Change is an inevitable part of life. There are unexpected and negative changes, such as death of a loved one, illness, divorce and injuries. There are also exciting and anticipated changes, including getting married, having a child, embarking on a new career or buying a home. However, even the most welcome changes can cause major upheaval in your life and the lives of your family and this can translate into stress and disruption of normal routine. The best way to handle this stress is to plan for the changes before they happen (if possible) and also to work with professionals who can help you through the change and make sure you adjust your life properly to accommodate the change. Here are just a few of life’s major changes and how to plan accordingly.
Planning for and taking appropriate steps to be as healthy as possible will in turn increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy and baby. Courtney Sams MSN, APRN of Women’s Clinic of Lincoln said, “One of the most important steps in planning is to initiate an appointment with a provider to assess and evaluate the woman for potential risk factors that may be of a concern. This includes assessing for pre-existing conditions, prescription and over-the-counter medication use, immunization status and their family history. These may have an impact on the pregnancy and infant or potentially on her own health. It will be important to address and effectively manage these issues prior to conceiving.
“Parental care starts once the woman discovers that she is pregnant. She needs to have regular prenatal care visits to evaluate the baby and evaluate her for conditions that may arise. Simple blood tests are done early in the pregnancy to assess for conditions that may require early intervention. Her weight, blood pressure and urine are assessed every visit. Once she has delivered, we recommend that she have a postpartum check-up and discuss family planning issues.”
While going through a life change of her own, Dr. Corey Dousharm of Mosier Timperley Chiropractic found that there was not much in the way of support for those who are trying to conceive. She said, “Many women find themselves on multiple forums, asking advice from women who have been in their similar situations. Healthy Women Who Whine was created as a way to connect with those women locally. It is a great opportunity to meet ladies who are just starting to try, ones who are struggling with infertility, those who are currently pregnant, new first time moms, or ‘seasoned’ moms. Whatever category you fit in, know that there is always someone who has “been there, done that” and is more than happy to listen and provide support. Healthy Women Who Whine meets the first Tuesday of each month at 6pm at the Mosier/Timperley Chiropractic office, located at 4645 Normal Blvd. Ste 200. Join them next month on May 1st!”
Diet and exercise during and following pregnancy are important considerations. Barb Johnson with Diet Center of Lincoln said, “The goal is not gaining extra baby weight.” She suggested eating sensibly and eating the amount of calories suggested by the doctor. Your diet should include enough protein, fruits, vegetables and dairy. Following childbirth, women must adjust their eating habits to regain the figure they had before they were pregnant. Barb explained that some women continue eating for two people just as they did when they were pregnant. She said, “If you are a new mom or have young children and still carry that extra baby weight, come see us and we can help you shed those extra pounds that keep hanging around.” Barb can start new moms on a program that fits their lifestyles and help them to shed unwanted pounds. She said if they don’t get rid of that weight now, then it just keeps adding on. Barb also suggested keeping up with your exercise program in moderation, and if you aren’t exercising, start a program today. She explained, “If you are pregnant, start by walking short distances (10 to 30 minutes) three times a week. Be sure to check with your physician first.”
Brock Owens, GRI, with HOME Real Estate-Pioneer Greens explained that purchasing a new home is often spurred by other life changes, including addition to family size, outgrowing current housing, downsizing and job transfer. When looking for a new home, Brock suggests looking for long-term housing that meets current needs. He also advised, “Start by getting prequalified and find out what you can afford for monthly housing expenses. From there, your agent will be able to do a targeted home search finding only the criteria you have requested in your home search.”
Brock also explained that it is important to work with a relator during the home-search process. He said, “Every market is different and an agent understands the risks and benefits of property local and will guide you through the potential complex steps with the purchase of a home.” He also suggested interviewing several realtors that you feel comfortable with on a personal basis and finding a knowledgeable professional to work with for your home search.
Searching for a change in job or career is a life change that can be difficult depending on the professional landscape. Angela Caldwell with Manpower said, “Staffing companies like Manpower offer vast resources to job seekers. Staffing companies have relationships with hundreds of local businesses, so they help job seekers efficiently seek work at many companies. In the wake of the recession, many employers have been turning to staffing companies as their business starts to ramp up. As demand for goods and services slowly increases, these employers are seeking temporary staff until they are confident they can sustain a full-time hire. When the time comes to make a permanent hire, temporary employees are among the first considered for the jobs. Taking a temporary job should be viewed as a way to get a foot in the door for a permanent position. Finally, employers are more specific than ever about finding the exact right person for a job. They are looking for the perfect match in both skills and cultural fit. Many are taking the approach of hiring a potential employee on a temporary basis in order to evaluate the individual on-the-job. This period serves as an extended job interview, and allows both the employer and the candidate to ensure that the fit is right before committing to permanent, full-time work.
