In the short video below, Dr. Patricia Kuhl, professor of Speech and Hearing Sciences and co-director of the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences at the University of Washington, discusses the science of language acquisition as it relates to brain development in very young children.
But what happens when a child has a disability? In the upcoming Family Development Early Intervention webinar on Nov. 3 entitled Quality Interactions Between Professionals and Families to Enhance Child Learning, our speaker Dr. Carol Trivette will discuss brain development and early language development and how providers can foster strong interactions between caregivers and children with disabilities to enhance child learning.
As described in a presentation by Professor William Klinger of Raritan Valley (NJ) Community College to the New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education, these generational reactions can be summarized as follows:
Age 20-35– What, me, worry? I’ve got plenty of time.
Age 35-55– Too many expenses. I’ll save later versus now.
Age 55-70- Yikes! I have no savings. It’s catch-up time.
Age 70+- How can I make my retirement savings last?
At age 20-35, the key thing to remember is that time is on your side. For example, college students graduating at age 22 have 45 years of compound interest on their savings before they’re eligible for full Social Security benefits at age 67. In addition to saving early, it is also important to keep spending in check so that savings can get an early start. Some young adults, unfortunately, procrastinate by thinking “I’ll start saving later when I pay off student loans” or “I’ll save when I make more money.”
In the “middle years,” age 35 to 55, emphasis should be on continued savings, especially in tax-deferred retirement savings accounts such as 401(k) and 403(b) plans. Be sure to take full advantage of the maximum available employer matching, such as 6% of your pay if you invest 6%, and track your annual progress by preparing a net worth statement that takes a “snapshot” of your current assets and debts.
In later adulthood, age 55 to 70, people are (hopefully!) empty nesters and can accelerate their savings even further. According to research by Fidelity investments, people should have 5 times their salary saved at age 55, 6 times at age 60, 7 times at age 65, and 8 times at age 67 to be considered “on track” for a comfortable retirement. Unfortunately, the 2016 Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute indicates that only 14% of workers have more than $250,000 saved for retirement and 54% have less than $25,000 in savings, including 26% that have less than 1,000.
A primary retirement planning concern of people age 70+ is having their savings last throughout their lifetime. High health care and long-term care costs in later life are also major concerns. A body of research suggests that initially withdrawing 4% of savings (whatever the dollar amount) and increasing it annually for inflation has about an 85% success rate (i.e., chance of not running out of money) over a 30-year period based on past investment performance data. New research findings with “floor and ceiling” withdrawal strategies and “decision rules” (e.g., freezing income during periods of negative investment returns) have been shown to increase success rates even further.
To summarize, retirement planning is important throughout adult life and can span a period lasting seven, or even eight, decades. Key messages for people of all generations are as follows:
Start saving for retirement as early in life as possible. If it’s too late for you to get an early start, save as much as you can today and encourage your children and/or grandchildren to start saving early.
Increase savings as income rises and/or expenses (e.g., child care) and/or debts (e.g., student loans) are reduced or end.
Develop an adequate savings nest egg and a strategy for sustainable retirement savings withdrawals in later life. To plan your retirement savings, use the Ballpark Estimate; http://www.choosetosave.org/ballpark/.
Enjoy the fruits of your labor in retirement and the journey of life along the way.
Register today to join the November 1 webinar Retirement Ready? Strategies for Military Families. CEUs for accredited financial counselors, certified personal finance counselors, marriage and family counselors, social workers and counselors are available.
We have all experienced some sort of change in our lives. Whether the change is big or small, there will likely be some emotional component to that change. For military service members and their families, retirement from the military can be a rather big change that can come with some pretty big emotions. When we civilian folks hear the word retirement, we often picture rest and relaxation, travel and fun. But, when military personnel and their families hear the same word, they may picture something very different- moving, job hunting, financial changes, and burden. Below is a list of changes that may be experienced by retiring service members and their families. As you read them, think about the emotional toll that each of these changes can take on a person and a family.
A New Job (or Career) – According to a report from Department of Defense published in 2012, the average age of retirees including reserve retired was 49 year old. For the majority of people retiring at the age of 49, this would mean a job or career change rather than an end to working. There is a possibility that the job held in the service does not have a “match” in the civilian world. This may force a retired service member to choose a new career path. The stress of finding a new job can be hard enough, but searching for a new career can offer even more challenges (ie, going back to school, attempting to find a new interest in work, etc).
