Posts Tagged ‘family’

Smart Women’s Tip: At Midlife Self-Care Comes First!

Remember Aunt Bee on The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D.? How old do you think Aunt Bee was when she started on the show? She was just 58! I’ll bet you guessed older than that, right?

You’ve probably heard that 60 is the new 40 and I agree. Most women today are taking much better care of themselves. Many are more active and most plan to stay engaged in some form of work during their entire lifetime.

Over the last 30 years, I have worked personally with hundreds of couples and individuals helping them design the perfect retirement plan both personally, professionally and financially. Here is the secret to a successful retirement. It must incorporate three parts: Health, Wealth and Happiness. This is true prosperity. You really want all three. If any of them are missing, you’ll be in trouble.

I remember, 10 years ago, when I was raising my daughters and working full time. I did not make time for myself and it cost me my health and was part of the reason I retired at 47. Today, 10 years later, I have reinvented midlife and health comes first. I am healthier and more active today than I was then…and I am certainly happier and wealthier.

Last week, I was talking to a dear friend of mine who is also a financial advisor and because she too has been in the industry for almost 30 years now, her clients are aging. During our conversation, she shared with me that she was so depressed because she had seen three different clients the day before and two of them had cried during the meeting because even though they had all this money, they could no longer enjoy it because of their failing health. The other was distressed because she too had all this money but no one to enjoy it with.

So my suggestion is at Midlife — self-care comes first. My personal trainer says that you can improve your health and strength up until the time you are 70. but after that, you can only maintain. So his suggestion is to start taking care of yourself and become your best today. Then you can take your 70s into your 90s.

Ernestine Shepherd is a great example of this. She was out of shape at 57 and began to work out. Now at 75, she is a personal trainer, model and competitive body builder and happier and more fulfilled than she’s ever been in her life. She’s actually in the Guinness World Record as Oldest Female Body Builder.

Of course you don’t need to be a body builder to be healthy, but when planning out your goals for your life, I like to prioritize this way: Self, Family and Friends and then Work or Money.


Envision your ideal life three years from now? What would have to be happening for you to be happy, healthy and wealthy — meaning you have more than enough? What would you life look like? Now take out a piece of paper and write this out for yourself in this order:

Step 1: Your Mind, Body and Spirit (all about YOU)
• I am riding my bike daily in nature and feel fantastic
• Healthy food tastes delicious and my body is strong and lean
• I have a daily mindfulness practice and feel at peace
• I get lots of sleep and look 10 years younger than my age

Step 2: Family, Friends and Fun (with others)
• I travel several times a year to amazing places with interesting friends
• I have season tickets to the opera and symphony
• My daughters and I have an amazing time together and they are doing so great!
• My sex life is awesome (thank you Dr. Keesha!) and I’ve been married 33 years now

Step 3: Money, Career and Legacy
• We have more than enough and I feel safe and secure about the future
• I wake up every day in a state of joy knowing I am making a difference while having the time of my life doing what I love
• I am a NYT #1 bestselling author
• Money flows to me effortlessly in expected and unexpected ways.

Now create your own and print it out. You can make a vision board, read it daily, meditate on it. But keep it where you can see it. I also have a check list called my Perfect Life Practice where I list all the tasks or activities that need to be done to make sure I am on track with my Perfect Life Vision. Then each day, I check off everything that I did. It helps me stay focused on what’s important in my life, my dreams and my legacy.

So remember at Midlife – self-care comes first.

image0011If you want to talk with Katana about Reinventing Midlife and taking your dreams, life and finances to the next level, then book a complimentary session here:

Making Time for Fun is No Accident!

Last week, I invited you to begin thinking about ways you could add some more fun to your life.  Did you create your “Fun List” yet?  Remember, we get what we focus on, so begin to focus on more Fun!

Let’s assume you have your fun list.  The question then becomes, how do you make time for all of this fun, especially when our lives are already so busy?

First of all, I want to emphasize the importance of including Fun into your life every day.  How often do you spend your day operating from a state of auto pilot, that you totally miss out on even the simple pleasures of life?

