the car keys.

Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today,
I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all the damn day,
and I'm really tired.
I realize this is a serious problem,
and I'll try to get some help for it,
but first I'll check my e-mail....

Do me a favor.
Forward this message to everyone you know,
because I don't remember who the hell I've sent it to.
Don't laugh - if this isn't you yet, your day is coming!!


My husband and I just celebrated our 46th wedding anniversary. We met almost 50 years ago. We are getting old. The years have passed so quickly. We look older and, many days, feel older.
But I generally don't mind. I care less about the passing years and more about being whole, having inner peace, being someone who still contributes to this world and who gives and receives love and affection.

Getting older doesn't really bother many of us. In an  article I wrote, I explain how we do our best to thrive and accept that as one chapter of our lives ends, the next chapter begins.
It is true that some of us navigate the aging process better than others. Here are some things that I have observed in my coaching practice about people who do well as they age. They have these traits in common and can be an inspiration to all of us who are trying to improve their outlook and attitude.

A Zest for Life and a Curiosity for Learning New Things

Being hungry for life is different for each of us. It depends if we are shy and introverted, or outgoing and extroverted, by nature. It is also influenced by our energy level and personality.
People who flourish as they age are open and like to try new things. They are curious and are actively involved in their surroundings. They meet new people, read different books, take up a new hobby or attend classes.
Some feel more comfortable with activities that are familiar while others seek more adventure, but neither group is stagnant. They are engaged in their lives and live fully.

Movement Is a Way of Life

Some have a regular exercise program, others don't, but they are always in motion. They are out and about, meeting people, running errands, gardening or walking. Movement is part of their lives and not just a scheduled activity.

Social Support

They have people around that they can depend on and who depend on them. Some are very involved with a large group of family members or friends in their community.

Others have a small intimate group of people around them. The number doesn't matter. What does matter is their sense of having a support system, connection, affection and genuine concern with and for others.


Life happens to all of us. We all deal with challenges, whether they are financial, health-related or connected with personal relationships. I have learned that it is not what happens to us but how we react to it that defines the quality of our life.
People who thrive as they age find a way to get through the hardships and appreciate what life is still offering them. They are able to roll with the punches.

They Accept

They accept and embrace the reality of what is in their lives today and let go of those things that didn't work the way they wanted or envisioned. There is a recognition that we really don't have control over everything that happens to us.
People who thrive recognize their past mistakes, let go of grudges and hard feelings and forgive themselves and others. They learn to accept their relationships with their family and friends, good or bad and can move on.

Great Boundaries

They know what they want and what they don't want and make no apologies for being who they are. They don't take on activities that they really don't want to do just to be polite or spend a lot of time with people who make them unhappy. They are centered and know their place in the world.

I believe that we become more and more ourselves as we get older. We become more comfortable in this world and we realize what a wonderful gift this life is.

As Orpah Winfrey said, "Getting older is the best thing that ever happened to me. I wake up every morning rejoicing that I'm still here with an opportunity to begin again and be better."

Source: Sixy & Me /Terry Artz

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Soup

Yield:  About 5 servings


  • 2 (14.5 oz ) cans low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups canned mild red enchilada sauce
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ancho chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 medium onion, halved from root to tip and peeled (also barely chop root off so onion stays intact)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic crusher
  • 2/3 cups dry quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn***
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Toppings:  Shredded Mexican blend cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips


  • To a 6-quart slow cooker add chicken broth, enchilada sauce, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add in chicken, onion and garlic.  Cover and cook on low heat until chicken has cooked through and is tender, about 6 hours, while adding in quinoa during the last 30 minutes of cooking (so at about 5 1/2 hours add quinoa).  Remove onion and discard.  Remove chicken and dice and shred.
  • Add corn and black beans to soup and heat through.  Return chicken to soup and stir in avocado and cilantro.  Serve warm with cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.


T he link between cancer and nutrition is becoming increasingly irrefutable as more and more research studies link a bad diet with virtually every type of cancer. If people made simple dietary changes, scientists estimate that there would be at least a 60-70 percent decrease in breast, colon, and prostate cancers, as well as a 40-50 percent decrease in lung cancer.

Imagine all of the lives that could be saved if the focus was on preventing cancer, not just treating it. In this article we will be discussing a simple addition to your diet that have been shown to help prevent and treat cancer.

Besides eliminating obvious building blocks of cancer (like sugar) from your diet, there are other steps that you can take to ensure that your diet is protecting you from cancer, and not bringing you closer to a cancer diagnosis.

One of the best cancer fighting foods is flaxseed.
Flaxseed, also known as linseed, is an ideal source of dietary fiber, omega 3 fat, and lignan. Actually, it is the richest source of lignan on earth. It has lignan levels that are 100-800 times higher than any other plant source. Lignan has been shown in many studies to reduce the size of cancerous tumors in rats and mice, and has been used with success in treating both breast and prostate cancer in humans.

That means flaxseeds are more potent than virtually any other plant source when preventing and fighting cancer.

