Business & Economy
7 Steps for Addressing ‘Bag Lady Syndrome’ – a Fear of Losing Financial Independence PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 29 December 2014 08:59
Study Finds Even Wealthy Women Worry About
Becoming ‘The Best Dressed Bag Lady in Their Community’

Nearly half of all American women, no matter their background, share a fear that may seem odd given the wealth of some: They are afraid of losing their financial independence, otherwise known as “Bag Lady Syndrome,” according to a 2013 study.

Of those who harbor BLS anxiety, 60 percent were the primary breadwinners for their households, according to the Allianz poll of 2,200 women ages 25 to 75.

“Financially, women’s needs are different from those of men, and the financial industry isn’t meeting them,” says Lance Drucker, CEO and president of the New York City-based Drucker Wealth Management, (www.DruckerWealth.com).

“Women typically live longer than men, so they need more retirement savings.  Further compounding the problem is the fact that, in many cases, women are paid less for the same job as men. Finally, many have fewer earning years because they dropped out of the labor force for a time to have and raise their children.”

Drucker, author of “How to Avoid Bag Lady Syndrome (BLS): A Strong Woman’s Guide to Financial Peace of Mind,” offers seven action steps that women can do to address their financial insecurity:

•  Identify your pain as well as your goals. Answer the following questions: What keeps me up at night?  What worries me most about my money & my future? What do I want to do with the rest of my life? When can I afford to retire? Can I afford to stay retired? Can I travel, change careers, or go back to school?

•  Create a budget that includes fixed and variable monthly costs as well as one-time expenses. Based on your budget, start building a cash cushion that will cover six to nine months of fixed expenses. The ultimate goal of retirement planning is to create an income stream that is sustainable and will support your retirement needs.

•  Create a balance sheet of savings and investments. This includes your savings account, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, investment real estate, cash value life insurance, annuities, retirement accounts, individual retirement accounts, 401 (k) plans and other assets.  Then further break it down by pre-tax and post tax-accounts.

•  Review insurance coverage and needs. Are you supporting anyone else? Is there a need for Life Insurance?  Who will take care of you if you get sick?  Do you have Long Term Care Insurance? One mother can raise 10 kids, but 10 kids can’t take care of one mother… Younger and healthier women may be tempted to overlook the importance of this step, but failure to anticipate potential health issues can be very expensive.

•  Address your estate-planning needs. Do you have a will, a durable power of attorney or a health care proxy?  Have you updated your beneficiary designations on your retirement accounts?  Does it make sense to put your assets in a trust to avoid probate? Answers for these questions are important.

•  Develop your investment strategy. Is there a purpose to your current investment approach, or are you just accumulating funds? We recommend something we call a “4 Bucket Approach to Purposeful Investing” that has been designed with the help of a Wharton Business School professor.

•  Hire a Coach. Studies have shown that those investors that utilize a high quality financial advisor feel more confident, optimistic, and significantly more likely to stick to their plan versus do-it-yourself investors.

About Lance Drucker ChFC, CLU

Lance Drucker is CEO and president of NYC-based Drucker Wealth Management, a wealth management firm specializing in financial issues that affect women. He’s the author of “How to Avoid Bag Lady Syndrome (BLS): A Strong Woman’s Guide to Financial Peace of Mind” and offers resources at www.DruckerWealth.com to empower women to make smart financial decisions. He graduated from SUNY Binghamton with degrees in Accounting & Finance, and soon after joined the firm Drucker Wealth Management, founded by his father in 1959. He earned his Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®) designation in 1990 and his Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) degree in 1993, and in 2012, he received a Certificate in Retirement Income Planning from the Wharton School of Business. He is a multiyear winner of the 5 Star Wealth Manager Award, as well as a recipient of the Women’s Choice Award for Financial Advisors.  As a proud sponsor of the Wounded Warrior Project, Drucker organizes the Polar Bear Plunge fundraiser for the WWP every January & has participated in the Tough Mudder challenge, and Spartan Race, which has helped to fund more than $2 million dollars for wounded warriors.

 
Branstad makes appointment to Employment Appeal Board PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa   
Monday, 22 December 2014 14:42

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad today appointed James Strohman to the Iowa Employment Appeal Board.

Strohman’s term on the Iowa Employment Appeal Board begins Friday, December 19, 2014, and ends April 30, 2016. Strohman, who resides in Ames, Iowa, is being appointed as the employee representative.

