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Posts Tagged ‘balance’

balance, life, invest, john navin

Kailey and Julia at the pumpkin farm

It seems we all get “stuck” every so often.  Sometimes I think it is only me who has hit this ceiling of complexity or a glass roof I cannot shatter, but it happens to everyone.  Thumbing through a book I wrote a few years back, a story of life reminded me of the cycles of life…..and breaking through those ceilings!

You may have ceilings placed upon you that were never considered ceilings. But if you have gone through life and been stuck at a certain point, look closely at what is causing you to stay stuck. Someone once told me (and for the life of me I can’t remember who), you need to always be growing personally and spiritually. If not, God will put you in a spot to force you to grow. True for me… in looking back, I thought of an example of just that.

Ten years ago I found my family was not really growing as a unit. We were in a holding pattern so to speak, coasting. My youngest daughter was diagnosed 9 years ago with diabetes. A 4 year old diagnosed with diabetes… hard to take, SURE! Family togetherness, bonding, unity, seeing your daughter rise to the challenge, overcoming obstacles, great lesson and great wake up call. (She teaches me more everyday about winning and striving, than I ever could have received from any book I read. (You have examples in your life too, look for them.)

I also learned a valuable lesson from Tracy. I was somewhat crushed when I left the doctor and had the diagnosis, having grown up with a brother with diabetes, I knew the struggles that were to follow. She said to me “What are you going to do? We are going to deal with this, move on, and grow.” That we did.

We all have struggles and problems. Of course we do, we’re not dead. Work through them, build upon them, challenge your beliefs, raise your ceilings, and win!

How do you overcome your struggles?

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401k, balance, retirement, john navin

401k Changes are not as hard or scary as you may think

Do you really want to leave your 401k money with your old employer?  More than likely not.  But, a lot of people choose that route because they “don’t have to think about it then”.  If you are going to make some changes, here are a few things to remember.

What is a 401k Rollover?

The transfer of assets from an employer’s retirement plan when you leave your employer – whether retiring or changing jobs.

What are my Options?

  • Leave the assets in the employer’s plan (if the plan allows – this is not always a possibility) – This limits you to the rules and investment options in the former employer’s plan.
  • Withdraw the assets in cash – Because this distribution is considered taxable income, taking a distribution in cash usually has tax consequences, such as a withholding of 20% and a possible 10% penalty if you are younger than 59 ½.
  • Rollover to a new employer’s plan – subject to the rules and investment options of the new employers plan.
  • Open a Rollover IRA – You can move eligible assets directly from a retirement plan to a Rollover IRA. The advantages of Rollover IRAs include:
    • Preserving tax advantages – Eligible assets can continue to grow tax-deferred.
    • Potentially more investment choices – With a Rollover IRA you can invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities and more.
    • Flexible beneficiary designations and stretch-out options for all beneficiaries through an inherited IRA account.
    • Easy access to you assets – You can withdraw money at any time from a Rollover IRA. Distributions will generally be subject to current taxes and a 10% penalty if they are younger than 59 ½ (unless an exception applies).

Take a few minutes and understand your options.  Most people I talk with would rather have their money invested in their own account, than have it stay with an old employer they may not particularly like.

Did you find the rollover process easy?

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Mantra: I am more than I appear to be, all the world's strength and power rests inside me.

This was a good reminder for me today, realizing what it takes to live a radiant life.  Robin Sharma and his book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, illustrate through a parable the strategies to peaceful living.  Hope you enjoy as much as I do.

Kaizen is Constant and Never Ending Improvement. You must feel good on the inside before things on the outside will be good…

Practice the Ten Rituals for Radiant Living:

Ritual of Solitude (Mediation)

Ritual of Physicality (Exercise)

Ritual of Live Food (Vegetarianism)

Ritual of Abundant Knowledge (Lifelong Learning)

Ritual of Personal Reflection ( Get to Know Yourself)

Ritual of Music (Listen to Music)

Ritual of the Spoken Word (Recite Mantras – Affirmations)

Ritual of Congruent Character (Industry, Compassion, Humility, Patience, Honesty and Courage)

Ritual of Simplicity (Live a Simple Life)

What is your favorite Mantra?

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Ben knew the value of $1 saved

In 1790 Benjamin Franklin left $4,000 jointly to the city of Philadelphia and the state of Pennsylvania. He left instructions that the money should be conservatively invested, but not withdrawn, until 200 years after his death.

In 1990 this fund had grown to $1,500,000. The Pennsylvania State Legislature distributed the assets of the fund to several charitable foundations, including a scholarship fund for the students of Penn College.

Because of his remarkable foresight and planning, Benjamin Franklin continues to benefit thousands of lives even though he has been dead for more than 200 years. Franklin understood the interrelationship between time, money and compound interest.

His lump sum investment of a mere $4000 earned a modest 3.00% return, yet his money increased to $1,500,000 – 375 times the original value.

The road to security and increased wealth is not a “get rich quick” concept, rather prudent wise decisions.

What can you do to increase your savings?

Invest in Balance

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Random Homecoming picture happening all across America

 

Last night was Homecoming for Franklin High School and Christ Presbyterian Academy.  Both Kailey and Julia went to the dance.  Kailey went to CPA’s and Julia to Franklin’s.  I got a phone call during the week asking if I could help out at Franklin’s, I replied of course, and was given the task of watching the doors as kids entered and left.