One of the easiest ways to “find more time for fun” is to simply learn how to be present or in the moment.  Science shows that we spend 95% of our time operating from our subconscious mind, or from a state of auto pilot, and only 5% in our conscious mind.  I remember driving my car while talking on the phone one time, only to find that I had missed my exit miles and miles back and I had no idea where I even was anymore.  I’ll bet you have had a similar experience.  I certainly wasn’t driving consciously.

Secret #1:  Spend more time in your Conscious State of Mind:

  • By simply learning how to become conscious or present, you will expand time simply because you will be able to enjoy more of it.  For example, when you are walking, sitting in a meeting or or at your computer, simply notice your breathing and your body.  Notice what is going on around you.  Notice smells, sounds, and sights.  Stop day dreaming and stay in your body.  Starting your day out with meditation or yoga or a simple walk where  you are really conscious can really help you become more mindful for the rest of the day.

Secret #2:  Find ways to Combine Activities:

  • When you look at your Fun List, identify ways to combine activities like fitness, family, friends, hobbies, travel, freedom and even work.  I call this system the Perfect Life Filter and here is an example:  I need to exercise and I love going to yoga, so I could invite my daughter or a friend to join me for yoga.  This way, I can spend time with my loved ones and also create time for self care.  One of my favorite ways I have combined my Fun List is by leading my Costa Rica Retreat which allows me to travel and experience adventure, yoga, nature, spirituality, fresh tropical fruits and to play with my friends and clients all in a tropical paradise.  How can you do this for yourself with your list?

Secret #3:  Take out your Calendar and Schedule It:

  • I once read a story about filling up a big jar with these containers of water, sand and rocks.  If you don’t do the process in the right order, all three items won’t fit.  The secret is starting with the “big rocks”, then sand, and finally the water.  His analogy of the adding the Big Rocks first has to do with planning your most important events first and this is the time for self care, loved ones and fun.  I use a similar process in my Perfect Life Time System which is a time system I have used for 10 years made up of Perfect Days, Prep Days and Power Days.  In my system, I suggest planning all your Perfect Days first because these are the days that will keep you rejuvenated, healthy and happy.  They are the days you are focused on self care, family and fun.

So have Fun with this process.  Stay mindful, combine your fun activities and be sure to schedule your perfect days and big rocks!  Enjoy!


When parents need caregiving

Are you prepared for the call in the middle of the night?

As women, we are often expected to fill multiple roles: loving mother, career woman, supportive wife or partner and for many, a new role – that of a caregiver to aging parents or disabled loved ones.

For the last 25 years, I have helped clients create financial plans for their “golden years” and address issues of aging and remaining independent.

We all dread the idea of that “call in the night” – the one that means we must step into the “Designated Daughter” role, manage our parent’s or loved one’s lives and make tough decisions about their care, finances and welfare. But for many of us, that call will come, and it pays to have everything in place in advance.

I still remember when I got the phone call that my step father had fallen and was in the hospital at 86.  It was a blessing in disguise because we found out he had lung cancer and were able to sell his home and have a new home waiting for him and my mother in a retirement community where they could get more care.

During his last week with us, my step-father called me his miracle worker while he was in Hospice lying on his hospital bed in the middle of the living room.  You see, my mother was diagnosed with Dementia during the last month of his illness and because of the financial and estate planning we did 15 years before, not only did my mother have nothing to worry about financially, but his estate would be protected for his children after my mother’s death.  I am so grateful they were open to planning when options were plentiful and affordable.  You can do this same type of planning.  It’s a beautiful thing.

Here are five steps that you can take now to get prepared:

Step 1 – Get Organized

Before attempting to discuss financial, tax and estate planning issues with your loved ones, be sure to sit down with a financial adviser and get your own life plan in order.

Step 2 – Initiate “The Discovery Conversation” with Your Loved Ones

One way to initiate this conversation is to ask them what they would do if something happened to you. Do they know the names and contact information of your advisors? Do they know your doctors? Do they know where to find documents such as your will, or medical forms? This may help lead the conversation into what your role would be for them. Are you needed as a caregiver, a trustee, or a personal representative? Who else might be involved? Knowing this up front will help you plan for your own future.