Loss of a Support System- A unique feature of the military is the comradery and family-like dynamic that it offers to its service members and their families. While many families and service members continue to stay in touch after retirement, that same closeness and connection might be lost over time or decrease in intensity as a result of the separation. The service member may find that the their colleagues in the civilian world are not quite as supportive or understanding as those in the service.
Change in Financial Status- There may be a shift in finances after retirement. This shift could be temporary or it could be permanent. The shift could result in a move, cutting back on extracurricular family activities, etc.
Change in Location- Many families may move out of military housing or to different cities, states, and locations altogether. Whether the move is across country or just across town, moving can be stressful. Additionally, there may need to be a change in school locations for children, which can also add stress to a family.
The list of changes above, of course, is just a very small one that military personnel and their families experience through retirement. When working with military families around retirement, remember that all families will not experience the same emotions associated with each change. While some families may find a change in location to be highly stressful, other families may find joy in the fact that they will now have an opportunity to be in a consistent place for a longer period of time. Yes, the changes listed above can be unique to military families experiencing retirement, but always keep in mind that each family is unique. Consider the changes associated with the transition from the military into the civilian world and the emotions that can come with those, but don’t let that be the only guide in your work with these families. As always, let them guide you and tell you what struggles they are experiencing.
This post was written by Bari Sobelson, MS, LMFT, the social media and programming specialist for the MFLN Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network Family Development team on our website,Facebook, andTwitter.
Join the MFLN Military Caregiving team as we continue learning new skills and strategies for improved communication in times of crisis in the final session of our three-part Virtual Learning Event (VLE) beginning at 11:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, October 26.
In session three of the VLE entitled, Empowering Caregivers and Families, we will provide an in-depth look at effective practices for communicating sensitive topics. Highlighting real-life challenges and solutions, case studies, practices from the field and a panel of professionals will be employed in addressing some of the most pressing communication issues military helping professionals face.
What are some of your favorite memories as a military child?
Some of my favorite memories are the places I visited when we moved and the people we met. I have been to more countries than most kids will see in their lives. I also have friends living all over the world.
What, if anything, has been challenging?
One thing that has been challenging is the fact that you have to move frequently. Whenever you move, you have to start all over and make new friends. Another challenging thing is that sometimes I don’t get to see my dad for long periods of time. Sometimes he has been gone for as little as 4 months and sometimes as much as 15 months at a time.
Has your parent deployed while you were a child? How frequently?
My dad has been deployed seven times. He was sometimes home for just a few months between deployments and sometimes home for a least a year.
What did your parent(s) tell you about their deployment?
They told me that my dad was going to go away for a long time because of the Army. As I got older I began to understand that he would be far away with limited contact and that he was going to be away for a long time.
How far in advance were you informed?
I was informed around the same time that my dad found out he was deploying. My parents would tell my sisters and me well before he left.
What would you suggest to other parents that need to prepare their children for an impending deployment?
I would tell other parents that they should tell their kids about the deployment as soon as they know, and that they should tell them as much about it as their child can handle.
How can parents support their children through all phases of a deployment (pre, during, and post)?
Before my dad’s deployments he would spend a whole day with us. For example, he and I spent a whole day going to a hockey game. I would also say to parents that they should have a plan to incorporate little things during the deployment. When I was younger my mom and dad made Build-A-Bears for us with a message from my dad that he recorded before the deployment. We always go on family vacations after he gets home. We went to Hilton Head after a deployment and to the North Carolina mountains after another deployment. We are able to relax and enjoy time with just the five of us.
Have you moved frequently? If so, what strategies do you use to get used to your new “home” and make new friends? What recommendations do you have for adults to help military children through these transitions?
I have moved a total of seven times. To help me get used to a new home I always try to meet new neighbors and play outside with them as soon as possible. I also get involved with sports and try to start team practices and camps soon after we move. This helps because then I have people I know when I start at a new school. One recommendation that I have is be open to meeting new people. Another is that sports can help you adjust to a new location. One of my favorite things to do is to play sports so I meet a lot of friends through the sports I play.
What are some of the things your teachers have done for you at school that has helped you adjust/cope with military family life?
My teachers have made sure to introduce me to the military family life counselor (MFLC) at our school. They made sure that I knew there was someone I could always talk to if I had concerns about my dad.
