How Financial Literacy Can Help

It's All Pink

How Financial Literacy Can Help

Dear Readers: If I were to ask couples to name the top three things that keep them together, I don’t imagine that shared knowledge and interest in their finances would make the list. Yet money is often cited as one of the main causes of divorce. A recent survey by Policygenius found that 1 in 5 people say their partner is financially irresponsible. And these people are over 10 times more likely to break up over money issues than people who say their partner is good with money.

I always recommend that couples get to know each other financially at the beginning of their relationship, but that really is just the start. A relationship can be a lifelong journey, and your financial togetherness is an important part of it. There are bound to be gaps in each partner’s financial attitudes and know-how, so, to me, it’s essential for every couple to not only discuss their priorities but also increase their financial knowledge along the way. Because financial literacy is also a lifelong journey.

I’ve had the opportunity to talk to a few couples lately whose own experiences demonstrate how being financially aware and informed can bring people closer together. I thought you might be interested in their stories. (Of course, I’ve changed their names.)

What to Know Before You Go

Donne Paine

A Helpful List for Health and Travel

What to Know Before You Go

When planning international travel there
is a recommended check list...


#1 Research:
learning a little about where you are going is always to your advantage. Researching the country, their customs, culture and what is currently happening. Learning a few phrases in their language like “Hello”, “Thank you” and “Where is the bathroom” are helpful, as well.

#2 Be Prepared:
Make sure your passport and driver’s license is valid for at least six months. Make copies of them on your phone, and hard copies to tuck in your luggage and leave a copy with someone at home.

Make Your Vacation Last Longer— Your Body, Too

Marilynn Preston

Energy Express

Make Your Vacation Last Longer— Your Body, Too

Vacations make us happy, but when we get back home, the ho-hum takes over. One week, we're bicycling in France, free as a breeze, and the following Tuesday, we're back to carpool and a messy kitchen. Were we ever away? That feeling of fun is buried under loads of emails and a to-do list as long as a barbecue fork.

Do you wish you could prolong that happy state or bring it back whenever you want? You can, according to esteemed happiness expert Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of "The How of Happiness."
One way is to give yourself a visual cue. Frame that picture of you in a helmet, screaming hysterically on a river raft in the Grand Canyon. Put it on the fridge.

The Big Closet Cleanout

Sharon Mosley

The Big Closet Cleanout

Now that spring is in the air, it’s the perfect time to let go of all the extra stuff in our closets so we can really enjoy getting dressed for those sunny vacation days ahead.

There are always clothes you need to get out of your closet, drawers and wherever else you stash them—even the laundry bin. So, spend a little time behind closed closet doors ... and start spring cleaning early. But what to toss? Here are a few suggestions to help you get started.

The no-brainers. These are the stained sweatshirts, the holey sweaters, the mismatched socks and the souvenir T-shirts from the summer of 1973. There are just some things you don’t need to hold onto forever. That shrunken crop top and low-slung jeans you looked so cute in five years ago before two kids came into your life have got to go. Donate them to the next generation of Britney Spearses.

Celebrating the Centennial of The League of Women Voters

Carmen Hawkins DeCecco

Celebrating the Centennial of The League of Women Voters

Founded six months before women officially won the right to vote, in February 1920, by Suffragettes Carrie Chapman Catt and Jane Brooks, the League of Women Voters immediately jumped into action, and within a few short years, chapters all over the country were formed.  One of their initial programs addressed the issue of US-born women’s citizenship rights if they married a non-U.S. citizen.  At that time, the Expatriation Act forced married women to automatically become citizens of their husband’s country, and lose their U.S. status, even if they were Americans.  Shortly after the voting rights bill was enacted, this was overturned, so all American women would remain US citizens and be eligible to vote.

