02-14-2019 Columns

Your financial advisor can do some “life coaching” Life coaches – not surprisingly – strive to improve the quality of life of their clients. And financial professionals essentially embrace the same mission. So, if you decide to hire a financial advisor, you should expect to receive some “coaching” as you work toward all your important objectives, such as sending your kids to college, enjoying a comfortable retirement and leaving a legacy that can benefit the next generation. What tips from life coaches might you also get from your financial advisor? Here are a few: Create a plan – A life coach can help you create a plan for your future, taking into account your career aspirations, relationships, hobbies, charitable activities and so on. And a financial advisor will also take a “holistic” approach by looking at many elements – including your age, income, family responsibilities and desired retirement lifestyle – to create a long-term investment strategy. Of course, you may need to adjust this strategy in response to changes in your life, but it can still serve as an overall map on your journey toward your financial objectives. Identify and prioritize goals – A life coach will help you identify and prioritize your life goals, whether they are personal or professional. And your financial advisor can help you do the same with your financial goals. For example, your goal of retiring comfortably at age 65 may take precedence over your wish to purchase a vacation home. As such, you will need to focus your efforts first on the retirement goal, and then, if it appears likely that you will meet that goal, you can devote the resources necessary for your vacation home by the mountains or the sea. You may even be willing to accept a lesser goal, such as renting, rather than owning, your vacation residence. Move beyond your comfort zone – A trained and experienced life coach can help you recognize your perceived limitations – and move beyond them. For instance, if your new job requires that you make many presentations, but you are nervous about public speaking, your life coach may offer techniques to help you get past this fear – to move you out of your “comfort zone,” so to speak. This same scenario could play out in your interactions with your financial advisor. If you happen to be a cautious and risk-averse person by nature, you might be inclined to bring those same traits into the investment arena. But a competent financial advisor – one who truly has your best interests in mind – will likely warn you that you will have trouble achieving your financial objectives if you try to avoid all risk by sticking exclusively with so-called “safe” investments, which do not offer much growth potential. Instead, your advisor will help you incorporate your risk tolerance, along with your time horizon and your short- and long-term goals, to help shape an investment mix appropriate for you. Such a mix may well include those “safe” investments, but it would also contain a reasonable percentage of growth-oriented ones. Whether it’s self-improvement or your financial future, you can benefit from good coaching – so take full advantage of it. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

Free fishing this weekend One of the hallmarks of Michigan’s outdoor traditions is the Department of Natural Resources’ free fishing weekend, which is held twice-a-year in the winter and summer. The event helps to bring together those seasoned veterans who enjoy fishing regularly, those who may not have much experience with the sport and are interested in trying it out, and it is also a great way for families to get out and enjoy nature. This winter’s free fishing weekend is this weekend, Feb. 16 and 17. During this time, all fishing license fees will be waived and vehicles will be able to enter state parks and use boating sites without a state recreation passport. Both Michigan residents and out-of-state visitors may enjoy fishing for all species of fish but note that all fishing regulations still apply. And, with more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, 36,000 miles of rivers and 11,000 inland lakes, Michigan is home to some of the world’s best fishing opportunities. If you’d like to learn more about free fishing weekend, check out www.michigan.gov/freefishing. The site also features a list of activities across the state that coincides with free fishing weekend, including organized activities that are coordinated by a variety of organizations, including local and state parks, constituent groups, schools, and businesses, among others. You’ll also find important safety tips about ice fishing, which can be very dangerous. Whether you’re new to fishing or have enjoyed it for decades, Michigan’s free fishing weekend is another reason to get out and enjoy Michigan’s great outdoors. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the important issues facing Southwest Michigan. You can reach me at 517-373-6960 or SenKLaSata@senate.michigan.gov.

‘Go Red’ On Thursday, Feb. 7, I had the incredible opportunity to join with Governor Gretchen Whitmer and my fellow women legislators to participate in the kickoff of the American Heart Association’s ‘Go Red for Women’ campaign. This campaign is a comprehensive platform designed to increase women’s heart health awareness and serve as a catalyst for change to improve the lives and health of women across our country. In 2004, nearly 500,000 American women succumbed to heart disease in the United States, yet many people didn’t realize that cardiovascular disease was so prevalent in our country. To help raise awareness of heart disease and stroke as the number one killer of women, I was incredibly proud to support a House Resolution that declared February as American Heart Month. I look forward to working with the American Heart Association to meet their goal of a twenty percent reduction in heart-related deaths in our country by 2020. It was shocking to me to learn that eighty percent of heart diseases are preventable by making simple lifestyle adjustments. Proper physical activity, watching cholesterol intake, and not smoking are just a few of the ways people can improve their heart health. Raising awareness is vitally important to help reduce the number of heart-related deaths in our country for both men and women. I was incredibly proud to join this bipartisan coalition to help raise awareness about women’s heart health this month. If you have any questions, or would like more information on the American Heart Association’s ‘Go Red’ campaign, please reach out to the American Heart Association at 616-285-1888 or my office at 517-373-1403, or by email at PaulineWendzel@house.mi.gov.

Vaccinating on time is important for disease protection Parents agree that feeding and sleep schedules are important to help keep their children healthy. The same goes for childhood immunizations. Vaccinating children on time is the best way to protect them against 16 serious and potentially deadly diseases before their second birthday. The recommended immunization schedule is designed to protect babies early in life, when they are vulnerable and before it’s likely that they will be exposed to diseases. Although the number of vaccines a child needs in the first two years may seem like a lot, we know a great deal about the human immune system, and we know that a healthy baby’s immune system can handle getting all vaccines when they are recommended. There is no known benefit to delaying vaccination. In fact, it puts babies at risk of getting sick because they are left vulnerable to catch serious diseases during the time they are not protected by vaccines. When parents choose not to vaccinate or to follow a delayed schedule, children are left unprotected against diseases that still circulate in this country, like measles and whooping cough. The United States has experienced a record number of measles cases over the past several years. Staying on track with the immunization schedule ensures that children have the best protection against diseases like these by age 2. If you have questions about the childhood immunization schedule, talk with your child’s doctor or call the Berrien County Health Department. Vaccines are available at reduced or no cost for many children through the Vaccines for Children program. For more information about vaccines, go to www.bchdmi.org.

Remembering former Michigan Congressman John Dingell On February 7, my friend and mentor, former Michigan Congressman John Dingell passed away at the age of 92. As the longest-serving member of the House, John always fought for Michigan and rescued our auto industry in the toughest of times. A World War II veteran, ‘Big John’ never shied away from a fight – but all who got to know him respected his honesty and integrity. His humor and insight later in life on Twitter helped a new generation understand policy and politics. With John you always knew where you stood. If you disagreed you better have a good reason why. Simply reverting to rhetoric or the party line would not fly because he knew the issues “inside and out” and always did his homework. There is a reason why a Dingell has represented Southeast Michigan for nearly 90 years. Their constituents know they always put country over everything else. They have all been chiseled from the same block of gold. My wife Amey and I want to express our deep condolences to his family, especially his wife, and our good friend, Debbie during this difficult time. To learn about legislative issues, please visit my website: upton.house.gov or call my offices in Kalamazoo (269-385-0039), St. Joseph/Benton Harbor (269-982-1986), or Washington, D.C. (202-