Resources

Just too good to keep to ourselves

Welcome to our library. We strive to provide resources so that our clients know as much as they wish when it comes to being financially savvy. And it doesn’t stop there! We are part of a larger community – including you, wherever you may be. This is where we share content and tools that are important, fun and even inspiring, with everyone. Our resource vault will help you get smart about money, find your own motivation to move forward, and laugh and breathe a bit easier along the way.

How to Make the Most of Your Charitable Gifts, Emotionally and Financially

Published in: Blog |

It’s that time of the year again.

Once the clock strikes midnight on Halloween, many businesses go full holiday mode:

Suddenly, you’re inundated with joyful Christmas music — in every store, in every restaurant, during every cab ride. Holiday lights envelop the trees, your office building, your entire neighborhood. Commercials on the radio and letters in the mail urge you to donate to their charities. Family members text you insisting for your holiday wish list. And to top it off, you can’t seem to escape the never-ending stream of holiday movies about the joy of giving.

If this somewhat insincere push for joy, cheeriness and gratitude from organizations, media, family and friends makes you feel overwhelmed, anxious and/or guilty, you’re not alone. Giving — whether it’s financial or nonfinancial — can bring up a lot of uncomfortable emotions. For instance, you might feel:

  • guilty when you are gifted money, unexpected gifts, opportunities or someone’s time;
  • stressed when being expected to keep up with your family’s giving traditions;
  • annoyed about not knowing where your donation dollars are going at a charity;
  • or ashamed when you can’t give as much as you want to a charity.

At The Humphreys Group, what we have seen is that when our money and values are out of alignment, we are less happy, less conscious of and less engaged with our own financial management. So how can we make sure that our values and giving are in harmony? We can’t accomplish everything in a blog post, but here are a few steps you can take:

Assess how you feel about receiving.

Think back to a time when you received something. It can be money, opportunity, an object or someone’s time. What was that memory and how did you feel about it at the time? You might not realize it, but our ability to give is in large part determined by our ability to receive. It’s important to understand how we feel about receiving generosity because this often affects how we feel about giving. As researcher Brené Brown says in her book The Gifts of Imperfection, “Until we can receive with an open heart, we’re never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.”

Think about how your family handled giving.

Your family home is where your roots of giving reside — even if you work hard today to operate from a different set of values and behaviors. Looking back to your childhood, what do you remember learning about giving? What habits and money messages around giving (and receiving) have you inherited from your family? What examples or what kinds of giving can you recall? Generosity can take on many forms:

  • Was there generosity among family members? Gift giving or exchanges of favors?
  • Was there a tradition of taking in wayward cousins or stray animals?
  • Were childhood friends invited to dinner?
  • Was there money to pay for grandchildren’s college?
  • Was there tradition of helping strangers or volunteering?
  • Can you think of an example of an enjoyable giving experience you had? Why did it feel good?
  • Now, what did you discover about how your own giving practices are similar or different from your parents?
  • What do you think motivated your parents to give and how is that similar or different from what motivates you?

Not all giving comes from generosity; some comes from guilt, obligation, need or even anger. Even giving to your very favorite charity can feel fraught. If we give too much, our financial foundation can become shaky. If we give for the wrong reasons, our financial landscape may become clouded with resentment, neediness, expectation or disappointment.

Reflect on where you might stop, start or continue giving.

  • Who or what are you currently giving to that you are happy with? Don’t forget things like caring for your mother, taking care of the neighbor’s kids, tutoring a child, handling the fundraising for the football team or being available to a friend that’s having a hard time.
  • Have you had a giving experience that was challenging, that turn out well, or caused conflicts?
  • What kinds of giving would you like to increase and where would you like to trim? If you feel you are giving too much of your time, perhaps you have more tangible things to give. Or, if you are feeling like you are writing too many checks, maybe you’ll find giving time is more rewarding.

Research the organization you’re giving to.

Rating sites like Guidestar.org, CharityNavigator.org or the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance assess criteria such as how transparent a nonprofit is about its finances and how much of its budget goes toward programs. The organization you’re giving to should be able to provide information and documentation to confirm it’s a registered 501(c)(3), according to CNBC. You can also use the tax-exempt organization search tool on the IRS website.