The organization has grown exponentially over the last century, despite a couple of decades when there were setbacks due to World War II, and later, a socio-cultural rift that sought to tear down much of what the League had already accomplished.  Nonetheless, this organization continued to prosper and grow to its current 700 chapters around the country and 500,000 active members in all 50 states. Counting among its member’s notables are Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, First Ladies Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford and Lady Bird Johnson, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The LWV continues to encourage women to run for office to achieve a more accurate representation of the nation’s gender demographic.

To celebrate the achievements and upcoming plans for what the local Hilton Head-Bluffton LWV Chapter considers most urgent facing voters in the Lowcountry is a list of important 2020 programs to make a difference:

Life & Order: You Worked Hard to Earn It. Let Us Work Hard To Protect It.

Catherine Scarminach

Prepared. Aware. Ready.

Life & Order: You Worked Hard to Earn It. Let Us Work Hard To Protect It.

Many people think estate planning is only for the wealthy or elderly, but the truth is everyone has an estate; and no matter how large or how modest, how old or how young, you can’t take it with you when you die. An estate plan helps ensure that your wishes for yourself, your family and your assets are carried out in the event of your illness or death.

Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging for the disposal of one’s assets. Modern estate planning also protects your estate in the event of incapacity.  Common estate planning tools include Wills and Trusts, Beneficiary Designations, Durable Powers of Attorneys and Health Care Powers of Attorney.

A Last Will and Testament is one of the most basic tools, and it’s one that many people are familiar with. A Will allows you to provide instructions for the distribution of your property at death, and names one or more persons to manage your estate until final distribution. If you are the parent of a minor child, a Will also provides the opportunity for you to name a guardian.

 

Life & Order: How's the Market?

Jeff Hall

Prepared. Aware. Ready.

Life & Order: How's the Market?

The current trends in the Lowcountry real estate market are remarkable, definitely a wave you want to ride if you have any thoughts of buying, selling, upsizing, or downsizing. As we look at 2020, according to the Annual Report on the Hilton Head Housing Market released by the Hilton Head Area Association of Realtors, “Continued low mortgage rates and a healthy economy is giving a great start to housing.” If you have driven around the Lowcountry, it is easy to see new construction—both commercial and single family homes—sprouting up everywhere. This growth is expected to help loosen up the inventory available for purchase. A healthy market will often tighten up the number of homes for sale, which also can lead to a shorter time span between listing and selling. In other words, you’re in luck if you’re buying or selling!

Life & Order: My Parent's Health is Declining. What Now?

Mariah Navarre & Emily Fairchild

Prepared. Aware. Ready.

Life & Order: My Parent's Health is Declining. What Now?

What is skilled nursing? Skilled nursing is a collection of services, including, but not limited to, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. These services are aimed to return a patient back to their prior level of functioning before an injury, or illness.

How do I qualify for a skilled nursing stay? If you are admitted into the hospital, or have had a recent stay in the hospital in the last 30 days, and you and your medical team agree that you need 24-hour nursing care and rehabilitation prior to returning home, then you may be a good candidate. Your hospital case manager, or the case manager at the facility you choose, can run your insurance and let you know if you qualify. To qualify for skilled nursing benefits from Medicare, the patient must have a 3-night stay at a hospital before being covered. If the patient has a managed care insurance, a pre-authorization is required.

Life & Order: Hilton Head Island Property Purchase 101

Beverly Serral

Prepared. Aware. Ready.

Life & Order: Hilton Head Island Property Purchase 101

Think that owning a second home or vacation rental property on Hilton Head Island and your new, 2020 stress-free life are mutually exclusive? Honestly, they aren’t. Owning a home or villa on Hilton Head can be a hugely rewarding experience, a great long-term investment, and a lot of fun. But, as with most things in life, you will need a trusted guide and great support system in order to achieve peace with purchase and ongoing good nights of sleep.

Students, here’s your course syllabus:

Life & Order: I am ___ Years Old. What Estate Planning Documents Do I Need?

Rebekah Freeman, Esquire

Prepared. Aware. Ready.

