Archive for the ‘Seasoned Sisters’ Category

Are You Flourishing?

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

I am just 2 days away from speaking for the Flourish Conference for Women (on Nov 2, 2013).

Why would I take time to team together with my friends,

Dr Catherine Hart Weber, the author of the book, Flourish,

and her sister, Dr Sylvia Hart Friejd, the author of Digital Invasion, to create another conference for women?

I want women to:

Flourish: to bud, spring up, grow, bloom, increase, thrive, prosper, blossom abundantly

This verse compelled me to create ways to flourish for women:

“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men”. (Luke 2:52)

See women have a very difficult time balancing all of life demands– and a very hard time giving themselves permission to take good care of themselves. However, even Jesus modeled a balanced approach to life– as shown in this verse:

Jesus increases in wisdom     (guarded his intellectual life)

and stature  (guarded his physical life)

and in favor with God   (guarded his spiritual life)

and men   (guarded his social life)

At the Flourish conference, I will be sharing from my book, 10 Secrets of Living Smart, Savvy and Strong— because I really believe this world needs YOU- your family needs you, your church and community needs you– this country and the people around the globe need you– that is why God created you, wonderful unique amazing you!

So each of you need the tools to Flourish.

And a flourishing experience.

A time with God where God can GIVE you a personalized plan to help YOU flourish in all areas of your life.

If you live in So Cal, come Nov 2 to the Flourish conference.

If you can’t afford the flight to be there live, set aside a day for you and God to have a “spa for soul day” Take your Bible, set by a pool or next to a cozy fire, take one (or all the books we Flourish authors penned) and God will meet you and help you flourish too. 

Place yourself in God’s hammock of love and care.

He will give you a personal plan to Flourish.

Take the time- God thinks you are worth it!

(Click here to register)

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Recession Proof Retirement

Monday, October 14th, 2013

 

I want you to meet my friend, Ellie Kay, America’s Family Financial Expert. With my heart for women in midlife and beyond in my ministry with Seasoned Sisters, I thought sharing Ellie’s vital wisdom on retirement might be helpful, so here is an excerpt from her newest, Lean Body, Fat Wallet (what we all want, right?!):

From Ellie:

Our family loves adventure! In fact, we love to go to theme parks as a family and we haven’t met a roller coaster we didn’t like. I believe that a sense of adventure can help consumers face the future with confidence. It seems that our current economy is similar to some of the double looped roller coasters we’ve ridden and time will tell if our country sees a double dip recession. Many consumers are concerned about how the uncertain economy can wreak havoc on their financial future—from having a steady income in retirement to the possibility of losing their homes—threats to financial security abound. But there is hope for those who take steps to plan for their future.

Here are some of my basic tips to help you recession proof your retirement: –

1. Be Smart: Save Money: I get loads of emails every week from consumers who are cutting hundreds from their household budget by following simple savings tips. From insurance to groceries, there are savvy ways to save at your fingertips. (See the money savings tips on my blog). Saving will help you weather the highs and lows of the economy, as well as prepare you to live on a fixed income in retirement. Use the money you save to pay down debt, fund a fixed indexed annuity (see step 3 below) and build an emergency fund. –

2. Be Fully Funded: The 401(k), long known as the ticket to retirement for millions of Americans, is coming under attack in this economic climate. Many retirement savings options have taken a hit in recent years due to market volatility and fluctuations. Recent years have seen 401(k) plans depleted due to poor stock market performance, as well as companies lowering their matching commitments leaving employees to rebuild their nest egg alone. And, many workers just stopped contributing. However, it is important to make sure you don’t shortchange yourself in retirement, whether you are investing in a 401(k)—or a TSP (Thrift Savings Plan—for military and civilian government employees), or in the case of small business owners, a SEP (Simplified Employee Pension). More importantly, if the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that it is not enough to rely on your 401(k) alone—consider financial products that can survive market fluctuations while giving you a steady lifetime income, like the one highlighted in the next step. –

