Getting Your Financial Ducks in a Row

Investing 101

The first thing I had to do after making the decision to become captain of my own financial ship was learn how to sail. So I began to ask friends how they invested their savings and it quickly became obvious they were as clueless as I was.  Some real answers: “Stocks?  No, I don’t own stocks. Too risky. I own mutual funds.”  And “All my money is invested in a 401(k).” And “I’m going to buy an IRA when I retire.”  Seriously?

At least I felt better knowing I wasn’t in the boat alone.  Assuming you are in there too, here are answers to some questions you may have been embarrassed to ask.  (If you already know this stuff, you can stop reading now but please come back in 2 weeks when we’ve moved on to another topic.) I did a lot of research and talked to mentors and here is the Cliffs Notes version of what I learned:


Investing has nothing to do with get-rich-quick schemes or making a killing in the market. It’s putting money to work for you rather than you working for it—safely, and in ways that will bring you a return that exceeds the rate of inflation.                                                              

                                                            —Jerrold Mundis

Investing: Starting from Scratch (Eakin Press, 2016)

Seventy-eight million Baby Boomers started turning 65 in 2011. Many of us will struggle financially in our “golden years” because we have not saved enough to retire and don’t know enough about investing.   The number one reason people give for procrastinating is that investing is just too complicated. If that description fits, this book was written for you.  Originally published in 2009, this has just become available in a Kindle version.

Based on three years of research and verified by a team of financial experts, Investing: Starting from Scratch uses simple analogies to explain the complex subject of investing and retirement planning. You will learn:

  • Investment terms, starting from scratch
  • How to find answers to questions you have too intimidated to ask.
  • How to take charge of your financial future
  • Exactly what all the various investment options are and how to choose the ones that are right for you.
  • How to design a portfolio to meet your personal goals.
  • How to be the captain of your carefully-chosen team of advisors and guardians.
  • How to create financial peace.

No matter what the market is doing, now is always the best time to invest!

INVESTING Starting from Scratch

From my Point of View

It's Lonely up Here!

I  have been a professional counselor for more than 20 years.  Lately I’ve seen more and more clients presenting with issues related to aging.  Some are reinventing themselves as they transition into retirement or are just beginning encore careers.  Some are struggling with grief after the death of a spouse.  Others are reeling from the shock of an unexpected divorce they didn’t see coming.  I see those who are overburdened with the responsibilities of caring for dependent loved ones and the awful guilt they experience when they privately admit their feelings about the situation.  I know there are many of us boomers in the same boat.  (more…)


An essay by Lisa Jamison

She tried them on like offerings in a boutique and found that, like clothing, not all aspirations fit as she had hoped.  She wondered if bringing up long buried dreams and joys would feel different in this new reality or, if like clothes in her closet they would have shriveled with neglect, become threadbare or woefully out of style with her evolving nature once selected and considered.

The poetry reading was corny and crude and suited her poorly as it had no emotional depth—no soul.  The TED talks resurrected a dormant desire to communicate and educate and entertain. It reminded her of the vulnerability it took to be authentic; something she didn’t’ think she’d yet achieved.

This new path was full of discovery and options.  So foreign was the autonomy that each step felt unreal and dreamlike, disconnected but with a subconscious current leading her on.  It was thrilling but measured, like trudging through an overgrown meadow.  Her energy was sustained with the new—or was it exceedingly old?—sensations.  Was this hope?


Why is it so hard?

We all know people who always go to the same restaurants and order the same menu item. Who return like migrating birds to the same vacation spot. Who would freak out if the same dishes weren’t on the holiday table year after year. Who stay stuck in dead end jobs or relationships. Maybe you are one of them.  Why is change so hard for us?