In This Issue



Community
Corner

 

  

My name is Karin Kraft and I live in Olympia, WA. I have a Masters Degree in Environmental Studies from the Evergreen State College and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Zoology from Texas A&M. I have raised two sons who are now fine men. Living sustainably and in service to the community through volunteer work has been an important part of my life. My lifelong partner, Gene, and I lived in Utah briefly, where I helped start a soup kitchen and ran a Gifts for Santa program for several years, and was a director of a YWCA. We moved to Redmond, WA and I started art appreciation programs in two schools and a hands-on science program in one. I have helped disabled children ride horses and have helped to build homes with Habitat for Humanity. In Olympia, WA, I served as the director of Sustainable South Sound to help build a local marketing effort, as strong local economies make for sustainable communities.

I like to give back to my community when I can. Currently, I am involved with Harlequin Productions as a board member. People that go to the theater, volunteer or commit funds to Harlequin and others help keep performing arts alive in our great town. Each year I donate meat and produce to Thurston County Food Bank. Recently I accepted an invitation to serve on the newly forming NW Chapter of the Humane Society's Advisory Council for policy related to the humane treatment of livestock.

In 2008, we built a small green home, and in 2010, I started The Iron Horse Farm. My vision is to attempt to grow most of our food organically in order to eat healthier, live better and adapt to a changing climate. Part of this vision includes raising livestock for income as I decided to resign from my position at the state to farm full-time. The highest earning animal that I found to raise on our four acres was the Kunekune (pronounced cooney-cooney) pig from New Zealand. Kunekune pigs are super sweet and funny. They are non-rooting, grazing pigs, so they are a joy to have around. I breed and sell piglets to others wanting to raise their own food and to some who just want a pet.

Gene and I both believe that when you heal the land, you heal the planet. We have restored this site by hauling tons of old building and automotive debris to the landfill, including an engine block from the 1940s. Currently, we have gained the upper hand on invasive plant species. While we did cut down a dozen alders to build a barn, we have planted many native cedar, hemlock and fir trees to replace them.

As time allows, I like to work on art projects and explore nature. My artwork and my piglets can be seen at www.theironhorsefarm.com. If you would like a farm tour, please call us at 360-754-5352.

 

 

Plan to succeed

To have a plan is to have a course laid out to monitor your progress. Without a plan, you are subject to react to situations without an understanding of the consequences. Poor decisions, made without consideration of consequences, can be disastrous. However, with a plan in force, you can reflect, in an organized and purposeful manner, upon your activities and actions as opportunities arise. Set up a well thought-out plan that integrates your business and personal life. Be Proactive.

Q3 2015
 

Welcome to the summer of 2015. So far it is has been a hot one. I hope you are enjoying the outdoors, and time with those you care about. This is a time to enjoy and build upon the efforts you took over the winter and spring. In our home, the back yard and garden still need care, but are now organized and set for summer enjoyment.

Life, as one of my favorite Saturday Night Live characters, Father Guido Sarducci, shared years ago, is a job. Living is work. It takes effort and requires consistent monitoring and adjustments. It is also joyful and exciting when we embrace the challenges and accept that it is work. Achieving goals and making dreams a reality is part of the work of living. Having a plan, monitoring and adjusting the plan, and taking action is key to realizing dreams. Wishing and wanting can be a catalyst for a goal. Effort, focus and tenacity take goals from a want to an achievement. I encourage you to reflect upon not just the immediate (the joy of today's sun), but to think and act to increase your enjoyment of tomorrow. Keep living today, with an eye for tomorrow. Work this life. Be smart with limited stress, instead of reactive with ongoing stress. Life does not take the summer off. Strive to keep track of your progress towards you goals and to act in your best interests now and over time. Don't put off what needs to be addressed until the fall or winter, because it is summer now.



 Nancy

Retirement: Is it a journey or a destination?

During our working years, it is the destination we dream of; the carrot that keeps us working hard in our jobs or careers. Retirement is the magical time. It is the time when we can do what we want, when we want, and sleep in as long as we want.   Retirement is seen as a well-earned reward for all the days we had to awaken before the rooster, for those missed sports events of our children, for the nights we ate cold meals well after dinner was served to the rest of the family, etc.   A retirement of good health, time to play, and funds to cover our needs and wants is the desired destination of most Americans at any age.

We all hope and wish that retirement will come sooner than later, yet we also somehow seem to avoid or deny the actual act of planning for retirement.   For to be retired, in the majority of cases, we also have to be older. With aging comes health issues, the loss of family and friends, mobility, and then our own passing. If we live to age 65, we can no longer deny that we are mortal; we will eventually die. In our twenties, forties, even fifties, that reality was something that could happen to others, but not us. Now we have to own it, and retirement is the step just before death.   Planning for that retirement destination is planning for or acknowledging our end. No wonder many of us cannot get excited about retirement, who wants to die?   Not I! I want to play and have all the time to enjoy life as I desire to, without being concerned with other's schedules or my work load. In my mind, when I retire I've also started the downhill clock ticking.   That is something I want to avoid and I know I'm not alone. The conflicting desire to deny the end of life and to protect our dreams of freedom affects one's thoughts and actions around planning for retirement. It affects me, so I'm confident it affects others. I suggest we do not dwell on retirement as a destination.

