Do Your Retirement Accounts Have Purpose?
Evaluate Your Portfolio for 2020
It’s a big question to ask. Think about your retirement accounts: Are they serving the purpose you intended? When you invest money, you do it for a reason. Every dollar you invest should have a purpose. For many retirees, the purpose of their retirement accounts is to support them during their retirement. It’s money they can rely on over a potentially 30-year period. But some people don’t look at the big picture. For example, you could divide your whole retirement portfolio into three main groups: emergency money ("mad money"), income, and growth. (Growth is whatever is left over after filling the first two buckets.) Each bucket has its own rules. Here’s what that looks like. The first group — “mad money” — is your liquid assets. It’s the money you have quick and easy access to. My mom called it “mad money,” and that stuck with me. This is money you can use for emergencies or anything else that might come up from month to month. The amount of mad money you have is based on your specific needs to act as a buffer. It’s the money you keep in your banking or savings account. You can also call it “sleep at night” money because it lets you rest easy since it’s there if you need it quickly. The second group is your income portfolio, which pays you dividends or income. In retirement, this is the money you live on above your social security and pensions. If you sell anything in this portfolio, you can usually expect your income to drop accordingly. Your portfolio is built on strategy and is, again, based on your needs. If you need more money, you can make the proper adjustments.
The third group is what’s left over. Maybe you put that “extra” money into the stock market. This can serve you well if you don’t need access to that money on a short term basis. Especially if inflation kicks into high gear, the stock market works best for long-term investing. With its constant ups and downs, if you’re looking for quick investing, you should look elsewhere. Alternatively, you can also set up accounts to donate excess income to your favorite charities and get a nice deduction for doing so.
On the flipside, if your retirement accounts are not serving their purpose and you’re short on income, you may need to sit down with your investment professional or give me a call at 248.785.3734 to re- strategize your approach to retirement. We’ll help get you back on track and make sure that your accounts are indeed working for you.
MEET THE WORLD’S FIRST AIRPORT THERAPY PIG HOW LILOU AND ANIMALS LIKE HER CALM STRESSED-OUT TRAVELERS
Imagine you’re navigating a vast airport on a busy Saturday, shouldering your way through crowds and struggling to
2017, more than 30 airports across the U.S. employed therapy dogs, and these days, estimates land closer to 60. The San Jose and Denver airports have therapy cats, and the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport even offers passengers the chance to play with miniature horses before boarding their flights. Therapy dogs started appearing in U.S. airports after the 9/11 terror attacks, which changed American attitudes about flying. They did so well at helping passengers calm down that airports began implementing permanent programs. Some have pets on hand 24/7 to assist passengers, while others host animal visits every few weeks or months. These days, regular travelers have fallen hard for their local therapy animals, many of whom even have their own Instagram accounts and hashtags. So, the next time you’re traveling, keep an eye out for a friendly pup, cat, pig, or horse to pet. A bit of love from an animal just might improve your trip!
hear the PA system over the clatter of 1,000 wheeled suitcases. Suddenly, you see a pig wearing a hot pink sweater waddling toward you on a leash. Do you stop in your tracks? Does your stress level drop? Do you laugh out loud when you see its pink nail polish? If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then you can sympathize with the passengers, pilots, flight attendants, and staff at the San Francisco International Airport. They get to enjoy visits from Lilou, the world’s first airport therapy pig, on a regular basis! As part of the Wag Brigade, the airport’s cadre of (mostly canine) therapy animals, Lilou wanders the airport with her humans, bringing joy, peace, and calm to everyone she meets.
Lilou may be the only pig of her kind, but airport therapy animals have been a growing trend for the last few years. According to NPR, as of
TIPS FOR NATIONAL CLEAN UP YOUR COMPUTER MONTH CTRL, ALT, DELETE YOUR CLUTTER
Back Up Your Computer Be sure to back up your computer before you start deleting things. This acts as a safety net in case you delete something you didn’t mean to. Additionally, consider installing a second hard drive. The extra space can help with storing important files without having to worry about how much room is left. Clean Up Space
Everyone relies on technology. Computers, laptops, tablets, and phones are staples of modern life. However, it’s easy for these devices to become cluttered with old photos, files, and general disorganization. Luckily, January is National Clean Up Your Computer Month and an excellent time to get your technology in order. Start by Dusting Over time, computer towers can become clogged with dust, which creates additional, unwanted heat within your computer. Regular cleanings will increase the lifespan of your computer and protect its essential components. Compressed air is great for removing most of the dust and other particulates. If the fans or filters are too dirty, you can remove them from the tower to clean them better. If you use water or liquid cleaning products on them, be sure they are completely dry before placing them back into your computer. Organize Your Files Naming and arranging the files on your computer in such a way that they’re easy for you to find can end up saving you a lot of time. Declutter your workspace by creating one file for pictures, one for word documents, one for spreadsheets, and one for programs to eliminate the hassle of frantically searching for the files you need.