Sitting outside watching as the kids arrived took me right back to freshman year in high school.  The feelings of excitement, possibility of a slow dance, meeting friends and acting goofy.  Felt like I was 15 again.  Then the analyzing dad came back into focus and started to really watch these kids interact, who they were hanging out with, what they wore, some of the conversations, were they having a good time or forced to come?

Throughout the evening a couple of insights emerged:

1.  Boys did not get dressed up / Girls primped.  A couple of guys had a tie, maybe one in a sport coat.  The majority wore a casual shirt, jeans, baseball hat, shorts, and a polo.  The girls were all looking well put together.  The dresses were nice (some a little revealing, more on that in a minute), hair was done, make up was on, and the perfume bottles were flowing.

2.  There were no flowers.  Julia was sent with a nice wrist corsage.  Before she arrived I texted her and said to leave the flowers in the car because it wasn’t happening here.  She came up to me before going in, with corsage in hand (feeling like she was supposed to wear it, but really didn’t want to) and I said put it in the garbage, not one other corsage or boutinniere was seen.

Did not see a single one of these

3.  The dancing has changed.  Saw a lot of slam dancing, bump and grinding, but mostly real close dancing.  I know kids are kids and hormones are racing, just seemed close to me–perhaps because I have two daughters and was a teenage boy.

The thought led me to think about what society (we) are teaching our kids.  WE may not be teaching them, but certainly are allowing them to be taught by others—MTV, magazines, tv shows, friends, etc. Our society is showing too many wrong examples for the kids to follow.  I am not opposed to dancing and having a good time, but what happens as this goes further down the path of acceptable.  If we allow young adults to be laxed on self-respect, dignity, pride and values what are they going to turn into as adults? 

How do we show these kids that what they are seeing isn’t reality—tv shows, mtv, magazines, easy sex, doing what feels right, all have consequences?  Real life is about values, relationships, self-respect and helping each other, not about what you can get for your self!

As I type I wonder if this has happened in every generation before us, is it something that comes with age?

These kids are good kids, living in great communities with affluent parents.  The kids were kind, exuded manners, and were well-behaved.  I was expecting to see alcohol in the parking lot, happy to report, none to be seen. Certainly it is not this tame in other parts of the country. The concern really hits me because this is Franklin, TN. If it is happening in our “Mayberry” community, it is surely happening to greater degree somewhere else.

This Homecoming allowed me to go back in time and remember some great times.  Homecoming is a neat tradition and happy to report my girls had fun.  Glad they got to experience the excitement.  It was also nice to see kids come as groups, date or no date, come on and have fun!

Homecoming  shed some light into the direction we are heading, and these kids are going to be leading the way, good or bad.  The values we instill are going to be passed down from generation to generation.  Watch our thoughts, they become actions; watch are actions, they become habits; watch our  habits, they become our character.

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Get to the cake anyway you can!

 

The title of this blog may draw in some of my friends seeking weird pictures, a stupid story or crazy memories of birthdays past. Sorry to report this is not such a post, but rather important years we need to remember as we age (I will tell stupid stories of birthday’s past, just not today, even though they be more interesting to some than the content below).  A few birthdays in your future will have big impact on your financial life.  Beginning at age 59, there are several key birthdays that can affect your tax situation, health-care eligibility, and retirement benefits. 

59½ — You can start taking penalty-free withdrawals from IRAs and qualified retirement plans, provided certain conditions are met. Ordinary income taxes generally apply to these distributions. (Withdrawals taken prior to age 59½ are subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty.) 

62 — You are eligible to start collecting Social Security benefits, although your benefit will be reduced by up to 30%. To receive full benefits, you must wait until “full retirement age,” which ranges from 65 to 67, depending on the year you were born. 

65 — You are eligible to enroll in Medicare. Medicare Part A Hospital Insurance benefits are automatic for those eligible for Social Security. Part B Medical Insurance ­ben­efits are voluntary and have a monthly premium. To obtain ­coverage at the ­earliest possible date, you should generally enroll about two to three months before turning 65.1 

70½ — You must start taking minimum distributions from most tax-deferred retirement plans or face a 50% penalty on the amount that should have been withdrawn. Annual required minimum distributions are calculated according to life expectancies determined by the federal government. 

1) Social Security Manual, The National Underwriter Company 

A story of one of my unforgettable birthdays will surely follow, in the meantime these milestones may help keep your financial world up to dat.

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After trying to process 60,000 thoughts each day

 

 I woke up this morning around 4 a.m. and was working through some struggles in my life.  Thinking about work, implementing new ideas, kids and their activities and are they adjusting to high school, relationships–and why are they so hard sometimes, and then I realized, I keep having the same thoughts go through my head.  I need to change this.  The way I talk to myself and what I think about comes true.

The whole concept reminded me of a book I read years ago “What do you say when you talk to yourself”, by Shad Helmstetter.  A great book on how we have all these thoughts and most of them are the same.  Our talk to ourselves is typically negative.  Time to change that.  So I did.  I started doing some positive mantras, mental visioning and changing the way I was talking. 

Todays Thought:

Find time each day or at least each week to sit and reflect, meditate, or be alone. There is power in quiet time. It allows you to remove some of those 60,000 thoughts that keep going through our heads, and tap into some new ones.

Often times your answers to all your problems are in your head and the power of the universe. Rarely do we take the time to step back from our current situation and look at the big picture. When you do, the answers will come to you. Some of you will think its magic, but it has been happening for thousands of years. I can’t explain it, not sure why it happens, but it does!

How do you say when you talk to yourself?

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