Retirement is not a destination in the true sense of the word.   It is not the end of the journey. It is a new and different phase of your life.   Strive to stop thinking of it as a destination or the end period of your life, but as a new adventure in the span of your lifetime.  Life has always been an adventure composed of time spans such as childhood, early adulthood, parenthood, etc. Seek to see retirement as a new span you have not experienced yet.   In the previous spans, you primarily learned as you went. Now you've gained experience and skills and those things can assist you in designing the next phase.   Your decisions, earnings, investments, the tangible and intangible programs and tools you have or can now put in place will directly influence your quality of life in retirement. Dream large and strive to have the resources to have the life of leisure you desire. Planning is key, and the denial of your role in determining your retirement will not enhance the journey.

Take an inventory of your present resources, from earnings on investments, pension opportunities, social security, to the structure of your debt and your home layout. Actively pursue the development of skills and relationships that will benefit the life you want in retirement.   Start thinking of retirement not as driven by age or a set date, but as a time when you have the financial freedom to no longer have to work to earn the income needed to sustain your desired lifestyle. Acknowledge inflation rate and sequence of returns on investments, health changes, along with essential needs, discretionary or flexible expenses, and taxes. It is a journey into a new phase of life. Like any journey, do not go into it unprepared.

Just as we start dreaming of retirement right after college, we can start preparing for that journey early or just before embarking.   The sooner we start preparing the more likely we are to be well prepared and to have considered all possibilities. Retirement cornerstone may be financial freedom, but as we know, finances are not all there is to life.   Relationships with friends and family, involvement in activities from golf, gardening, nonprofit volunteering, exercise, to writing your memoirs are all tied in to having the retirement of your dreams. The work on those aspects of your life can start prior to actual "retirement".

 Life is a journey not a destination and retirement is no different, it just part of our life. It is a part that we can perhaps influence more effectively in late 50's and 60's as we have the life experiences to assist us that we did not have as kids or young adults.   Rejoice and prepare for the journey and remember; it's not over as long as we are in motion. Live young for a long time and keep playing and adventuring.        

 

 

Travel Adventures

   

Summertime in the Pacific Northwest is magical. It is dry, warm and the days are long. I've been enjoying riding my bike around town and also where I've traveled. We are in no way competitive or long distance riders. We ride for pleasure and for site seeing. This spring, my young friends, ages 6 and 5, and I have been tooling around on the Western Chehalis trail. It is a joy to watch them develop their skills and confidence on their bikes. On our rides, we have seen ducks, hawks, cows, rabbits and horses. However, the favorite sightings seem to be the slugs. The brakes get slammed on every time one is sighted. The laughter they share as they rush down the hills keeps me smiling.

In our recent travels, we took the bikes with us for a long weekend in Vancouver, B.C. Having bikes in the city seems to lower our stress levels as we are attempting to get from place to place. Once the van was parked, we did not drive again until we were leaving. We took leisure rides around Stanley Park, over to the Olympic Village, to Granville Island and more. We have made it a practice to take the bikes when we are visiting cities. We do not have to deal with parking the car, the cost for parking and we save time. Back in May, we were able to buzz around Sisters and Bend, OR, admiring the architecture and the creative landscapes of the neighborhoods. In a few weeks, we are going to pedal around Portland with my godson, who is visiting for the summer. I love the variety of homes found in the older neighborhoods there. By riding the bikes, we burn calories so we can eat more! Grazing by biking is our motto. You discover parks and historical sites and signs you may have never acknowledged while driving by. In Vancouver, we found a concave of restored historical homes, with a sweet garden in the center. In Bend, we saw a series of historical plaques telling of the maritime history of the Old Mill district. While in Hood River, we biked along the old Columbia Highway and enjoyed views that were inaccessible by cars today.

Life is good. Go play outside and dust off your bikes and let 'em roll.

 

 

 Sincerely,

 

Nancy J. LaPointe

MBA, CFP, ChFC, CLU, CASL

Financial Planner, Wealth Manager,

Investment Adviser Representative
NAVIGATE FINANCIAL

Quick Links

Points to Ponder

$64,700... Average net worth of U.S. households headed by a young, college-educated adult without any student debt obligation.*

 

$8,700... Average net worth of households headed by a young, college-educated adult with student debt.*

 

80%... Percentage of Americans who say the first thing they do after waking is check their smartphone.**

 

 

* Pew Research Center

** Time

 

 

 

 

 

Mid-West Mom's Helpful Hints 

 

Remove barnacles on boats...  Removing barnacles
from the bottom of a boat is a difficult and odious task but you can make it easier and less unpleasant with the help of some WD-40.  Spray the area generously with WD-4o, wait a few seconds, and then use a putty knife to scrape off the barnacles.  Spray any remnants again and scrape.  If necessary, use sandpaper to get rid of all of the remnants and corrosive glue still left by the barnacles.

 

 

Clean and protect golf clubs...  Whether you're a duffer or a pro, you can protect and clean your clubs by spraying them with WD-40 after each use.  Also use WD-40 to help loosen stuck-on spikes.

 

 

Remove burrs from a horse...  To remove burrs from a horse's mane or tail without tearing its hair out (or having to cut it off!), just spray on some WD-40.  You'll be able to slide the burrs right out.  This will work for dogs and cats too.

 

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