Other financial steps you can take:

As well as asking yourself these questions and researching the charities you’re giving to, there are also several strategies you can do to ensure your charitable giving dollars go farther for both you and the charity. Some year-end strategies for charitable giving include:

  • bunching your donations;
  • donating appreciated stock instead of cash;
  • using a donor-advised fund;
  • making a qualified charitable distribution from an IRA;
  • and investing in a charitable gift annuity.

Creating intention around your giving.

In the days coming up to the holidays, give yourself time to reflect on these questions and create intention around your giving going forward.

At The Humphreys Group, we also make sure to ask ourselves these questions. We often make contributions to nonprofit organizations on behalf of our clients to celebrate milestones in their lives, in addition to making an annual year-end holiday donation in honor of all our clients. The organization we choose reflects our vision and values, and our commitment to women’s issues. Past recipients have included She’s the First, Girls Who Code, The Girl Scouts of Northern California, San Francisco Safe House and Raphael House.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to emotionally and financially make the most out of your charitable giving, contact us today.

Understanding the Relationship between Gender and Philanthropy

Published in: Blog |

Women are making strides in charitable giving. What’s equally exciting is that they are doing it on their terms, in ways that are helping to reimagine and redefine their place and participation in the world of philanthropy.

Notable highlights from a 2016 Fidelity Charitable study of 3,254 “millennials” (born 1980-2000) and “Baby Boomers” (born 1946-64)* explored a variety of different behaviors and outlooks between the two generations, but also found that women of both generations shared several traits that differed from their male counterparts. When it comes to giving, women in both age groups:

  • View giving as a key part of their lives and are more likely to do it
  • Lead giving and volunteering efforts within their families and among their networks
  • Are more spontaneous, engaged and emphatic about their giving
  • Seek more information, and do so more often, about tax strategies and benefits related to giving
  • Prefer to be informed by experts rather than peers or family members
  • Exhibit more confidence than men when it comes to budgeting for giving, determining the causes they wish to support, and specifying amounts to give to those causes

*(Note: those born between 1965-1979, or “Generation X,” were not included in the study.)

Researchers from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University-Indianapolis, which has long examined gender as it relates to giving patterns, behaviors and satisfaction, also acknowledge women’s growing influence and power in philanthropy. This may be due, in part, to overall growth in female incomes, wealth and education levels; this growth has enabled more women to become increasingly interested in, informed about and involved with giving. That’s a trend that seems to be ongoing, with more research about it to come — in fact, it’s worth noting that their most recent study focuses on the intersection of race, giving and gender.

While we’re pleased about this positive outlook, we also realize that beginning to engage in charitable giving may feel like a daunting endeavor. We agree with other experts who say that taking some strategic first steps toward increasing one’s knowledge, confidence and participation in philanthropy can be empowering.

Women who want to commit to becoming donors should consider:

  • Researching the causes, organizations and/or initiatives that interest them, align with their values, and may stand out as priorities for their charitable giving funds.
  • Creating a “philanthropy budget” by earmarking specific amounts or assets, including cash, savings or monthly bank deduction(s), to contribute toward philanthropy.
  • Speaking with an investment professional to review charitable giving basics such as where, when, how much and what kinds of giving to begin with. An experienced advisor can also provide information about the tax ramifications of giving.

The future of women’s involvement in philanthropy is a bright one filled with fresh possibilities, and we welcome the opportunity to explore that future with you. Contact us today to discuss how we can help make charitable giving a part of your overall financial planning strategy.

The Emotions of Giving: How to Reconcile the Cost of Kindness

Published in: Blog |

November is a month for giving thanks in the U.S., but it’s also become a month devoted to giving on a much broader scale. Throughout the next several weeks, many of us will explore ways to help service organizations in our communities, or take action to volunteer at non-profits that benefit from our unpaid labor because they can expand the services they provide during year-end holidays. Many of us also contribute financially to causes that matter to us — some of us for the first time, others because of longstanding traditions that involve financial gifts to people and places that matter to us.

