Category Archives: Stress

Taking control of your finances after divorce

The key to managing finances after a divorce is to get organised early.  Grab a cuppa and have a read through this short guide for six tips on taking control.

Divorce can be one of the most financially and emotionally stressful experiences of a person’s life. The key to taking control is to get organised early. Acting quickly to organise accounts, update details and make financial plans may help start the next phase of life with more peace of mind.

The following steps are a great place to start.

1.      Get organised

It’s important to keep track of key dates, such as when the separation occurred. It’s also a good idea to arrange a redirection of mail for the party moving out, so you continue to receive mail at the new address.

Both parties should gather all financial information, making sure there are copies of
all documents. Also write a list of all financial and property assets, liabilities and policies, making a note of whose name each document is registered under. This may include:

  • bank, brokerage or investment accounts
  • credit cards
  • vehicle registration
  • life, health, home, car, health and other insurance policies
  • utility bills for electricity, gas, internet and phone
  • property documents such as deeds, mortgage papers and home loan details
  • recent tax returns and tax file numbers
  • superannuation account details
  • will and estate plans
  • rental agreements or leases.

    2.      Close any joint accounts

    It is important to close accounts or credit cards that are in both names and cancel any redraw facilities. This will protect the finances of each individual and ensure no more debt accumulates. Each should then open an account in their own name, which only they can access. They will also need to redirect any income that previously entered a shared account into the new account.  Also check any shared social media or other accounts such as eBay – change of passwords may also be required.

    3.      Review your finances

    Update any remaining accounts, loans or policies so they are registered in just one name.  This can be time consuming, so make a list and tick them off as they’re completed.

    Insurance

    It’s crucial to update insurance policies as any individual not named will not be covered. This individual will need to make sure that they have other cover in place that is adequate and affordable for their needs. Also, remember to update any nominated beneficiaries on new or existing policies.

    Loans

    The person whose name is on a loan agreement is responsible for any debt, regardless of changed personal circumstances. It’s vital for the necessary party to remove their name or for both individuals to pay off the loan.  Sometimes agreements need to be reached prior to the changes being allowed.

    Superannuation

    Superannuation is usually a significant financial asset. Any nominated beneficiaries of the parties’ retirement nest eggs will need to be updated.

    Rent and Utilities

    Updating rental agreements and utilities will be crucial, as the listed person may be left with damage or unpaid bills to cover.

    4.      Change Wills, Powers of Attorney and Beneficiaries

    Many Australians don’t realise that divorce can affect their will. Different states have different laws.

    In Western Australia, for example, divorce automatically revokes a current will. It is vital to update wills to reflect new circumstances as soon as possible.

    To be valid, a will needs to be signed by two witnesses. Drawing up a will can be complex so it is often best to consult a solicitor.  Ask also about reviewing or starting Powers of Attorney.

    5.      Create a new budget

    It can take time to adjust to relying on one income. Creating a budget and financial plan early on can make it easier to track expenses and feel confident that bills and payments will be covered.

    6.      Reach out

    Most of us know someone who’s been there, and that divorce can be a very difficult time. There are many online government resources, as well as legal aid services, counsellors and financial advisers that can provide helpful advice on how to make the process as painless as possible.

    Getting in touch with nearby support services or creating a supportive group of friends is the best way to get a helping hand.

5 ways to build Resilience

Do you crumble in the face of adversity or thrive under pressure?
We look at some ways you can build your resilience and manage stress.

The term resilience describes a person’s capacity to bounce back from stressful situations.  Being able to cope under difficult circumstances can reduce the incidence of mental health or behavioural problems such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse and antisocial behaviour.

There is also emerging evidence* that young people who display resilience are more likely to achieve school success.

Here are five ways you can build your resilience.

1.      Look after yourself

In a fast-paced world, we all need to take time out for ourselves occasionally. Engage in activities you enjoy, exercise regularly and ensure you get enough sleep. Taking care of yourself helps to keep your mind and body primed to deal with tough situations.

2.      Think positive

Resilient people are optimists. Maintain a positive outlook and find ways to build your self-confidence. Keeping a sense of perspective in stressful times can help you to solve problems and avoid blowing the event out of proportion.

3.      Accept change

We live in a world of constant change, so being adaptable when responding to uncertainty is a key life skill. Rather than expecting to have full control over everything in your life, instead expect the unexpected. Be open to different points of view and rather than resisting change, try to engage with it.

4.      Make connections

In a TED talk which has achieved over 11 million views, Stanford University health psychologist Kelly McGonigal discusses how the stress hormone, oxytocin, motivates us to seek support from people who care about us.

Building close relationships, whether that is with colleagues, family or friends, can help you to recover more quickly from stressful situations.

5.      Learn from your mistakes

Failure is one of life’s common traumas, yet our responses to it can vary widely. Seeing failure as a learning opportunity is one of the traits of resilient people. Appreciating your mistakes for what they are can help you to overcome fears, take responsibility and live a life without regrets.

Learning to Thrive! with Arianna Huffington

Learning to Thrive, Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post, Business Chicks Event, Melbourne

Arianna3

Well what a gorgeous lady, and what a privilege to see Arianna Huffington on her whirlwind trip to Oz.

The Peninsula room in Docklands was decorated beautifully, with incredibly low and flattering lighting, and the thousand (mostly) women in attendance were ready. The Business Chicks vibe was out and proud.  And with 6 events in 36 hours it was awesome to be there for this one.