Life & Order: I am ___ Years Old. What Estate Planning Documents Do I Need?

Technically, you don’t “need” an estate plan. Every state has laws in place to handle situations when an individual dies, or becomes incapacitated and has no estate documents.

For example, in South Carolina, if you become incompetent or disabled, and have no Financial or Healthcare Power of Attorneys, your parents, spouse, friend, partner, etc. can go to the Probate Court and petition the Court to be appointed as your Conservator (Finances) and/or your Guardian (healthcare/everything else). Similarly, if you die with no will or trust in place, South Carolina’s intestacy laws will control and dictate how your estate is distributed.

If you, like so many out there, find that leaving decisions up to the discretion of the State to be less than satisfactory, then you should speak with an estate planning attorney to get your affairs in order.

Here’s a breakdown of estate planning for certain age groups:

On the Scene in St. Augustine

Elizabeth Skenes Millen

A City For Lovers

On the Scene in St. Augustine

St. Augustine is for lovers. Lovers of history, architecture, art, food, nature, beaches and shopping. It is also romantic, truly perfect for lovers in every way. However, my trip to St. Augustine was a girls’ trip, and boy, did I have a full cultural experience and a lot of fun!

St. Augustine, Florida, is only three and a half hours down the coast, an easy drive, but a world away. I had spent time at the lovely beaches there before, but this trip was all about the cozy, historic town, where I felt like I had stepped back into an old-world, European village, complete with cobblestone streets, fabulous architecture and rich history, dating back to the 1500s.

St. Augustine is the oldest city in America and will celebrate its 455th anniversary this year. This city has managed to maintain its old-world charm and modernize at the same time, offering a balance of plenty to do, with the pull to retreat and spend time writing, reading, resting and strolling.

My Date with TEDx

Carrie Hirsch

My Date with TEDx

TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) began in 1984 and quickly evolved into a worldwide conference with speakers presenting in more than 100 languages. Independently run TEDx events, including TEDxHiltonHeadWOMEN Bold + Brilliant, held at the Harbourtown Clubhouse at Sea Pines Resort last December, continue to share “ideas worth spreading” thanks to organizer Rex Gale. As Rex says: “The thing about TED is, it’s not like your normal presentation – it’s an idea. What are the experiences you’ve had in your life? What are the situations you’ve found yourself in?” Bringing these experiences to the TEDx stage can be empowering, as I learned on a personal level when I attended to hear all the ladies’ ideas.

Take Heart

Marilynn Preston

You're The Cupid You've Been Waiting For

Take Heart

I’m taking Valentine’s Day to heart this year for one good reason: So many hearts are feeling the stress of all that’s going on. Anxiety is the cheesy chicken-fried steak of the healthy heart, the open heart, the heart that is so at ease, you barely flinch when someone cuts in line or steals your parking place.

Whether it comes from politics, the stock market, the office or the ongoing dramas and traumas in your own house, stress strains the heart and gets in the way of your personal well-being. Big-time.

Great Love To Their Teacher Pat Conroy

Mary Hope Roseneau

From Beaufort High School Class of 1969

Great Love To Their Teacher Pat Conroy

Great Love. . . the closing words Author Pat Conroy always used in signing off with his friends, 
either on the telephone, or in handwritten letters. The Great Love continues with a donation from his former students to the Pat Conroy Literary Center to continue Pat’s work with students, teachers, writers and readers.

The Beaufort High Class of 1969, which I proudly belong to, had its 50th reunion last October during the Shrimp Festival. The weather was perfect, the turnout was great, and due to meticulous budgeting and generous donors, we ended up with a surplus.

Lettuce Go To The Gardens

Rinsha Ballani

Vote For Your Favorite in the Garden Tour Art Show

Lettuce Go To The Gardens

On Saturday, May 16, 2020, from 10am to 4pm, the All Saints Episcopal Church on Hilton Head Island will be presenting its eagerly awaited 33rd Annual Garden Tour. An event not to be missed, the Garden Tour will feature seven stunning gardens throughout Hilton Head and Bluffton, as well as lunch and a stop at a boutique.

