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Namaste Your Money: 5 Spiritual Practices That Can Help With Your Finances

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As of late, there has been an awakening where more people are open to trying spiritual practices in order to improve their lives. Whether it’s meditation, yoga, saying affirmations, or just believing in the law of attraction, spirituality is not as taboo as it once was. But when it comes to your finances, can we use these same principles to help us manage money better? I say yes! The following are five spiritual practices that can help you with your finances.

1. Make Peace With Your Money

Deepak Chopra says in his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, “Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask yourself if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.” This is important to apply to your money because your upbringing can affect how you deal with your finances. Do you have a scarcity mentality that is making you a money hoarder or has your money history made you a shopaholic? Whatever your money personality is, you must make peace with it and let go of any habits that are not contributing to your journey towards financial freedom. Take a moment to write down the money messages that you’ve heard coming up, reflect on what you’ve done right so far with your money, and identify the places where you have opportunities to improve. No matter the mistakes you have made, make peace with them. Forgive yourself for what was, accept what is, and begin to move in the right direction today. Letting go of the past is the best first step to creating a brighter financial future, and brighter future in general.

2. Visualize Your Abundance

The law of attraction teaches us that if we want to reach our goals, then visualization is where we should begin. By visualizing your dreams, you teach your brain to tap into the inner resources that you need to make them a reality. It allows you to see your dreams in your mind’s eye in order to accept and believe that you deserve them, and it allows you to stay positive, which will help you to stay on track to be successful in the long run. Visualizing your abundance can help you with your finances in the same way. When you can see yourself with enough money to comfortably reach all of your obligations, then it allows your brain to tap into your inner resources to make that real. When you can see your money goals achieved in your mind’s eye, you can begin to feel the way you would when they actually come to fruition, which will help you attract those outcomes faster. Also, visualizing your abundance will keep you in a positive space with your money, which will eventually attract more money to you.

3. Set Your Money Intentions

In the spiritual world, your intention is everything. If you want to manifest goodness in your life, then you first have to be intentional. As Bryant McGill once said, “Every journey begins with the first step of articulating the intention, and then becoming the intention.” What you intend for your money will have an impact on how you choose to use your money. Do you want to save more? Do you want to start a new business? Do you want to get out of debt? All of these are intentions that need to be set before you can begin making a money goal a reality. Once your intentions are set, the subsequent actions that you must take become easier to figure out.

4. Show Gratitude For Your Money

The Hawaiian Huna tradition has seven principles of life, and the third principle, “Makia,” says, “Energy flows where attention goes.” Whether good or bad, whatever you focus on the most is what you will continue to see in your life. By showing gratitude, you are telling whatever you are praising that, yes, you want more of it. Bless your money! Show it gratitude! Every penny, nickel, and dime of it. Don’t take what you have for granted and appreciate that you have it, even if you would prefer more. As Oprah Winfrey once said, “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” Apply that to your money and you will begin to notice an increasingly positive flow. Even if we look at this from a practical perspective, showing gratitude for your money will also guide where you spend your money. Those who are grateful for things will be more likely to take care of them and not be wasteful, which in turn will help you save more money.

5. Treat Other People’s Money as You Want Yours to Be Treated

The Law of Karma says, “For every action there is an equal but opposite reaction.” Simply put, that means what goes around comes around. If you put out negative energy in thought, word, or action, that negative energy will come back to you. As it relates to your money, you must realize that when you are borrowing money, whether it’s from a person or a bank, you are being trusted with these funds and there is an expectation that you will honor your word. Just like you would want your money returned to you if you lent it out, this is what others are expecting as well. As you do right with others, this same energy will come back to you.

There are other spiritual laws that can apply to your money such as giving to receive, which can be activated by sharing your wealth or the Law of Allowance, which says that you should be open to allowing others to treat you.

Namaste Your Money: 5 Spiritual Practices That Can Help With Your Finances was originally published on Popsugar.com 

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Digm Piece (Op-Ed)

5 Hidden Risks in Retirement That Could Affect Your Financial Security

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Being well-prepared for retirement is wonderful, but there is no fail-safe plan. Things can unravel due to many inherent post-retirement risks. Understanding those risks that lie ahead and how they can harm financial security is key to making critical adjustments in a retirement plan. Sometimes without those changes, the impact of unfavorable and unpredictable events can be far more severe.

“Once you have a retirement plan in place, it’s not set in stone,” says Clayton Alexander (www.retireteton.com), an investment adviser and founder of Teton Wealth Group. “Things change. You may add or lose family members, your retirement goals may change, the economic environment may create new considerations, and financial innovations may present new strategies. Once per year is a minimum in terms of making sure your retirement plans (and beneficiaries) are constantly up-to-date.”