In one study, lignan was extracted and added to the diet of mice that had been previously given a chemical carcinogen to cause cancer.  All of mice that were treated with this extraction reduced the size of their tumors by 46%.

Other examples of flaxseed being effective in treating and preventing cancer include:
  • Mice that were fed flaxseed with high properties of lignan not only shrank their cancerous tumors, but their offspring became less susceptible to carcinogenesis even when they didn't consume any flaxseed themselves.
  • Lignan has been showed to help significantly men with prostate cancer when taking 30 grams of flaxseed per day.
  • Flaxseed has been shown to significantly reduce the tumor growth rate for mice with human breast cancer xenografts.
  • Omaha researchers found that mice receiving 10% flaxseed supplementation were able to reduce melanoma tumors by as much as 63%.
The research supports the idea that flaxseed, particularly flaxseed with high quantities of lignan is beneficial for not only preventing cancer, but treating it when it occurs.

One important thing to note is to make sure that you get flaxseed with high properties of lignan. Sometimes when flaxseed oil is pressed, the lignan is removed, so be careful of this when adding flaxseed to your diet.

So what can you do to get more flaxseed in your diet?
There are two ways to ingest it-whole or ground.

The Mayo Clinic recommends ground over whole flaxseed because it is easier for your body to digest. Whole flaxseed can pass through the intestines undigested, which means that your body will not get all of the benefits from eating it.

Still, some flaxseed is clearly better than no flaxseed in your diet, so as long as you make sure the flaxseed you are taking has lignan in it.
Ground flaxseed is easy to put into can add it to smoothies, condiments, bake it into cookies and breads...even putit into your breakfast cereal.

You can sprinkle whole flaxseed on top of soups, salads, and yogurt for added crunchiness and a nutty taste.

Flaxseed oil can also be mixed with cottage cheese, and this is the foundation of the Budwig Diet, one of the most popular anti-cancer diets on the planet. The mixing of the oil and cottage cheese allows for the chemical reaction to take place between the sulfur protein in the cottage cheese and the oil, which makes the oil water soluble for easy absorbsion into your cells.

There are tons of ways to get creative about how you get flaxseed into your diet...and the best part is, you can get flaxseed in bulk (whole or ground) in many grocery and health food stores.

The research shows it is well worth the effort to get more of this super seed into your diet...don't miss out on one of nature's most powerful cancer beaters!

Source:  The Truth About Cancer/Ty Bolinger
 Puppy Left at Airport Receives Love and 
Adoption Offers

Recently, a 3-month-old puppy named Chewy was abandoned by his owner at an airport as she was fleeing an abusive relationship. A heart-wrenching note was left on the little dog, and his story made national news.

T he story highlights how devastating abusive relationships can be for both humans and pets. The note explains that the owner didn't want to get rid of her beloved pet, but she didn't have a choice. She had to get herself and her furry friend to safety.

Unfortunately, Chewy was unable to go with his owner to the new destination. While it's tragic the puppy was left in an airport bathroom, Chewy was found by kind, caring individuals and has received the care he needs. He was taken in by the  Connor and Millie's Dog Rescue . We can only hope his owner finds the same opportunities.

Since Chewy's story hit the news, he has received a mountain of adoption requests. So many, in fact, that the rescue has had to stop taking applications so they can review the ones they have already received. They are keeping everyone updated on Chewy through their  Facebook page.

What happened to Chewy is incredibly heartbreaking and sad, but it looks like the little puppy will get a happy ending. The forever family that is picked to keep Chewy will no doubt be incredibly loving and supportive - and that's just what this dog needs.

The Unwavering Commitment of Local 
Animal Shelters

If it hadn't been for Connor and Millie's Dog Rescue, there's no telling what would have happened to sweet Chewy. Local shelters like these do what they can to help animals in need. There are a  variety of shelters across the USA, from government-run operations to private operations, but their goal is the same: to save animals. You can also help by adopting animals from your local shelter or by becoming a volunteer.

The vast majority of rescues and shelters rely on volunteers to operate and serve animals. Most of them are no-kill shelters, which means that animals that are not adopted will not be euthanized. There are so many  benefits to volunteering to work at an animal shelter , including lowering stress levels and your blood pressure by spending time with animals.

Other Dogs like Chewy

Even though Chewy is going to find his forever home, there are still many other dogs out there like him who need to be adopted and cared for. Every year, millions of healthy dogs and cats are euthanized because they can't find a loving home.

Taking in a rescue animal is a commitment - just like caring for any other pet. However, some of these creatures have come from abusive homes and might have special needs. Talking to your animal rescue or shelter to find out what types of animals they have and whether or not they'll fit with your family is the first step to finding the perfect pet for your home.

Chewy's story began with tragedy and heartache, but it will no doubt end on a happy note. His story proves that despite misfortune, there is still a lot of good left in the world.

There are so many animals like Chewy that deserve the same compassion and sympathy. Talk to your local shelter to find out ways you can have a positive impact on an animal's life.

Source:  Good News Shared

Insurance products are offered through 
New Horizon Financial Services, Inc.  Horizon Financial Services, LLC and New Horizon Financial Services Inc. are affiliated companies.