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Your Compass MONTHLY DISCOVER YOUR ROOTS Genealogy Activities for the Whole Family
FROM THE DESK OF Ty Wilson
Is it me or has 2018 been one of the fastest years ever? I look up and see my daughter somature and grown up. My son, he is a boy through and through. They are both growing up so quickly. When I was younger, I felt as if I was able to handle time even with a lot onmy plate. However, this year has been unlike any other. Fast, fast, fast. I knowwe are getting busier and busier just trying to keep up with what we are able to do with our families. With 2018 having come and gone, we are heading into 2019. So hard to believe. I see the signs of the years but still have such a hard time believing how fast life has gone by this year. We again come to the part of the year where we spend time reflecting and enjoying some time with our families and friends during the holidays. Because of the holidays, December is a pretty short month for productivity. Frommy family to yours, please have a safe and happy holiday season. We will see you next year!
While some parents worry about negative stories that may accompany their ancestry, many experts and historians encourage teaching children about their heritage and genealogy at a young age. Learning about their heritage and family traditions develops an important part of a child’s identity, so take the opportunity to teach your children about your family history and where those traditions come from. Gather the family together and follow these tips to teach the young’uns about the golden days.
Getting crafty is a popular way to teach your kids about their heritage. This gives children an outlet for their creative energy while educating them about the intricacies of genealogy and research. Kids can create a family tree or timeline with cardboard and construction paper. Have them start small with their own names and names of their siblings, parents, and grandparents. Then extend the tree to cousins, aunts, uncles, and great-relatives. Once they finish, have your kid present their family tree to a neighbor or their grandparent so they can teach others what they learned.
Take a Staycation
In today’s digital landscape, searching for ancestors and relatives is often as easy as a Google search. Visit the home country of your ancestors via Google Earth and learn more about the culture and heritage of your family’s ancestors. After taking a virtual tour of the city or town, search for recipes, games, or outfits that your family can create together. Have each kid select which one they’re interested in, and do them together!
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For a more in-depth tour, visit cemeteries across the world without even buying a plane ticket. BillionGraves.com is an online sharing and research site that aims to feature — just as the name would suggest — billions of grave sites around the world. BillionGraves allows users to create a digital database of cemeteries around the world by snapping a photo, uploading it, and providing some information about it. Family members can enter a relative’s name and take a virtual tour of where their long-lost ancestors lie. A quick family search with your kids may put into perspective just how far-reaching your family is. You can also provide other families with a chance to see their relatives’ grave sites by taking a trip to your local cemetery, snapping some photos, and teaching your kids about tracking genealogy with names, dates, and descriptions.
parents or grandparents used to make, so pass on some of yours to your kids! Teach your kids how to make great-great- grandma’s famous cannoli with her original recipe or master the shepherd’s pie that your grandfather was famous for. The kids can create a shopping list, and then you can go together to pick up the ingredients. Make the recipes together, enjoy them with neighbors or relatives, and share family stories as you do. Even better — turn the
food day into a party. Guests will likely share stories of their own heritage as you break bread over hearty memories. Don’t let your inquisitive kiddo down. Family history, good or bad, is important for every child to learn. The best way to teach them boils down to your child’s personality, their likes and dislikes, and the time you have on your hands. But it’s never too early to climb that family tree.
Make a Traditional Dish
If you really want to make family history stick, eat food that represents your heritage. Everyone has memories of meals their
The History of the Magi Wise Men or Sorcerers?
The story of the three wise men visiting Jesus is a focal point in the Judeo- Christian telling of the birth of the Christ. Their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh demonstrate reverence for the child through symbolism: Gold symbolized kingship; frankincense was commonly burned in temples and represented the spiritual stature that Jesus would hold; and myrrh was used in preparing bodies for burial, foreshadowing his eventual crucifixion. While the Magi’s role in the birth of Jesus is well-known, not much is understood about the men themselves and their connection to the baby in the manger. Historically known as Magi, the three “wise men” are known for their study of the stars. The Magi were some of the earliest astrologers. Until the 17th century, astrology and astronomy weren’t separate fields of study. Astrology included both the study of how the stars and planets affect human life and the position and motion of the cosmic bodies. In the Persian Empire, Magi were known as astrologer-priests, delineating the fate of men they saw written in the stars. But while they are known for interpreting the significance of planetary movements for human life, many historians suggest there could have been more to their jobs than astrology.
“Magi” comes from the Greek word “magos,”which means magic. Early interpretations of magos included alchemy and sorcery along with astronomy. Speculations swirl among many biblical scholars about the true nature of the Magi, as some tellings portray them as illusionists or fortune-tellers. In a cultural context, the Magi were revered across the Middle East. Along with their knowledge, they had stature and wealth that allowed them to bestow gifts upon those they deemed important. The act of giving presents to a child wasn’t a regular practice for the Magi, and thus the event was significant for the time. While only three Magi are portrayed in the familiar nativity story, the real event would have included many servants. As a matter of fact, the Bible never mentions the number of Magi who visited Jesus, leaving interpretations open as to how many Magi traveled to Bethlehem. In the early seventh century, the Magi were pushed to the outer rims of Africa and India due to the rising popularity of Islam. Since someone could only be considered Magi by birth, it is widely accepted that the line of succession eventually ended, and the Magi faded into history.