The numbers of organizations and causes to which we can contribute our hours, abilities and money continues to grow; we know our giving is more helpful than not. And yet, sometimes, when we’re trying to hold fast to the notion that it’s better to give than to receive, we feel unsettled and uneasy about the time, effort and money we are putting forth.

Let’s face it: sometimes giving is difficult.

At The Humphreys Group, we acknowledge that giving, much like investing, can be an emotional process with complex and complicated ties to past lessons and experiences in our lives. We don’t stop there, however. Instead, we encourage our clients to do the work that can help them reconcile what we call the “cost of kindness.” We invite those who struggle with giving to:

  • Explore memories of giving experiences that may have been challenging for them — for instance, if there were occasions it felt like a duty or obligation — and give voice to the range of emotions that such experiences prompted at the time.
  • Examine whether their giving behaviors fell short of the results they envisioned — for instance, that their dollars didn’t go far enough, weren’t acknowledged or weren’t used in the best of ways — and led to feelings of disappointment, frustration, sadness or anger.
  • Urge them to recognize possible conflicts that giving might have caused. For instance, “over-giving”— choosing to give more financially than one could actually afford.

It’s well-documented that people feel better and can heighten their capacities to express empathy for others when they give naturally, voluntarily and from the heart — as well as within their means and in alignment with their values. For those who want to commit to giving but who need to find perspective on the emotions that surround their giving, we emphasize that reflecting on past giving behaviors and the feelings that resulted can offer fresh perspectives and inform any future giving endeavors.

As we begin to give thanks for another year, we welcome the opportunity to help you assess what you’ve gained and what you’ve given — and how you might continue giving in the future. Contact us today to begin the discussion.

Dealing with Debt: How to Get and Stay on Track

Published in: Blog |

A new house. A college education. A vacation. A car. Home expenses. Life costs. Personal indulgences … they all add up, don’t they? For most Americans, twenty-first century living means dealing with debt. As consumer and household debts continue to rise in a trend that shows little sign of slowing, we advise our clients to make time to understand the extent of their debts, and to develop a plan to handle their unique financial circumstances.

What does your debt look like, and how can you stay on track when it comes to paying it down?

Understanding Debt: Two Sides of the Same Shiny Coin

There’s “good” debt — when you borrow to pay for something that will increase in value more than the cost of the loan. Examples include carrying a home mortgage, paying for school (typically higher education and job training), starting a business or investing in real estate. And there’s “bad” debt — borrowing to buy something that begins to decrease in value the moment you purchase it, such as a car or personal items. The kinds of debts you carry — and how you pay them off — influence your future ability to borrow.

Whether you’ve just begun your professional career and adult life, or have accrued decades of work and personal expenses and experiences, it helps to assess where you stand on how much you owe — and to whom. A few reminders when it comes to avoiding “bad” debt:

  • Resolve to create a household emergency fund that will enable you to cover unexpected expenses. Be your own lender.
  • Use a debit card for purchases, or pay off credit card balances monthly.
  • Observe caution when taking out loans. A loan approval means you can borrow money — it does not mean that you should.
  • Obtain medical insurance. It may be stating the obvious, but it’s a worthy reminder that healthcare costs rise quickly if you lack any kind of coverage.
  • Buy a car you can afford. Experts advise that, before you begin visiting dealers, conduct online research to calculate the cost of a vehicle, have enough money saved to initially pay 20 percent down, and limit auto financing to four years.

Addressing Debt: Strategies for Success, Reasons for Concern

Whether due to the price of higher education and job training, credit card spending or other buying behaviors, most adults carry some level of debt. To manage the debt you have, we recommend the following:

  • Make a list of what you owe, and to whom you owe it. Be sure to include the interest rate(s) you are paying — they add up.
  • Develop a plan regarding how you will pay down your debt.
  • If necessary, enlist a credit counseling service to aid your efforts to stick to your plan or explore debt management. Note: Debt management differs from credit counseling, so be wary of debt management companies with misleading promises.
  • Beware the temptation to file for bankruptcy if your financial health takes a turn for the worse. Declaring bankruptcy generally doesn’t relieve student loans, child support, income tax liability or court-ordered payments. It can also have a long-term negative impact on your credit.

