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Your Compass MONTHLY
FROM THE DESK OF Ty Wilson
May: The Month for Mothers?
Mother’s Day is around the corner. With the craziness that has been all consuming and unprecedented I can only hope your mother has the best day possible. As I write this we are still being asked to remain in our homes except in emergency circumstances. Yet there is a politician in Texas saying we should let the seniors decide if they want to wreck the economy and saying he himself wants to get the economy back to where it was prior to the pandemic. Well, I understand wanting to go back to the way it was, I think we all share that desire. But to have a section of the population doing whatever they want, or letting everyone do whatever they want, could be quite tragic, and that’s something that should be considered. In this day and age of “I need some press, so I have to be controversial,” that politician has done his job. I do not have to tell anyone that this could be devastating, and we want to keep it at “could be” not “is.” However, it is important to note that COVID-19 has been devastating to many in Italy. Staying at home is inconvenient, without question. Is it the best thing to do with what we know? I have to say I believe so, but I do not encourage you to listen to me. Make your own decision. I work remotely to take responsibility for myself and more importantly for family. I would be devastated if I brought this virus into my house causing harm to any of my family members.
Think back: How old were you when you first learned about the stock market? What about Roth IRAs and 401(k)s? Odds are you were well out of your teens by the time you started worrying about money management. In fact, only 20 states require kids to take financial literacy classes in high school, and many parents don’t have the expertise to teach money management at home. That means far too often, kids head off to college without a clear idea of how basic financial processes like loans, debt, and retirement savings work. According to Gallup, most people don’t start investing in retirement until age 29, and just 7% of people start saving before they’re 20, even though the benefits are widely known. In the last few decades, those numbers — along with horror stories about college kids racking up thousands in credit card debt and worries over dwindling Social Security — have inspired parents and teachers to start giving kids the tools they need to properly handle money earlier in life. This can be tricky because the last thing most teenagers want to do is sit through a lecture about credit, student loans, and the stock market from their mom and dad, but one strategy seems to work well: gamification. Thanks to innovations in gaming, NFL quarterbacks, vampires, and virtual competitions are getting kids excited about investing, personal finance, and economics. HOWGAMIFYING PERSONAL FINANCE CAN HELP TEENS TACKLE THE REAL THING SHOULD YOUR KIDS BE PLAYING WITH MONEY?
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FableVision game in which players manage a “day club” for vampires. As an Edutopia article puts it, “Players experience the familiar tension between servicing debt, spending money, and saving for the future. By featuring vampires, who live forever, the game highlights the impact of long-term savings over a 45-year span in a 15-round game.” For kids who aren’t into fantasy, “Road Trip to Savings” offers a similar experience, letting kids ages 8–15 plan out a virtual road trip with $1,000 in “cash.” Players have to learn to manage their money in order to pay their insurance and keep gas in the tank. If they can’t, it’s game over. Even the NFL has gotten in on the financial gamification action. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees partnered with Visa to create a classroom game called “Financial Football” that combines virtual football with questions about saving, spending, budgeting, and credit. The game has levels tailored to different age groups, including Rookie (ages 11–14), Pro (ages 14–18), and Hall of Fame (ages 18 and up).
The biggest, most successful example of this strategy on a school level is The Stock Market Game, a national nonprofit that has helped a whopping 17 million kids learn about finance. The premise of the online simulation is simple: Kids join teams and get $100,000 in fake stocks, bonds, mutual funds, impact investments, and cash. Then, they learn how to “invest” that money and compete to see who can get the biggest returns over either a 10- week period or a year. When an entire class or school is competing, winning is a big deal, so motivation and interest run high! Schools all over the country use the program to teach kids math skills, economics, and the basics of personal finance. The Stock Market Game even has a national contest called the Capitol Hill Challenge that brings top- performing teams to Washington, D.C., to meet their representatives in Congress. With a prize like that at stake, competition can get fierce!
If your kids’ schools offer personal finance classes and you want to get more involved in helping your kids prepare for the real world, try reaching out to their teachers about putting gamification to work. Barring that, there are plenty of games you can use at home! Any kid with a sponsor over 18 can join The Stock Market Game, even if they don’t have a team or school involved, and games like “Road Trip to Savings” are available to download at PracticalMoneySkills.com. Whatever route you choose, you’ll be giving your kids a leg up in the world while showing them a good time to boot.
Another online game that puts an even more creative twist on finance is “Bite Club,” a
THE TIMELESS CHARM OF THE DRIVE-IN MOVIE Plus, How to Create Your Own Outdoor Cinema
For playing the movie, you’ll need a laptop and streaming service or a DVD or Blu-ray player. You’ll connect these devices to your projector through an HDMI port. As long as you’re not broadcasting to the whole neighborhood, stereo or computer speakers should be just fine, but you can also opt for a Bluetooth speaker that will give your audio a big boost. Next, you’ll need a flat surface to display the movie. A plain, white bedsheet makes a good screen, or you can make your own with white fabric from craft stores or online. Cushions, blankets, and outdoor hanging lights add a fun touch to your cinema. Just be sure to turn the lights off before the movie begins — and silence those cellphones! Once your setup is complete, select your movie, get the popcorn popping, and enjoy some movie magic right in your backyard.