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5 Common Financial Struggles for Seniors
Scams and Identity Theft Sadly, many identity thieves and cybercriminals target the elderly. While your credit report can be corrected after such an event, many seniors are unequipped to deal with the process. The best defense is to check your statements often to ensure that any foul behavior is caught as early as possible. Confusion Regarding Fees Many seniors reported charges they didn’t understand to the CFPB. Often, they were signed up for subscriptions they didn’t use or weren’t sure how interest was being calculated. As with identity theft, monitoring your statements for unusual charges is the best way to avoid this source of stress. WHETHER YOU’RE RETIRED OR NOT
Planning for and navigating retirement is the most pressing financial concern for older adults. While understanding how to budget and spend as you approach and enter retirement is crucial, it’s far from the only issue that seniors face. Last year, a report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) investigated the most commonly reported complaints the organization had received from adults age 62 and older. Aside from retirement savings, here are the five major issues reported by seniors. Debt The number of seniors and retirees with debt is at an all-time high. Many seniors carry excessive debt in order to ease the burden on their children and grandchildren. Some still have student debt from their college years or other outstanding loans. Others turn to credit cards to defray a surprise cost like a medical emergency. If you’re in danger of falling behind on payments, contact your lenders before opening a new credit account. Reverse Mortgages Many seniors have reverse mortgages, which allow them to buy into home equity provided they repay it when the property is sold. In this mortgage structure, however, people still need to pay property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. These mortgages can end up being a trap for seniors, which is why Jean Setzfand, a senior vice president at AARP, refers to them as a last resort.
Loss of a Spouse The loss of a spouse presents challenges much greater than the financial burden, but that is often a major part of navigating the death of your partner. Accessing bank accounts and other assets can prove difficult, especially if it was the deceased who primarily managed the finances. Working with a financial planner or elder law attorney can help make this process less daunting.
Take a Break!
30-Minute Cauliflower Soup
1 small head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cored and sliced
broth or vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 leek, chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups low-sodium chicken
DIRECTIONS 1. In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter into warm oil. Add onion and leek, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender, about 10–12 minutes. 2. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add cauliflower, broth, and cream. Simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes. 3. Using a blender, purée in batches until smooth. 4. Top servings with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of pepper.
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Recipe Inspired by Good Housekeeping
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Inside This Issue From the Desk of Ty PAGE 1 Uncover Your Heritage PAGE 1 The History of the 3 Wise Men PAGE 2 Financial Struggles Older Adults Face PAGE 3 30-Minute Cauliflower Soup PAGE 3 Take a Break! PAGE 3
A Look at Health Insurance for Pets PAGE 4
A MEMBER OF THE FAMILY Health Coverage for Furry Companions
The close bond that humans formwith their pets can be mystifying to those who proclaim they are not“pet people.”A dog given a spot on the bed or a cat given specialty foodmight seem extravagant to some, but a glance back in time shows that this close companionship developed long ago. Ancient Egyptians were sometimes mummified with their feline or canine companions, and when given the choice between losing a battle or harming cats, Egyptians chose a loss to their Persian adversaries rather than attacking soldiers who’d strategically strapped felines to their bodies. A special relationship developed between humans and their animals during the process of domestication, and pets earned their proverbial place at the table. For some pet parents, this close bondmakes insurance coverage for their fur babies a no- brainer. Some employers are even offering it as an employment benefit. When it comes to
caring for our furry companions, veterinarian Jean Maixner points out that having pet insurance can keep families fromhaving tomake a gut-wrenching decision when a pet gets sick or hurt.“If you get the right policy, it can be an asset to the health care of that pet and have a significant impact on the bill that results from an emergency visit,”Maixner says. As with human health insurance, pet health insurance policies vary. A higher deductible usually means paying a lower monthly rate. You can find plans that cover accidents and illnesses, and some plans even cover routine care, like vaccines. In an assessment of policies, Consumer Reports found that for a relatively healthy pet, most policies actually cost more than they would ultimately pay out. However, they also found that for a pet that develops a serious illness or condition, many pet insurance policies will indeed pay out more than what they cost. Talk with your vet to see if there are any conditions
your pet is prone to. Consumer Reports also recommends reading all the fine print when looking at plans tomake sure you understand what will be covered. For many people, pet insurance offers peace of mind that their companion will be protected. As HerbWeisbaum, consumer advisor for NBC News, says,“If you buy pet insurance and don’t
use it, consider yourself lucky.”
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