Divorcing? The Right Way to Split Retirement Plans

This is a great article explaining the split of retirement plans when divorcing. Many people do not realize that when it is split you do not have to pay the penalty fee or taxes if it is done properly. Ensuring that you do it correctly is key. Working with a qualified financial planner is the best way to make the transition. There are financial planners that have the designation CDFA, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. It would behoove you to see one out. For those in Columbus, we like Lis Spaine, from The Arlington Group. I would also suggest that the divorcing parties use different planners. Although they are all bound legally by confidentiality, you are more likely to be honest if you are not sharing. If you are the one needing to find one, let us know. We can help.

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/retirement/03/060403.asp

Nothing worthwhile is ever easy

“Nothing worthwhile is ever easy”. Someone told me this on a plane many years ago as we discussed our different sales jobs. Ever since then I have made this my mantra. When things get tough and I am working on building my business or a relationship or parenting I say this over and over again. Along with help from above, this constant reminder helps push me forward when I feel like giving up.

The main part of this is worthwhile. Only you can decide if something is worthwhile or not. If you give up, will it be worth it? Will it make you as happy as if you had made it to the finish line? Setting small goals may help give you success as you persevere to the finish line. Knowing that every day your best is going to vary is also a manageable way to get through it. Take baby steps and celebrate small successes. Learning to be less critical of yourself and others will also help. The more accepting you are of the situation and your limitations the easier it will be to let things roll off your back. Focus on what is important in your life and make it worthwhile….all the time remembering that it won’t be easy.

A Charles Dickens Valentines Carol

The card and jewelry companies creation….Valentines Day. Don’t let it get you down. It is a celebration of love for all those in your life. Parents, siblings, kids, friends….chances are you are able to count one or two loves that you can be thankful for this February 14. Nothing worthwhile is every easy and that includes matters of the heart as well.

Think of this holiday in a Christmas Carol style….loves past, present and future. Regardless of our current marital status, we all have past loves. What did we learn from each of those and how did we grow from it? What can we replicate from our current loves? Those who have been in our lives for a while, whom we love…how do we love them? How do we treat them? Why is this love working and past loves did not? Finally, what do we want for a future love? How can we make sure the past loves don’t show up again as someone different in the future.

It takes two to tango. Take a few minutes today to meditate and reflect. Could you change the way you love or treat those you love to make it stronger? How can you be better prepared to love and give love in the future? This isn’t a rom-com and life doesn’t just automatically come perfectly together. It does take a little effort and a little open mindedness.

Most importantly today LOVE YOURSELF. That is sometimes the hardest person to love, but it is the most important.

Include home maintenance in your 2019 budget

Home maintenance projects are not what most people plan for when putting together their yearly budget. Starting this year, consider adding a home maintenance/repair line item to your budget. Not only will this make an emergency less likely, it will increase the value of your home over the long run.  Plus you will have the money ready when the job needs to get done! Just roll any unused funds to the next year to subsidize the larger projects down the road.

First take inventory on what needs to be maintained in your home. How old is the roof, water heater, HVAC system?  Do you have hard wood floors, when were they last refinished?  Do you have a wood burning fire place, has it been inspected lately, does it need to be lined? How are your gutters and downspout? Are they draining adequately? Is their mildew on your siding or gutters? When was the last time you painted the exterior of your house, how is the condition of the siding?

Next, think about an update(s) that could enhance the value or livability of your home. How are the bathrooms, kitchen, appliances? Would some landscaping enhance your curb appeal? It is virtually impossible to do everything all at once. Maybe in the years that no maintenance is required on your home, you do a cosmetic enhancement instead with your budget.

Keeping a yearly inspection log will help you stay on track with maintenance and projects. Making a wish list of cosmetic upgrades will help you organize what things you want to do when the budget is available. Attached is a yearly home maintenance guide from the National Center for Healthy Housing to help get you started.

A real estate agent is a great resource for providing recommendations of quality, experienced contractors and companies that you can trust. It is a good idea to get 3-4 quotes for any job you are going to do so that you can not only get the best price, but ensure that the job is you are asking for is what each company says needs to be done. If you are thinking about doing a project this year and would like a recommendation on who should do the work, give me a call. I am more than happy to point you in the right direction.