The famous Garden Tour was brought about in the earliest years of the church’s existence, with a commitment to create togetherness and joy, bringing the congregation together on a common project. After two incredible years of success, it was decided to expand the organization of this growing project in order to benefit charities in the local community. Since then, the All Saints Garden Tour has donated more than $500,000 to organizations in need, focusing on non-profit groups that work to combat homelessness, hunger, aging and illiteracy. The 2020 grant recipients are The Hunger Coalition of the Lowcountry, The Antioch Educational Center, St. Stephens United Methodist Church Outreach Foodbank, Family Promise, Crossroads Community Support Services and Safe Harbour. 

Fashion Dos and Don'ts

Sharon Mosley

For a New Decade

Fashion Dos and Don'ts

A new decade is the perfect transition time to look back and see what has worked for you in the past and what changes can be made in the next few years. Then make your own list of do’s and don’ts. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

A Foolproof Formula to Fix Your Money in 2020

Mary Hunt

A Foolproof Formula to Fix Your Money in 2020

According to a survey conducted by Offers.com, the top two New Year’s resolutions in the U.S. for 2019 came in almost tied, with exercise more/lose weight at 38 percent and save money at 37 percent. So, how did that work out for you? Is your financial picture better now than it was 12 months ago? Are you more fit and lean?

The reason I love New Year’s is it feels like a clean slate—a fresh start. Whether you did great in 2019 or blew it altogether, I have good news. Today’s a new day—a new year—and a chance to start over or to do even better. We’ve been granted another opportunity. As for that saving money part, I have a great formula that’s been working for me and thousands of people I’ve led out of debt and into a lifestyle where they consistently live below their means.

Sleep Is a Dreamy State

Marilynn Preston

for People With a Brain

Sleep Is a Dreamy State

Sleep is the new black. It’s trending up, and if you haven’t woken up to how essential it is—for your physical and mental well-being—that’s probably because you’re not getting enough of it.
And what is enough? Aim for 8 hours or more a night. WHAT? It was easier before, when humans just naturally rose with the sun and bedded down with the moon, but now we’re living in an electrified, digitized, brain-fried 24/7 world. And for many reasons, it’s getting in the way of our deepest, most restful sleep.

It’s up to you—your awareness, your actions—to change that dynamic. At least sleep on it.
Because the science is clear: 5, 6, 7 hours isn’t enough. Your body and your brain need time to rest, to restore, to nurture, or else, over time, they break down in unpleasant ways.

Walking The Path:

Marilynn Preston

A Step-By-Step Guide to Transformation

Walking The Path:

Everything about walking is good for your well-being—unless you're doing it with a bag of Oreos. It builds strength, reduces your risk of heart disease, juices up your joints, calms your mind and helps you and your cocker spaniel live longer, happier lives.

Some scoff at walking, dismissing it as exercise lite, not cool, maybe even a waste of your recreational time. These people should be taken with a gram of pink Himalayan salt.

HGTV Dream Home

It's All Pink

Q&A with Brian Patrick Flynn

HGTV Dream Home

If you know HGTV, then you certainly know the buzz around the Lowcountry: The home for HGTV’s Dream Home Giveaway 2020 is in our very own backyard! We had an opportunity to peruse the newly built and fully decked out home inside Windmill Harbour on Hilton Head to get the inside information from interior designer Brian Patrick Flynn himself! This is Brian’s fifth year designing the HGTV Dream Home. In addition, he is the interior designer for HGTV’s annual Urban Oasis project, and has a full service production company of his own, FlynnsideOut Productions.

Q: What is the style and look of the home? Where did it come from?

