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FAIR Forum Recap: Feb. 7

Kelly Robare,

March 06, 2017

Managing Your Money


On Tuesday, February 7,2017, the UBT FAIR Program hosted the first quarterly FAIR Forum of 2017. The title of the seminar was “Making the Most of your Retirement Income.”  Nearly fifty attendees gathered at our Calvert Building to learn more about a topic that interests nearly everyone: saving where we can so we have more to spend on what’s important to us. Our presenters, all experts in their respective fields, understand that, and they kept us captivated down to the very last minute.

Dan Stous, an Investment Officer with UBT’s Union Investment Management Group, gave a particularly edifying presentation entitled “Maximizing Your Investments by Minimizing Your Mistakes.” He talked about common errors made by investors of any age, including misunderstanding fees, timing the market (I just learned this term, it means trying to capture returns by speculating what the markets will do), taking the wrong amount of risk, and not diversifying.  An interesting point made by Dan is that two people can have similar sized portfolios, but their asset allocation may be very different based upon their return requirement.  He recommends sticking with your chosen strategy until your circumstances change – not until some sort of market event. Dan fielded many questions afterward, ranging from very general investment questions to inquiries on specific funds. Whether you are a seasoned investor or just starting out, it’s wise to get a second opinion from a trusted individual, and clearly our group felt comfortable in this environment.

Tracie L. Foreman, a Community Health Educator/CPT with Aging Partners, entertained and informed as only Tracie can. She shared the top ten things retired Americans waste their money on. In case you were curious, helping their kids with debt, taking the grandkids for fast food, and coffee shop visits were the top three. For those who are interested in curtailing routine expenses (and who isn’t?), Tracie had ideas for saving on everything from clothing and gifts to prescriptions and medical testing. For routine health care, Tracie suggested the very affordable services provided by Vermeer House Health Promotion Center and also educated us on the Aging Partners Health and Fitness Center, which has new equipment, certified trainers on staff and is available to seniors for a suggested monthly contribution of $10.00. There is a wide selection of health education and fitness classes offered through the agency at various locations throughout the city for a suggested contribution for seniors of $4.00 per class. Yoga or Tai Chi, anyone?

Jeannine Bryant, the owner of Changing Spaces Senior Relocation Services, spoke to the group about “finding” extra money in the form of selling unused or unwanted items. Garage sales, consignment and online sites are great ways to turn junk into jingle and, if you are moving, an estate sale might be the way to go. Changing Spaces SRS helps seniors downsize, or “rightsize”, as Jeannine likes to call it. When one of their clients decides to make a move (usually to a smaller space), Jeannine and her staff help them assess the new floorplan, decide what to take and ensure that it will all fit. Other popular services offered include sorting, packing, managing move day, unpacking and organizing in the new space, then going back and dealing with what’s left over, usually in the form of an estate sale. She often assists clients in sorting, whether or not there is a move on the horizon, in order to de-clutter and live their best life now.  Jeannine warned against spending money on storage facilities, which can be quite costly. Dealing with the contents now can save you hundreds, if not thousands, each year. What a windfall!

All attendees had the opportunity to meet with our presenters face to face, obtain more materials from them, and even schedule appointments for their services, where applicable. We are all looking forward to Tracie Foreman’s return on May 2, 2017 for our second quarter FAIR Forum. Her presentation, “Laughing Matters,” promises to be both fun and interesting, as it is on the many health benefits of having a sense of humor. We hope you can join us!

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