Speaking of credit, a key part of managing debt is ensuring you’ve got a healthy FICO score. FICO stands for the Fair Isaac Corporation, the company that created software that calculates how likely debtors are to pay back lenders. It makes sense: financial lenders want to be compensated for the risks they take by lending money.

FICO scores range from 300 to 850. If you have a low number, it means you are a high-risk borrower and you will likely pay more to borrow money from a lender. A caveat: you may also have a low score because you have very little credit history, and creditors may consider you a “risky” borrower because they don’t know yet if you responsibly pay your debts. A FICO score below 630 is good, but we advise improving it before making any purchases that require financing. A score higher than 720 is considered great.

If you determine that part of dealing with your debt means improving your FICO score, we suggest taking these steps:

  • Get your credit report. Three major U.S. companies provide credit reports to consumers, and they are all required to provide one free report each year: Experian, Transunion and Equifax. Stagger your requests for credit reports, and you will be able to receive a free report every four months. (Note: Equifax experienced a massive data breach in 2017 that remains unresolved for millions of affected consumers, but they continue to provide credit monitoring services. Consult with your financial advisory team to determine which report-request makes sense based on your current situation, and whether or not you were affected by the breach.)
  • Clear up report mistakes or problems. Mistakes get made, and discrepancies and other issues arise. The most important thing is to take action to correct them. Start with the credit bureau’s step-by-step guides on addressing financial issues. Also, document all your correspondence and keep receipts for your payments.
  • Make more than minimum payments. A history of minimum payments is not a good risk indicator to lenders.
  • Maintain a balance of less than 50 percent of your limit on each credit card.
  • Don’t get caught in the balance transfer game. Read the fine print closely: even if it says the rate will be only 0 percent or 1.99 percent, credit card companies charge a fee and interest (as much as 4 percent) on the entire balance up front.
  • Resist the urge to close a credit card account once the balance has been paid off. The ratio of debt to the amount of credit available affects a consumer’s FICO score.

Debt seems to increasingly be a fact of life for U.S. consumers, but it doesn’t have to overwhelm an individual or family’s goals for ensuring their long-term financial security. Contact us today to discuss how we can work together to deal with debt and get on track toward managing it.

Investing with Intention: Why Discipline Beats Bravado

Published in: Blog |

Look up the word “intention,” and you’ll find a number of synonyms: Aim. Purpose. Objective. Goal. Target. End. Design. Plan. Resolution. Ambition. Desire. Idea. Dream. Aspiration. Hope.

The sense of determination inherent in each of these words strikes a powerful chord with us, and resonates with the work we do as a wealth management firm.

We believe it’s vital to have a disciplined investment philosophy and crucial to follow basic best practices; investing with intention is a journey. At The Humphreys Group, we begin by reviewing and discussing the wide world of investment objectives, risk and strategies with each client — expanding their knowledge, ensuring they are informed and ascertaining the best strategy or strategies that will work for them. Some areas we cover:

Investing 101: We remind clients they are buying assets for their potential to increase in value, provide income or do both. This means they need to expect fluctuations in returns, volatility, and cycles of depreciation and appreciation; long-term goals such as retirement, buying a home or paying for college are investments that often weather such cycles.

Stocks vs. Bonds: Stocks mean clients own shares of a company, and those shares will increase or decrease in value based on how well the company performs. Bonds are considered less risky than stocks; they are a form of a loan to a company and investors’ payoff comes in the form of company interest payments on those bonds.

Asset Allocation: Multiple factors contribute to how a client approaches asset allocation. We recommend that, when making decisions about where and how much to invest, clients should take into account their unique views on their risk tolerance and risk capacity levels, financial goals, financial timetables, required income and tax considerations. We also remind them to consider the variety of external factors that have the potential to affect investments, such as: market volatility, short- and long-term risk, inflation and purchasing power.