BC2

 Nicky Buckley was our gorgeous MC and did a fabulous job introducing Arianna, possibly echoing all our thoughts by the end, that we ‘just wanted her to be our best friend.’

And, from the moment she opened her mouth on stage and we heard that gorgeous Greek accent, I think we were all in love.

But even more important, than her charm, wit and elegance, was her message, in learning to digital detox, reduce stress and starting to thrive.

I devoured her book Thrive some time ago, and it was great to hear those important messages once again.

BC1In a culture that ‘men have broken’ we’re expected to view sleep deprivation as a badge of honour, and stress and burnout as a natural progression in our working lives.  Its the illness of our civilisation and it’s up to us to change that. It’s interesting to note how many of our poorest decisions are based on lack of sleep and being too tired to best evaluate what we should do.

Arianna’s brush with burnout is set to serve as a wake up call to all to get our eight hours sleep each night, remove devices from bedside, and take a day to digital detox each week (if God could rest after 6 days of hard work, so should we!)  We need to start adding a third metric when defining success in our lives, beyond money and power, by learning the magic of ‘Wellbeing, Wonder, Wisdom, and Giving.’

Business Chicks have a culture of women who want to give back, and not just turn up to take, which fits perfectly with an ethic of giving and creating a happier life.  As Arianna’s wonderfully wise mother put it, ‘a giving attitude can transform our lives from struggle to grace.’

There were so many key takeouts from her story.

One tip she shared with Oprah was that we are more magnificent than our jobs.

Another is that ‘No’ is a complete sentence. Who knew?

Learn to make eye contact again and connect with our children and friends when they speak with us.

Start looking up!

For inspiration on how others have taken up the challenge, check out the #HowIThrive hashtag and join the Thrive revolution!

AC & Zoe

Build Your Confidence Around Money

Most of us have some insecurities… it could be about how we look, how to act in certain circumstances,  or where to invest.

Usually when we don’t understand something, like why people act a certain way, how to put a great meal together or direct shares, superannuation, our mortgage, taxes or insurance, we can also feel insecure.

People who are good with money often use a particular trait to get past the insecurity… they ask for help.  Understand that you don’t know what you don’t know… and ask an expert.

No shame in that!  All of us excel in certain areas, and just aren’t that hot in others… or even interesting in becoming so!

Do you have a friend who keeps their finger on the pulse with finances, studied accounting or has a finance degree?  Or someone who just really has it together financially with low debt and good income producing assets?  And I don’t mean the cabbie with the hot tip for the races!

Not everyone wants to know, or needs to know how managed funds work, the intricacies of Self-Managed Superannuation or the tax advantages of the Transition to Retirement Strategy.  No shame in that!

So, what do you try and conceal about money that you feel you should know?  Are there areas that you’d like to know more about?  Do you know someone who could help you with this? And you then feel you’d make more informed decisions? Or are you happy ‘outsourcing’ to the professionals?  Often the best option of all!

Build up your own confidence around money with education – read some books, take some online courses or ask someone who’s pretty savvy how they manage.

Education is a great healer for all insecurities!  Try it today.

The Working Woman Juggle

As most women already know, there’s lots to juggle all at once. There’s our partner’s needs, the kids, maintaining the home and household, extended family, friends and fitting in the ‘me’ time.  And whilst some of this can be outsourced, in practice, it’s not always possible.

Which in turn, raises two major issues in life that need facing: Heath and Wealth.  If you’re healthy, efforts can be made to invest wisely.  If you’re unwell, here’s hoping you have adequate strategies in place.

Stress tends to pressure the adrenals into working overtime, producing cortisol and adrenalin.  That’s great if you’re trying to fight a huge spider, but on an ongoing basis, doesn’t do wonders for the internal organs.  Side effects can include high blood pressure which in turn raises other health risks.    The scary stats are that women have a 55% prevalence of cardiovascular disease (men 45%) and 5% burden of stroke (men 4%) and two thirds of all heart failure sufferers are female.  (Australia’s Health 2008)

And most women deal with stress by smoking and/or drinking.  Both of which also cause an increase in likelihood of cancer and organ damage.  Drug use is on the rise and it’s also difficult to maintain a great diet when eating on the run or at erratic hours,  and reaching for the comfort food or fast food.

Many women over 55 now have higher cholesterol than men and a greater incidence of diabetes mellitus.  Women also choose to put off child bearing to a later age, and unfortunately this in turn can lead to increased complications!

Who’d be a working woman??

Or the better question is… how can we reduce some of the stress??  Well, the top tips will come as no surprise, and take a little planning.

1. Ensure the diet is improved – even just increasing the fruit and veg and water intake can help.

2. Quit smoking.  You know why!

3. Decrease the amount of alcohol taken.  I’m up for a glass of bubbles as much as the next girl, but do ensure there’s a  couple of alcohol free days each week.

4. Time Management.  Take a look-see at each day and see if there isn’t just a better way of getting things done.  Can you delegate some tasks? Rearrange others? Have someone help out with the kids each week. Meal clubs and car pools can work wonders to free up time.

And for your own sake, please consider:  Life Insurance, Total & Permanent Disablement Cover, Trauma Protection and Disability Income Cover.

With such hugely active lifestyles now and associated risk factors, it’s vital that working girls have the products to provide an income stream or ability to pay down debts in the event of the unexpected.

Look after yourself!  You’re worth it!

WomanHappy