“Manpower offers contingent and permanent staffing solutions that provide organizations with the skills and flexibility they need to meet their business goals. Their talent resourcing offering provides clients with expertly selected associates chosen from a wide range of candidates. Manpower’s knowledge and longevity in the local market means it has access to a very deep talent pool. Once candidates come through the door, Manpower knows how to assess each jobs seeker to find the individuals with the specific skills to meet clients’ business needs. As a result, clients find that working with Manpower supports not only their workforce objectives, but also their business strategies.”
Darrin Green of Oasis Staffing explained the benefits of utilizing staffing companies for both businesses and job seekers. He said, “The benefits of working with a staffing partner to an employer or business owner vary depending on that organization’s objectives. In some instances it allows a cost savings for a company that doesn’t have the resources available for an internal HR department. We handle the screening process as well as the payroll and HR related issues in turn allowing the client to focus on growing their business. Larger organizations benefit because it allows them the flexibility to add additional staff during peak production times without having the liability of hiring employees internally. Staffing services benefit employees for various reasons as well. Some candidates want the flexibility of finding the right employment fit and trying various types of positions to see what’s out there before they make a commitment. In other cases it allows them a foot in the door to an employer they may not be able to get into on their own.
Darrin also discussed choosing the right staffing company for your needs. He explained, “As with any product or purchase the key is to do your research. What are you looking for from a vendor or even your next employer? Meet with several companies to determine what each has to offer and how their initiatives align with those of your own business/employment needs. Some specialize in industry-specific niches; others like Oasis have the ability to mirror their process to match those of the clients. This ability allows for flexibility to determine the candidates are truly a fit for your organization and allow an approach other than trying to put a square peg in a round hole. The only successful relationships are those that are mutually beneficial whether that is business or personal, the same rules apply.” Darrin added, “ 2011 has been a year of new growth and opportunity. Due to the economic situations we have been facing over the last couple of years, however, we are seeing diverse needs in regards to the types of services our clients are requiring. This has made it imperative for a successful staffing service to offer flexibility and out of the box problem solving to be able to partner effectively and to assist our clients in reaching their internal objectives.”
Retirement may be the biggest life change that we experience later in our adulthood. JP Financial Services provides tax, financial and insurance services to individuals and businesses as well as resources to help people plan for their financial future. Jason Peplinksi of JP Financial Services offered a resource created by Faulkner Media Group in 2011 entitled “9 Facts About Retirement” for information regarding retirement. Trends surrounding retirement suggest that the 65-and-old age group will be larger and more influential in the future. Thus, having plans in place regarding healthcare and investments is more important than ever. Twenty-four percent of people are planning on working until age 70 or older, which is the highest percentage of people planning to work later in 20 years. Nine percent of people do not have plans to retire. The following nine surprising facts explain the current retirement situation:
1. Many consider the standard retirement age to be 65. One of the key influences in arriving at that age was Germany, which initially set its retirement age at 70 then lowered it to age 65.
2. Every day for the next 15 years, another 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65. That’s roughly one person every 8 seconds.
3. In 2010, people aged 65 and older accounted for 13% of the population in the U.S. By 2025, they are expected to make up 18% of the population.
4. Ernest Ackerman was the first person to receive a Social Security benefit. In March 1937, the Cleveland streetcar motorman received a one-time, lump-sum payment of 17¢. Ackerman worked one day under Social Security. He earned $5 for the day and paid a nickel in payroll taxes. His lump-sum payout was equal to 3.5% of his wages.
5. In 2001, people aged 65 and older owned 31% of the U.S.’s financial assets. By 2040, it is estimated they will hold 44% of the country’s financial assets.
6. Adults 65 years and older consume one-third of all over-the-counter medicines sold in the U.S.
7. In 2008 nearly one-third (32%) of those 65 and older depend on Social Security for 80% or more of their income. The average monthly Social Security benefit at the beginning of 2011 was about $1,177.
8. Centenarians — those over age 100 — are the fastest-growing demographic group in the U.S. Between 2000 and 2010, this group roughly doubled in size. In 2010, nearly 85% of centenarians were women.
9. Seniors watch more television — live and recorded — than any other age group. Even more than teenagers. In the fourth quarter of 2010, the 65-and-older age group averaged nearly 49 hours of television per week, compared with 25 hours for kids aged 12 to 17 years.
Matt Egge of Northwestern Mutual explained, “We all will encounter events that are truly life changing. These events can be exciting such as going to college, getting married, buying a house, starting a business, birth or adoption of a child and retiring.
