blogpage

Advice for Covid-19 Widows and Widowers

Jan 30, 2021 by Alexandra Armstrong

Unfortunately,  Covid-19 has resulted in an increase of people being unexpectedly widowed.  Before we wrote Your Next Chapter, Dr. Donahue and I wrote a book for widows called On Your Own—A widow’s Passage to Emotional & Financial Well-Beingwhich is now in its fifth edition and available on Amazon.  The purpose of that book is to help widows cope better with the dramatic emotional and financial situations that occur in their lives following the loss of their spouses.  Just as we explain in Your Next Chapterwe believe that there’s a strong relationship between the women’s financial and psychological reaction to the loss of her spouse.  If the widow isn’t financially knowledgeable, that impedes her emotional progress; and if she’s having trouble emotionally, she can’t deal with her financial situation in a competent manner. 

How to Downsize Efficiently

Jan 17, 2021 by Alexandra Armstrong

Covid 19 has caused many people to move out of the city to the suburbs to houses where they have more room especially if they are able to work from home.  However, people who are retiring are often moving in the opposite direction, downsizing to a smaller home.  This may be moving from a house to an apartment or even to a retirement community. 
We discuss the topic of housing extensively in chapter seven in our book.  When working with clients facing this move over the years, I have found that although intellectually they know downsizing is the right thing for them to do, actually doing it is difficult.  Letting go of the possessions you have accumulated over the years is hard emotionally as well as physically.  In some cases where the person really is having trouble, I suggest they do what they can and if they hit a stumbling block, rent a storage space and then go through everything at your leisure.  It has been my experience that they find that whatever they put in storage they find they don’t miss!

Creating a Retirement Vision Board-Part II

Creating a Retirement Vision Board-Part II
Dec 18, 2020 by Mary R. Donahue, Ph.D
As you can see, I have posted my completed Vision Board with this blog. The Board is not static and I may change some of the statements and pictures as I think of new things. I might also add or delete an item to make the thought or experience being considered more real or possible.

Do You Really Need an Estate Plan?

Dec 10, 2020 by Alexandra Armstrong

The answer is YES!  Many assume only old people need an estate plan. Unfortunately, recent deaths due to Covid 19 have made us all too aware that death can come to anyone at any time.  Therefore it isn’t only old people who need to consider what happens to their assets!

Creating a Retirement Vision Board

Creating a Retirement Vision Board
Nov 03, 2020 by Mary R. Donahue, Ph.D
One of the techniques frequently used by people when thinking about their lives in relation to personal goals is to envision it.  Many people like to create this vision in a more concrete way and will make what is called a Vision Board.

Update on Your Next Chapter

Oct 25, 2020 by Alexandra Armstrong
Five months ago, we published “Your Next Chapter”.  This was a very different experience from our previous one, when Dearborn first published “On Your Own: A Widow’s Passage to Emotional and Financial Well-Being” in 1993.  We didn’t know how spoiled we were!  Dearborn hired a publicity person to promote our book. They paid for the two of us to go on a nine city media tour with someone assigned to take us around for newspaper, television and radio interviews in the major cities (Boston, New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc).  We even were guests on Good Morning America. It worked, as we sold over 25,000 copies of the book which even in today’s world is good.  “On Your Own” is now in its fifth edition written in 2012 and still selling on Amazon.com.
We got the idea for “Your Next Chapter” when we were having lunch together and discussing why neither of us had retired at the age when most people plan to retire—at  age 65. The answer was both of us loved our jobs and were fortunate because our professions as a psychologist and a financial planner allowed us to keep working—and so we did.  However, in our discussion and subsequent research, we realized there was a void and a need for a book for women like us.  Most books about retirement give general advice. They focus only on the financial aspects of retirement and ignore the emotional aspects.  We thought there was a need for a book which would help educated women with assets and a meaningful career make decisions which would result in a more satisfying retirement.

How Does a Children’s Book Relate to Retirement?

Sep 04, 2020 by Mary R. Donahue, Ph.D
Turning to the present challenges facing anyone trying to figure out what to do, or not do relative to retiring, made me me think about what we told the children about their responsibilities in What’s My Job? Just like children of separation and divorce, the current pandemic situation is not of our making; but as with the children, our responses are under our control. 

