Social Security Considerations for Divorced Women

As part of our Thriving After Divorce Speaker Series, our own Leah Hadley, Founder and CEO of Great Lakes Divorce Financial Solutions and Great Lakes Investment Management, discussed Social Security Considerations for Divorced Women.

Social security is a very important topic, especially for women who have been divorced (whether or not you're now remarried) and are approaching retirement age. Women represent 56 percent of all Social Security beneficiaries aged 62 and older and about 66 percent of all beneficiaries aged 85 and older. 

Even though progress has been made in bridging the gender pay gap, on average, women still earn less than men and have less retirement savings. BUT on average, women are LIVING LONGER than men, so how can you maximize the money you have so you can live the way you want in your retirement?

In Leah's presentation, she discussed the value of Social Security and the ways you may increase your lifetime benefits.

The Value of Social Security

First,...

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Creating Your Best Life After Divorce

Going through a divorce is one of the most difficult and stressful events in a person’s life. There are so many heightened emotions and hard decisions to be made while also managing the details of the divorce process itself. It can be easy to get caught in the cycle of dwelling on the past and feeling regret. 

As part of our Thriving After Divorce Speaker Series, Wendy Sterling, a certified divorce specialist and grief consultant, discussed how to recover after divorce to create your best life. In her presentation, Wendy talked about creating a VISION for a post-divorce life, and that’s what we’re going to focus on in this post. 

An effective way to help you create your best life after divorce is to focus on the now and the vision of the life you want going forward. I think Wendy put it best when she said:

“You are the artist of this canvas of your life.”

Creating a Vision 

Divorce can be an empowering experience where you have the...

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5 Ways to Manage Stress After a Divorce

We have heard from our clients that many who are going through the divorce process are struggling physically as well as emotionally. And the stress doesn’t just automatically go away after the divorce process is finalized. We talk to a lot of people with long-term physical challenges. That’s why we wanted to provide you with some information that could help you if you’re someone who is experiencing physical pain during or after a divorce.

As part of our Thriving After Divorce Speaker Series, Dr. Patricia Delzell, a board-certified musculoskeletal radiologist specializing in the integrative treatment of chronic musculoskeletal pain, presented on this very important topic of how stress and anxiety can contribute to chronic pain. 

When going through a divorce, women often feel uncertain about their financial future, and this out-of-control feeling can make them feel physical pain. Psychological distress and physical pain are connected because they share the same...

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Caregiving and the Sandwich Generation

Many of our clients are feeling “sandwiched” between caring for their kids and their aging family members at the same time they are balancing working, saving for retirement, and living their own lives.  

As part of our Thriving After Divorce Speaker Series, Mary Molnar, occupational therapist and co-owner of Senior Care Authority - Greater Cleveland, presented on this very important topic of what is the sandwich generation and how we can manage it better.  

What is the sandwich generation?

The sandwich generation is defined as a group of people typically in their 40s and 50s who are raising their children (or still providing financial support - like if you have kids in college) while also caring for their aging parents or other family members. 

According to Pew Research, more than half of Americans in their 40s are “sandwiched” between their children and an aging parent and are providing physical, financial, and emotional care to both...

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Use these 5 Steps to Give Your Budget a Check-Up

Give Your Budget a Check-Up

We’re in the full swing of Summer, and whether you’re in vacation mode or you’re working just as hard as ever, July is a great time to review your budget. After all, if you created it in January, a lot can change in 7 months, and you want to make adjustments now if you need to. Budgets are fluid documents that are meant to be changed and updated as needed to make sure your money is always working for you.

You don’t need to spend hours and hours pouring over every detail of your budget, but I do suggest taking the five steps listed below to make sure you’re on track to reaching your goals by the end of the year. 

Review & update your budget

If you created your budget at the beginning of the year, now is the time to make sure that it’s still working for you. Are you staying within your budget, or are there some categories that need to be adjusted? With the increases we’ve seen in food and gas prices, many...