YearlyHomeMaintenace

Speaking From the Heart…..My Personal Perspective on Divorce

It’s now been two years and one month since my divorce was final.  When my ex-husband and I decided to separate it was what one would call a “whirl-wind” experience.  We went out for dinner on May 10th (our anniversary) and I remember hearing my husband at the time talk incessantly but I was not hearing a single word he was saying.  It was like the entire dinner was a blur because I knew what was going to happen.  We then went home that night, shared a few un-kind words and both removed our wedding rings.  We were going to separate and dissolve the marriage.

 

We told the kids (who were in high school and middle school at the time) Memorial Day weekend.  We decided that I would be the one to move out of the house and I moved to my new place August 1st of that same year.  During the 8 plus weeks that we lived under the same roof, we conducted ourselves as professional as we could.  I still cooked dinner for the family and did the regular household chores.  I was also preparing for my move.  Dividing up almost 20 years of household goods is never easy.  Plus, we began meeting with our respective attorneys.  We filed for a dissolution on September 1st and our divorce was finalized on December 1st (12 weeks later). 

 

They always say hindsight is 20/20.  I can tell you there is truly no right way to divorce.  Even though we were able to negotiate swiftly and for the most part amicably, what I have learned in my 2 plus years of divorce,  is that I took my marriage for granted and to some extent, I slighted myself.  I was married to a CPA and for that reason, he was the one who handled all financial matters.  I was never involved in the process and should have been a willing participant. 

 

If you are considering a divorce make sure that you do your necessary research and stay informed.  Heck we all make mistakes in life and from mistakes comes growth.  At the end of the day you are accountable for one person and that is yourself.  If you are not a strong and capable individual, you loved ones cannot depend on you. 

 

I encourage you to interview attorneys and find that right person that you are compatible with.  No question is a dumb question.  Also, there are many other facets of your life that are impacted by divorce….do not lose sight and get help and guidance.  If you or your family needs counseling, get counseling.  If you need to find a support group, attend a meeting.  If you are trying to figure out if your house needs to be sold or re-financed, meet with a realtor or mortgage professional.  Meet with a financial planner and talk with him or her about what is being proposed in your divorce settlement. Talk to a life, auto and health insurance agent to make sure your insurance needs are being met.  Find a CPA to understand how your taxes are going to be impacted.  Get out there and get help.  You are not alone.

 

I know right now your head is probably spinning and you may be feeling very overwhelmed and that’s ok.  We are here to help and that is why I formed Columbus Divorce Solutions.  To provide those contemplating or who are in the midst of a separation or divorce, the necessary resources to ease the burden of this trying chapter of your life.  We are here and you will get through this …it does take a village and that village is Columbus Divorce Solutions.

Did you outgrow anyone 2018?

I just read a Facebook post, or maybe meme, that read “2018 taught me that you can outgrow people and it’s ok”. Not much on Facebook actually makes me pause and think too hard, but this did. First I thought…what an accurate statement, then I thought what else has 2018 taught me and am I taking the time to learn from it. Let’s break this down a bit…what makes us outgrow people? Is it that we are growing ourselves and find that we don’t have much in common? Is it that we need more than they are able to give or vice versa? Is it that we didn’t put in enough effort? Or is it we are not politically sympatico anymore with fake news and polar opposite beliefs?

In this climate of immediate gratification are we can’t expect all of our relationships be easy to navigate. Finding the right balance is key to deciding who we have and have not outgrown. As our lives get busier with jobs, family and obligations, we have less time. It is important to take inventory on where you are spending your time and with who and why. Don’t be so quick to easily dispose on a relationship that once meant the world to you. In the same vain, once you have decided that you have outgrown someone pack up and move on without guilt.

It is crazy to think that every friend you ever met has staying power. Especially those who you have known since high school or college. Friends that I have had for a long time I often say are “grandfathered” in to my tolerance. That for some reason since I have known them so long I tend to put up more than I would a new friend. However, as time goes on this is hard to do and honestly life is too short. When it comes to a spouse or a significant other, they are by nature “grandfathered” in. In this scenario each partner needs to want to be in it and make it work. If one side is giving up the other can’t make up for it. Both parties must want to grow together not apart.

