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CHANGE AS WE AGE DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES
Ryan entered the long hallway, inching warily toward the light in the distance. As he neared the flickering candle he noticed a skeleton wearing a long, black coat. The skeleton stood just out of reach and pulled out the skull of Madison, Ryan’s sister, from inside his coat. With a maniacal laugh, the skeleton cocked his arm back and threw the skull at Ryan. Or at least that’s what he told me after he woke up. Pretty wild dream for an 8-year-old, right? The way he told me about it, you’d think he was describing a scene from a horror movie. Thankfully, Ryan was not unnerved by the nightmare after he realized it wasn’t real. His take on the matter? “Dad, that was weird.” In our house, the boys have a habit of waking up before the girls, which means Ryan and I often spend the morning discussing our dreams with one another. It’s really interesting to compare
the nature of his dreams to my own. While Ryan is traveling to far-off lands and hanging with skeletons, I’m back in high school, panicked over the fact that I can’t remember my locker combination. I’m no Sigmund Freud, but I think it’s safe to assume that where you are in your life has a huge impact on what shows up in your dreams. That’s certainly how it works with financial fears. At different stages of your life, you’re worried about different concerns. Young couples who are just starting a family are thinking about how to pay for their kids’ college and who will take care of them if something happens. At that time, planning usually takes the form of thinking decades into the future and trying to set your family up for long-term stability and success. As you get older, the future starts to become the present. Those approaching retirement want to know how they can set themselves up for a fruitful
post-work life, however long that may be. As we get older, we also start thinking about probate, long-term care costs, and other aspects of later-life planning. No matter your particular financial worries, the best way to assuage them is to proactively plan. Just like the killers in slasher films, real-life worries are a lot scarier when they’re left to operate in the shadows. Taking the time to talk about your fears surrounding financial and estate planning is an important part of the process. Fear, after all, can provide just as much motivation as desire. When you take the time to create a comprehensive, holistic financial plan, you address not just the fears you have now, but also those you’ll have in the future. This year, as you hang up your cobwebs and carve your jack-o’-lanterns, ask yourself if you have any potential financial monsters hiding under your bed. There’s no better time to pull them into the light than today.
“I’m no Sigmund Freud, but I think it’s safe to assume that where you are in your life has a huge impact on what shows up in your dreams. That’s certainly how it works with financial fears.”
Now, if we could only get that dang skeleton to stop throwing skulls at my son.
– Christopher J. Berry
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EASY FACEBOOK FOR SENIORS The mother ship of social media can sometimes be more of a maze than a way to connect with others. Facebook took notice of this and created a simplified version of the app specifically designed for those who want to avoid all the distractions. Ease of use makes the opportunity to connect with others who have similar interests simpler than ever. OURTIME Dating in your 50s can be tricky, especially when many singles are looking for specific requirements in a partner. Some are seeking casual relationships, while others are looking for someone to grow old with. OurTime is a dating app that allows seniors to find partners with similar values, priorities, and passions. It’s a great way to find new people to share the golden years with. SKYPE You don’t have to wait for the holidays for your next group gathering; Skype allows you the opportunity to have video chats with anyone who has a smartphone. Maybe your conversation about the football game got cut short at church, or maybe you never finished your discussion at book club. Whatever the occasion, Skype gives you the option to connect with the people around you, even when you don’t feel like leaving the comfort of your house. HOW TO REWIND LIFE’S CLOCK USING SOCIAL MEDIA There’s an App for That?
One of the hardest challenges of aging isn’t coping with the physical changes or new limitations associated with getting older; it’s finding new groups of people with similar interests, especially for empty nesters. Many adults build their peer networks around their children, making them the focal point of conversations with other parents in similar situations. But as children grow older and eventually leave home, parents are forced to adjust to their dwindling social lives. While some adults thrive in meeting new people, many struggle to find ways to connect with their peers. Fortunately, there are apps for that.
SPOTLIGHT ON RACHELE EVERS
A Realtor Who Specializes in Estate Management
Rachele Evers, owner of Livingston Lifestyles at 3DX Real Estate, helps both buyers and sellers with real estate transactions. She serves greater Livingston County and has a passion for the area, its properties, and most of all, its people. “I love being able to help clients find a home that suits their lifestyle,” Rachele says. “It’s a joy getting to know folks and guiding them through the process.” Livingston Lifestyles at 3DX Real Estate serves all types of clients, but the company specializes in downsizing and estate management. Because of this focus, Rachele has years of experience navigating the process of pairing older adults with a home that makes sense for them. “My biggest piece of advice is for homeowners to start the conversation with their family as early as possible,” Rachele states. “Often, downsizing involves selling the home where you raised your kids and getting rid of decades of items. Even if a couple is totally prepared to move, their children may not be ready to say goodbye to their childhood home. It may not be easy to talk about this stuff, but it will avoid a lot of unnecessary strife later on.” As far as the downsizing process itself, Rachele says the key is providing clients with the best quality of life possible. “It’s tough to find a smaller location that nails the lifestyle element,” she notes. “And on the selling side, most families want a buyer that will be a good steward of their former property.”