As we build collaborative relationships with our clients, we continue to help them assess their strengths, challenges, skills, values and goals. We do this by encouraging and engaging them in ongoing ways—including publications, events, Conversation Circles and the extensive day-to-day financial advisory services we provide. And we counsel that investing with intention has the following behaviors:

  • Begin investing early
  • Know your risk level
  • Create a plan that can grow and evolve with your needs, values and goals
  • Avoid high fees and expenses
  • Invest regularly and automatically
  • Remain in the market and act with discipline, rather than participate as a “market timer”
  • Diversify your investments to mitigate risk
  • Maintain a balanced stock portfolio
  • Don’t invest in financial products or instruments you don’t understand

“Live less out of habit and more out of intent.” We aren’t certain who wrote these words, but they ring true when it comes to examining the array of investment-strategy options available in the twenty-first century. They are also words we strive to live by in every interaction with our clients.

We pride ourselves on providing comprehensive financial advisory expertise to women. We consider their assets and investments, and also take into account the values, skills, experiences and goals our clients have gathered throughout their lives. Our holistic approach is infused with expertise and intention; we seek to ensure that the fiscal plans we develop with our clients enable each one of them to achieve sustained professional and personal success on their terms.

Contact us today to continue to converse about investing with intention.

Savings Self-Care: What It Means to Your Personal and Financial Health

Published in: Blog |

We talk a lot about resilience and how our clients can apply their unique skills, talents, and knowledge to achieve their personal and professional goals. We know this can be tiring work, which is why we highlight the important role “Savings Self-Care” plays when it comes to forming healthy habits that can support an individual’s long-term economic health and success.

But what is Savings Self-Care, and how do we go about practicing it?

First, let’s take a step back and understand what financial resilience looks like to us. At The Humphreys Group, we believe the following strengths contribute to an individual’s ability to take charge of their financial circumstances:

  • Living within your means
  • Building savings for an emergency
  • Knowing your credit score
  • Diversifying your income and investments
  • Attaining job security
  • Getting insurance
  • Having conversations and exchanging wisdom about money with others

It’s a substantial list, and many of us lead busy lives that can distract us from doing our best in each of these areas. To bulk up any weak financial resilience muscles, we suggest engaging in a variety of Savings Self-Care exercises that will fit your life and schedule.

Start by examining the financial resilience categories listed above, and determine which ones you want to prioritize. Then focus on self-care steps that target that resilience. For instance:

  • Resolve to budget and save. Money is a stressful and loaded subject for a lot of people, but this is a great first, self-care step to take. Review how much you make, how much you spend and where you spend it. Next, determine how you might alter your habits to live within your means, save more and put money toward an emergency fund. Doing so can lead you toward another self-care step: developing short- and long-term budgets and financial goals (i.e., travel, starting a business, saving for retirement, buying a home, paying for college) that are honest reflections of your life. Ones that you can resolve to stick to.
  • Manage your debt and income. Begin by learning your credit score and, if necessary, resolving to improve it by paying off debts, paying down bills and paying back loans. Once you know what you are spending, what you owe and where your credit rating stands, you can take yet another Savings Self-Care step: begin to work with a financial advisor to develop a plan to build your money through long-term investments and strategies.
  • Assess your goals. As part of the savings self-care process, review what you expect of your life and work goals. When it comes to work and employment security, what else could you be doing to ensure your future (additional training, education, etc.)? As you assess your personal and professional life, make sure you remain mindful of insurance that will sustain you during a job shift or change in health.
  • Remain engaged. Find a supportive community, whether online, in person or both, where you can continue to check in with others who make Savings Self-Care a priority. For instance, The Humphreys Group offers clients the opportunity to participate in Conversation Circles where we tackle issues that may be challenging us on the road to financial success and work together to discuss possible solutions.

We agree with industry subject matter experts, like the one in this U.S. News & World Report article, in the idea that balance, sustainability and empowerment lie at the heart of financial self-care and resilience. But remember that self-care isn’t something you have to do alone. In fact, we believe we are made stronger in our efforts to improve our lives when we work together and support each other. Reach out today for more information from us, or to learn about joining an upcoming Conversation Circle. We look forward to discussing ways you can continue to practice Savings Self-Care, and exploring other strategies that will strengthen your financial resilience.