Brian: The HGTV dream home is geared to be someone’s forever home. The one thing I did want to stick with throughout is the idea of coastal, so blue and white are a natural. It just makes sense here. But I wanted to experiment with color, so as you make your way from downstairs to upstairs, you’ll see really intense coastal colors. The green is not your average green; it’s much more tropical, like what you’ll find in Florida, or in Charleston. The aqua you see reminds you more of Miami Beach and Key West. The idea was to play with all coastal styles and create a much more transitional look.

The Winter Coat Check

Sharon Mosley

Snap. Snap. Cold Snap

The Winter Coat Check

Snap. Snap. Cold snap ... and we’re reaching for the coat closet. If you didn’t receive a new coat for Christmas, you may want to snap your fingers and magically transform the chill chasers in your closet. With a new fashion cold front blasting its way into the season, it’s time to warm up to some new outerwear trends and heat up your wardrobe.

Snuggle up to Teddy. One of the biggest trends for the cold weather is the teddy coat. This fuzzy faux fur coat is named after—yes, you guessed it—that childhood favorite, the teddy bear. Comfort is the name of this coat, which comes in all kinds of retro ‘70s styles, from short, cropped pixie styles to full-length maxis.

100+ Women Who Care

Rinsha Ballani

On a Mission Driven By Angels

100+ Women Who Care

168 Women. 1 hour.
That’s all it takes to make tremendous impact.

When you hear the phrase “tremendous impact,” what comes to mind? Making an impact means bettering our community and usually involves a hefty amount of dedicated time and effort. Being busy people living fast-paced lives, we are often challenged to add philanthropy to our already overflowing schedules.

What if there was a way to make a tremendous impact, without having to make a tremendous commitment of time and money? For Jackie Ryan and Ann Tucker, founders of 100+ Women Who Care on Hilton Head Island, the answer lies in simplicity.

The Making of a Heart Safe Community

Michele Roldán-Shaw

How Hilton Head Island First Responders Did It and Increased Your Chances of Survival

The Making of a  Heart Safe Community

Most of us have probably never thought through our odds of survival if we were to drop from sudden cardiac arrest. Even professional responders have delved surprisingly little into the various factors around this typically fatal event. But Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue is different. They have thought it through, extensively, and they’ve trained accordingly. The result is that they are saving more people each year than will ever get caught in burning buildings.

Should you suffer cardiac arrest on Hilton Head,
your hope of survival is better than almost
anywhere else in the world.

Backpack Buddies of Hilton Head

Carrie Hirsch

Nourishing Underserved Children in our Community

Backpack Buddies of Hilton Head

The best ideas are born out of need. This is how Janet Weingarten launched and became the first Chair of Backpack Buddies of Hilton Head, which has changed thousands of young lives. “Ten years ago I attended a community forum sponsored by the Social Action Committee on “Hidden Hunger In the Lowcountry.”  As a new resident of Hilton Head, I was shocked to learn that at that time 49 percent of children attending the Hilton Head elementary schools participated in the federal free breakfast and lunch program. I decided I wanted to help alleviate childhood hunger where I lived,” says Weingarten. The Hunger Coalition of the Lowcountry was born, an interfaith effort with support from First Presbyterian Church, Congregation Beth Yam, St. Andrew By the Sea United Methodist and St. Francis By the Sea Catholic Church congregants. Since then, Christ Lutheran and Hilton Head Island Community Church members have joined the effort. Janet is now past Chair, executive board member and grant director. Joe Kerr is the present Chairman of the Board, and Debi Dunlap and Jeannette Davis serve as the co-chairs of this non-profit organization.

From the Mouth of Babes

It's All Pink

Kids Talk About Making a Difference

From the Mouth of Babes

You don’t have to be an adult to make a difference. We asked local Beaufort County children how they make a difference and help others, or who has made a difference in their lives. Here’s what they had to say just in time to warm your heart and remind you of the miracle of the season.

