Lynette S. Watts

Instant Pot Cooking

By | 2019, Newsletter | No Comments

We had the excellent opportunity to hear from Alex Daynes at our Just for Women conference. Alex is a self-taught food blogger and a monthly contributor on Fox 13 and Studio 5. She has always loved to cook, and it shows.

She is an expert in Instant Pot cooking and taught us the basics of how to use the Instant Pot. She then taught us three easy recipes that we can make on our own; Chicken Coconut Curry, Spicy Green Beans, and Mango Sticky Rice.

If you would like the recipes, give us a call, or you can check out her blog at:

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Is Your Heart Making the Decision?

By | 2019, Money Matters, Newsletter | No Comments

Women generally have huge hearts and can sometimes let their hearts lead their financial decisions. Even the most educated and most successful women can let their hearts influence their financial decisions. Here are some examples of how women may be dealing with financial situations:

–    Children ask for money for the latest thing(s), and mothers usually say yes. When mothers spend too much money on their children, they may not be saving enough for retirement.

–    Women who allow their husbands to handle every aspect of financial decisions may find themselves in crisis when a spouse is injured, they are divorced or widowed and discover they are unprepared to manage all facets of their financial life.

–    Single women – those who never marry or who are divorced – are often uncomfortable with finances and may even be bored with financial matters. Still, they are anxious about being financially secure now and in the future.

As women, we need to take control of our financial life and be honest with ourselves and others in our relationships.  We are generous with our love, time and money and we shouldn’t stop being kind, generous people, but we must be sure that our acts of generosity are not depleting our financial future and retirement plans.  We must learn to say “NO” out of love, not out of fear. If you pay for a child’s college education, will it jeopardize your future retirement? This act of generosity could potentially create financial stress for years into the future. Your act of charity should never put you at financial risk.

Women need to set financial limits. Our goal should be to raise financially independent, successful children. While it may seem reasonable to help a family member, continuing to pay expenses for grown children will not help them become financially successful adults. It might feel like tough love, but in the big picture, it truly helps everyone. 

Make financial decisions that support your financial goals and secure your financial future by taking time to think through the situation and process the outcome. Lead with your head, not your heart. Being financially smart will help you secure your goals and achieve financial success.

If you are faced with a decision and need additional information or maybe just a sounding board, reach out to us and let us help you think through your options. Together we can find the right solution for you.

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Alternative Gifts for Family

By | 2018, Money Moxie | No Comments

The holidays are just around the corner, and many people are making shopping plans. Let’s face it; shopping can be stressful. Things get expensive and expectations are high during “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Here are some ideas to give the not-so-traditional friend or family member during the holidays. They allow both to focus on experiences rather than exchanging material goods.

1. Donate to a charity in the name of a loved one
2. Start a college or UGMA account for children or grandchildren.
3. Create a special memory – go to a play, ball game, museum, zoo, or plan a trip for later on down the road
4. Monthly membership to a club or gym
5. The gift of thought – redeemable coupons for service for your family or loved ones – babysitting, cleaning, homemade dinners, back massages, washing dishes
6. Use the money to travel to see the person for whom you would have bought a gift
7. Participate in Secret Santa like programs
8. Go cultural – pick a country and celebrate how they would from food to traditions
9. Go on vacation during the holiday season
10. Give the gift of time
11. Volunteer together – local shelters, hospitals, etc.
12. Give someone Christmas who can’t afford it – give a meal and or a gift for each of their family members
13. Date nights with your spouse

Hopefully, this gives you some ideas to help create new fulfilling memories instead of filling up the home with more things.

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Be Smarter with Your Money

By | 2018, Money Moxie | No Comments

Women outlive men by an average of 5 years. That means women can’t treat their finances exactly as men treat theirs. Women need to think about money for the long term, that way they can retire worry-free. Here are some things women should be doing now to prepare for the future.

1. Invest early – Why? Because you will need more. After retirement, women will have around three decades to enjoy their lives. Take advantage of your paychecks now. Enroll in a 401(k) or open a Roth IRA. The longer you are invested, the more compound interest you stand to accrue–which means you are making more money. It is never too late to start investing no matter what your age– even $100 can make a huge difference (maybe giving up your Diet Coke habit). It is satisfying to watch your money multiply.

2. Keep your eye on the goal – Because you have more time, that means there are more possibilities for things to go wrong, anything from divorce to job loss or death. It is a great idea to have multiple “what if” scenarios in your plan and have regular financial checkups. Discuss your long-term goals with your Smedley Financial advisor, who can help you stay on track.

3. Get involved in your finances – even if your spouse is the one “who does it.” You should know what is coming in and going out each month. It is important to “know” about your money. For example, your account numbers, passwords, etc.

4. Always be looking out for yourself – Women will spend on average 12 years out of the workforce, raising children or caring for elderly family. Even if you are not getting paid for this work, it is important to invest into an IRA and contribute as much as you can. This will help improve the financial future for you and your family. You can’t help others if you can’t help yourself.


Source: https://www.mfs.com/subs/redbook/pdf/redbook_fly_9_17.pdf

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Aging in Your Home

By | 2016, Money Moxie, Newsletter | No Comments

One of the great debates for people who are entering retirement is “Should we move or remodel our current home?”

Here are three resources that can help with this decision.