Has the Coronavirus forced you to think about retirement sooner than planned?

Aug 28, 2020 by Alexandra Armstrong
In her last blog, Dr. Mary Donahue pointed out how important it is to think about retirement sooner rather than later.  No one could have predicted that in the year 2020, the world would experience a pandemic that would literally change the way we view working, retiring, and living our lives.  Retirement; which might have seemed far off for many professionals such as teachers, is suddenly becoming a choice now  that many are considering. Numerous professionals who are being asked to go to work into what they consider to be potentially unsafe environments are now forced to consider retirement or a career change from their chosen occupations.

Does the Pandemic Have You Suddenly Considering an Early Retirement?

Aug 07, 2020 by Mary R. Donahue, Ph.D

As a result of the impact of the Corona Virus, many people that had not given much thought to retiring are rethinking that decision. Based on my personal experience following the death of my husband, I cannot sufficiently stress how important it is for all women to understand where you are in life relative to your retirement - before you might feel that you have to make a decision of that magnitude. Previously, you may have thought that there was no need to focus on this issue because you had plenty of time to do so when you were ready to retire. I can assure you that you never know what life might throw at you. There is no substitute for knowledge  

 

How the Pandemic has Affected Housing Choices for Retirees

Aug 01, 2020 by Alexandra Armstrong

Housing is one of the major expenses everyone has.  Prior to retirement, most people commuted to and from work and were in their homes only in the evenings and on weekends. All this changed with the coronavirus.  No more going to work every day.  Instead, you probably were in your house all day and night.  In many cases, you weren’t alone, and you had full time company--your spouse, your children, grandchildren, parents—a lot of togetherness.

What Do Cooking & Retirement Have in Common?

Jul 14, 2020 by Mary R. Donahue, Ph.D

One of the unexpected benefits of spending so much time at home as a result of the Corona virus pandemic is that I am spending much more time in my kitchen. For years I have saved recipes to try – “one day when I have more time”.  I have recipe folders categorized by titles such as appetizers, entrees, salads etc.  The recipes in them are sort of an extravagance of riches.  My dilemma became where to begin; and which recipes did I want to try first?  

 

As I thought about it, I realized that in a way this is similar to what we feel when confronted by thoughts of retirement. When we think about retiring, we go through many, many thoughts and feelings and suddenly we don’t know where to begin.  Although, retirement has much greater ramifications than what recipe to try first, the process is really the same and it begins with the question, “where do I start?”

 

 

8 Questions You Should Ask Before You Select a Financial Planner

Jun 19, 2020 by Alexandra Armstrong

One of the most important things to do when creating the financial plan for Your Next Chapter is to select the financial planner who will be helping you to prepare and implement your long-term financial  plan(s). The financial plan is the starting point — a road map, if you will. Financial planning is a lifelong process and your financial planner is your navigator. It’s important you choose the right person to be your financial planner, as this should be a long-term relationship.

 

Planning for Retirement in the Middle of a Global Crisis?

Jun 11, 2020 by Mary R. Donahue, Ph.D
In the middle of a pandemic, a book about retirement?  What??? My co-author, Alexandra Armstrong, CFP®, CRPC® and I had been writing our book about retirement for quite some time. We were getting ready to publish when all of our lives were turned upside down by something no one could have predicted; something called the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead of publishing as we had anticipated, we were now at home social distancing and self-quarantining. We decided to postpone publication. But then we realized this was actually the ideal time to launch Your Next Chapter. Being quarantined at home, rapidly becoming part of the #whatdayisit crowd; got me thinking more seriously about my retired life. Due to the pandemic, Alex and I both found ourselves in semi-retirement, which gave us a real opportunity to think about our own lives, both emotionally and financially. 
 

Book Summary

May 13, 2020 by Alexandra Armstrong
You are on the threshold of Your Next Chapter. Hopefully, it will be an exciting and satisfying one. This book will help you navigate the unfamiliar waters on both an emotional and financial level. Written by women for women, Your Next Chapter focuses on the issues you need to address so you can have a sustainable and rewarding future.