Step 3 – Start Planning as Early as Possible

Don’t wait until the unexpected happens. It’s never too early to start planning for the unexpected. Meeting with an attorney, financial planner and insurance agent to create the proper planning may be all it takes to make sure your needs are met. Planning early when your have the most options makes sense – being proactive rather than reactive.

Step 4 – Consider Purchasing Long Term Care Insurance

Start the conversation when your parents or loved ones are young and healthy and then suggest that they apply for long term care insurance as early as possible. We are living much longer and the need for healthcare and related services is exploding. In fact, seriously consider purchasing your own policy now while you are still healthy and the premiums are affordable!

Step 5 – Create a Team of Trusted Advisors

This is not the time for-do-it-yourself-planning. Find a “key adviser” who is an elder-care expert and have them manage the team with you based on your loved ones goals, values and objectives. The final product should enable your loved ones to maintain their dignity, lifestyle and assets. It should also meet the needs of the caregiver. The end result: everyone involved should be able to sleep better at night knowing all concerns have been addressed and that a team and a plan is in place to meet the unexpected.


We have a wonderful event taking place that will help start this process.  It’s appropriately titled:

“Caring for your aging parents:

How to prepare for the call in the night.”  

Please visit for more information and to register for the event.
The live panel discussion is April 18th and Registration Ends on Tuesday, April 10th – so save your spot now!


How I have energy, time, and fun!

Being a serial workaholic (it’s easy to do when you love your work!) I can tell you that putting in the long hours and sacrificing your family, friends, and fun is not worth it.  Sure it may help your business, but if you have no time to enjoy the benefits then is it really helping?  You need a good combination of both.  

With the New Year just around the corner many people start to think about changes they want to make in their lives.  Maybe you’re finally ready to start that business or take your current business to the next level.  Maybe it’s to finally lose that last 10 pounds, eat better, and start exercising. Or maybe it’s not really change you seek but a way to freshen up your life.  In any case, it’s important to make time to play. 

I created this exercise several years ago and it seems like the right time to talk about it again.  I work with so many entrepreneurs who just don’t make the time for themselves.  Why is it that we have no problem scheduling an hour for a meeting but can’t seem to find the time to schedule an hour for a massage?  They are both important – one for your business and one for your health.

This exercise is called “The Perfect Life Filter™”. The purpose of this exercise is to help take a look at the different areas of our lives that are important to us:

  • Family
  • Fitness
  • Finance
  • Fun
  • Freedom

If we are out of balance with any one of these areas it will affect the other areas. 

Let me give you an example: I tend to get very focused on work (because my work is one of my passions) but when I do then I ignore my heath and my family. 

I have worked through an entire weekend! 

This is certainly not the way to develop deep and meaningful relationships with my family and friends and in the long run…it ends up not being that much fun either.

Think about your life and what’s important to you. How can you combine your goals to leverage your time and energy? Here are some examples of how to do this for yourself. And please share your results with us by commenting below. 


Take a moment now and list your goals for each of the following areas:

• Family Goals: (ex: Deepen Relationships)
• Fitness Goals: (ex: Self Care – Energy)
• Finance Goals: (ex: Security – Abundance)
• Fun Goals: (ex: Joy – Experiences)
• Freedom Goals: (ex: Self Expression)

Now think of ways you can combine more than one goal to leverage your time.

For example:

  • Family & Fun: Family Vacations.
  • Fitness & Fun: Join a yoga or zumba class, or train for that marathon you always wanted to run.
  • Family & Fitness: Go to the park with the family, ride bikes or go for a walk.
  • Finances & Freedom: Make sure your finances are taken care of and your money is working for you. (if you need help in this area contact me at
  • Freedom & Fun: Travel.

If you have to schedule time for fun then do it.  It will hopefully become a habit and you won’t have to schedule it anymore, it will just come naturally. 

Remember…all work and no play makes us unhappy, unhealthy, and drains our energy. 

Don’t you want more from the life you were sent here to live?

If you need help getting started please click the link below to book your complimentary session with me.





