Updated: Jan 21
There's no way to write about anything important without at least a nod to this week's long-awaited Inauguration. Welcome back democracy, decency, dignity and hope! We embraced the images, the poetry and the messages of unity and truth we heard. And yes - we were moved to tears by the swearing in of the first woman, Black and South Asian American Vice President, Kamala Harris, by the first Latina Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor!
What does this mean for us as women? As Americans? As humans homebound and hurting from the year-long pandemic? President Biden has ambitious plans: a $1.9 trillion economic and health-care relief package and a proposed Agenda for Women that includes childcare, paid leave, equal pay, minimum wage and other meaningful protections. This is welcomed news on all fronts!
The repeated message on Wednesday? Unity. The United States, united. Music to our ears, yes, but also a concept that lies at the core of Woman's Compass Forum. We firmly believe the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. That's why we joined forces to bring women the combined power of three very different disciplines. Working together, we are stronger, more knowledgeable, and more powerful than we are alone. As a community we are bolstered and supported, collaborative and empowering.
The issues facing our country right now require strong, unprecedented, unified effort. The issues we deal with in our own lives require the same unified approach. Imagine support from a team of experts, working together on your behalf. How helpful would that be as we enter the second year of pandemic and economic downturn? Here are just a few tips - from all three areas - to help keep you going strong:
Make time for yourself. Don't underestimate how a little time for yourself can restore and recharge your energy levels. This could look like a 10 minute walk outside, a short breath-centered meditation or a barefoot dance around your kitchen to your favorite song. Check in with your internal landscape and ask yourself how you can cultivate more balance between your energy level and the tasks and activities you are involved in at the moment. A short break can bring you back to them with more focus and clarity.
Try a guided meditation. We love the CALM app for meditations, grown up bedtime stories and tips for that short break. Michelle has set her default scene on a tropical beach with the sites and sound of waves breaking on white sand! Who wouldn't love that?
Life Insurance. It’s an important time to think about life insurance. Do you need it? Do you have enough? How much do you need? Check out this calculator! Galia generally believes that - for most of us - term life insurance is enough. Don’t Stop Contributing to Your Retirement! If you aren’t earning as much money as you hoped, open or contribute to a ROTH IRA if your income is lower than $135,000 (single) or $199,000 (married). The maximum amount to contribute is $6,000 per year - plus another $1,000 if you are over 50. You can do this at Vanguard or Fidelity. Consider Short-Term Savings options. Some low risk options include: marcus.com, americanexpresssavings.com, Short Term Bond mutual funds at Vanguard and Fidelity, and Asset Manager funds with 85% bonds.
Chose a trusted person to make healthcare decisions for you if you weren't able to. Different states have their own forms of healthcare proxy, many of which have different names -- including durable power of attorney for healthcare or healthcare agent. Consider also what kind of life-sustaining medical care you would want - and under what conditions. Complete an advance directive (or living will) making your wishes known.
Draft a will appointing a guardian for your minor children and distributing your assets. Depending on the size and complexity of your estate and personal circumstances, consider a Revocable Trust as well. Create a durable financial power of attorney, especially if you own your own business. Name someone to make financial/business decisions for you (and keep your business going) if you became incapacitated. The best way to move forward is with a unified team and supportive community. If you want to be empowered in the essential areas of money, law and wellness, register now for Woman’s Compass Forum. Our next 3-month online course starts February 2!