3. Be a Savvy Consumer: Savvy and conscientious consumers who are looking for smart retirement solutions and more control of their long-term finances will recognize the important role that fixed indexed annuities (FIAs) can play in any balanced financial plan. I believe that fixed indexed annuities offer a level of certainty during uncertain times because they provide protection from stock market volatility, offer guaranteed interest and income, and also provide the opportunity for additional interest when markets are up. Understand that FIAs are typically used in addition to other retirement vehicles (such as a 401(k) or IRAs) to add balance to a retirement plan—they aren’t intended to be your only source of retirement income, but to help moderate risk in your portfolio. The insurance industry is state regulated and these regulators have put a number of protections in place to ensure FIAs are sold ethically and fairly to consumers. In my partnership with the IALC (Indexed Annuity Leadership Council), I have found a great option to recommend to my readers and viewers. –

4. Be Diligent: Know your FICO: FICO scores can determine auto insurance premiums, whether you’ll get the promotion or the job, the percentage you pay for a mortgage or car, and whether you pay a security deposit for utilities. Even if you downsize a home or a vehicle in preparation for retirement, you’re going to need to have an excellent FICO to get the best APR rates.

It is important that you know your score. If you find that your score needs improvement, you can do so in three easy steps:

Pay On Time – Consider setting up automatic payments online for your credit cards, mortgage and vehicles, so you never have to worry about being a day late. –

Pay More than the minimum – Even $5 to $10 more on your credit cards will be viewed as paying down debt—making your FICO go up!

• Pay Proportionally – Don’t have more than 50% of available credit charged on any one card. For example, a card with a $6000 limit should never have more than $3000 charged on it, even if you pay off the balance each month. –

5. Beware: Debt Consolidation Companies: During economically challenging times, an influx of debt consolidation companies arise to help you prepare for the worst. However, some of the for-profit debt counseling companies charge a hefty fee for their services, which is usually tacked onto your debt load. Instead of using a for-profit company, consider going to a nonprofit, like National Consumer Credit Counseling Service. They can help you pay off debt, get you on a budget and even negotiate with your lenders on your behalf.

– Which first step will you take today in order to recession proof your retirement for tomorrow?



 

Ellie Kay is a regular expert on national television with ABC NEWS NOW’s Money Matters show. She is also a national radio commentator, a frequent media guest on Fox News, and CNBC, a popular international speaker, and the best-selling author of fourteen books including her newest release, The Sixty Minute Money Workout (Waterbrook, 2010) – – See more at: http://indexedannuitiesinsights.com/recession-proof-retirement/#sthash.mKjOSYo2.dpuf

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Live Smart, Savvy & Strong: Top 10 Tips for Health & Wellness

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

 

 

So many people have asked me about my wellness journey (and subsequent loss of  50 pounds last year), that I decided to do 10
days worth of blogs—one idea per day for 10 days. These are the top 10 things I did and would recommend to others.

 1. Dr Mark Stengler

I made a change in 2012 to completely switch to a doctor who had more TIME to spend with me, learning about ALL my life,
history, and habits. I also wanted a doctor who would (could) take a more holistic, natural (and innovative) approach to help me create a personal plan from comprehensive tests and interviews.  One thing I really appreciate about Dr Stengler is he has two full degrees: one in medicine and the other in theology, so he CARES that we all live longer and stronger (and it matters to him that I
live a life that reflects God and have the energy to keep serving God as long as possible!)

          I have linked to Dr Stengler here (watch his TV show co hosted with his wife or subscribe to his newsletters for free health and
wellness tips). If you want to give him a visit he is located in San Diego County). If you live further away from Southern California, in 10 Secrets to Living Smart, Savvy and Strong, I share a link to a listing of other doctors that have similar medical philosophy.

          I have known and trusted Dr Stengler’s advice for several years (and have even quoted him in my books) but my insurance didn’t cover his care so I UNWISELY delayed changing physicians because I was going to need to pay out of pocket. Well, my health check up in January 2012 gave me unwelcome news so I thought ‘What I am doing with my traditional health care provider is not working!”  In
addition, I felt rushed anytime I had an appointment with my traditional health care physician. The last straw was each time, no matter what question or conversation, the traditional doc just signed the same prescription forms I had been on—and some meds had been prescribed for YEARS. (I later learned that one of these was actually stopping my body’s ability to process food correctly).

          When I got the bad news from my regular January check up, I remembered the definition of insanity:”Doing the same thing but expecting a different result”. I knew I had to do something different, so I called Dr Stengler- best decision of my year!