Any files you’ll never use again should be deleted. Likewise, any programs you haven’t used in a while should be uninstalled.
Check your hard drive for files that might be taking up unintended space on your computer. And remember to empty the recycling bin — it’s easy to forget just how much goes in there.
range is home to some of the best skiing in Europe, as well as many historical sites. The secluded villages that dot the mountain valleys are an attraction in their own right, especially for the rustic cuisine you’ll find there. Don’t expect pasta though. This region is a melting pot of flavors from Austria, northern Italy, and the local Ladin people. Ricotta and sauerkraut pancakes, anyone? The Antarctic This is the one entry on this list that is best enjoyed during the summer months, which is December–February in the Southern Hemisphere, because that’s when the freezing temperatures of the southernmost continent are at their most hospitable. The Antarctic has become an increasingly popular tourist destination, with cruises taking adventure seekers through the vast, untouched beauty of this far-flung destination. Some tourists even enjoy kayaking or cross-country skiing through this icy paradise.
Snow is magical and gorgeous — unless you have to commute in it. If you want to enjoy all the wonder that winter has to offer without the hassle, why not turn it into a vacation? Here are a few breathtaking, snow-covered destinations that any winter lover can enjoy. Bulguksa Temple, South Korea Above the city of Gyeongju, this ancient Buddhist temple has stood on the slopes of Tohamsan Mountain since the eighth century. Bulguksa, or “Temple of the Buddha Land,” is South Korea’s No. 1 UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it a popular attraction for domestic and international tourism. The crowds and school tours die down during the winter, however, which also happens to be when Bulguksa is at its most pristine. The iced-over lotus ponds and snow-dusted pagodas add to the sense of tranquility this site naturally exudes. The Dolomites, South Tyrol, Italy If you want the feel of a ski trip to the Alps without the packed slopes and ritzy resorts, the Dolomites are just for you. Located in northeastern Italy, this stunning mountain
ESCAPE TO A WINTER WONDERLAND CHILL OUT IN THESE FROSTY DESTINATIONS
Inspired by Epicurious
• • •
1 cup dried black-eyed peas
5–6 cups water
1 dried hot pepper, optional (arbol and Calabrian are great options)
1 medium onion, diced 1 cup long-grain white rice
1 smoked ham hock
4. Add rice, cover, drop heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, undisturbed. 5. Remove from heat and let steam for an additional 10 minutes, still covered. 6. Remove lid, fluff with a fork, and serve.
1. Wash and sort peas. 2. In a saucepan, cover peas with water, discarding any that float. 3. Add pepper, ham hock, and onion. Gently boil and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until peas are just tender, about 90 minutes. At this point, you should have about 2 cups of liquid remaining.
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INSIDE This Issue
Are Your Retirement Accounts Serving Their Purpose? Meet the World’s First Airport Therapy Pig Enter 2020 With an Organized Computer
Real Winter Wonderlands Hoppin’ John
Tips to Establish a Family Media Use Plan
With 24/7 media exposure from TVs, computers, and smartphones, it feels like life is dominated by screens. Consider implementing a media use plan for your family so they don’t miss out on the real world. Set a Curfew Limiting the time your children spend staring at a screen is good for their health. Try to keep screen-time usage to under two hours per day. Implement a rule for no screens at mealtimes, and keep all screens out of bedrooms at night. Keep track of the devices by having a communal charging dock in a shared area where you can make sure everything is plugged in for the night. Have a Chat Don’t shy away from warning your kids about what exists in the digital world. Explain to them that certain content isn’t age-appropriate, and teach them what movie and TV ratings mean. Remind them to be careful about what they put on the internet because anything they upload
never really goes away. Teach them to be smart with their decisions. Connect with them on social media if it helps you keep an eye on things. Construct a ‘Media Diet’ Take an active role in what your children watch by co-viewing programs with them. You’ll have a better sense of what they’re seeing and can point them toward the programming that’s right for them. Look for educational media choices that teach good values. There are a lot of great educational opportunities on the internet, but there’s also a lot of room for negative exposure. If this is a concern, keep the family computer in a public part of your home so you can see what they’re accessing online. It’s important to educate your children about proper media health, but it’s even more important to encourage your kids to be healthy in other ways. Beyond the tips mentioned above, encourage them to play outdoors and read physical books so they can participate more actively in the real world.
HOW TO SET A FAMILY MEDIA USE PLAN
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