The three-member Employment Appeal Board is appointed by the Governor and serves as the final administrative law forum for state and federal unemployment benefit appeals. The Board also hears appeals of rulings of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and rulings of the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS). The three members of the Board are appointed to represent employers, employees and the general public.

In addition to unemployment cases, the Board hears appeals involving peace officer issues and contractor registration requirements. The Board receives 96 percent of its funding from the federal government based on the number of appeals heard and the time taken to render a decision.

 

Strohmans’ appointment is subject to Iowa Senate confirmation.

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Governor Quinn Announces Illinois’ Unemployment Rate Hits New Low PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Katie Hickey   
Friday, 19 December 2014 16:11

Illinois’ Economic Comeback Continues; Unemployment Rate Falls to Lowest Level in More than Six Years

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Illinois’ unemployment rate fell to its lowest point in more than six years. Last month the state’s jobless rate fell to 6.4 percent, its lowest point since June 2008 and lower than when the Governor took office. In addition, the state added 2,300 jobs in November, for a total gain to approximately 300,000 jobs since the economic recovery started in February 2010.

“Our economy is continuing to grow and create more jobs, and that’s good news this holiday season,” Governor Quinn said. “Illinois’ improving economy is a reflection of the tough decisions we’ve made over the last six years.”

Since taking office in 2009 and inheriting a massive financial crisis due decades of mismanagement and the worst recession since the Great Depression, Governor Quinn has made Illinois a better place to do business by enacting major reforms to lower the cost of worker’s compensation and unemployment insurance. He also has achieved unprecedented reforms in pensions and Medicaid while slashing state spending to historic lows. The Governor’s tough actions have helped stabilize the state’s finances and paved the way for more economic growth.

The Governor has led progress in Illinois’ manufacturing sector, a core part of the economy that supports service jobs and goods that are shipped worldwide. The Governor invested $16 million to launch the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute on Chicago’s Goose Island. The institute is a venture of UI Labs that will connect manufacturers to the latest tools and knowledge.

Other major Illinois businesses have thrived under the Governor’s leadership such as Chrysler’s Belvidere plant, where the job total has gone from 200 to 4,500 since the Governor took office. Over the same period at Ford’s plant on the South Side of Chicago, operations have grown from one shift and 1,600 workers to three shifts and 5,100 workers.

The Governor has also continued his support for small businesses by investing in Illinois’ entrepreneurship community. He has invested a total of $8.8 million to assist the 1871 technology incubator and the MATTER medical technology hub, both in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. In its first two years, 1871 and its spinoff companies have accounted for more than 1,000 new jobs.

Governor Quinn’s administration has aggressively recruited businesses to Illinois and negotiated agreements involving hundreds of new jobs with such companies as eBay, the Federal Savings Bank, MillerCoors and Nippon Sharyo USA. In October, Governor Quinn announced that Amazon.com was shipping to Illinois and creating 1,000 new jobs and a $75 million investment in the state.

The state’s comeback has been highlighted from numerous publications and research organizations such as Site Selection magazine, which in 2013 named Illinois third among the states in its number of corporate relocations and expansions. Illinois has also continued to lead the Midwest in net business growth. In addition, the University of Illinois Flash Index rose again in November to 106.6, up for the fourth straight month. The index is a weighted average of Illinois growth across corporate earnings, consumer spending and personal income.

Illinois worker’s wages are currently the ninth-highest in the country, outranking all neighboring states. Wage growth is one of the key indicators in judging economic growth according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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West Music Named to Internet Retailer Magazine's Hot 100 List PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Kelly Goerdt   
Friday, 19 December 2014 15:28

Coralville, IA – December 18, 2014 – West Music, with headquarters in Coralville, IA, was recently named to Internet Retailer Magazine’s Hot 100 List, a list of websites that are recognized by the industry as e-commerce influencers. West Music was honored in the “Specialty” retail category, focusing on retailers that are unique enough to defy classification within traditional merchandising categories. According to Internet Retailer Magazine, “The merchants in this year's Hot 100 specialty category have discovered compelling ways to emphasize what makes them or their products different from those available elsewhere.” To read the full article about West Music, please visit internetretailer.com/Hot100.

