8.22.2010

Faailure to Launch

Failure to Launch: What exactly is happening with young adults that they seem to malinger well into their late twenties - delaying driver's permits, seeking irrelevant, if any, jobs, sleeping in their childhood bedrooms? 

"We’re in the thick of what one sociologist calls “the changing timetable for adulthood.” Sociologists traditionally define the “transition to adulthood” as marked by five milestones: completing school, leaving home, becoming financially independent, marrying and having a child. In 1960, 77 percent of women and 65 percent of men had, by the time they reached 30, passed all five milestones. Among 30-year-olds in 2000, according to data from the Census Bureau, fewer than half of the women and one-third of the men had done so. A Canadian study reported that a typical 30-year-old in 2001 had completed the same number of milestones as a 25-year-old in the early ’70s.
"Delaying marriage and parenthood until one's 30s is generally seen as a good idea these days, but postponing financial independence is another matter. The phenomenon of 20-somethings living with their parents (partially or even fully supported by them) is so widespread that most people reading this have surely witnessed it, many within their own families. It's a frequent topic of puzzled discussion among people my age, who wonder why things have changed so much in a generation."


Improve Communication: Couple's Communication Repairs
We’re on the same team
I want to hear you better
Help me to see your point of view
Let me cool down so I can avoid reacting
Both of us are a somewhat right
I am feeling unheard/disrespected/unloved
Your feelings are valid
Let’s try to behave differently from this point forward
My role in this is _____________
How do you see tomorrow/our trip/your day off/the party going?
Let’s be tender with each other


Avoid:  (eye rolling, sighing, turning your back, tight fists, hands on hips)
You always___________________
You never____________________
This is how you are
This is how I am
I've told you before

8.15.2010

e.g. "...Mistake No. 3: Taking rejection personally... Mistake No. 6: Absorbing too much news

Local San Diego Agency that provides terrific services such as housing, drug/alcohol counseling,  work skills, employment, and veteran assistance. In fact, this is a wonderful organization that is always seeking furniture, donations, and funding. Check em' out!

8.10.2010

A Stroke of Insight - TED Talk
Jill Bolte Taylor got a research opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: She had a massive stroke, and watched as her brain functions -- motion, speech, self-awareness -- shut down one by one. 
One morning, a blood vessel in Jill Bolte Taylor's brain exploded. As a brain scientist, she realized she had a ringside seat to her own stroke. She watched as her brain functions shut down one by one: motion, speech, memory, self-awareness ...Amazed to find herself alive, Taylor spent eight years recovering her ability to think, walk and talk. She has become a spokesperson for stroke recovery and for the possibility of coming back from brain injury stronger than before. In her case, although the stroke damaged the left side of her brain, her recovery unleashed a torrent of creative energy from her right. From her home base in Indiana, she now travels the country on behalf of the Harvard Brain Bank as the "Singin' Scientist."
Brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor studied her own stroke as it happened -- and has become a powerful voice for brain recovery. An astonishing story.

8.04.2010

What to do when your minors are beneficiaries, from FRUGAL DAD:
If you name minors as beneficiaries of your trust and/or your IRA you face a unique dilemma.
You may want to leave money to the kids. But you may fear they don’t have the experience or maturity to make smart decisions when it comes to cash.
This can be especially difficult when there are no adults that you trust enough to put in charge of the money.
What should you do?
Let’s resolve this problem by first looking at the trust money.
If you name minors as beneficiaries of the trust, you will have to find an adult that can administer the assets (at least) until they reach the age of majority or longer. You don’t have a choice.
This person doesn’t have to be the parent or guardian of the children but it must be someone you trust and someone over age 18.
Keep in mind that you can change this person as often as you like. Your trust is a living/breathing document. Nothing is cast in stone.
You can also name a professional trustee – although I don’ recommend it.
And remember – a miracle could happen. You might live long enough for the minor to become a responsible adult. This is exactly what happens most of the time.
What I’m saying is, when it comes to your trust, don’t get worked up over nothing. Do the best you can. Name the best trustee you can. Consider this issue well while you’re drafting your trust but don’t worry about doing it perfectly. You can always make changes later.
Your IRA beneficiary is a different story. If you name a minor as a beneficiary or contingent beneficiary, special rules apply.
If your IRA beneficiary is a minor when you die, the minor must set up a beneficiary IRA (because the minor (hopefully) isn’t your spouse). Different financial institutions treat this issue in various ways.
Some companies will allow the minor to set up the beneficiary IRA. When the minor does this, she’ll have to name a “custodian” who is over 18 years of age. This is the IRA equivalent of a trustee. This custodian signs the application and makes decisions about withdrawals on behalf of the minor.
The problem is that your financial institution will probably allow your minor to name anyone he or she wants as “custodian” of the account.
You may not want this.
For example….let’s say your 17 year old daughter names her 19 year old boyfriend as custodian. Is that really what you had in mind?
I don’t think so.
The solution?
Take care of this now.
If you name a minor as beneficiary (or contingent beneficiary) in your IRA, amend the beneficiary document now. You can simply spell out (on that document) who you want the custodian to be for your minor beneficiary. While the financial institution isn’t obligated to honor your request, they probably will.
Problem solved…if you take action.
Note from Frugal Dad:  Neal and I have discussed this very matter on several occasions as our family’s situation changed a bit after my mom’s death last year. We had to appoint a new trustee/guardian for our kids as part of the painful (but necessary) process of updating our wills. Because probate/estate law can vary from state to state, I highly recommend consulting an attorney and/or a certified financial planner in your area to help draft the proper documents.