“I help my mommy with the garbage and laundry. My favorite part is when I stand on my tippy toes, and I get to put all the clothes into the washer.”
 — Giovanni, Kindergarten

What's the Buzz This Holiday Season?

Mary Addison

There’s a New Hive on Hilton Head

What's the Buzz This Holiday Season?

In case you haven’t heard, honeycomb is the in thing this holiday season! Honeycomb is the most raw form of honey—the last living beings to touch the honey inside the comb were the bees who made it. The wax cells of honeycomb are not only edible, but also beneficial because they contain natural vitamin A, as well as healthy roughage. Beautiful to look at and delicious to eat, whole honeycomb is a can’t-go-wrong addition to any party and a perfect gift choice for any foodies on your Christmas shopping list.

However, if you want to leave your foodie friends buzzing way into the New Year, be sure to include whole honeycomb on your homemade charcuterie platters and cheese boards. Raw honeycomb, when placed on cheese or fruit, is deliciously impressive to both the palate and the eyes. The addition of whole honeycomb kicks up your basic charcuterie to supercuterie status.

My Gifts to You: End-of-Year Wishes to Spark Joy, Bring Change

Marilynn Preston

My Gifts to You: End-of-Year Wishes to Spark Joy, Bring Change

It’s the holiday season. Still!

No one feels like doing work these last few weeks of the year, that’s for sure. The winter solstice helps shift us on a cellular level, and we realize the time between now and the dawn of 2020 is all about kicking back, spiking the eggnog and writing checks to charities you believe in.

So here are five end-of-year gifts, from me to I-believe-in-you. I offer them as steppingstones on your own personal path to well-being, however meandering it may have been this past year.

The only drawback? For these gifts to spark joy and provoke positive change, you have to do all the work.

Sweater Weather:

Sharon Mosley

Top 5 Knit Hits

Sweater Weather:

Don't come unraveled. Instead, enjoy the big chills of the season ahead in a big sweater. Save the coats to wear when the temperatures dip below freezing. Keep your fashion wits about you indoors and out with these cozy knit hits for fall and winter.

The Fair Isle sweater. It's THE sweater of the year. This classic is named after an island in the north of Scotland, where the softest heathered yarns were produced and used to make sweaters with yokes and cuffs in brightly colored patterns. The latest Fair Isle sweaters are updated in new colors and sophisticated designs. Take these sweaters with you on your next ski trip, or make them island-chic paired with short skirts and tall boots.

The Proper Care & Feeding of the ONE Thing Every Home Must Have

Mary Hunt

The Proper Care & Feeding of the ONE Thing Every Home Must Have

My heart was pounding, and the smoke alarm was screaming, and I was in full-on panic mode. Flames were reaching toward the adjacent wood cabinets. It happened so fast! I didn’t have time to run to the pantry to search for baking soda.

I had a rip-roaring fire on my hands, and I was in slow motion thinking about how sad it would be to be homeless for Christmas.

I’d turned my back for a few seconds to find a utensil. When I returned, small flames were shooting from the burner. My quick thinking told me to smother the grease fire, so I grabbed a pot lid to do that. But the lid wasn’t airtight, and soon the flames were double the size—and spreading.
That’s when I locked eyeballs with the fire extinguisher that had been sitting on the counter for so long it blended into the decor.

5 Ways to Make Giving a Family Affair This Holiday Season

Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz

5 Ways to Make Giving a Family Affair This Holiday Season

Dear Readers: I've been talking a lot about young people and financial education lately, but there's one thing I haven't discussed recently that I think is an important part of everyone's financial lives: giving. Now, with Thanksgiving just ahead and Giving Tuesday coming right after, I want to share some ideas on how to introduce your kids to the importance of philanthropy and get the whole family involved in giving this season.

To me, saving and giving go hand in hand. As you teach your kids to manage their money and save a certain percentage for their future goals, it's a natural extension to also encourage them to earmark some of their money for a charitable cause. And what better time than the holidays to focus on how to share our own good fortune?