Setting Goals That “Make Your Eyes Shine”

Benjamin Zander

As I mentioned in a recent post, Are SMART Goals Wise? certain types of goal setting may actually be limiting rather than liberating. The principle of SMART goal setting is that your goals must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Tangible. I believe that while these types of goals can be helpful in some situations, they can pull us back into the frame of measurement and competitiveness, shutting down creativity and vision. (more…)

Parenting – Learning from My Mistakes

I became a mom for the first time in 1999. Three kids and nearly 14 years later, I have used many ineffective parenting techniques. Time-outs turned out to be one of the least effective. Especially with my youngest, Sammy, time-outs turned into a real battle – a losing battle – and MOM was the loser! (more…)

Identify Your Heirarchy of Life Values

valuesIn The Thinker’s Way, author John Chaffee describes the word “value” as “the general term we use to characterize anything that possesses intrinsic worth, that we prize, esteem, and regard highly based on clearly defined standards.” (more…)

Target-Date Retirement Funds among the Most Popular Investments for Retirement

According to USNews.com, investments in Target Date Retirement Funds have shown unprecedented growth among investments for retirement, with numbers “approaching $400 billion, [and] with projected sales of $2 trillion by 2020.” The reasons for this popularity among those investing for retirement are twofold: 1) ease of fund management for investors and, 2) the default status these funds have enjoyed since 2006 – if 401k account holders do not select an investment, employer plans are allowed to “default” the employee’s 401k into a Target-Date fund. (more…)

Coverdell Education Savings Account – What is it Good For?

To avoid allowing the country to fall off the fiscal cliff, Congress and the President have agreed upon and signed into law the 2012 American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA). Among other things, the new law restores nearly all of the tax incentives for education which had been scheduled to expire at the end of the year. One of these education incentives was the Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA). (more…)

The Third Age Redefines Lifespan Realities

As we navigate life in the 21st century, the trend that will have the most profound effect on the future of our society (and other industrialized societies) is the “Age Wave.”  In other words, we are living longer and the percentage of older adults is growing at an unprecedented rate. (more…)

Leisure & Life Satisfaction

“In the same way that
 a good Wall Street investment appreciates in value, you want your investments of time and energy to offer high yields. They should make you feel good — happy, 
satisfied, energized, or relaxed.”

Marc Eisenson, Gerri Detweiler, & Nancy Castleman
Invest in Yourself: Six Secrets to a Rich Life (more…)

Many Boomers Choose a New Perspective on Life and Money

In terms of adult development theory, life after 50 is typically a pivotal stage when individuals reflect on the direction their lives are taking, confront their own mortality, and dare to ask themselves, “Am I really happy?

However, what distinguishes Baby Boomers from previous generations is that they wear this existential crisis on their sleeves.  Rather than indulging in a time of private contemplation and silent suffering, Baby Boomers are forcing us all to rethink what the “mid-life and beyond” experience can and should be like.

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When College Costs Don’t Go According to Plan

You’ve spent years dutifully contributing to a college savings account for your children or grandchildren. Soon it will at last be time to switch from saving to spending.

You’ve done your best to fully fund the cost of four years of college. But there are so many variables and even more that will continue to affect your estimates. These unknowns include scholarships, whether you’re paying in-state or out-of-state tuition, the return rate of your investments and whether your teen will need more than four years to complete her degree. (more…)