          On the other hand, Dr Stengler gave me a set of very detailed tests and spent over an hour in an appointment learning all the details of my life, schedule, stress, sleep patterns, family and personal medical history and the hopes, dreams and goals I wanted (and needed) to accomplish. When the results returned, he walked me through each intricate detail, explaining what my body
needed and how I could get new choices going to reverse the negative unhealthy patterns and regroup to move forward in the positive. I left with a detailed, do-able (but challenging) plan that I could begin immediately.

          I left the doctor’s office and went straight to my local health food store (Sprouts and Whole Foods are good ones). Then I ordered the books to read to gain new needed information, and then I went home and purged everything not on my “healthy food” list out of my pantry/ refrigerator, and announced to my family the plan for the new me. (I had years before rid the obvious things like
all sugar, processed foods, snack food, etc) but this time I got rid of items that others could eat but for me caused negative impact. (I will cover the details later under the food post day).

          I knew my husband, children (and my personal assistant) would be the people who would see what I was eating and how much I was exercising. Accountability is a very good thing—and so is encouragement!

          I shared my wellness information with those I loved: friends, family, and staff—and they  shared wellness and
health information with me. Each day, we all became more and more informed and disciplined so we all could gain the best life possible.  As I look back on 2012, the most drastic change in my wellness journey was a change in physicians. (And my wellness is worth every cent! Being healthy is definitely much less expensive! Illness and medications are almost non existent, and my productivity is multiplied! ) If you are not getting the answers you need, look again, there are many people in the medical field who do care- so take the time to find the right one for your care.

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Do You Have a Word for Your Year?

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

 

Each year since I was 19, I have selected a “Word for the Year”, a “verse for the year” and later I added a motto for each year (something you might put on a coffee mug, billboard, T- shirt or bumper sticker). In 2012, Bill and I selected the same word and the same verse:

STRONG

Be strong and  courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will
be with you wherever you go.
(Joshua 1:9)

“Stay Strong”!

We know it is often hard for couples to dovetail their goals. In Men Are Like Waffles, Women
Are Like Spaghetti,
we have a chapter on Achieving Together  in which
we describe the process we use  to get on the same page. It begins by having an honest conversation of just what is really  important to each of you. Often couples have different priorities when it comes to the delicate balance of home, work, marriage, family, friends and self care.
We encourage you to grab the book, and a stack of 3 x 5 cards and begin writing down all the areas you each are responsible for personally and professionally- at work, home, church, family, and in community. (You’ll need to pick up a copy  of Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti to hear just what to do with these cards and how to use the “What’s  Important to You” survey in the same chapter). But we promise, if you use these  tools, there will be much LESS arguing and a lot MORE “Red Hot Monogamy” going on.

We also have a goal setting sheet for couples, as integrating the goals of each person in the family can be a challenge if you are fighting for your desire to be top priority. However, goal setting conversations can also be a great opportunity for deeper connection and intimacy. We have provided our Your Best Year Yet worksheet as a template for your conversations as our gift to you. We developed this process several years ago so we could be pulling in the same  direction TOGETHER!

So what was the result of our year of being STRONG? We launched a new Love-Wise video  production company and the first products have rolled out. (See Bill’s 10 Best Decisions a Man Can Make DVD series clip). We both got stronger physically –(I (Pam) lost 50 pounds!) Our family got stronger (we added a beautiful daughter in law and  new grandson too!) We got stronger spiritually—and God is using us- we traveled for ministry 250+ days last year, including to Singapore to release a marriage enrichment DVD commissioned by their government: “Love-Notes”.

Lastly, if this whole concept of having a Word for the Year is new, Pastor Mike Ashcraft and my friend,  Rachel Olsen just released a book, “My One Word” (Zondervan), and it can walk you through step by step on how to select, implement, and maximize your word.
My favorite quote from this resource is:

“My foot needed to be held on the outside for the sake of what was going on on the inside. This is
true of our spiritual lives. We need a boot, so to speak. Something to hold us in a given position long enough for some specific inner work to happen My ONE Word can be that tool.”-
Pastor Mike Ashcroft & Rachel Olsen

So get ready for the Best Year of Your Life—Choose a Word
for the Year, get a copy of Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti and My One Word, then dovetail those goals with your mate for some awesome synergy!

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