Alexander says retirees and those making retirement plans should be aware of these five risks:  

  • Longevity. Running out of money before they die is one of the primary concerns of most retirees. This worry is heightened by the fact that the average life expectancy has increased. “A pension or an annuity can lessen the risk, but carefully investigate any company where you’d place an annuity and be cautious of fees and interest rates,” Alexander says. “It’s best to tailor your plan to run to life expectancy plus five years.”
  • Loss of income. “Make sure both you and your spouse are protected from the unexpected,” Alexander says. “Consider the financial impact of the loss of one spouse. Remember that your surviving spouse will only get the highest of your two Social Security checks. A spouse’s death can bring additional financial burdens, including lingering medical bills and debts. Life insurance and estate planning are important vehicles to protect survivors.”
  • Health care costs. Longer life expectancy could lead to high costs in a long-term care facility. “It’s estimated that approximately 50% of people over 65 will need long-term care,” Alexander says. “Do not overspend on policies that may be subject to drastic premium increases. And surprising to some, Medicare is not free — your premiums for coverage are usually deducted from your Social Security check. Medicare doesn’t cover dental, hearing or vision, is subject to deductibles, and doesn’t cover long-term care. Long-term care insurance is advisable.”
  • Negative return risk. “A 50% gain does not allow a portfolio to recover from a 50% loss,” Alexander says. “In fact, a 100% gain is required to restore a 50% loss. The ‘buy and hold’ strategy that works when you are young — where you wait for the markets to come back up after a downturn — does not apply in retirement as we saw in 2008, when many people’s retirements were wiped out. Common stocks have substantially out-performed other investments over time and thus are usually recommended for retirees as part of a balanced asset allocation strategy, but the rate of return you earn can be significantly lower than the long-term trends.”
  • Inflation risk. “You should plan on prices for food, goods and services getting higher during retirement, reducing your buying power incrementally as you are living on a fixed income,” Alexander says. “Your retirement plan has to factor that in. Ways retirees can curb the effects of inflation include annuity products with a cost-of-living adjustment feature and investing in equities, a home, and other assets.”

“Understanding what the potential post-retirement risks are and considering them in the retirement planning stage,” Alexander says, “can help to ensure that they are mitigated and properly managed.”  

About Clayton Alexander Clayton Alexander (www.retireteton.com) is an investment adviser and founder of Teton Wealth Group. A graduate of Dixie State University with a B.A. in administration, Alexander also worked at Northwestern Mutual and Goldman Sachs. He is licensed for life and health insurance in the state of Utah and has passed the Series 65 securities exam. Alexander focuses on building holistic retirement plans, and with the launch of Teton Wealth he developed the four-step Ascent Plan – a system to help clients gain clarity and perspective on creating a financial plan for safe, secure and tax-efficient retirement income and estate transition.  

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Digm Piece (Op-Ed)

Are Americans Undervaluing Paid Time off + Quick Trip Tips

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It’s August, which for many Europeans means taking almost the entire month off. So why is it difficult for Americans to take even the little vacation time they receive? A recent piece in The Economist states workers in the U.S. are doing it all wrong by going on short holidays, which can add even more stress or taking none. Instead, it’s essential for employees to recharge their batteries. It’s also beneficial for companies to have a consistent holiday month during which junior employees can head to the beach, and managers can take stock of things, says the report.

While many Americans may not receive paid time off, especially those that only work part-time, even those who receive it generally don’t take all of it. What we don’t realize is that not taking a vacation is like giving money back to your employer, especially with companies that have a use it or lose it policy. Which should encourage employees to use their time but unfortunately it does not. According to recent polls conducted by Bankrate, nearly 2600 US adults say they plan to take a quarter of their vacation days while 4% are not planning to take any vacation time at all.

Time off is a valuable perk, to the tune of millions of dollars! Just to bring the point home in 2017 Americans gave up 212 million days off that amounts to $62.2 billion in lost benefits! So, take your vacations and follow the tips below to not break the bank while taking time off:

  1. Take a Staycation – Stay local and vacation somewhere that is less than a day drive away, this helps save gas, mileage, and spending on lodging. Look for local attractions, vineyards, interesting museums and landmarks or even travel to your closest big city and be a tourist for a day. You would be amazed at how much you can discover and learn by staying local and all on the cheap! It’s a bonus if you have friends in the town your visiting they can serve as a tour guide and let you stay over for free if they have the room.
  2. Book Flights Off-Season – July 4th, Memorial Day and Labor Day seem like a great time to go on vacation; unfortunately, everyone is planning to take time off during those busy weekends, and ticket prices are through the roof because of it. Book flights after major holidays and during the week you will generally find that they are cheaper than weekend flights.
  3. Take a Road Trip – Road trips are fun and cheaper than taking a plane, especially if you must rent a car when you get to your destination anyway. Plan cool stops along the way and finds interesting places to eat that way you can make the journey part of the vacation.
  4. Plan to Eat In – Food adds up on vacation so pack food and making one or two meals in your hotel can keep you under budget.
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Digm Piece (Op-Ed)

Top Ten Freshman Money Myths

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Starting college is one of the most important and exciting times of your life. Now that you’re all “checked-in,” enjoy your college experience without worrying about where your next meal will come from by chasing away these common freshman money myths. (more…)

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