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10 Personal Finance Books for Grads

Personal finance books come in two varieties: entertaining or drier than twice-reheated pork chops. So, you may not think of giving recent graduates personal finance books for fear of wasting your money on a book they’ll never read (see: pork chops).

That said, there are some fantastic personal finance books out there! I love giving at least one of these ten books as graduation gifts because they all teach wise financial lessons in relatable ways so grads start out their young lives on the right financial foot.

(Our original post included five books, but I found five more that are worth checking out!)

1. The Latte Factor by David Bach

I love giving The Latte Factor as a gift to everyone, not just recent grads. This book is short and sweet, but very impactful. It teaches that no matter where you are in your personal finance journey, you have the power to achieve your financial goals. You’re richer than you think (and you didn’t have to take any big leaps to make...

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How to Spring Clean Your Finances

So who has started spring cleaning? Do you have a good system in place so it doesn’t take hours and hours to get the job done? There certainly are a lot of cleaning checklists on Pinterest and Instagram. As we’re thinking about spring cleaning our homes, it’s also the perfect time to spring clean your finances. The first quarter is over, and last year's taxes have been completed, so let’s get organized financially for the rest of the year.

Here are 10 ideas for spring cleaning your finances.

Check your credit reports. You can check your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus once a year so I recommend checking one at the end of April, one at the end of August, and one at the end of December. Credit report mistakes can prevent you from getting a loan or force you into paying a higher interest rate. If you see any errors or fraudulent activity on your credit report, file a dispute with the credit bureau right away.   

Review your monthly...

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Improve Your Financial Wellness with These Five Tips

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, many of us are focusing on those special people in our lives and how we can show them what they mean to us. And that is certainly important…but I also want to challenge you to do something for yourself.

Self-love and taking care of yourself should be a priority - I'm sure you're familiar with the airplane safety speech…put the oxygen mask on yourself BEFORE assisting others. And that's great advice for other areas of your life too! 

As a financial advisor and money coach, I want to encourage you to do one thing this month that will help you improve your financial wellness. After working with hundreds of clients, I know that financial wellness can significantly impact a person's overall well-being. 

There have been countless challenges since March 2019, and now we're experiencing high rates of inflation and supply chain issues. So this is the perfect time to see what changes you need to make in the new year....

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Staying on Budget & Gift Ideas for the Holiday Season

It’s easy to overspend and go over budget during the holiday season! I’ve certainly done it plenty of times!! I know it’s hard not to get caught up in the gift-buying season with all of the advertisements and “special” deals that we’re bombarded with every day. And none of us want to be viewed as a “scrooge.” With some planning and research, there are so many ideas for creating a wonderfully memorable holiday season without stressing about spending too much. 

Here is a recap of some of our previous blog posts that share gift ideas for some people that may be hard to buy for as well as tips on how to stay on budget and creative ideas for decorating. 

8 Ways to Stay on Budget During the Holidays

Read about some tips to help you stay on budget, including setting spending limits, only shopping for the kids, using cash-back websites, and more! Even if you only want to incorporate a few of these tips, they are sure to help you stay...

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Developing a Gratitude Mindset to Grow Personally & Professionally

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays with its focus on family and gratitude, and it’s the perfect opportunity to feel grateful for everything that I have, despite whatever bumps in the road tried to take me off course throughout the year. But Thanksgiving can also be a difficult time for people for a variety of reasons so I wanted to share how developing a gratitude mindset can help you take a different approach to not only Thanksgiving but each new day. 

So what is a gratitude mindset? 

Gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful and exhibiting a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Simply put, a gratitude mindset is the ability to focus on the positive things in life rather than the negative - you know the glass is half full kind of thinking. You see opportunities instead of obstacles. When you can focus on gratitude, the number of things you appreciate continue to grow. 

Why should you strive for a gratitude mindset?

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