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Bluffton, OH 45817

September 2014 - Good Grief & What Every Young Family Needs to Know

"Two to five years!  Wow, that’s a long time.  Do I have to deal with this that long?” I said to myself.  I was sitting in our first Grief/Share meeting watching a video with my wife Shannon and others in the group.  I knew we shouldn’t try to put a time limit on dealing with grief from the recent death of our son but there is a tendency to assume we can fix things sooner.  We were still dealing with the loss of our God-daughter Kelly, my uncle Bill, Shannon’s mom and dad Callista and Neil, her uncle Forrest, and several other friends in the last 1 ½ years.  I have heard from different sources through the years that everyone deals with grief differently and you cannot predict the timeline of healing.  But I was very surprised at the length of time needed to allow for healing…and that was a minimum amount!

I am a problem solver for others and nothing satisfies me more than to help folks with their life concerns and challenges.  That usually involves building relationships.  My 45 years of work experience have been in the areas of customer service, management, training, pastoral care, missions, counseling, and consulting.  The last 11 years, as owner of my own firm, I use all those experiences together almost every day, mainly (but not exclusively) focusing on financial issues.  Every pore of my skin is attuned to listen well and then help people work toward a solution.  However, I am now in a period of life where I cannot control my own timeline.  I was thinking maybe a year but two to five years or more?? Wow!

So Shannon’s life and mine are forever changed.  Really, though, this is nothing new to any of us.  The longer we live, the more our lives are subject to significant changes.  Career paths, church involvement, and societal demands change regularly and are added to the typical births, deaths, and health issues that affect all of us.  Sometimes, it can feel like a full-time job just trying to keep these changes contained at a manageable level!   

All of these life events have financial implications also.  Every time there is a change to your circumstances, there are ramifications -- whether small or great.  That is why we consistently encourage our clients and readers to strategically talk about these issues with significant professionals and even family members.  I am one of those significant professionals.  Others are your attorney, tax preparer, and pastor. 

I am so proud of clients who really get this point.  At a recent annual review, my clients told me they are talking with their attorney to update the wills, POAs, and Trust documents AND they asked their children to participate!  That is awesome. We realize that not every professional or family member needs to be contacted and certainly not all at once, but we believe it is very important to start.  A good first step is to schedule an appointment to have a discussion with me.  Another place to start is to attend one of our open workshops where we deliver the information you need to consider.  We are having two such workshops this fall, targeted toward young families. Please check out the details that follow.

 So many of you reading this newsletter have supported  us through your kind thoughts, words, and  prayers whether by facebook, email, cards, letters, or in person.  Thank you so much.  We are so  grateful and it has enabled us to start the healing process and be restored.  We are not going to shortcut this process though.  We are going to take our time and allow healing to work its way through our lives.  Like a dear Mississippi client, colleague, scholar, and friend said in a recent email:

“Grief is real and, as my friend Charlie Brown always says, ‘Good grief!’  Grief is good when it brings us full circle back to the God who created us with the capacity to love deeply always and to hurt deeply when we suffer loss.” 

How can I argue with that logic?

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Faith Investment Services was a recent sponsor of the De Colores Dash 5K run in Bluffton, OH on September 7.   This family fun run was held to raise funds for local charities.

 

Faith Investment Services staff and associates will be attending some conferences this fall to help us stay abreast of changes in our industry.   We look forward to the Fall Conference of cfd Investments in Kokomo, Indiana and the Ash Brokerage Conference in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. 

WHAT EVERY YOUNG FAMILY NEEDS TO KNOW

We sat in Gary’s office — Gary, Scott Basinger, and I — and we brainstormed about young families.   What struggles do they face? What do they need to know?  What important issues do they tend to put off?  How can we help them?  How can we create urgency so that they seek help?

The issues on the list were quite varied: 

· college funding

· guardianship for minor children

· trusts and trustees in the event of death

· 529 plans

· abusing retirement plans to help children

· savings, insurance, wills

· buying a home (PMI, credit scores, etc.)

· budgeting

Gary and Scott both see individuals and families who need this information — and unfortunately they often see those who sought the information ‘too late’.   Young widows who are dealing with the aftermath of an untimely death.  Someone just starting to plan retirement in their 50s or 60s  because they’ve been helping kids up until then.  Families with poor credit and much accumulated debt who cannot readily pursue the dream of home ownership.  It is their firm belief that taking the time to have a simple conversation and to ask a few questions EARLY in their lives would save much heartache and grief.  

 Who is a young family?  I believe it begins with anyone who has launched out of their parents’ home and begun living and working on their own.   The issues they face are increased with marriage and/or children.   It is really never too early to hear good advice!!

I especially want to encourage our clients and friends to invite their adult children to attend these workshops.  If you’ve benefitted from Gary’s expertise, you are in the best position to recommend a conversation.  Perhaps you could offer to watch the children while they come — or make an evening of it and come along with them? 

Gary and Scott will have a basic presentation and then will use the majority of the time to answer questions.  This will be casual and much of the time they will sit and have a discussion together, while we get to ‘listen in!’  

The workshops are $10 each evening (for a single, couple, or entire extended family) and pre-registration is required.   Email kdunlap@cfdinvestments.com or call 419-358-4207 to register.   Mark Monday October 6 and November 10 on your calendar now!!

Family friendly investing