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Anxiety Relief Goes Green - More Parks & AZ Financial Planning Can Help

Posted on Monday, August 24, 2015

 ARIZONA RETIREMENT HELP AZ RETIREMENT PLAN PHOENIX RETIREMENT PLANNER

ANXIETY RELIEF GOES GREEN - MORE PARKS & AZ FINANCIAL PLANNING CAN HELP.  Arizona Financial Planner Teresa Bear's Blog discusses how access to city green space impacts a child's overall physical and mental well-being. Likewise, a proactive financial plan helps relieve adult anxiety.

 It’s not easy being green.

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That signature line delivered by Jim Henson’s Kermit the Frog, and later covered by Frank Sinatra and countless others, has taken on a variety of meanings over the years. One way the classic Muppets song applies to the world today is the difficulty in finding green areas in urban neighborhoods.

Imagine being a youngster in a low-income family, looking outside and, instead of seeing a tree to climb or grass to play in, being surrounded by man-made structures and the dangers of gang violence. Earlier this year, research from Stanford University found that growing up in an environment sans nature’s bounty can have a direct impact on a person’s overall physical and mental well-being. The lack of green areas in urban neighborhoods may even impede the maturity of children’s brains and be a factor in their economic decline.

Whether it’s growing up in a rough neighborhood or keeping track of the bills in an upscale community, people of all ages and economic statuses face some form of stress. The best way to combat this is confidence, something we’re here to provide as your financial professional. Knowing that you’ve received professional advice and have proactively created a plan to secure your financial future as well as that of your family can help relieve anxiety.

Through years of saving and hard work, you’ve put yourself in a position where you can enjoy the world around you: taking walks, enjoying a sunset unobstructed by pollution and gazing upon the bloom of flowers. Several children today are growing up in an environment where those simple pleasures are absent. That’s why some cities have started focusing on restoring green areas in low-income neighborhoods, strategically planting shrubs and trees to screen out busy street noises and reduce the glare from headlights.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “The Simple Idea That Could Make America’s Poorest Neighborhoods Healthier,” from Think Progress, July 10, 2015.]

For an example of how green spaces can help maintain happiness, even in a financial predicament, just look at what’s happening in Greece. The country’s financial struggles may have city residents in a damper, but those living in the beautiful mountain villages have a bit more hope. “I have my lettuce, my onions, I have my hens, my birds, I will manage,” one retiree stated after his government pension was cut. While those who live in outlying areas still feel the effects of shuttered banks and reduced government services, they have a better chance of surviving than city dwellers. In short, they are using age-old tactics that have enabled them to survive wars and natural disasters: chickens and a vegetable patch.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Greek villagers’ secret weapon: Grow your own food,” from The Houston Chronicle, July 3, 2015.]

Then there are traditional stress relievers. We’ve always known they worked, we just didn’t know the science behind them. For example, adult coloring books have recently become de rigueur as a modern-day stress reliever. Sugar has been proven to reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, and hugging releases oxytocin, a hormone that promotes feelings of devotion, trust and bonding.

[CLICK HERE to read, “Colouring books for adults a new way to relieve stress,” from CBC News, July 8, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Sugar as a Stress Reliever,” from The New York Times, April 23, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “7 Reasons Why We Should Be Giving More Hugs,” from The Huffington Post, March 27, 2014.]

These are all great remedies, but the ideal situation is to avoid stressful circumstances to begin with. If you ever have questions about your financial circumstances, feel free to give us a call.

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. The information contained in this material is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

Health Care Reform Here to Stay - How the Law is Affecting Arizona Retirees

Posted on Sunday, August 16, 2015

 ARIZONA MEDICARE HELP AZ PENSIONS ARIZONA RETIREMENT PLAN

 Health Care Reform Here to Stay - How the Law is Affecting Arizona Retirees Health Care Reform Here to Stay If there were any lingering doubts about the long-term sustainability of the Affordable Care Act (also known as the ACA or Obamacare), a recent Supreme Court ruling assured the health care overhaul is here to stay.

ACA

Not only does the King v. Burwell ruling handed down by Chief Justice John Roberts put the ACA on firm ground for the future, it also puts to rest challenges of the health law’s tax rules from opponents hoping to exploit loopholes. A few lines pulled from the Supreme Court ruling: “We cannot interpret federal statutes to negate their own stated purposes.” “Congress passed the ACA to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them.” Roberts’ decision may go a long way in clarifying the ACA’s intentions, but for the average person, it’s understandable if all the legislative, medical and financial arguments remain clear as mud. Health insurance is a complex issue at both the state and national levels, but as your financial professional, we know that what matters most is how the law affects you individually.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “What to Take Away from the Supreme Court Decision on Health Care,” from The New York Times, June 25, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to search the Rate Review database, “Find Rate Review Information about Your Insurer,” on Healthcare.gov, accessed June 24, 2015.]