The first drive-in theater opened in 1933 in Camden, New Jersey. At the time, films cost 25 cents per person, plus 25 cents per car, and drive-ins usually got movies in the second run, after they’d shown at indoor theaters. The trend started off slow, but by the ‘50s, Americans had fully embraced the outdoor theater experience. The ‘80s brought a charismatic Michael J. Fox to audiences in “Back to the Future,” and shortly after, “The Sandlot” hit the big screen and gave us lines that we’d quote for the next decade (“You’re killin’me, Smalls!”). As of 2018, USA Today estimated that only about 330 drive-in theaters still exist in the United States. But if you don’t have one in your area, there’s a way you can enjoy the outdoor movie experience without having to leave your backyard. Your outdoor cinema starts with a projector. If you don’t have one, they are readily available to purchase at most big-box stores.
Summertime is synonymous with many childhood experiences: hours splashing in the pool, sleepaway camp, and snow cones, to name a few. A quintessential summer destination that isn’t as common these days is the drive-in theater, yet many childhood memories are built on this little bit of nostalgia.
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The Story of Grandpa Mason HOWA FERAL CAT CAME TO CARE FOR ORPHANED KITTENS
founder, Shelly Roche, took him in and provided him with a comfortable place to sleep, plenty of food, and time to relax in the last months of his life. Grandpa Mason had a hard time adjusting to domestic life and would often shy away from being petted. In an interview with The Dodo, Roche described him as “an elderly gentleman [who] lived his whole life a certain way, and then, all of a sudden, [was] forced to live completely differently.” After Grandpa Mason grew accustomed to his home, Roche took in several foster kittens, and those new roommates completely altered Grandpa Mason’s behavior. Roche expected him to hiss, swat, or growl at the kittens when they invaded his space, but he didn’t. Instead, he allowed them to crawl all over him and appeared to enjoy it when they licked his ear. Suddenly a playful, affectionate, and gentle personality came out of Grandpa Mason as he played with, bathed, taught, and cared for the orphaned kittens that Roche welcomed into her
When cats are orphaned as kittens, they don’t get the chance to develop all the skills needed to become successful cats. Just like human children, kittens need older role models too. The most famous cat role model had a rough start in life but became an inspiration for kittens and humans alike. His name was Grandpa Mason, and during the last years of his life, he stepped up and gave love, care, and guidance to the orphaned kittens that lived with him. The Canadian animal rescue group TinyKittens rescued Grandpa Mason in 2016 from a property that was scheduled to be bulldozed. The poor feral tabby was suffering from many health problems, including severe dental issues, a badly injured paw, and advanced kidney disease. Since TinyKittens is a no-kill rescue organization, euthanization was out of the question. Given his health conditions, veterinarians predicted the battle-scarred Grandpa Mason didn’t have long to live, so TinyKittens’
home. Potentially due to the kittens’ influence, Grandpa Mason surpassed his prognosis by more than two years. During the last few years of his life, Grandpa Mason passed on important lessons and good manners to the kittens he looked after and adored, as a true grandfather should. He passed last September, but he spent his last night in his ultimate happy place: snuggling in his bed surrounded by kittens.
Take a Break!
Grilled Prime Rib
Who says the cookout has to ruin your diet? Try this paleo-friendly recipe for amain dish that’s worthy of your next barbecue.
1 1/2 lbs beef rib roast 1 tsp Himalayan salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
DIRECTIONS: 1. Take rib roast out of the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to grilling. 2. Season roast with salt and pepper and allow it to rest for 10 minutes while you heat a gas grill to 600 F. 3. Sear roast for 3–4 minutes on each side. 4. Turn off the grill but continue cooking the steak, flipping every 4–5 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 125 F. Remove from grill. 5. Allow the roast to rest — its internal temperature will continue to climb — for 5–10 minutes. Slice and serve.
Inspired by Primal Palate
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Inside This Issue From the Desk of Ty PAGE 1 The Trick to Teaching Teens About Money Management PAGE 1 The Timeless Charm of the Drive-In Movie PAGE 2 The Best Grandfather a Kitten Could Have PAGE 3 Grilled Prime Rib PAGE 3 Take a Break! PAGE 3 Is a 55-Plus Community Right for You? PAGE 4
THE PROS AND CONS OF BUYING A HOME IN A 55-PLUS COMMUNITY
live in a 55-plus community. Some communities include all maintenance and amenities in the monthly rent or mortgage (some even cover utility bills), but make sure you understand what is and isn’t covered before you sign a contract! P ro : A menities are included . Most 55-plus communities include amenities like exercise classes and educational programs for their residents. They also invite community organizations and leaders to speak about local issues or upcoming elections. Some even have a clubhouse or dining hall for social gatherings. Save money by taking advantage of these programs instead of paying for a gym membership or a course at the local community college. C on : I t ’ s a limited buyer ’ s and renter ’ s market . Most people who buy in a 55-plus community plan to retire there. If this is your original
Depending on your wants and needs, buying a home in a 55-plus community might be a financially savvy way to set yourself up for retirement. But is it the right decision for you? Here are a few financial pros and cons associated withmoving into one of these neighborhoods. P ro : T he homes are in excellent condition . Oftentimes, 55-plus communities provide maintenance services, including housekeeping and landscaping. Also, it’s likely that only a handful of people have occupied the home since it was built, so buying in a 55-plus community means you’ll get a property in excellent condition with less wear and tear. C on : Y ou ’ ll have to pay a monthly fee . Unfortunately, all the great stuff doesn’t come free. Usually, you’ll have to pay an extra monthly bill, similar to a homeowners association fee, to
intention but your plans change down the road, you might have a harder time selling your home here than you would in a community that is open to people of all ages. Make sure to budget for those potential holding costs and plan accordingly. Regardless of where you decide to buy, be sure to consult an experienced real estate agent and a financial planner. Here’s to living out your golden years in comfort and convenience!
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