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Questions your financial advisor would not expect you to ask

NASHVILLE VOICE — Have a meeting scheduled soon with your financial advisor? If so, it could be time to ask a few probing questions that might surprise and challenge him or her, but could help you be better prepared if the U.S. economy takes a turn for the worse that some economic forecasters are predicting.

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By Pride Newsdesk

Have a meeting scheduled soon with your financial advisor?

If so, it could be time to ask a few probing questions that might surprise and challenge him or her, but could help you be better prepared if the U.S. economy takes a turn for the worse that some economic forecasters are predicting.

But first, before that meeting and before you start posing those questions, it’s important to understand some of the factors affecting the economy’s future and why there are potential problems that likely won’t go away, says Nahum Daniels, a Certified Financial Planner and Retirement Income Certified Professional.

“Many Americans today have anxiety confronting retirement,” says Daniels , author of Retire Reset!: What You Need to Know and Your Financial Advisor May Not Be Telling You. “And in an unfortunate turn for baby boomers, the U.S. economy is struggling to recover from one of the worst downturns in generations.

“When closely examined, the retirement challenges we face as a society are actually much more complex than they first appear. The mainstream media skate along the surface, pointing to baby boomers with inadequate personal savings who are looking to a fragile (if not insolvent) Social Security system unable to make up the difference.

“But upon deeper analysis, there’s much more to the problem in the U.S. and globally. That includes slowing population growth, shrinking consumer demand, exploding debt, inflated financial bubbles in the stocks and bonds market, deflationary wage and employment pressures, and overspent governments. The connectivity of these global forces may be forming a tsunami.”

Daniels says those in retirement or nearing it are going to want answers from their advisors on how to avoid pitfalls in a possibly volatile future economy. And it starts, he says, by asking the right, penetrating questions. The answers may depend on your particular situation, but the important thing is that you and your advisor have a deeper conversation about your situation and that you are satisfied with the answers:

Do you think our economy faces the risk of an extended period of secular stagnation and, if you do, how do you think my nest egg should be positioned to counteract any negative effects?

Is the possibility of a volatile economic future during my retirement years worthy of hedging against and, if so, how?

Do you believe that our low rates of economic growth reflect bad tax policy predominantly and that corporate tax relief in the U.S. will turn our economy around for the long term?

How reliable are my Social Security and pension benefits, and do you think I should start taking them, or would it be better to defer them for as long as possible?

Can I retire before paying off all of my debt, or should I keep working until I’m completely debt free?

“Some prominent economists predict a long-term slowdown in economic activity, productivity and innovation,” Daniels said. “And neither fiscal (tax) nor monetary (Fed) policies alone may be able to reverse it. Consequently, our personal nest eggs have taken on a level of importance they haven’t previously had.”

This article originally appeared in the Nashville Voice

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Advice

Commentary: Tips for Staying Safe (Emotionally) as Pandemic Drags On

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the Delta variant have fundamentally changed many of our lives, the way we live and the manner in which we interact with each other, and how we live, work and play together.   

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African woman meditating sit at desk in front of pc, serene mixed-race female closed eyes folded fingers mudra symbol do exercise practising yoga reducing anxiety stress positive frame of mind concept/iStock

Many of us are tired, stressed and impatient having to live our lives under this seemingly never-ending pandemic. 

In early spring, many of us were hopeful that COVID-19 was coming to an end.  We began making plans for the summer, from visiting family and friends to attending concerts, plays, planning for vacations and special milestones, and basically “just returning to normal life activities.”  

However, as life would have it, the Delta variant appeared. We were again confronted with the inability to control most aspects of our lives.  In fact, most recently, scientists have purported that we may expect additional variants for years to come.

According to the California Department of Public Health, in February 2021, only 2% of Black Californians were vaccinated. However, as of October 5, 4.2 % of all Black Californians have received at least one dose of vaccine. Representing about 6 % of California’s overall population, we as a community remain behind on our vaccination rate.   

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the Delta variant have fundamentally changed many of our lives, the way we live and the manner in which we interact with each other, and how we live, work and play together.   

This pandemic has reinforced that there are so many aspects of our lives that we cannot control. And anytime we cannot control our lives and/or our environment, we tend to feel helpless which leads to anxiety and possibly depression.  