Hearst Family Legal Battle teaches important lessons

CNN and Fortune Magazine recently featured a fascinating article  about the legal battle between John Randloph “Bunky” Hearst, Jr., and his ex-wife.  Bunky is one of the grandsons of famed media mogul William Randolph Hearst, who left behind the powerful Hearst Corp.  William Randolph Hearst died in 1951 with a trust and estate worth about $400 million in today’s dollars.  But, more importantly, his trust established a corporate framework that enabled his board of trustees to expand the Hearst holdings into a multi-billion dollar media empire, owning hundreds of magazines, newspapers, television stations, 20% of ESPN, and more.  Here is the wikipedia page about Hearst Corp. that overviews how expansive it is.  William Randolph Hearst’s estate plan is a great example of how trusts can be used to maximize financial legacies and protect your heirs.  While most people don’t have to establish complicated boards to manage extensive business holdings like Hearst, everyone can learn a lesson here.  Livings trusts are the best way to pass along assets (be they vast or limited) because they can be individually tailored to meet the needs of any family.  Do you have modest assets and children who are good with money?  Maybe you want your trust to leave it to them all at once.  Or do you have a greater net worth, or perhaps heirs who would do more harm than good with money left to them?  If so, consider following William Randolph Hearst’s example.

Read more here at Original Post:
Hearst Family Legal Battle teaches important lessons

New Michael Jackson Estate Deal Reported

A couple weeks ago, I wrote how  Katherine Jackson had a surprising “change of heart” by dropping her challenge to the executors for Michael’s estate.  In fact, her husband Joe Jackson was shocked — his lawyer called the move “despicable”.  Well, if this exclusive report from the United Kingdom website News of the World is accurate, we now know why Katherine did so. According to this report (which has been picked up by MSN Entertainment along with other websites), Katherine made the deal because the executors, John Branca and John McClain, had agreed to add a trusted family member as a third executor.  And, even better, this new executor would have veto power over decisions of Branca and McClain.  So who is the trusted family member?  Taj — Tariano Adaryll Jackson, Michael’s 36-year old nephew and Tito Jackson’s son.  He is reportedly very close to Michael’s children and mother, and was Michael’s favorite nephew.  He’ll be able to give the family a voice

Read more here at Original Post:
New Michael Jackson Estate Deal Reported

Katherine Jackson’s shocking change of heart

The Michael Jackson Estate has been the subject of regular court hearings as Katherine Jackson battled for control over the last several months.  She routinely objected to the decisions of the co-executors John Branca and John McClain.  Recently, she hired a new attorney with the promise of taking the case in a new direction, as I discussed in this recent article about the Michael Jackson case . Her case took a new direction, all right.  She decided to drop her claim.  That’s right, she stopped fighting and agreed to let the executors run the show without her. Surprised?  I was.  And I was far from the only one.  Here’s what a lawyer in the case said about Katherine Jackson’s change of heart, according to CNN: “She has now reneged on her obligation to her family.”  This same lawyer then said that it was “one of the most despicable displays” he’d ever seen in court.  He even accused Katherine of colluding with the estate executors in a “secret deal”

Read more here at Original Post:
Katherine Jacksons shocking change of heart

Ike Turner Will Contest Ruling is in

The trial involving whether Rock ‘n Roll pioneer & legend, Ike Turner, left a valid will has ended.  As described in this prior article I wrote, the case pitted his six children (two of whom apparently are now questionable children of his) versus his ex-wife versus his friend and “sometime” attorney.  I’m not exactly sure why someone would be a “sometime” attorney, but that’s how he was described in this North County Times (California) article about the trial. The children argued Ike died without a valid will, leaving all to them under California’s intestate laws.  The ex-wife, Audrey Madison Turner, felt that Ike had left everything to her through a handwritten will written two months before he died of a drug overdose in 2007 (even though the couple was already divorced)

Read more here at Original Post:
Ike Turner Will Contest Ruling is in

Subscribe to this blog

Subscribe by email:

Connect with me at:
Follow Me on Pinterest
Join our Smart Women’s Community

Weekly E-zine with money tips and great resources.

Interviewing inspiration
expert guests Listen LIVE on Tuesdays at 11am EST!

Name :
Email :

Smart Women Promise: We will never share, rent, sell, or trade your information.