Mattson Financial Services - February 2019

F I N A N C I A L S E R V I C E S , L L C

616-514-3831

www.MattsonFinancial.com

February 2019

HOW TO GET THE ANSWERS AND INFORMATION YOU NEED Put an End to the Runaround

You know when you call into a call center because you have a question about a warranty, a bill, an account, or you need to troubleshoot a gadget? You call, you wait for a service agent, and when you’re finally connected, you know you’ve been connected to a foreign call center. Now, my wife and I are pretty well-traveled. We’ve been to 39 countries and experienced a number of different cultures with different languages and dialects. Even so, we never really had a hard time navigating those countries, despite the cultural and language differences in many of them. But whenever I’m connected to call center outside of the U.S., I have a hard time understanding what the agent is saying. The dialect is often too strong. It makes getting to the bottom of my issue a challenge because I can’t always tell what they’re saying. I may have to ask them to repeat themselves. This is something that happens to people all the time. Here’s the thing: If you are having a hard time understanding the service representative, you can ask them to connect you to a U.S.-based rep. By law, they must cease the call and transfer you to the rep you’ve requested. I bring this up because it’s a common issue that can affect many different parts of our lives. For instance, I recently spoke with a couple who had visited a Social Security office in their hometown. They had questions about applying for benefits. Well, at the office, they asked the Social Security agent the questions they needed to be answered. The agent ended up telling our client that if she went through with how she wanted to apply for benefits, she wouldn’t be eligible for her husband’s benefits if he were to precede her in death. Naturally, our client wanted to knowmore, but the agent wasn’t cooperating. He would not give her the information she requested. This only creates for a frustrating situation—but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are situations when you have to say the right thing when you’re not getting the results you expect or need. You can ask for another representative (in the case of the call), or a supervisor. Someone has the answer or information you need, you just need to connect with that person.

All too often we search for information and don’t find it because we’re too timid or we feel as though we’re wasting the other person’s time. But that’s not the case. Here at Mattson Financial Services, we always want you to understand any given situation. We want to have your questions answered and all the information you need. I wish my world worked the same way, but it does not. That’s reality, unfortunately. Instead, I have to be vigilant and know that it’s always okay to ask for more information or to ask for someone who may have more information. One last tip: Every time I pull up to the gas pump, I can’t help but think about all of those stories of people getting their credit card info stolen when they buy gas. Thieves can skim your info with fake card readers and some even use cameras to capture card numbers. What I do to make my gas purchases easier to track is to the calendar day to my advantage. Let’s say it’s Feb. 14. I’ll buy just enough gas to round my total to the dollar amount, plus 14 cents. For example, my total might be $30.14. No matter the day, I’ll round my total to match the date. This way, I can easily verify my charge and when it took place — so that if any other charge were to come up that didn’t match my method, I’d know it was fraudulent and I’d be able to take care of it immediately. Hopefully, these insights inspire you the next time any of these things come up in your life. Next month, we’ll be tackling the question of Apple and Amazon: Which one should you have bought into? It’s going to be an interesting one. –Gary Mattson

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3 WAYS TO INVEST IN YOURSELF AFTER RETIREMENT EMBRACING ‘SPENDOPHOBIA’

You’ve spent your entire life being told to save, save, save. Now you’re finally retired, so it’s time to spend some of that money — but you’re scared! This is only natural because it means breaking a lifelong habit of socking away money and refusing to touch it. You’re not alone. A recent study of retirees’ spending habits showed many people actually spend less than they can afford to. They’re scared of the “what ifs” that come with living on a fixed income. However, at age 70 1/2, you have to start taking the required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your traditional IRA and 401(k) whether you want to or not. Instead of stressing over the fact that you’re pulling money out of these accounts, embrace the opportunity to do something for yourself.

however, is one thing you can indulge in early without feeling guilty. Even the most leisurely trips can be physically demanding, so it’s better to see the world at 70 rather than wait until you’re 90. To keep yourself on track financially, use the bucket system to set up a separate savings account just for travel.