I like to say that the grass may be greener, but it is as just as hard to mow. Take time this early part of January to reflect on the people in your life and how much time and energy you want to spend with those you hold close. Don’t waste precious time with those who you have truly outgrown and possibly use that extra time to work on the relationships that are actually worth growing.

Get Your Groove On

One of the most important things to do while going through the divorce process is to get out. Stay busy, social and active. It is too easy to hole up on the couch in misery. Try doing something that occupies your mind so much that you can’t think about what you are going through.

We get it, sometimes you just don’t want to see anyone or talk about “it”. A great way to get out without having to socialize too much is to go see live music. Whether it is rock, country, symphony or one person playing an instrument on a stage, the music can transport you. You don’t need to converse during the show and you can go home after in climb into bed. During that 1-2 hours of music, let yourself go. Feel the music, listen to the words….hell dance like no one is watching.

Some people don’t like concerts, but give it one try. It doesn’t have to be a full on production, there are plenty of smaller venues that are more intimate. If you pick some type of music that you enjoy listening to we bet you will be hard pressed to not have a smile on your face when the show is over.

Below is a list of local venues that offer a variety of music at a variety of pricing. Check one out this week!

King Ave 5 https://kingavenuefive.com/

Rambling House http://www.ramblinghousesoda.com

Newport Music Hall, The Basement, Express Live, AR Music Bar http://www.promowestlive.com/

Jeanne B McCoy Music Center For The Arts http://www.mccoycenter.org/

Columbus Symphony http://www.columbussymphony.com/

The Schottenstein Center https://www.schottensteincenter.com/

Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza and Live Music https://nataliescoalfiredpizza.com/

Lincoln Theatre https://www.lincolntheatrecolumbus.com/

The Blue Stone http://liveatthebluestone.com/

Woodlands Tavern http://woodlandstavern.com/

Byrne’s Pub http://www.byrnespub.com/

Turtle Creek Tavern http://www.turtlecreektavern.com

Fenders Live Music and Spirits http://www.fenderscolumbus.com/

#GivingTuesday

It may seem like you are bleeding money right now. Everyone wants a piece of you, kids, spouse, ex-spouse, attorney, therapist, new home, new apartment, CPA’s, new car, new bills….not to mention the holiday gifts that are still on the list. The holiday season can be stressful and overwhelming. Take a step back, reflect and remember, we get back what we give out. This #GivingTuesday, donate your time, talent or treasure to something you feel connected to. Not only will you put yourself in the holiday spirit, you will be helping those less fortunate.

There is no shortage of need in the Greater Columbus metropolitan area. Below are some local groups that could use your donation. Just about every 5013C is asking for your donation, so it should be easy to find a worthy cause that you connect with. It doesn’t take much and every little bit helps.

Clintonville Community Resources Center – For more than forty years, CRC has been making a difference in the lives of Clintonville neighbors. Many lives have been improved or sustained by the services CRC provides. CRC promotes self-sufficiency while respecting individual worth, rights and dignity.  Thus creating a greater quality of life for everyone throughout the community.  http://www.clintonvillecrc.org  @thecrc

Sam’s Fan’s –  Supporting and enhancing music and art therapy programs that serve seriously ill patients and their families.  http://www.samsfans.org  @samsfans15

Flying Horse Farms – Flying Horse Farms provides magical, transformative camp experiences for children with serious illnesses and their families – free of charge. Located in Mt. Gilead, Ohio, camp first opened its gates in 2010 and hosts about 900 children and families each year.  http://www.flyinghorsefarms.org @flyinghorsefarm

Charity Newsies– The mission of Charity Newsies is that no child shall be kept out of school for lack of adequate clothing. http://www.charitynewsies.org  @charitynewsies

YWCA Family Center – The YWCA Family Center provides emergency shelter and critical services to stabilize homeless families in central Ohio. A national model, our goal is to help families find housing within 3 weeks of entering the program. http://www.ywcacolumbus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=services_familycenter  @ywcacolumbus