Military families are a frequent target for holiday scams. With the holiday season in full swing, so are various frauds associated with it. Frauds tend to follow current events whether they are natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and tornados or seasonal events like income taxes and end-of-year holidays. Unfortunately, the holidays can bring out the worst, as well as the best, in people as thieves, both in person and online, steal victims’ money and/or identity.
Below are some common holiday scams to caution service members about:
Beware of e-mails asking you to provide personal information to receive a package. These are often phishing schemes to obtain personal identification information (PII) to commit identity theft. Don’t click on links from unknown sources.
Beware of “too good to be true” sales offers for relatively inexpensive high-end goods and electronics that request personal identification information. Fake retailer websites, may send shoddy merchandise or nothing at all and steal victims’ PII.
Beware of phony web sites with “off” logos and spelling and grammar mistakes and sales offers that require wire payment.
Use an application like Norton SafeWeb to warn you about unsafe websites.
Look for contact information on retail websites. For example, a phone number and physical location rather than a PO box or sole e-mail address. Another indicator of a reputable retailer is a “Terms and Conditions” link for return policies.
Beware of offers for “too good to be true” holiday season travel. The accommodations that are offered may be substandard or non-existent. Always deal with reputable travel agents and tour package providers.
Make sure that online orders are secure by looking for https:// in the website URL of an online merchant.
Beware of postcards for “undeliverable” packages. Some of these scams request PII or are a ploy to make expensive phone calls. For example, callers may be directed to the “hotbed” fraudulent area codes of 284, 809, and 876 in the Caribbean.
Use a credit, instead of a debit card, for large purchases. Not only can you receive rewards, but the credit card company may be able to reverse charges for shoddy or damaged goods. With a debit card, check, or cash, your money is gone.
Carry a minimum amount of cash, plastic, and personal information when shopping or traveling during the holidays and make sure that your wallet or purse is secure at all times and not left unattended (e.g., on the back of a chair).
Never provide donations and/or credit card information to telephone charitable solicitations. Some are outright scams and many have such high administrative expenses that very little money actually goes to the charitable cause.
Donate money only to charities you know that are registered with the IRS. Check their 990 form at guidestar.com.
Beware of phony charities that sound like legitimate ones (e.g., National Cancer Society instead of American Cancer Society).
Beware of phony charities that make highly emotional appeals for disabled police, firefighters, and military veterans.
Avoid having unattended packages left for delivery on your doorstep. Some criminals actually follow delivery trucks to steal victims’ holiday packages.
Require a signature for package delivery. If no one is at home, request that the package be given to a trusted neighbor or held at the nearest package pick-up depot.
Inspect gift cards before you buy them to make sure that they have not been tampered with (e.g., having the activation code scratched off). Thieves who steal these codes can often use a gift card before the rightful owner.
Buy gift cards that are kept behind a store counter or near the cash register so clerks can keep an eye on them to discourage tampering.
Get a gift card receipt for each gift card that you buy and include the receipt with gift cards as proof of activation and payment so recipients can obtain a replacement, if necessary.
Today’s Friday Field Notes features New York’s Cornell Cooperative Extension system and their efforts to bring more focused attention and leadership to the overlapping domains of military families, veterans, and disaster by creating a new leadership position. The new position indicates increasing recognition that extension is uniquely qualified and positioned to bring high-quality education and outreach to military service-members and their families, veterans, and members of the disaster prevention and response communities, and the communities they serve.
One of the larger challenges for State Family Program Directors, Community Service representatives, Family Advocacy representatives, and others engaged in similar work is that though they may be aware of how Cooperative Extension can be a “force multiplier” in the family readiness mission, they just don’t have a point of contact that seems to be in parity with their positions or areas of responsibility. New York state is hoping to change that.
Chris Watkins, Cornell Cooperative Extension Director, recently announced the half time appointment of Keith Tidball as Assistant Director, Disaster Education, Military Families and Veterans. Tidball, a US Army National Guard veteran, is a senior extension associate in the Department of Natural Resources in CALS who has been conducting research and extension in the contexts of disaster and war for over a decade, and has been with cooperative extension since 2002.
New York State is home to nearly 900,000 Veterans. Seventy-two percent served during periods of combat. Approximately 88,000 New Yorkers served in Afghanistan or Iraq. Additionally, New York State is home to approximately 30,000 active duty military personnel as well as an additional 30,000 National Guard and Reserve personnel. New York has the 4th largest number of Veteran-owned small businesses in the country.
