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    Rediscovering Life After Loss: Widows Wellness Day can help

    wwd 250x250 tile ad Rediscovering Life After Loss: Widows Wellness Day can helpPart of our service commitment to widowed clients is to connect them with resources, people and events that may help to ease their pain and support them as they work to rebuild their lives.

    As one of our widowed clients recently said to her advisor here at Newport Private Wealth, “The transition takes an enormous amount of time and energy — and courage.”

    Easing that transition  is the goal of Widows’ Wellness Day — a full-day forum I’ve planned for Saturday October 26th at Islington Golf Club. The day includes workshops covering a variety of wellness topics for surviving spouses – from the physical and emotional aspects of well-being to the financial and social adjustments of widowhood.

    I know first-hand how much this kind of support is needed; when the shock wears off, and the visitors have stopped coming, you are left to pick up the pieces of your life in the months and years that follow.

    According to a recent survey by Dr. Carrie West, an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Schreiner University, more than a quarter of widows say they don’t have another widow or widower they can talk to about their loss, and 20% say they have no one in their life they can talk to about private matters.

    Widows’ Wellness Day will seek to fill this gap by offering a day of support, education and connection with other widowed spouses. Whether someone’s loss was four months ago or four years ago, Widows’ Wellness Day is a place where they can gain insight, inspiration and some very practical tools to help them rebuild, renew and rediscover life after death.

    The event is open to anyone, man or woman, who considers themselves a widowed partner — whether legally married or not.

    Tickets and information at www.widowswellnessday.com

    Values based wealth management

    Earlier this month, we hosted another in our series of Inside the Tent events for clients and friends. This time the topic was personal: Net worth. Self worth. What values will you pass on?

    How do we make sure our money doesn’t mess up our family?

    How much financial support should we give our kids?

    How do we create a sense of generosity and not entitlement?

    [read more >>]

    Adult Children Returning to the Nest

    Many of our clients are justifiably concerned for the future welfare of their children. Some are torn between letting children find their own way and accepting that it is, and will likely continue to be, tougher for our kids than we had it. Finding a job, affording to buy a home, uncertainty surrounding government services, caring for an aging demographic and responsibility for an enormous debt burden for which they did not incur, are steep hurdles we did not have to overcome.

    One issue facing boomers today is adult children moving back into the family home, indefinitely. So what are some of the issues and practical steps to make sure this family reunion doesn’t turn out to be a like All in the Family (aka Archie Bunker and family)? [read more >>]

    What women want from their financial advisors

    Women Advisors Forum What women want from their financial advisorsAs an independent professional woman, I’ve always bristled at the suggestion that there is somehow a difference in how I approach the management of my assets simply because of my gender.

    But having just come back from a Women Advisors’ Forum in the U.S. this week, I have to say there is a lot of research to suggest women do have different expectations than men – and these are not being very well met by the financial industry.

    [read more >>]

    A night at the Oscars

    i 120e2dc27470ed5f49b7e424b7250243 Oscar Award A night at the OscarsOn vacation with my family last week in Los Angeles, we couldn’t help but get caught up in the Oscar mania that surrounded us. As we drove through the streets of Beverley Hills, and walked the famed Rodeo Drive, we were struck by the irony and the contrasts: California, the near bankrupt state, bloated with debt, yet opulence everywhere you turn. Every car seems new and everyone is in a hurry to get to where they can be seen wearing the latest fashions.

    As a parent, it was refreshing to hear my 25 year-old daughter say, “this all seems so pretentious.” I couldn’t help but smile and feel relieved that ‘she gets it.’ See my blog – We’ve failed our kids, shame on us.

    On our flight home, we all watched The Descendants; the George Clooney flick that garnered so much attention at the Oscars. Clooney plays the role of Matt King, a wealthy lawyer who is the sole trustee and one of many beneficiaries of a $100 million+ family property that is to be sold.

    The parallel story line deals with Matt’s new found responsibility for his two daughters as a result of his wife’s comatose condition after an accident. Matt and his family have lived quite modestly and he shielded his daughters from their massive wealth.

    My favourite line in the movie: Matt says, “I don’t want my daughters growing up entitled and spoiled. And I agree with my father: you give your children enough money to do something but not enough to do nothing.”

    This is actually a paraphrase from one of the world’s wealthiest and best investors, Warren Buffett (maybe why the line resonated with me). When asked how much money he would bequeath to his children, Buffett replied, “I want to give my kids just enough so that they would feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing.”

    Regardless of source, this is a great summation of the balancing act parents face in providing for the needs and wants of their children. How ironic given the opulence in the city the movie was featured.

    Do you feel wealthy?

    “Am I wealthy?”

    It’s a question we are often asked by clients.

    Given that many of them live modest lifestyles, a lot of them don’t feel wealthy.

    A study by Fidelity Investments found that 42% of American millionaires do not feel wealthy. The investable asset level at which they said they would feel wealthy?: $7.5 million.

    Ironically, of the 58% who said they do feel wealthy, $1.75 million of investable assets was the amount at which they reported feeling wealthy.

    So who is ‘wealthy’ in Canada?

    This month’s issue of Report on Business magazine published a summary of Canada’s highest income earners: The top 1% — 246,000 Canadians – earn a minimum of $169,300 per year; the average income for this group is just over $400,000.

    The top 0.1% make an average of $1.49 million and a rarefied 0.01% of Canadians get by on $3.83 million a year.

    Still, these people are what Thomas J. Stanley, author of the Millionaire Next Door would call ‘Income Statement Affluent’; income being an imperfect predictor of net worth.

    According to Investor Economics, a research firm specializing in financial services, there are an estimated 562,000 households in Canada having more than $1 million in investable assets and 19,000 households with $10 million or more.  According to Report on Business magazine, there are 24 billionaires in Canada.

    Perhaps wealth, like age, is just a number; it’s more about how you feel.

    Do you feel wealthy? How much would you need to feel wealthy? What would happen if you decided to feel wealthy even if your actual net worth doesn’t yet meet your definition of wealthy?

    Surviving spouse, it’s okay to spend the money

    i 4f279cd55166c4a25cf589da81b705e5 shutterstock 67336159 Adjust Surviving spouse, its okay to spend the moneyI recently had the experience of counselling a long-time client who, despite a very secure financial position, was overcome with anxiety about money. What became clear to both of us after a lengthy and at times emotional discussion was that her anxiety was not about money at all. Rather it was about her obligations to her children, as the sole beneficiary of her late husband’s estate.

    It’s a scenario we see frequently: a surviving spouse, usually the wife (life expectancies between men and women being what they are) of a sole or principal income provider, with more than sufficient capital to sustain her lifestyle is anxious and unsettled. Through discussion, we come to understand that the uneasiness is related to guilt over spending money that is perceived to be earmarked for heirs.

    [read more >>]