Giving Up The Power

I just left a yoga class, which gave me profound insight into my own psyche and I feel the need to share. My favorite yoga teacher, Lara Falberg, usually starts the class with a message or something to get you thinking. Although her message was geared toward giving up your power of needing the pose to look a certain way, the message resonated with my everyday power struggle. Why do we give so much power to what doesn’t feed us? Another way to think about it is, why do we give thoughts and energy to what truly doesn’t matter in the big scheme of life? Stop giving power to what is not feeding your soul, your energy, your thoughts. So often we get wrapped up in what is right or being right and realistically it doesn’t matter. By giving our thoughts and energy to what really doesn’t fuel us is a waste. The more power we relinquish to those wasted thoughts, the more power someone else has in controlling them for us. Letting go of what really doesn’t matter or what really won’t make a difference just to prove a point is a waste of time. To paraphrase Lara, it doesn’t matter how the pose looks…it matters how it feels. Only you know how it feels. If only you know what is right, then give that strength of knowing the truth the ability to fuel your thoughts and confidence. It is only a matter of time before the truth will set you free.

If your are trying to right your life whether it be by choice or by force…check your ego at the door and stop giving others power. You need power within to get through this. The other person is likely never going to admit your right. The fighting and wasted thoughts you spend give them the power and leave you without it. The more powerful you FEEL on the inside will give you the powerful don’t fuck with me look on the outside…and really that is all you need. Confidence, strength and power over your own self will move you forward.

“Take a moment to just breathe and transition from how you got here to just being here” - Lara Falberg

Don’t forget to take care of yourself during this time. Yoga can definitely help. You just might leave a class feeling like you left a therapy session…and it costs a hell of a lot less. I sure did today. Thanks Lara.

www.iworkbarefoot.com

The Do's & Don'ts of Divorce by Jennifer Joseph

The process of divorce makes seen the most sane people do, or consider doing, crazy things. No wonder the divorce process is also called “Crazy time”. The following Do’s and Don’ts, while appearing common sense, or even comical, come from actual experiences:

  1. Don’t put your spouse’s clothes, etc. in trash bags and then “accidentally” leave them curbside for your spouse to pick up on the same morning that your trash is picked up.

  2. Don’t cancel your spouse’s credit cards when he/she is in the middle of a business lunch.

  3. Don’t bring your “new friend” into the marital home to meet the children, or have a beer, or help paint.

  4. Don’t pull money out of accounts and give it to a friend to “hold”.

  5. Don’t listen to the legal advice of your neighbors, your sister’s husband or your mother’s bridge group.

  6. Don’t listen tho the advice of your soon to be ex-spouse.

  7. Don’t drink and drive.

  8. Don’t drink to excess.

  9. Don’t do drugs.

  10. Don’t quit your job and become the towns serial bank robber.

  11. Don’t drive the kids without seatbelts on or child seats as required by law.

  12. Don’t ignore your child when he/she says, “it hurts”. Possibly it is a broken bone. Have it checked out.

  13. Don’t push your spouse over a pile of boxes.

  14. Don’t hit your children.

  15. Don’t put moms/dads picture on a dart board or punching bag for the kids.

  16. DOn’t make your child get out of the car in a dangerous neighborhood and then drive away as a punishment.

  17. Don’t yell at your lawyer, he or she may be your only friend.

  18. Don’t yell at your lawyer’s staff, they are your only other friends.

  19. Don’t ignore your child’s suicide threats.

  20. Don’t forget o call the police or ambulance if you spouse calls you while he or she is in the process of committing suicide.

  21. Don’t lie to your lawyer, or he/she won’t be able to protect you.

  22. Don’t expect quick justice.

  23. Don’t get married again unless you have a prenuptial agreement.

  24. Don’t shoplift.

  25. Don’t take your child on a car repossession trip.

  26. Don’t say bad things to the children about your spouse.

  27. Don’t hide the phone so your kids can’t call their other parent.

  28. Don’t violate a restraining order by assuming a false name and traveling out of state with the children.

  29. Don’t violate a restraining order period.

  30. Don’t have your new “friend” beat up your spouse.

  31. Don’t date, but if you ignore this, don’t date someone who smokes marijuana for his/her migraine headaches or who has a criminal background.