Unfortunately, sometimes those events are not so pleasant such as learning about a health problem, divorce, becoming disabled, having to move to a nursing home or death of a loved one. Regardless, these events all have one thing in common and that is that they will most certainly affect you financially. Are you prepared? Many of us live life and don’t take the time to plan for the good and the bad financially. Most people simply don’t feel they have the time or just simply don’t want to because it can be stressful and time consuming and we don’t always like to think about the “what if’s” in life. Also, financial planning can be quite complex depending on your situation. That is why it is very important to find a financial representative to help you put a strategy in place so that you can enjoy your days and feel comfortable knowing that whatever occurs, good or bad, you are prepared and will not be set back financially. Building a long-term relationship with someone that fully understands your situation and provides a strategy that is in your best interest will be valuable when a life-changing event occurs.
“Everyone’s situation, dreams, goals, and values are different. Choosing a financial representative who can provide you with innovative ideas and products that make sense based on your needs is important to your financial success. I feel someone who can provide a holistic approach is best suited in helping you reach your financial goals. A financial representative should challenge you and ask tough questions. Just like when you go to work out at the gym or hire a trainer, you don’t stop when you feel like it; they help push you to reach your full potential. You will need to change and adjust things as your life changes occur, so it is important to work with someone who is a good communicator, can explain things in terms you can easily understand, and is responsive to your questions and needs along the way. This will help you build trust with that person so you can feel good about the things that you are doing financially. Finding the right individual to work with can seem challenging with all the options out there. A good place to start might be to speak with friends, family, and people you admire and look up to and ask them for their feedback. Once you find someone that you feel comfortable with and trust, you can begin to work towards turning your dreams and goals into reality.”
Mike Story, Sales Manager at Physicians Mutual Omaha said, “Between the ages of 25 to 40 is when people make big lifetime decisions, like getting married, having children, buying a house or investing in the future. That makes this one of the most-potentially expensive times and when you really need to focus on financial planning. Experts recommend you save money before you start investing. Try to build up enough to pay for at least nine months of living expenses. Also, contribute as much as possible to your 401(k).” Below, Mike explains some insurance to consider that helps protect your savings:
• Term life: Make sure you have enough to cover your family’s household bills and childcare expenses, as well as your final expenses.
• Supplemental health: Medical expenses can add up if you have a growing family; supplemental health insurance can help pay bills your traditional insurance may not.
• Dental: Help protect your family’s overall health by visiting the dentist regularly; dental insurance can help you save money on dental bills.
Mike added, “Physicians Mutual Insurance Company offers reliable Medicare Supplement, dental, supplemental health and long-term care insurance. Physicians Life Insurance Company provides important life insurance coverage and annuities.”
Family Service Manager at Butherus Maser & Love Funeral Home, Bryan Block provided some insight on the importance of preplanning. He said, “I am willing to bet you can think of a time when your parents or someone close to you did something that in the grand scheme of things was really trivial, but it is nonetheless something that has remained in your memory. It may be positive or negative, but often those small gestures are the things that stick with us the longest. We remember the hug or the card from a friend when we were in need of that exact thing.
When I think of making my own prearranged funeral plans I think of my grown (but still young) daughters. Do I want the last memory they have of dear old dad to be a litany of questions about my biographical information? Do I want them to have to dig through paperwork to find the answers they will need to wrap up my estate? Do I want them to have to write a big check or incur a large credit card charge in order to finalize my funeral arrangements? I have shared a great many things with my daughters that have brought smiles to their faces. We have laughed and talked about many of life’s mysteries and the inevitable end-of-life issues. When that time arrives I hope they are able to gather with family and friends and reminisce on some of the goofy things I have done. I hope they can spend their time reflecting on the time we spent together rather than having to spend their time sorting through boxes for needed information or selecting funeral merchandise at the funeral home. The responsibility for taking care of these arrangements is not something I wish to share with those I hold dear.”
No matter what type of change you are going through in your life, having a good support system is one of the very best ways you can ensure that you will weather the change (good or bad) with a minimum of stress. Of course, the major parts of your support system should be your family and friends. Cultivating the relationship you have with your spouse, children, friends and other members of your family is something we all need to work on every day. With the busy lifestyles that most of us lead, putting time into our relationships is unfortunately often times pushed to the background, then when the time comes when we need their support the most, we find that our relationships are not as strong as we want them to be.
We could all use some help strengthening our relationships. Becoming a member of the site www.FinishLifeWell.com can be that help that we need. Started by Doug Fitzgerald, a quickly emerging and highly sought after motivational, instructional and life-changing speaker, Finish Life Well helps members with all parts of their life, including relationships, finances, career and more. Members receive video training sessions, monthly ‘to do’ lists, a monthly challenge, monthly resources and resource suggestions and more.
Life is full of change. Some of it is welcome, while some of it comes out the blue and we need to do what we can to recover and get back to life as normal as soon as possible. Regardless of the type of change, it has the potential to be stressful and to impact all parts of our lives. Preparing for change as best as we can, working with the right professionals to help us through the change and developing our support network so they are there for us when we need them the most is the key to managing change and turning it into a positive factor in our lives.
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