New York hosts the largest military base in the northeast, Fort Drum, which is home to 18,000 Soldiers and another 18,000 military family members as well as just fewer than 4,000 civilian employees. New York is also home to the oldest service academy, the United States Military Academy at West Point which trains about 4,400 future Army officers annually. Outside of Fort Drum there are another 3,600 Active Duty military members in New York, while the New York Army and Air National Guard have a combined strength of 16,000 men and women. The federal reserve forces of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps reserves count another 14,500 New Yorkers among their ranks. Clearly there is a large population of military service members and their families to be served by Cornell Cooperative Extension.
Beyond traditional combat and combat support roles, disaster management is often a role played by military and other first responders. Civilians, too, have roles to play in disaster. From business owners, farmers, home-owners, the young and the old, there are educational opportunities and roles for cooperative extension in all four phases of the disaster management cycle. Cooperative extension has specific expertise and experience in rural communities and among the agricultural and natural resources sectors, as well as significant expertise in youth, family, and community education and outreach.
Regarding military families, Tidball will develop a comprehensive program targeted towards the nearly 40,000 service members and military families in New York State, building upon the work of Jefferson County Cooperative Extension and other associations, as well as extension faculty on campus. This military families program will benefit from close affiliation with the US Department of Defense/ US Department of Agriculture Military Extension Partnership, and will leverage existing relationships with the Military Families Learning Network, which serves military family service professionals through engaged online communities. Tidball will work towards a programmatic approach to increase and strengthen community capacity in support of military families, increase professional and workforce development opportunities for those working with military families, and expand and strengthen family, childcare and youth development programs focused on military families.
Finally, addressing the growing Veteran population in New York, Tidball will provide coordination and support of existing programs within CCE, CALS, CHE, ILR and the College of Veterinary Medicine in support of New York’s nearly 900,000 veterans. Further, as Assistant Director he will seek to expand the scope and scale of extension education programming targeting veterans to meet the employment needs of disabled veterans with emphasis directed toward serving those who are economically or educationally disadvantaged, including homeless veterans, and veterans with barriers to employment.
Asked about the new position with Cornell Cooperative Extension administration, Tidball said “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue and expand program areas within cooperative extension that are at the tip of the spear, as they say, the leading edge when it comes to putting knowledge to work in pursuit of economic vitality, ecological sustainability and social well-being. I look forward to working in these areas to continue to grow awareness of the power of cooperative extension, to make it ever more visible and viable, especially among those who need it most, when it’s needed most urgently.”
Join the MFLN Military Caregiving team as we focus on learning new skills and strategies for improved communication in times of crisis in the second session of our three-part Virtual Learning Event (VLE) beginning at 11:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, October 19.
In session two of the VLE entitled, Challenges Facing Families in Crisis, we will address some of the unique challenges military families face and examine ways to support them. Throughout this event, our speaker, Michelle Lewis MSW will focus on risk factors that increase military families’ vulnerability during crisis, resources for military families in crisis, as well as ways mental health concerns increase challenges for military families.
We hope you join us for the second session of the 2016 VLE, October 19th. To learn more about this VLE and the other sessions, click on 2016 MFLN Military Caregiving VLE.
CEU Credit Available!
The MFLN has applied for 1.5 National Association of Social Workers (NASW) continuing education credit for credentialed participants. Certificates of Completion will also be available for training hours as well. For more information on CEU credits go to: NASW Continuing Education Instructions.
Last week, theMFLN Family Development Early Intervention team brought you ablogwith three perspectives on the routines-based interview (RBI). This week, we offer you a short video of one parent’s experience and thoughts. Joy’s two children were in Early Intervention at different times. As a result, one of her children completed a RBI. However, for the other, they did not. Joy offers providers a powerful perspective from a parent’s point of view.
We’re looking forward to meeting many of you next month at the AFCPE Symposium in Louisville, KY. We hope to engage with many financial educators in the Pre-Conference sponsored by the Department of Defense.
Later in the week, we’ll talk about the process of creating our webinars. We hope financial educators will takeaway valuable lessons that will allow them to incorporate some of our methods in to their own curriculums.
Most of all, we are excited to meet you! One of the hundreds of webinar participants, Facebook followers, retweeters – we are excited to meet our virtual community in person. Please stop by our table, stop us in the hall, introduce yourself!