Invest in Your Home

Once you no longer have to work five days a week, you’ll be in your home more often, so why not make it amazing? An in-ground pool or a private tennis court might be outside your budget, but new kitchen countertops or a deeper tub will add a touch of luxury to the space you spend the most time in. Upgrading your home is almost always a good investment because it adds equity, which will pay off down the road. That extra cash will come in handy if you decide to sell later on in order to downsize or you plan to enter assisted living. Don’t forget to set aside money for ongoing maintenance, such as a new water heater or roof repairs.

Travel

It can be tempting to hold off spending money as long as possible. After all, who knows how long you need your savings to last? Travel,

‘DO THE WORK’

Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way

artists, entrepreneurs, and athletes face in “The War of Art.”This guidebook lays out Pressfield’s core philosophy that a creator is their own greatest enemy. It’s in this work that he first coined his idea of “resistance,” Pressfield’s word for the self-defeatist attitude that causes so many great ideas to be left on the drawing board. “Do the Work” is a follow up to it, prescribing Pressfield’s antidote to resistance — you guessed it: doing the work . Compared to its predecessor, “Do the Work” is a quick read. Though it’s less than 100 pages, what this guide lacks in length it makes up for in specificity and approachability. The book is laser-focused on helping anyone who is undertaking creative endeavors to identify their own resistances and overcome them. Combined with Pressfield’s no- nonsense delivery, every page is filled with the distilled, biting wisdom of a man wholly dedicated to his craft. Pressfield manages to strike a tone that is stern, humorous, cynical, and at times even whimsical without missing a beat. You can feel the author smirking at you through the page when he tells you, “Stay stupid. Follow your unconventional, crazy heart.” He dares you to pick your pen back up and return to your drawing board. “Do the Work” crackles with the tempered passion and biting wit of a learned master. If you’re looking to reignite your creative spark, “Do the Work” needs to be a permanent fixture on your nightstand.

Few modern authors have a resume as colorful or textured as Steven Pressfield. A graduate of Duke University, the best-selling author served in the Marine Corps, drove tractor trailers, taught school children, and worked as an oil field roustabout — all before penning his first published work. Having struggled as a writer for 17 years before seeing his first paycheck, it’s no surprise that Pressfield has plenty of wisdom to share when it comes to making long-term dreams a reality.

Pressfield first addressed the challenges aspiring

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The Calculations That Leave Us in Need of an Extra Day WHY DO WE NEED A LEAP YEAR?

Go Back to College

It might sound counterintuitive to go to college when you’re not planning to go back to work, but continuing your education after retirement offers many benefits. Many individuals find themselves with more time on their hands than they’re accustomed to, and without a plan to fill this time, it’s easy to become depressed or isolated. Numerous studies have shown that continuing to exercise your brain has a positive impact on cognitive function, so taking a few classes can be the perfect way to stay busy and keep your mind sharp. Attending school late in life is also a great opportunity to indulge your passions and learn more about subjects you’ve always been interested in. Many colleges offer free classes or reduced tuition to seniors, so check with your local schools and see what classes or programs they have available.

Every four years, February gains an extra day at the end of the month. But what does this contribute to the year as a whole? You might be surprised by what this one day does for us! The 365 days in each year represent the time it takes for the Earth to circle the sun. However, the orbit actually takes nearly a quarter of a day longer than that. The additional 0.2421 of a day might not seem like it would make a significant impact, but after a few decades, it adds up. To ensure the calendar and seasons stay on the right timeline, the leap day was created. The Start of the Leap Year The Egyptians were the first to officially calculate how many days it takes to orbit the sun, revealing the need for a leap year. Europeans at the time used a calendar that followed a lunar model, which needed an entire month added to retain consistency. The leap year wasn’t introduced into Europe until the reign of Julius Caesar. With the help of astronomer Sosigenes, Caesar created the Julian Calendar, which included 12 months and 365 days, with a single day added every fourth year. However, the Julian Calendar wasn’t perfect, because 0.2421 of a day can’t be rounded to a multiple of five, so it caused the calendar to have an extra 11 minutes every four years. Pope Gregory XIII fixed the problem in 1582 by creating the Gregorian Calendar. Now, a leap year occurs every four years except for the years that are evenly divisible by 100 and not 400. For instance, 1800 and 1900 were not leap years because they were divisible by 100. A Leap Day Birthday The odds of being born on Feb. 29 are about 1 in 1,500, which leaves approximately 187,000 people in the U.S. and 4 million people around the world celebrating their birthdays on Feb. 28 or March 1. People born on a Leap Day are faced with dilemmas such as which date they should receive their driver’s license. Although it varies from state to state, most consider March 1 the appropriate day for leap-year 16-year-olds —who are celebrating their fourth “official” birthday — to receive their license. With all the changes the calendar has undergone, it still isn’t quite perfect. Experts say that in about 10,000 years, it will need to be changed yet again.