Talks of the 2016 presidential race have already started picking up as new, high-profile candidates throw their names into the ring. In that regard, it can be difficult to predict what changes are on the horizon. But, as King v. Burwell established, it will take more than just a Presidential change to eliminate the ACA. The ruling strengthens the law to the point that it will take an act of Congress to make changes in the future. Roberts wrote that he believes subsidizing universal health insurance is of “deep economic and political significance,” and that if Congress wanted to give future Presidents an escape hatch from the legislation, “it surely would have done so expressly.”

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “Why John Roberts’ Obamacare decision goes further than you think,” from MSNBC.com, June 25, 2015.]

So here’s what we know: The initiative to get everyone in the country covered by health insurance, regardless of income level, will continue as planned. Ensuring the care is at a certain degree of quality … well, that has its challenges. Take a look at veterans who have sought care at VA hospitals. One of their greatest needs, mental health care, appears to be a weakness in this delivery system. In fact, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, as many as 22 veterans die by suicide each day. This travesty appears to emanate from incorrect diagnoses, poor record-keeping, lack of follow-ups and the VHA’s lack of compliance with its own policies and procedures.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “GAO: VA’s errors and noncompliance hinder suicide prevention efforts,” from Modern Healthcare, June 11, 2015.]

Access to quality care also is a major issue in rural locations throughout the country. Fortunately, this has been addressed in recent years by loosening up practice requirements by nurse practitioners (NPs) who have earned a master’s degree or better. New state laws have begun to permit NPs greater autonomy to perform services such as ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, prescribing medications and administering treatments for patients in rural states that struggle to recruit doctors to remote areas.

[CLICK HERE to read the article “Doctoring, without the Doctor,” from The New York Times, May 25, 2015.]

On the other hand, greater demand for providers necessitates more money. This has been evident in rate requests filed by health insurers for 2016. Increases thus far have ranged from 6 percent for high-level platinum plans to 14 percent for silver plans.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, “3 must-know facts about 2016 health rate filings,” from LifeHealthPro, June 11, 2015.]

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. The information contained in this material is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference. AE07155131

PHOENIX ARIZONA RETIREMENT PLANNER 480-503-0050

Posted on Thursday, August 13, 2015

PHOENIX ARIZONA RETIREMENT PLANNER PHOENIX ARIZONA RETIREMENT HELP PHOENIX AZ FINANCIAL PLANNER PHOENIX CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNING HELP

PHOENIX ARIZONA RETIREMENT PLANNING HELP – Phoenix AZ Certified Financial Planner Teresa Bear 480-503-0050 http://www.TeresaBear.com Blog Discusses Some of the Challenges of Retirement.

 

You can't pick up a newspaper or magazine or scan Internet headlines today without seeing something about the challenges of retirement and new surveys about how unprepared people are. Yes, it's a concern. But consider for a moment that, really, it's a personal one.

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You can solve your own concerns -- you don't have to tackle them on a national scale. To that end, break down your retirement income planning process into bite-sized steps, engage the help of financial professionals and do what's necessary to start moving forward with planning for retirement. Then move on to the rest of your life, keeping retirement income planning on the peripheral. When you're actually in retirement, it's important to stay on task but not obsess. Recognize that the first five years you may be working toward some of your long-awaited goals, like travel or starting a new venture. The important thing to bear in mind is that you probably won't keep spending money at that same pace throughout your golden years. Those first few years you may run through some savings, but bear in mind that will eventually need to let up. After a while, take a serious look at your retirement assets and review your budget. Is your retirement spending on track? Do you need to cut back or look at other ways to potentially increase your income?

[CLICK HERE to read the article, "5 things to think about on your journey to retirement," from Vanguard, May 4, 2015.]

One of the keys to a successful retirement is to be realistic. If you never enjoyed golf before, that may not be the best use of your retirement years. Enjoy doing what you enjoy doing -- it makes sense to keep it just that simple. If you always wanted to travel, start out by just thinking of one place you would really like to go. Focus on that trip; research it and put together a realistic budget based on how much it would cost for transportation, meals, accommodations, sightseeing, etc. It can be easier to work toward a tangible goal rather than an abstract idea.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, "A Travel Planning Guide," from BudgetYourTrip.com, accessed June 6, 2015.]

You may be familiar with the concept of creating problems that didn't exist before by overthinking solutions or "helpful suggestions." This is often combatted by the phrase, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." When it comes to retirement, careful and prudent saving and planning is best. The last thing you want is to not enjoy retirement because you're too busy trying to figure how to enjoy it better.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, "The impasse created by over thinking," from PrimeTime Online, Feb. 24, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, "8 Ways to Stop Over-Thinking and Find Peace in the Present Moment," from TheMindUnleashed.com, Sept. 9, 2014.]