The hardest and longest part, though, is just going through all the built-up objects. “Culling your stuff takes time and requires making hundreds of decisions. It’s simple on paper, but actually getting it done can be daunting,” Rachele adds. Once the move is complete, though, Rachele finds that her clients couldn’t be happier. “It’s not just a sense of relief; it’s a feeling of liberation.”
We’re lucky to have Realtors like Rachele Evers serving our community. If you need help downsizing, visit livingstonlifestyles.com today.
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Why You Need an Estate Plan Now DON’T LET ME LOSE THIS WILL
When Aretha Franklin passed away this year, she bequeathed the world an unrivaled catalog of iconic tunes. People will be dancing to “Respect” and swooning to “Spirit in the Dark” for generations — which might be how long it takes to untangle the Queen of Soul’s estate. That’s because, despite leaving one of the richest musical legacies of the 20th century, Franklin didn’t think to leave a will. The fraught battles that will surely ensue over which of Franklin’s heirs gets what is a timely reminder that it’s never too early or too late to get working on your estate plan. At the very least, everyone needs a will . Without it, the State of Michigan will decide how to distribute your property and who can receive it. Creating a legally valid will also makes probating your estate a lot easier for your heirs.
While a will is the central document of any estate plan, it’s not the only essential one. In the event that you are incapacitated and unable to make decisions, you want a trusted representative to act on your behalf. A durable general power of attorney legally appoints a family member or other party to make financial decisions on your behalf. Without it, your family members will need to petition the court to become your guardian. A medical directive and living will work the same way, but for medical decisions rather than financial ones. No matter your physical state, your wishes as to what care you receive should be acted out. But if you don’t have a medical directive and living will, the state will appoint somebody to make decisions about your health care. Additionally, a living will ensures that your end-of-life wishes come to fruition. Our team can help you create a comprehensive estate plan that protects all of your wishes. We assist you during each step in the process of creating your estate plan to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible. Whether you’re single or married, in your 30s or your 60s, you should be thinking about developing an estate plan.
Chris’ Paleo Corner:
PALEO PUMPKIN COCONUT SMOOTHIE This meal-in-a-glass smoothie will cure your craving for a pumpkin spice latte. It’s packed with nutrients and fall flavor. If you’re the type of person who uses your blender more than your pots and pans, you’ll definitely want to add this recipe to your rotation.
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1. In a blender, combine all ingredients. 2. Blend on high or on smoothie setting until smooth. 3. Transfer to a cold glass, garnish with pumpkin pie spice, and serve.
• 1 cup coconut milk • 1/4 cup organic pumpkin purée • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or substitute with cinnamon and ginger) • 1 frozen banana, sliced • 1 cup ice
Gary Vanbuhler Joseph Wrobel
Inspired by cookeatpaleo.com
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INSIDE This Issue
Financial Worries and Fears PAGE 1
Turn Back Time With Social Media PAGE 2
Spotlight on Rachele Evers PAGE 2
Essential Estate Planning Tips PAGE 3
Paleo Pumpkin Coconut Smoothie PAGE 3
The Real Man Behind Columbus Day PAGE 4
THE REAL MAN BEHIND COLUMBUS DAY
How an Author Created a Legend
The second Monday in October may be our nation’s most hot-button bank holiday thanks to the deeply divided perception of the man the holiday originally intended to celebrate, Christopher Columbus. In recent decades, there has been a re-examination of Columbus’ role as a national icon, with critics pointing to historical evidence of the man’s cruelty, incompetence, and instrumental role in establishing a racist colonial system in the “New World.” In the
Romantic history was particularly popular in the United States as our young nation struggled to establish a distinct culture and history of its own. In Irving’s time, most American works of literature were seen as “low” imitations of European works. It was in this context that Irving penned “A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus,” which portrayed the first European to come to the Americas as a dreamer who broke free of the backward mindset of his continental contemporaries. This work perfectly captured the national mood, making this romantic origin story a hallmark of American myth. Today, “The Life and Voyages” has largely been derided by scholars. Professor of American literature John D. Hazlett says that Irving “... saw American history as a useful means of establishing patriotism in his readers, and while his language tended to be more general, his avowed intention toward Columbus was thoroughly nationalist.” Despite this criticism, the mythic figure first popularized by Irving remains a national symbol today. The story of Irving and Columbus serves to remind us that “history” and the past are not one and the same. Histories, romantic or otherwise, are interpreted and consumed by those in the present and can often say more about their own time than those they attempt to portray. Our nation was in search of an identity distinct from Europe in 1828. As the debate around Columbus Day continues to surge, one may ask, what is our nation in search of today?
face of such stark evidence, one wonders where the more innocent, heroic tales of Columbus sailing the ocean blue in 1492 came from in the first place.
Enter Washington Irving, one of the pioneers of American literature. Irving is best known for his short stories “Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle,” but the early 19th-century author also dabbled in “romantic history.” This genre of literature shares many similarities with modern historical fiction, telling gripping, personal narratives set during historical events. However, unlike writers of historical fiction, romantic history authors tended to portray their works as objective, unbiased histories, despite obvious embellishments and inferences.
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