West Music was recognized by Internet Retailer magazine due to their continued focus on customer service and finding new and innovative ways to service a diverse customer base that includes local and national customers. West Music has continued to focus on establishing business processes that can provide extraordinary service to both general consumers in the B2C space as well as schools and institutions that rely on West Music for their experience in music education products. The customer experience requires a mix of tools to service both the B2B and B2C customer base.

“We are proud of our newest recognition and proud of what our website can offer to our customers on a regional and national level. We offer strong business-to-consumer elements with a lot of B2B elements in the background.” said senior vice president Ryan West.

West Music launched their first website in 1996 and continues to refine its capabilities, search functions, and web platforms to better serve customers locally as well as reaching out to a national audience of music educators.

About Internet Retailer

Internet Retailer Magazine was launched in March 1999 by Faulkner & Gray, a unit of Thomson Reuters. It was purchased in 2000 by F&G CEO Jack Love and some members of his management team, who left Thomson to form Vertical Web Media. Starting with the monthly Internet Retailer Magazine that began in 1999, Vertical Web Media has launched on average a new publication or information service every year since. It now operates a monthly magazine, two web sites, two e-mail newsletters, three conferences and trade shows, and five research guides - all directed to various aspects of the e-commerce business.

 
3 Retirement Essentials Every Boomer Should Follow for the New Year PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 12:30
By: Carl Edwards, MBA, ChFC®

Wow, what an amazing market ride over the last few years!  Running on tracks laid by an unprecedented Federal Reserve monetary easing program, the market has once again run to new all-time highs and appears to still have some steam. Or does it?

While no one really knows the answer to this, it is important to remember history as a guide, and to think about the future -- your future.  It wasn’t all that long ago that the world’s financial system was shaken to its core, leaving many retirees running for shelter from the Ebola-like symptoms displayed by world financial systems.  Fear over which institution or country would next display the almost certain deadly symptoms ran rampant.

I am certainly not echoing the calls of the past and screaming it’s time to get your guns and gold.  I am, however, pointing out to consumers the recent and vivid reminders of the importance to get back to the basics with your financial planning this New Year.  If we fail to remember the past, we repeat it.  You have worked too hard preparing for this time in your life.

Let’s review three vital elements you should implement in your retirement plan this New Year.

•  Get your annual financial check-up. How can we possibly forget to do this?  Annual check-ups are the number one preventative care tool at our disposal.  While many individuals should be meeting more regularly with their financial advisor, everyone should have at least the minimum of an annual visit.  Problems creep up and this is often the best way to catch them before it is too late.

•  Don’t forget to diversify. Are you working with a broker who always wants to sell you mutual funds full of stocks and bonds?  Does your annuity guy think every dime you have should be stuffed into insurance products?  The reality is they are probably both wrong.  Find an advisor this year who knows the benefits of each of these products, but who also knows the value of how they work together.  Diversification is important and it may include each of these products along with other assets such as individual stocks and bonds, Certificates of Deposit (structured and fixed), Business Development Companies, Real Estate Investment Trusts, precious metals, and numerous other investments.

•  Rebalance, Rebalance, Rebalance. With the great equity run up we have encountered since the lows of March 2009, it is vital to remember that we must continue to evaluate our investment portfolios.  While equity portfolios have risen significantly since that time, other areas of our portfolio may not have fared so well, leaving our risk levels in need of adjustment. It is often a good idea to capture some of those hard-earned gains.  You never know -- the next major pullback could be just around the corner.  Be prudent, not greedy!

About Carl Edwards

Carl Edwards, MBA, ChFC®, is a Chartered Financial Consultant® and is the owner of C.E. Wealth Group, (http://www.cewealth.com). He has passed the Series 7, Series 66 and Series 63 securities industry exams. In addition, he has passed the Series 24 principal exam. He represents High Street Asset Management as an Investment Adviser Representative and Calton & Associates, Inc. as a Registered Representative.  The views expressed in this article reflect the opinion of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of Calton & Associates, Inc. or High Street Asset Management. Information contained in this article is not a recommendation, solicitation, or offer to buy or sell securities.  Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results.  Individuals should consult a financial professional before making investment decisions.  Edwards is also a licensed insurance agent in Life, Health, Medicare Supplement and Long Term Care insurances. Edwards received a master’s degree in business administration and is currently completing a second master’s degree in finance from Penn State University. He also is a member of the American MENSA.

 
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