4 Ways to Take a Stand Against Financial Mansplaining

Published in: Blog |

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: women understand money. Our research reflects this, and countless real-life examples bear out this truth. In fact, women today:

  • Control 85 percent of consumer spending.
  • Make 70 percent of major financial decisions.
  • Perform as the primary breadwinner for 40 percent of households.
  • Expect their controlled personal wealth to grow to $22 trillion by 2020.

We also know that women are able to negotiate risk and manage their emotions when it comes to their earnings, savings and investments. While millennial women are more confident in their investing know-how, women across generations possess the skills and desire to take charge of their financial health.

And yet.

Countering the good news and irrefutable evidence that women have what it takes to be financially successful is the sustained presence in many advisory circles of what we’ll call — for lack of a better word — “mansplaining.”

From patronizing advice about skipping lattes, to ignoring the very real and multiple inequalities women face regarding their wages, spending, loans, credit, business funds and domestic responsibilities, it’s easy to detect how some investment approaches dismiss women’s abilities to manage their money. Furthermore, surveys note that women with male partners report being ignored during meetings with male financial advisors, or presented with a more limited range of strategies when meeting one-on-one with men in the financial services profession.

A majority of women overall are not satisfied with the level of services they currently receive from their (male) advisors. However, in addition to the growing number of women who are in charge of their day-to-day finances, more women are taking the lead in retirement planning — both their own and their partners’ planning needs. And women who have lost a male partner are also more likely to change advisors when their spouse dies. It’s clear to us: As women continue to take control of their financial lives, they are beginning to expect better from industry experts.

While the financial services field remains dominated by male leadership, professionals are taking steps to be more responsive to women’s experiences, knowledge and points of view about their finances. As leaders and their employees work to do better by women, we offer some suggestions for how female investors can ensure they remain empowered when it comes to taking charge of their financial investments and planning.

  • Find a supportive financial community. Whether it’s online, in person or both, develop financial information resources where you can go to feel comfortable asking questions and learn more about investing without being judged or patronized.
  • Engage financial advisors who speak to you. Women often earn less, live longer and have fewer savings than men due to the demands and responsibilities of their combined life and work experiences. Find an advisor who acknowledges your unique financial reality; advisors should treat you as fairly and equally as any other client, and take your realities into account when helping you develop your financial strategy. 
  • Pay attention to how financial information is presented. Some industry employees have noted distinct differences in how male and female advisors present investment information to their clients. Whether it’s a “good ol’ boy” style (as described in the linked article) or one that hews closer to industry studies and data, make sure that you get information from your advisors the way you want it.

We at The Humphreys Group are inspired every day by women who are taking charge of their financial lives and encouraging others to do the same. We welcome the opportunity to be part of your financial planning journey. Contact us today to start a conversation.

How to Raise Your Daughter to be Financially Confident

Published in: Blog |

Most of us know that pay gaps between women and men stubbornly remain in place throughout the nation’s workplaces, and that misleading myths about how women handle money persist. We also know that women continue to push for equal pay in their fields and increasingly reject narratives that contend women aren’t good with finances. However, what you might not know is that the groundwork for inequalities in how women and men earn and regard money is often laid during childhood.

Several studies reveal jarring differences in the ways parents educate their children about money. And the messages those differences send to our daughters may have a lasting impact on their expectations and perceptions about earning, saving and investing as adults.

What the Data Says

Data in these studies show girls often receive less money from their parents, via allowances or gifts, than their male siblings. Additionally, boys are introduced to wealth-building topics, such as credit and investing, earlier and more frequently than girls — and those topics are usually broached by fathers. In contrast, budgeting and spending habits, which emphasize fiscal restraint, are the dominant themes of parents’ fiscal conversations with girls — with mothers more often leading those interactions.

This data reflect a bigger reality: Women tend to take others into account when considering financial matters, while men have a more individualized decision-making process. Additional discrepancies that result from how men and women learn to prioritize, view and manage finances — as well as the ways they learn (or don’t) to talk about money — may result in women developing more cautious and hesitant approaches to their financial lives.

What Should Parents Do?