1. Harvard University wrote “Housing America’s Older Adults: Meeting the Needs of an Aging Population.”
Harvard came up with a list to help identify the safest accessible homes.

The top four on the list are:
A no-step entry
Single floor living
Switches and outlets reachable at any height
Lever-style door and faucet handles

Ninety percent of all existing homes have at least one of these. Only 57 percent have more than one. For more information you can visit their site www.jchs.harvard.edu and highlight “Research.”

2. The National Association of Home Builders has a checklist with 100 suggestions to help homeowners live safely, independently, and comfortably in their own home.

Their list includes:
Low-maintenance yard
Wide hallways and doors
Bright lighting

The complete list can be found at www.nahb.org

3. AARP has a report on how to create a “lifelong home.”

Regardless of your age or ability, these lists can be helpful as you consider a remodel or a move. Go online and find out how “HomeFit” your home is.

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Aging Population

By | 2016, Money Moxie, Newsletter | No Comments

Americans are getting older. The number of its citizens over the age of 85 is expected to triple by 2040. That means 15 million people will likely need help in one form or another. That is a 34 percent increase in care giving for family members caring for aging loved ones.

Right now, there are more than 10 million family members in the care giver role with aging parents. On average, that is more than 30 hours a week for care giving.

If you are a caregiver there is help. You can provide a better quality of life for your loved ones while maintaining a sense of independence.

Here are a few resources that provide help for seniors, including assistance with shopping, errands, transportation, companionship, and appointments.

www.aarp.org: great information for anything on aging; specifically to find care givers.

www.seniorhelpers.org: information on home healthcare that helps customize home care for Alzheimer’s & Dementia care.

www.caregiverstress.com: provides resources for care givers, including articles and videos.

http://www.agingcare.com: newsletters for care givers.

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Meals on Wheels

By | 2016, Money Moxie | No Comments

“Meals on Wheels” is a program that provides a nutritious meal, a friendly visit, and a watchful eye on the health and safety of seniors.

For seniors who have diminished mobility making it hard to shop for food, “Meals on Wheels” can come to you. For seniors who can still get out, they serve in senior centers and community facilities.

Generally programs serve adults 60 and over, and depending on individual circumstances, meals may be provided along a sliding fee scale, from no cost to full price.

To learn more about all the services provided and to see if you are eligible or if you want to donate to or participate in “Meals on Wheels,” check out http://www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org/.

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Aging In Place

By | 2015, Money Moxie, Newsletter | No Comments

There are a lot of benefits out there just for seniors! In upcoming blog posts, we will feature a few of these that you can take advantage of. Today, we would like to feature a program called Silver Sneakers.

Silver Sneakers was created to help you take control of your health. This program is an insurance-benefit health-and-fitness program for people who are over age 65.
If you qualify, you will have access (for free or at low cost) to over 13,000 workout facilities and classes around the nation, which are geared specifically towards active older adults.

To see if you are eligible, check out www.silversneakers.com. Get fit, have fun, and make friends!

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Keep it or trash it?

By | 2015, Money Moxie, Newsletter | No Comments

This question pops up from time to time, especially this time of year. What to do with all those saved documents? To help answer this question, here are some guidelines.

  • Mortgage Information: For as long as you own the property, plus 4 years for tax purposes.
  • Receipts for Purchases: 1 month, except big-ticket items requiring proof-of-purchase for insurance.
  • Utility Bills: 1 month, unless you deduct for home office expenses as these are filed with tax records.
  • Tax Records: Forever. Supporting documents: at least 4 years
  • Bank Statements: 1 month or until checks clear. Keep documentation supporting tax deductions.
  • Paycheck Stubs or Direct-Deposit Statements: 1 year.
  • Credit Card Statements: 1-2 months or until reconciled.
  • Records for Home Improvements, Sale or Purchase of Property: 4 years after the sale of the home or property.
  • Medical Records: 4 or more years.
  • Insurance Policies & Bills: Keep current policies and bills, discard cancelled policies.
  • Investment Records: Keep initial purchase and year-end reports indefinitely.
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5 Costly Scams Targeting Retirees

By | 2015, Newsletter | No Comments

Con artists are using many schemes to prey on retirees. Don’t let your family members become victims of these prevalent scams.

  1. Since October 2013, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has reported over 290,000 scam calls. In these calls, the scammers claim to be from the IRS, declaring that the taxpayer owes money. The scammers threaten legal action and even arrest.
  2. Scammers will also call seniors pretending to be their grandchildren in need of money. They start the conversation like this: “Hi, Grandma. Do you know who this is?” Once they guess the name, the caller takes on that identity and asks for money.
  3. Beware of unknown, online pharmacies. With the cost of prescription drugs on the rise, some seniors go online looking to save money on prescription drugs and homeopathic remedies. Some fraudulent online pharmacies will take the money without ever mailing the drugs.
  4. Another scam has con artists reading obituaries in the local paper and calling the family of the deceased claiming that there are unpaid debts owed.
  5. A few unscrupulous funeral homes have also targeted retirees by encouraging them to purchase ridiculously expensive caskets. These same places also add unnecessary charges that are unfamiliar to the senior and more often unnecessary. The best defense is to go with a family member or friend to help look over everything at that vulnerable time of life.

These are just a few of the scams and they can affect everyone, not just retirees.

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