So, what can a person do, when life does not go as you planned and are impatient for this pandemic to end?  Here are some tips that have been recommended by the experts:

  1. I know this might sound cliché, but recognizing and understanding your feelings, whether you are sad, angry, stressed, or frightened. Accept, do not negate, how you feel.  
  2. The ability to bounce back and adapt to difficult situations is crucial to wellness.  You have to believe in yourself, your ability to be strong and to try your best – relying on various proven self-care methods — to stay positive.
  3. Try having an attitude of gratitude.  Think about just a few little things or events that are going well in your life daily and in the life of your family and friends.
  4. When you feel overwhelmed…. just breathe…Yes, literally, just breathe in through your nose, hold it and exhale through your mouth a few times or meditate by remembering a verse, phrase, poem, or visualizing a tranquil place for just a few seconds. Still yourself.   
  5. Look back on the good times that you have had and treasure those memories.
  6. Plan a reasonably safe event you can look forward to in the near future that will bring you joy or fulfillment. 
  7. Stop thinking negative.  It’s difficult when life feels as if it’s spiraling out of control but find ways to prove that your negative thoughts are either wrong or that the sky will not fall.  Remind yourself that life and circumstances can and do change.  Turn those negative thoughts into positive affirmations.  Have faith and confidence. 
  8. With so many things going on that are out of our control and often make us feel helpless, focus on what you CAN control in your life.  
  1. Take care of yourself. Exercise, even walking 20 minutes a day, eating healthy, sleep on a regular schedule, turn off electronic devises at least one hour before bed, avoid alcohol and substance use, especially before bedtime, connect with community or faith-based organizations, and/or reach out to your local mental health provider, employee assistance program.

Lenore A. Tate, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Sacramento, California. She specializes in neuropsychology, behavioral health and geriatrics.

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Advice

Know Your Zone

New Evacuation System for Alameda County

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Alameda County has launched a new evacuation software system, Zonehaven, to provide neighborhood-level evacuation orders in the event of an emergency such as a wildfire. Under this system, all parts of Alameda are divided into zones to improve evacuation management. The website, which is compatible with computers, smart phones, and laptops, provides real-time data in the event of an emergency such as traffic conditions, weather, and incident location.

Know Your Zone before the next emergency – look up your zone number and memorize it. Be sure to bookmark the webpage for quick access to the site.

community.zonehaven.com

For more details, watch the Know Your Zone PSA HERE. This is a new tool that will complement existing emergency notifications, including AC Alert and Nixle. If you have not already, sign up for AC Alerts at acalert.org.

Become a Peer Counselor

In this online learning event, participants will learn how to develop therapeutic skills ‘just by listening and being kind.” There is the opportunity to practice skills needed to be present for others experiencing difficulties in life, work, home, school, or community.

It will take place on Wednesday, August 25, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. The session will be presented by Briana Moore of the Ahbedelight Education and Consulting Symposiums.

Being present requires the ability to listen for and be mindful of the other person or group. Participants will explore active listening skills, learn new creative tools, and develop an understanding of how stress and chronic stress can cause harm to the body, mind, and spirit. Register by August 23, 2021. REGISTER HERE

If you can’t attend on August 25, but would like to receive a link to a recording and resources, CLICK HERE.

Serve Your Community

Supervisor Carson needs District 5 Representatives in the following boards and commissions:

  • Alameda County Fair Association Board of Directors (1)
  • Public Health Commission (1)
  • Parks, Recreation & Historical Commission (1)
  • Consumer Affairs Commission (1)
  • Veterans Affairs Commission (1)

This is an opportunity to serve your community and represent District 5! Please note the eligibility requirements and commitments associated with each position.

For more information and to apply, visit the Boards and Commissions site: https://acgov.org/bc/

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Advice

Fearing the Unknown for Vaccinations

When we choose to trust science, we should then weigh our options before we accept or reject any product touted as being the cure.  

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Vaccine Bottles/ CDC

People have a right to be distrustful about the government and its claims about any vaccination being safe and dependable, especially for people of color. 

Through the years Blacks and other minorities have repeatedly been misled, tricked and hoodwinked into taking medications, vaccinations and treatment that have been alleged to be helpful, only to be used and abused.

However, to do nothing can be equally harmful to our well-being.

So, the question arises as to what we should do?

The simple answer is to do absolutely nothing.  But, obviously, doing nothing doesn’t resolve the dilemma. I suggest that you research as much as possible and figure out what is good for you and your loved ones.

Sometimes our scientists make mistakes. What is good for one person may have the opposite effect on another.

These can be life-and-death situations, so to err in decision-making can be fatal. You must trust your heart and understanding of what is at stake and be confident in your choice.

When we choose to trust science, we should then weigh our options before we accept or reject any product touted as being the cure.

The Tuskegee experiment was just a fragment of what was going on then, and, in some instances, experimentation with Black lives still exists. If need be, pray for a better outcome before you plunge yourself into the unknown.

Never allow group data, either pro or con, to be the deciding factor.

Personally, I took the vaccination in hopes to show that the perceived harm may be misplaced.

To this very day I have not had any known complications materialize from that shot. I can’t speak for the future, and I feel all that can be done is do what you feel is feasible and allow it to play out one way or another. I did the research and I got vaccinated.

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