How to Select the Investments in your 401(k)

Whether they have a 401(k), 403(b), 457, or other employer sponsored retirement plan, one of the first questions people typically ask me is, “How should I invest the money in my retirement plan?” Your investment options are typically limited and often come with little or no advice from a professional. Consult your 401k representative: If you contact your human resources department, they’re likely to provide some fact sheets on the investments in your plan but little beyond that. If you contact the 401k company, they’ll likely do the same. I suggest contacting the plan representative. This is the person who […]

Talking to Your Heirs About Money

One issue for people as they age is communicating with their heirs about the inheritance they could receive. Some people are uncomfortable talking to their heirs about money while others are concerned that their heirs could become lazy while they wait on a windfall. Talking with your children early about money in general and later about the money they might inherit can help your heirs become more responsible with the money they’ll receive. Here are some resources to get you started: This article from Kiplinger’s (Bit.ly/2wYIHJo) does a good job of outlining the importance of these conversations and some steps […]

Conlicts? Try Alternative Dispute Resolution

Nearly all disputes between employees and their managers (or the company for which they work) can be resolved through forthright, honest communications. But in a fast-moving, complex business environment, conflicts and differences can arise which need the intervention of someone who is not directly involved. For those occasions, some organizations provide a formal process of resolution that can involve up to five steps. Alternative Resolution is an internal process that allows employees to resolve employment disputes with the company in confidence and without fear of reprisal. What kinds of disputes are covered? In general, any dispute that arises from a […]

Applying Al-Anon Teachings at Work

A passage from Al-Anon text reads, “Let me reflect how much damage I may have done, and may still do, by saying the first thing that comes to mind. Let me realize that the worst reaction of unbridled anger falls upon me. What I say in a single moment of uncontrolled rage can have inconceivable long-range consequences.” Reading this in the morning, and then again a few hours later, the words began to sink in. I might add that while these sentences are not necessary intended for the workplace, there is certainly an ability to apply them so. While it […]

Coaching and Counseling

Most people in business can relate to this situation: There’s a person on your team or in your department who you enjoy working with and who shows true potential. This same person also has room for polishing. Let’s say this employee’s demeanor around the office is very pleasant and engaging but her customer-service skills are less than stellar. You know she’s teachable but she can also be defensive and/or sensitive. Your next counseling technique could save or destroy a chance for this employee to stay with the team. If she does stay, your coaching tactics will determine whether or not […]

Change Management

Think of a time when you had to manage someone’s expectations on something that was changing. It can be something from work – a change in process or a change in staff, perhaps. It can also be something on a smaller scale – a change in logistics for a family gathering or community fundraiser. In either element, change management always plays a part. Organizations will always see ebbs and flows in their methods and processes. Change is tough for most people – it can be challenging, worrisome, and intimidating. How do we face change in our organization, manage all shifting […]

Market Volatility

Market volatility has returned in 2018. While volatility seems scary, it’s quite normal and healthy. By comparison to the nearly straight-up trajectory of the market the past nine years, the past six months does seem nerve racking. It’s normal – Keep in mind that we’d expect to see a 10% or greater decline (a “correction”) in the market every 12 to 18 months, yet we’ve only seen four such declines since the market started rebounding in March 2009. That’s an average of one correction every 27 months. If for nothing else, we’re due to catch up in volatility after enjoying […]

Implicit Bias in the Workplace

Recently, I had the fortunate experience of sitting through a six-hour workshop which focused on implicit bias in the workplace. Implicit biases are your opinions, beliefs, and stance on a multitude of issues and topics that are made at the subconscious level. For the most past, we are mostly aware of our opinions, beliefs, and stances on a conscious, cognitive, level. To dive deeper means to stare into the mirror of introspection and ask ourselves: Why? In order to answer this question honestly, one must take a step back to reflect on things such as birthplace, neighborhood, family dynamics, socio-economic […]

Time Management

I am finding myself saying more often these days that “time is our most precious commodity.” Maybe it seems that way since I am growing older, and it feels like I am running out of time. Pressure at home to spend quality time with my husband, with family and friends, for maintaining a home, etc; and pressure at work where there is increased pressure to deliver on commitments and to achieve more with fewer resources. Lately, it seems that by Friday afternoon, reflecting back on the work week, there remains tasks undone, and not only in the office. I decided […]

We all can use a friend, but Who Needs a Trustee?

What is a trustee? A trustee is a person or a company that holds and manages assets for a third party. Often that includes someone managing a trust for a beneficiary. Trustees are fiduciaries, meaning that they have a duty to manage the trust in a responsible manner and in the best interest of the beneficiaries within the framework established by the trust document. Who can be a trustee? You can name anyone you’d like to be a trustee. That person will not only have significant responsibility over the trust assets, he or she will also be in regular contact […]