Both mothers and fathers should make it a priority to raise their daughters to be financially confident individuals. Experts encourage parents to involve children early and often in lessons and discussions about money. U.S. News & World Report’s Coryanne Hicks provides the following tips for parents who are determined to empower their daughter’s financial futures:

  • Set the example and model money equality at home.
  • Introduce sound money-management behaviors early in your daughter’s life.
  • Be proactive about discussing your actions and thought processes regarding  money.
  • Be open and honest about your own insecurities when it comes to financial matters.
  • Give your sons and daughters equal allowances and chore responsibilities.

In all likelihood, if you parent a daughter, you aim to serve as a positive role model for her in multiple ways as she moves toward adulthood. This means you can also exhibit behaviors that provide a valuable, positive perspective on a woman’s ability to determine her financial future:

  • Share lessons about the value of work and the ability to earn a living. Commit to ensuring your daughter believes she does not deserve “less than” when it comes to her earnings and investments.
  • Communicate your financial priorities, outlook and management style. Let your daughter know decisions about money do not follow a single formula.
  • Clarify the distinctions between wants and needs — and discuss how spending and saving behaviors can support healthy, lifelong financial habits.
  • Gain self-awareness of the ways you verbalize your thoughts and views about money and finances (or lack thereof). Our attitudes toward various subjects inform our children’s behaviors and attitudes. If you want them to be financially confident, show them what that looks like.

Women continue to make strides in their personal and professional lives. At The Humphreys Group, our knowledgeable, experienced advisors are committed to providing resources that help our clients advance in their financial lives, with all the confidence, intellect and ability we know they possess. Contact us to discuss how we can work with you — and influence the next generation of financially savvy women together.

Flying the Nest: How to Cope as Your Children Grow

Published in: Blog |

Back-to-school month is winding down and another year is peeking around the corner, but for many of us who parent, these months mark a time of new beginnings rather than endings. Millions of our children have headed off to college, started first jobs, moved into their own homes or undertaken myriad other endeavors that now firmly plant them on the “adulthood” side of the fence — leaving us to experience the phenomenon known as Empty Nest Syndrome.

While not a clinical diagnosis, Empty Nest Syndrome is commonly understood as the adjustment period that parents and guardians may go through as their children embrace independence and begin to travel the path of their futures. Caretakers are left holding a mixed bag of emotions: excited for what lies ahead for their children, and hopeful that their children put the knowledge and skills they’ve acquired throughout the years they’ve spent at home to their best uses in the wider world.

At The Humphreys Group, we’ve written extensively about the role resilience plays in supporting the effects of significant life changes. We believe strengthening one’s emotional and social resiliencies can help balance the intense feelings that may accompany a transitional stage like this one.

While the emotional impact of such a transition affects each person differently, experts suggest a few ways to prepare for this new chapter in your own life. Here are several ways you can begin to enjoy the new opportunities for growth and connection — to your children, your partner and your extended community — it also offers you:

  • Plan ahead. If you’ll be faced with an empty nest soon, realize one positive aspect is that you likely will have more flexibility to engage in endeavors that interest you. What would you like to do with those extra moments? Exercise; engage in creative or educational projects; pursue social or cultural activities; strategize your financial future; or volunteer in your community? Remember your dreams. Revive some (or all) of them. Or dream new ones.
  • Strengthen ties. Bolster your support system by recharging your relationships with your partner, friends and community — as well as the children who’ve “flown.” Make the effort to reconnect with those you haven’t been in touch with, given all your parental duties. If you have a partner, use the moments and space you’ve gained to rekindle your connection to each other. Remember that staying in touch with your grown children can help you foster the “adulthood dimension” of your relationship with them.
  • Trust the process. Many soon-to-be empty nesters experience a range of feelings — loss, excitement, impatience, frustration, sadness, relief and happiness among them. Be gentle with yourself as you grapple with this complicated gamut of emotions while finding your footing and redefining the relationship you have with your increasingly independent adult child or children.

As you watch your child or children head into the responsibilities, roles and adventures of their adulthoods, cherish all you’ve accomplished in raising them. Remember that change is one of the few reliable constants in life; give yourself permission to enjoy the changes, on your terms. Contact us today to begin a conversation about how to make the most of this new phase in your life.