Apprise’s Five Favorite Reads for the Week of January 8, 2023

my three words for 2023
My three words for 2023! Plus: our five favorite reads from the last two weeks.
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In the past, I have read about the “my three words” concept. I thought about adopting it but haven’t. While on the elliptical for the first time this year, I was reading another writer’s three words. This year inspiration hit me when I read that article.

The My Three Words idea is simple. Choose three words that can help guide your choices and daily actions. If you use these words properly they can help make it easier to say “no” to a project. If the project does not align with your three words, you should say “no.” You can read this blog to learn more about the process.

The more often you review your words the better. I have included mine as part of my 2023 business and impact plan. They relate to my most important personal and professional goals this year. I hope you don’t mind my sharing them here. Sharing them in this blog will help make me more accountable. I plan to make this a regular process going forward. I’ll check back in and let you know how I did at this time next year.

My three words for 2023

  • Communication
  • Value
  • Focus

Let me share why I chose these words.

Communication

Financial planning is about more than numbers. It’s about aligning your money with what’s most important to you. It should position you to live your desired lifestyle now and in the future. When I work with clients on their financial plans, I ask the three Kinder questions as part of Apprise’s life-planning approach. These questions help me learn what matters most to Apprise’s clients. It makes it easier to set priorities in their financial plan. I want to get better at this process, as it will improve the experience for clients, so I’m taking additional training.

In October, I completed the Kinder Institute of Life Planning’s course – The Seven Stages of Money Maturity. The class highlighted the power of listening. During some exercises, we were in dyads. We asked our partners a question. They had up to two-and-a-half minutes to answer. We had to remain silent while our partner answered. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Try it; you’ll see. We all want to talk. We want to share our experiences and show how we identify with people. But remaining silent is powerful. Giving a person the chance to pause and reflect on their answer helps you gain much greater insight into that person. You also get better answers.

Next month, I will take the second stage of this training – EVOKE. It’s a five-day, in-person program. The past participants I talked to described it as a life-changing experience both personally and professionally. After that, I will complete a six-month mentorship program. Then I will achieve the Registered Life Planner (RLP®) designation.

I am looking forward to the experience and the opportunity to improve my communication skills. Apprise will also host a client event this Thursday. George Kinder will join me for a virtual conversation. I can’t wait.

Value

Sometimes people find it hard to understand the value that comes with working with a financial advisor on an ongoing basis. Financial plans represent an important component of the relationship. But financial plans are not static documents. They need to be updated as life changes. Not everything works out as planned either. Questions come up. You can reach out to your advisor and ask questions about your finances. Advisors with a good understanding of taxes can help you with tax planning. You can save money on taxes – both now and in the future. This leaves you with more money to spend today or to save for tomorrow.

I want to make the value that Apprise provides to clients more apparent. As a result, in 2023, I plan to create a more formalized annual service process. Providing periodic value-added services should make it easier for others to see the value that comes with working with Apprise on an ongoing basis.

Focus

Approximately two-thirds of Apprise’s client relationships are led by a woman. This woman can be single, divorced, widowed, or married. My motivation for working with female-led households comes from my desire to help women create their “Pathway to an Informed Retirement.” I want to help them avoid the struggles my mother went through before her untimely passing (you can read more about this story here). In 2023, I want to narrow this niche and focus even more on working with female-led households.

Personal aspects of My Three Words

My three words also apply to my personal goals for this year. Better communication with family and friends can strengthen relationships. I thought about using “listen” rather than communication for this word. But I chose communication because it involves asking good questions, too. Listening also involves being silent. Isn’t it interesting that listen and silent contain the same letters?

Late last year I started making some changes to my activities. They have allowed me to spend more time on the things that I value most. Spending more time on what I value leads to an increased focus on what matters.

To see the three words others have chosen, you can check this Twitter thread. Have you chosen three words for 2023? If so, please share them via email. I’ll be happy to share them – anonymously of course – in a future blog post. If you would like Apprise to work with you on your financial plan and go through your own life-planning experience, please schedule a free call.

Here are the links to this week’s articles as well as a brief description of each:

1. Money Conversations You Should Have with Your Partner Every Single Year.

Many of us don’t like talking about money. Some find it easier to talk about sex than money. Money can be an uncomfortable topic no matter how long you’ve been married. Talking about money makes it easier for you and your partner to be on the same page. It helps create action and unity. It may help you avoid future arguments. You could even strengthen your relationship. This article shares some topics to discuss, including goals related to key areas. For some suggestions to help get the conversation started, you can check out this blog. You can also click this link for some suggestions to help you get the conversation started.

2. Why you should focus on habits instead of resolutions this New Year.

We recently suggested some financial resolutions for the New Year. But history tells us that most of us have a poor track record when it comes to keeping our resolutions. We may realize greater success if we adopt habits rather than resolutions. This article shares six principles that help you adopt habits. I discussed a couple of these in my recent blog as well: Break the goal down into small chunks and set measurable goals. Check out the article for some more suggestions.

3. Building emergency savings is a top financial resolution for 2023, survey finds. Here’s how to get started.

Do you have an emergency fund that covers at least three-to-six months of your living expenses? Many don’t. Of those that do, many don’t have enough. When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, building a bigger emergency fund represents a somewhat common goal. If you want to increase your emergency fund in the coming year, you should check this article for some tips to help you get started. The suggestions can also help you better manage your finances even if building a bigger emergency fund is not one of your goals.

4. Ten Words for 2023.

Do you want to improve yourself in the coming year? Many of us want to, but we don’t always succeed. The author of this article shares 10 words that he tries to live by. They include “pause” – rather than make snap decisions, move – exercise – and listen. We can all benefit if we try to live by the words the author suggested.

5. Women More Likely to Lag in Retirement Savings.

Many women retire earlier than planned. Frequently, they do so for reasons beyond their control. I’ve shared many of the reasons why women often lag behind men when it comes to retirement savings. I discuss many of the reasons why in these two blogs: The Motherhood Penalty and Overcoming Financial Challenges Women Face. In the past, I’ve offered workshops for female investors as one of Apprise’s goals is to help women successfully transition from saving for retirement to utilizing their retirement assets in a way that can help them to maintain their desired lifestyle both now and in the future. Please click here to download our free e-book: Financial Topics for Women.

Bonus Read: How I Became a Financial Advisor: Advisors’ Advice.

I was invited to contribute to this article. If you would like to see what I had to say, please check the 11th item.

Our practice continues to benefit from referrals from our clients and friends. Thank you for your trust and confidence.

We hope you find the above articles valuable. We would be happy to address any follow-up questions you have. You can complete our contact form if you would like to talk to us about financial topics, including your investments, creating a financial plan, saving for college, or saving for retirement. Once you do that, we will be in touch. You can also schedule a call or a virtual meeting via Zoom.

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Please note. We post information about articles we think can help you make better money-related decisions on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

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