In a recent study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found that the brain operates most efficiently when people trying to learn a basic task use only the most essential functions. In other words, there are parts of the brain normally engaged with high-level intellectual strategizing -- for which there is always a time and place. However, using these particular brain functions can be detrimental when trying to learn or complete less complex tasks.

[CLICK HERE to read the article, "Why Overthinking Is Holding You Back," from Huffington Post, May 14, 2015.]

[CLICK HERE to read the article, "Don't Overthink It," from The Atlantic, May 2015.]

Whatever you do, try not to overthink it. Planning for retirement is similar to how you've approached every other concern throughout your life. The more concerns you've had, the better equipped you may be to cope and problem solve. That's one way to turn lemons into lemonade. Another way is to rely on financial professionals, and that's where we can help. Contact us for guidance, and we'll help you understand the process.

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. This content is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. The information is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual's situation. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference. AE06155121

Arizona Retirement and Longevity - Tips and Trends

Posted on Tuesday, May 26, 2015

People over age 90 are now the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. By mid-century, this population is expected to quadruple. Many researchers currently are studying what the commonalities are for longevity and whether we can replicate them either in lifestyle choices or perhaps even pharmaceutically. A "60 Minutes" episode last year revealed some interesting findings about people over age 90, based on data originally gathered on this group back in 1981. Some marked commonalities among this group included:
  • Exercise every day is correlated with a longer life. As little as 15 minutes a day is effective, but 45 minutes a day is ideal (even more ideal than two hours a day). Also, it isn't necessary that the exercise be intense or all at once -- it can be spread throughout the day through walking, gardening, housework, etc.
  • Taking vitamins has no impact on longevity.
  • Clean living is not a factor; people who drink alcohol tend to live longer than those who don't. And not just red wine -- all types of alcoholic beverages, up to two servings a day.
  • Coffee drinking -- consuming the caffeine equivalent of one to three cups a day is consistent with longevity.
  • Engaging in non-physical activities, such as book clubs and bridge, are consistent with a longer life. The more activities, the better.
  • Eating -- not worrying about food intake is a common theme. In fact, moderate weight gain as you age is OK; being underweight is a negative factor for longevity.
One study from Brigham Young University further contributed to the data, showing that people who are lonely or isolated from social relationships and communities have the same risk of premature death as those who struggle with obesity or those who live in poverty.[CLICK HERE to view the "60 Minutes" episode segment, "Aging to 90+ years," on Youtube.com, Aug. 31, 2014.][CLICK HERE to read the article, "Loneliness and Isolation Are as Bad for You as Obesity, New Study Says," from The Huffington Post, March 12, 2015.] However, there are decisions other than lifestyle choices we can make at earlier ages to help prepare for a longer life. One such decision is what we do for a living. Obviously, the happier and more satisfied we are with our professional lives, the less aggravation and stress we feel. A recent article from World Economic Forum features a list of six questions to ask yourself regarding whether or not you should stay in your current work situation.If you work for a family-owned business, your longevity can take on a whole new meaning -- in terms of your legacy. Research from Harvard Business Review discovered that only 30 percent of family businesses last into the second generation, even though they account for the most employment in most countries. The sustainability of these businesses across multiple generations is largely indicated by whether they invest in both family and non-family talent, whether they engage in succession planning and whether they implemented a firm governance structure such as a board of directors.[CLICK HERE to read the article, "Are you sure you want to leave your job?" from World Economic Forum, March 20, 2015.][CLICK HERE to read the article, "Leadership Lessons from Great Family Businesses," from Harvard Business Review, April 2015.] And finally, how much does our wealth and the language we speak impact us by the end of a long, eventful lifetime? There are interesting studies revealing that people with less money rely more on and prioritize their social relationships, while wealth tends to breed independence -- often with the unintended consequence that wealthier people can grow more isolated over time. In fact, one study went so far as to conclude that wealth can make us less sensitive to the needs and feelings of others. In other words, "meaner" than those with less means. As for accumulating wealth, there is a fascinating study underway that correlates why many northern European countries lead the world in personal savings rates. Hint: It has to do with the language the people speak and the way it impacts their culture and mindset for saving money. [CLICK HERE to read the article, "Does money make you mean?" from BBC News Magazine, March 16, 2015.] [CLICK HERE to view the video, "The Influence of Language on Saving," on Squared Away Blog from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, March 19, 2015.] Obviously, there are dozens of ways to prepare for longevity. We can help you tackle some of those as they relate to your financial life. Please give us a call. We are an independent financial service firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives. Our firm is not permitted to offer, and no statement contained herein, shall constitute tax, legal or investment advice. Be sure to speak with qualified professionals before making any decisions about your personal situation. Our firm is not affiliated with the U.S. government or any governmental agency. This content is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. The information is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual's situation. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference. AE04155074