  32. Don’t have internet affairs.

  33. Don’t give strange people the names and addresses of your children, with photos, when on the internet.

  34. Don‘t try to abduct your child at school as a method of obtaining custody.

  35. Don’t ask your attorney to assist in #33 above.

  36. Don’t allow your child to run after your other child with meat cleaver.

  37. Don’t threaten your spouse with bodily harm, such as death or cutting their legs off.

  38. Don’t live with your ex-spouse and ask for child support.

  39. Don’t forget to tell your attorney if you and your spouse have reconciled.

  40. Don’t forget to visit your kids if you have companionship.

  41. Don’t take off with the kids moments before your ex-spouse will show up for his/her companionship.

  42. Don’t forget to feed your children nutritious meals, pizza daily does not qualify.

  43. Don’t forget to tell your attorney if you are gay.

  44. Don’t go out to meet your gay friends at 11:00PM, leaving your children home alone, and then later state you needed a Klondike ice cream bar.

  45. Don’t accept a telephone call from your spouse’s attorney, when your attorney is out of town.

  46. Don’t forget to tell your attorney that you are pregnant.

  47. Don’t forget to tell your attorney that your girlfriend is pregnant.

  48. Don’t forget to tell your attorney that you are pregnant and it is not your spouse’s child.

  49. Don’t hit on your attorney, they will not date you after your divorce is final. Period.

  50. Don’t go to the Park Of Roses, and have sex under a bush with your “friend”.

  51. Don’t have sex with your new “friend” in the living room with the curtains open and if you violate this rule, look for the videographer in the window.

  52. When court ordered to take a psychological test, don’t leave the test area and sneak a call to your attorney to ask how you should answer certain questions.

  53. Don’t quit your six figure job and start flipping burgers to avoid child support-spousal support.

  54. Don’t cancel the children’s health insurance policies.

  55. Don’t wear your wife’s earrings as a tie clip just to annoy her.

  56. Don’t have sex with your wife’s niece.

  57. Don’t file bankruptcy thinking your can escape child or spousal support.

  58. Don’t inflict corporal punishment on your child.

  59. Don’t call your child ignorant” or “retarded” and then call your attorney and ask if this is going to look bad on your parental skills.

Visit us at https://josephandjoseph.com/ for more of what to do when getting divorced or if you have questions on getting started on the divorce process.

What Does A Life Coach Do? Five Outcomes From You Should Expect From Coaching. By Lisa Panos

When I first embarked upon my path as a life coach, I distinctly recall the raised eyebrows and blank stares from those unfamiliar with my chosen profession. In the years since, I have noticed a distinct shift in the initial reactions I receive and my declaration is now met with knowing head nods. While the reception may be changing as life coaching becomes more prevalent, to this day the follow-up question is almost always the same: “What exactly does a life coach do?”

I often begin by saying what it is a life coach isn’t. Life coaches are not therapists or mental health professionals. We aren’t metaphysical mystics or spiritual healers. We don’t give legal advice and we can’t balance a client’s checkbook. I prefer to say that we are more akin to personal trainers for the mind. A personal trainer may take a physical self that is atrophied from lack of use and bloated from too many Taco Tuesdays and Wine Wednesdays and find the potential buried within. Life coaches, on the other hand, strip away the sense of self burdened by years of excuses and beaten down by negative inner narratives and help uncover a client’s best self.

Where I find that analogy breaks down for some people is they begin envisioning the washboard abs and thoroughbred thighs a personal trainer can promise. But what then is the life coach equivalent? Below are five outcomes you can and should expect from your life coach.

  1. Clarity – We spend much of our lives developing coping mechanisms designed to help us accept our lives as they are and excuses designed to protect us from possible failure and pain. A life coach will help you imagine what your life COULD be and most importantly what you want it to be. You will begin to connect your head and heart to turn passions into dreams and learn how to create what you crave.

  2. Strategy – A life coach will teach you to actively change your life by design instead of by default. Coaches address specific projects or challenges, whether personal or professional, examine what the obstacles might be, and help you choose a course of action.

  3. Liberty – Coaching is designed to empower clients to understand that they don’t need to be given the answers. Instead, coaches are trained to ask questions and use specific tools to provide a roadmap for clients to unlock the answers within. You will learn how to make your own unequivocal and unapologetic decisions to achieve your success.

  4. Community – Life coaches often work both with individuals and in small group workshops. One of the beautiful outcomes of workshops is the sense of togetherness and fellowship that develops between participants. Inevitably they draw strength from shared experience. But even in one-on-one sessions, a life coach will use his/her personal journeys and combine those with stories of other clients to provide proof of possibility.