BISTECCA ALLA FIORENTINA LAUREL’S

Inspired by Saveur magazine

Ingredients

• • •

2 bone-in porterhouse steaks

Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste Lemon wedges, for serving

1/4 cup olive oil 2 sprigs rosemary

Directions

1. 30 minutes before cooking, remove steaks from fridge to bring them to room temperature. 2. Heat a grill or large cast-iron skillet to high. While heating, brush steaks with half the oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. 3. Place steaks on the hottest part of the grill or pan and cook for 5 minutes. 4. Flip steaks and baste with remaining oil, using rosemary sprigs as a brush. If cooking in a pan, place sprigs next to steaks after basting. 5. Cook for 5–6 minutes for medium-rare. 6. Let steaks sit for at least 5 minutes, slice against the grain, and serve with bone.

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PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411

F I N A N C I A L S E R V I C E S , L L C

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SAVE THE DATE! FEB 1. — FIRST FRIDAY EVENT FROM 3–6 P.M. AT OUR KENTWOOD OFFICE MAR 1. — FIRST FRIDAY EVENT FROM 3–6 P.M. AT OUR KENTWOOD OFFICE

How to Get the Information You’re Looking For

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3 Ways to Invest in Yourself After Retirement Book Review: ‘Do the Work’

Bistecca Alla Fiorentina Why Do We Need A Leap Year?

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Prepare for an Adventure in Lapland

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**Reminder: If you have any changes to your financial situation, please notify us as soon as possible.

Investment advisory services are offered through Mattson Financial Services, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor in the state of Michigan. Insurance products and services are offered through Lakeview Financial Group, LLC. Mattson Financial Services, LLC and Lakeview Financial Group, LLC are affiliated companies.

Into the Arctic Circle

Scandinavians cherish their public lands, and the trail systems are well taken care of. Hikers and backpackers can enjoy the stunning beauty in both late spring and summer, as well as a chance to see the midnight sun. Because of its far-north location, Swedish Lapland receives close to 24 hours of sunlight from June through early August. Between the boulder fields, mountains, and stunning glacial lakes, hiking here is a treat. While hiking, you may spot reindeer herds or lemmings (a small rodent similar to a hamster) racing around rocks. The Sami people have herded reindeer for thousands of years through this very land. In the summer, keep an eye out for blueberries, lingonberries, and the brightly colored cloudberries. Because of the Arctic climate, weather conditions can change quickly from sunshine to rain and heavy fog, so it’s best to dress in layers and bring wind and rain protection if you plan to venture into the backcountry. The fantastic scenery of Swedish Lapland awaits you, no matter when you decide to take your trip. What are you waiting for? ADVENTURE IN SWEDISH LAPLAND

If you’re eager for a new adventure in 2019, you’ll surely find it in Swedish Lapland. With trail systems that take you into the Arctic Circle, the northernmost region of Sweden is home to national parks, glaciers, reindeer, the beguiling midnight sun, and spectacular night skies. Though winters are cold, one benefit of traveling to the region in this season is to catch a glimpse of the night sky. The northern lights are visible from a few remote locations like Abisko National Park, one of the first established national parks in Sweden. Traveling to Abisko is an adventure in and of itself. From Stockholm, the fastest option is to take one of only two airlines that fly into Kiruna, then travel by train to Abisko. Despite the challenge of getting there, adventure-seeking visitors from around the world arrive each winter to experience the Arctic beauty. Winter attractions include ice skating, snowshoeing, and the Scandinavian sauna (this last one is a must any time of the year). Befriend a Scandinavian and you might be treated to some pickled herring or even a princess cake, a raspberry-filled dessert covered in marzipan.

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