Archive for December, 2010

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Plan Respite for Recovery in 2011

I am writing this blog from beautiful Palm Springs, on a site visit to choose a venue for our Distinguished Advisor Conference Nov 13 to 16, 2011. The theme is Recovery, and what a wonderful place for respite–from personal and financial health challenges!
It is a place on an aquifer in the middle of a desert, where Frank and Dean and Sammy and Marilyn hung out in their heyday, and lemons grow the size of small footballs.
It boasts world class cancer, addiction, spa and critical care facilities, as well as desert hot springs and endless acres of gold courses. Its average population age is 36 despite the fact that it is still a haven for fun loving retirees.
We are lucky to have the opportunity to learn, think and recover…as a family of advisors and clients.
It’s Your Money, Your Life. In a time of recovery, respite is very important. I hope you can take a deep breath in 2011 to take a little better care of yourself.

Choosing Precious Gifts that Give Back

Christmas in Manitoba is so special.  It’s a snowy one here this year, and it looks like it will be “crunchy” cold. (I laughed when a Vancouver journalist expressed that phrase to me during a radio interview years ago.  Born and raised here, it had never really occurred to me that snow “slushes”  under your feet in other places!) 
 
This year, our globetrotting family will be together from near and far, and we try to tell everyone not to fret too much about the gifts.  Don’t run up the credit cards. . .just get back home.  As we all get older, it is so wonderful to see just what is important to the next generation.  They understand that being together is more valuable than any tangible thing money can buy.
 
Time is more precious than money, and we are giving the gift of time to one another.  As we bustle from one holiday fest to another, and put up the tree and the mistletoe, it becomes clearer, that it’s not about the money at all. . .it’s about peace, peace of mind and shared values that will carry us through from one generation to the next.  Christmas is a bonding time; so necessary to build strong families and strong legacies. 
 
December is a good month to do some tax planning with charities, too, and so that’s a tradition in our house.  You will certainly want to visit with your Investment Advisor if you wish to transfer any accrued gains to your favorite charity.  That’s a gift that gives back too. . . in the form of a tax credit when you file your 2010 tax return.
 
Enjoy December this year!   It’s Your Money. Your Life. . .you deserve to give yourself and your family, the precious gift of your time.

DEBT MANAGEMENT: THE KEY TO FINANCIAL RECOVERY

There are several ways to get out of significant debt: make more money, prepare and stick to a debt reduction plan, invest in income producing assets for the future. This applies to governments too, and therefore, any solutions, by necessity, involve taxpayers. In other words, debt is everyone's problem. 
 
The demographics are a big issue for most western countries. How will we be able to support the needs of the significant numbers emerging with elder care needs? 
 
I personally don't find the future as gloomy as others may, because it appears that the health and longevity of the boomers and their parents may well help sustain a much needed taxpayer basis. 
 
Seniors may need and want (and given the boomer's propensity for hard work) to stay engaged in the workforce in some manner, longer. We should encourage this, and make it easier with flexible hours, for example, so that more people can continue to contribute tax dollars for much needed services like health care for a large group of vulnerable seniors in the immediate future. 
 
It's also important for consumers to fix their own debt problems, so that they can rely less on governments to supplement needs and wants in retirement, and start to rebuild wealth again.
 
The key to financial recovery, in my opinion, is to reduce and manage debt. That does require some adjustment to spending habits, and an understanding of how money can be used as a tool to work for you, not against you. 
 
For that reason, I was delighted to publish a new book from authors Robert Ironside and Edwin Au Leung, entitled The One Financial Habit that Could Change Your Life.   I hope you'll pick it up and give it to anyone you know who is in debt, or wants to avoid it.
 
It's Your Money. Your Life. You don't need to live it burdened in debt. Help yourself to some financial cures immediately to recover more quickly.