  5. Accountability – When you choose to work with a life coach, you are blessed with your greatest cheerleader, but also challenged with a relentless taskmaster. Coaches don’t seek to see people’s walls and tear them down; instead, they get people to the point where they are ready to see their own walls and tear them down themselves. But the coach will always be there to double check the demolition and hold clients accountable to their vision.

While these five outcomes may not be as aesthetically pleasing as a six pack, I firmly believe they will have an even more profound impact on your wellbeing. When you’re ready for clarity, strategy, liberty, community and accountability, I look forward to HEARING FROM YOU.

Lisa Panos, Life Coach

https://lisapanos.com/

Refinance in the fall

The fall season is the perfect time to consider refinancing. If you’re unsure about why you should consider it, we’re going to help you.

The following are some of the most popular reasons people decide to refinance in the fall.

The Holidays Are Coming

If people lower their mortgage payments, they will have more money they can put towards gifts during the holidays. Even a savings of a couple hundred dollars can do wonders for holiday budgets, so let us help you keep your head above financial waters this year.

Setting Up the New Year for Financial Success

The year is ending, and people are reflecting on the past year. Some of them may be a bit stressed about their finances, and refinancing can be a way to relieve some of that paycheck to paycheck way of life. Let us help find ways to relieve some of the financial stress – let’s talk about how much you really can save per month by refinancing.

Lower Monthly Payments or Downsizing

With the housing market slowing down due to the holidays and colder months, many people are considering a move in the new year. This is especially true for people who are looking to downsize. But if you really don’t want to move, consider the option of refinancing instead of downsizing, which would allow you to stay in your current home. If you don’t decide to refinance, we are ready to help finance a new home.

Save Money Over Time

For people who have a mortgage with a high mortgage rate, they can save a lot of money by refinancing. Take a look at your current rate, and compare it to what the rate is now. Add in how much money you could save if you decide to refinance – savings over time means a lot to your future.

Get Estimates

Not all mortgage companies, banks and brokers are created equal. Each have different charges, closing costs etc. It is a good idea to talk to 2 or 3 companies. I can give names of trusted people who I work with and do a great job. Contact us today to get started.

Moving in? It’s time to create a home inventory

Homeowner and renter insurance plans are designed to protect you in the event of a disaster such as a fire. But with all the items in an average household, it’s imperative that you document your belongings so that you can file an accurate and timely claim should you need to. When moving, many families buy new appliances or furniture and in some cases get rid of other items. That’s why once you’re settled into your new home, it’s an ideal time to create or update your home inventory. Here are the three components of an effective home inventory:

Photos or video. You can take photos or video, but you’ll want shots of entire rooms and close-ups of items such as electronics, jewelry, collectibles, guns and any individual items of significant value. It’s a good idea if you’re using video to provide a narration as you walk through each room, explaining what you are recording.

A written inventory. You’ll also want to prepare a written inventory of your belongings. You can create a Word document on your computer or use a blank sheet of paper or a worksheet like this one from the National Association of Realtors. Keep your written inventory with receipts for items you’ve purchased.

Safe storage. If you have a fireproof safe, keep both your visual and written inventories there or in another safe place. You also may want to keep a copy off-site as well, in a safe-deposit box or with a trusted friend or family member. If your written and visual inventory is saved electronically, make sure it’s backed up.

Having a home inventory makes surviving and dealing with a home disaster a lot less stressful. Could you imagine trying to recount every single item in your home that was damaged, destroyed or stolen? With a home inventory, you’re more ready for the unexpected.

The Biggest Home Improvement Mistake That Folks Make

Homeowners are expected to spend a near record $317 billion on home improvement this year. \

The trend is expected to continue, as areas have fewer homes for sale and homeowners have little incentive to move from homes with record low fixed mortgage rates, experts say.

What's the biggest home improvement mistake that most folks make? Over-improving one's home can be the costliest, housing experts say. Remodeling magazine found that only attic insulation netted an immediate return on investment (108%). A new entry door was next best (91%). Even the popular minor kitchen remodel only netted an 80% return. 

In time, these improvements will net a return. But sometimes homeowners customize and overspend, thinking they'll sell at a profit in the future, but are unlikely to ever recoup their investments. There is no harm in over spending if you realize that it won’t get you a return, but if you are doing solely for the return, it’s best to do some research first.