Inside this Newsletter

1. Article
    A. Are you saving for your future needs?
    B. Have You Exhaled Yet?

2. Inspiration Corner
3. Spinster Letters
4. Healthy Hero Sandwich
5. Advertisements

Are you saving for your future needs?

Lately articles have been popping up with concerns people between the ages of 25-40 are falling below average with their financial planning efforts. Saving less that 10 percent of their earnings per month. Wow, thatís saying these people will be in a great deal of trouble if they should lose their jobs or when they finally retire will lack sufficient moneys for a comfortable retirement. How much are you stashing away each month in your savings? What are you doing to make your money grow?

    ďI took it upon myself to start saving 30% of my monthly earings when I was a intern at my first job. Everyone knows the title intern means ďbarely paidĒ but I managed to save. For all those young people saying theyíre not making enough to save, nonesense you just have to be willing to do without some frivulous expenses. It wasnít until I landed employment at my present job that I had a full retirement compensation plan so Iím glad I started planning early.Ē 49, Casey

The purpose of this article is not to give financial advice but to spur those of you who have yet to start thinking seriously about putting money aside for your well-being to do so now. Things happen and we need to be prepared as much as possible and having a healthy savings account wouldnít hurt. Nearly ten years ago I had fallen ill and let me tell you it was at the worst possible time of my life. I was laid off from a job in which there were no benefits, good paying yes but no benefits. Naive in my thinking I lived for the day and not the future so very little money was saved. ďIím young I donít have to worry about that kinda of stuff until Iím older.ĒYeah right!

My thyriod started malfunctioning and the end result of this condition was a weak body that was slowly tearing itíself apart. After being diagnosed with Graves Disease the horror was just beginning, the treatment costs came into the picture. I didnít have any health insurance which meant I had to pay cash for my treatments and doctor visits. No money of my own I turned to my parents for help. Their support lasted almost two years, the length of my medical care. After my medical experience I decided never again will my parents have to assume responsibility for my welfare.

When I read about a 29 year old woman earning $40k a year living paycheck to paycheck I saw myself. I know there are some of you who find her situation unreal but I can assure you itís very common. This poor woman is under the same false belief I was guilty of having in my youth with regards to saving for my future. Funny, that same day I read about her I saw on the news kids in therapy for uncontrollable investing habits. KIDS,what a stark contrast in stories!

    ďAs a financial planner I would recommend twenty-something individuals save as much as half of their monthly earnings. Yes it sounds unreasonable and steep especially if they're just starting out. They can find their own savingsí comfort zone but it should never be less that 30%. Why? They are most likely to have 3-5 jobs before their 40th birthday due to the current employment trends, and with more companies opting for temporary employees less benefits are being provided. Temporary employees will have to dig in their pockets for healthcare and retirement costs so now is the time to think seriously about those issues.Donít wait until youíre in a bind to look at your needs.Ē52,Tippi

Let this article be a warning to those of you living without a net, save,save,save before you learn as I did, the hard way!

The footsteps of those proud spinsters that have gone before and those that are soon to follow.

Have You Exhaled Yet?

I had heard that Waiting To Exhale was a good movie so I rented a copy. It was entertaining if that was the main goal of the film but it typified single women right down to the idea a married man is better than no man. The part I had difficulty understanding was the mother encouraging her daughter to continue a dead relationship that couldnít possibly lead anywhere with this married man. The motherís justification was ďI donít want you to end up like me, aloneĒ. My question is whatís so bad with a woman alone? The movie reflected life all too well, at least how people in this culture think about single women, desperate moments eating at our souls.

The best part of the movie was when the daughter told her mother there was a possibility she would spend the rest of her life alone but she was going to make the most of her life [paraphased of course]. I cheered for that daughter when she verbalized her motherís worst fear, her being contented with a lifetime of singleness without the guilt. The women in that movie did everything but jump the men from behind out of fear they would find themselves alone.The entire movie was about women believing theyíre not complete without a man. Itís a shame women buy into the thought that their entire lives are to be spent setting traps for men as if nothing else matters. Iíve never married and I donít feel guilty about not getting married. Last year I stopped dating because I was tired of the confusion caused by men thinking I wanted a serious relationship. When I was buying into that I couldnít find one man interested in a commitment, now, Iím overrun with offers, I canít figure that one out. Could it be that men only want to commit to a woman that donít need them as much as they need her? Whatever the case Iím turning them away and they keep coming. Have you exhaled? Itís my choice not date so youíre not going to find me waiting to exhale because I already did! 41,Yuncie

Inspiration Corner

(Mary asked if I would place her letter in the Inspiration Corner to be of help to others like her.)

I spent most of my adult life wondering about the people around me, was there anybody that felt as I did about marriage, motherhood, sex? While living the religious life I wondered how many of the sisters I lived and worked with had the same feelings of not being apart of the world and retreated to the religious life to hide. Eventually we all face our demons, that plaguing feeling of abnormality because we didnít want what our culture told us we was suppose to want as normal women.

Hiding in the religious life made matters more frustrating because youíre trying to live an exemplary life according to Godís word and be true to your place in life at the same time. My place was to be husbandless and childless, but being true to myself left a feeling that I was not living according to Godís will of being paired and fruitful.

Occasionally I visit with other ex-nuns and we talk about why we left our religious vocations behind, and someone always brought up that feeling of not belonging. There we were running from a culture that felt foreign to us to another culture that preached relentlessly the very things we didnít want, marriage. Our illusions were shattered of the religious life being the sanctuary we all craved, we were required to spread the word to others to be married and parents, in that order. Itís the hypocrisy that frustrates the most, preaching something we didnít believe to other women so that they would conform to the church teachings.I donít face that frustration anymore since leaving my order, my leaving wasnít the cure, refusing to believe that the church knew what was best for me was. Only I will stand before God to answer for my life, that being the case I should live my life for me.

I was asked by another how I knew I made the right decision by leaving the religious life? I answered her by saying I donít spend my waking hours wondering if I did, I accept each day as another of Godís blessings and live for each minute of that day, thatís my marker for knowing I made the right decision. 46,Mary

Spinster Letters

How interesting that your newsletter this month includes a story about single parent adoptions! Ever since becoming an adoptive (married) parent myself, more than twenty-five years ago, I have been helping others with their adoption pursuits. During all these years, fully one third of my clients have been single women. One of my clients just brough her third baby home from Central America.

Do keep telling single women that they CAN be mothers, if they wish, and that adoption is a wonderful way of achieving that goal! Best regards,
Lya Sorano

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Healthy Hero Sandwich

A weakness I have is to sandwiches especially during the summer months when I feel lazy. Hereís a recipe for a Hero Sandwich I think you will find tasty.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red oinion (thinly sliced)
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1 pound of thinly sliced eggplant
1 sliced bellpepper
2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
1/2teaspoon crushed dried basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 loaf Italian bread
1/2 pound thinly sliced luncheon meat or smoked turkey
1 slice mozzarella cheese
1 slice of cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon of mustard
Heat olive oil in skillet then add garlic and onions until golden, stir constantly to keep from burning. Add the rest of the ingredients minus the meat and cheese. Stir the vegetables until soft and most of the juices have evaporated. Remove from heat source and cooled. Bread is sliced lengthwise, spread thin coat of mustard on both sides. Then place cheeses on top then add cooked veggies, last but not least add the meat. Yummmy!!!

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