Balancing Work and Family
Adapted from Broadridge Investor Communication Services
At one time, the typical American family looked like this: a breadwinner father who commuted a short distance to work and earned a very good living, and a stay-at-home mother who took care of the kids and family home with aplomb. Life seemed easy and manageable, with plenty of time for family meals, parent relaxation, and important life lesson discussions, and little in the way of work or technological distractions.
Today, things are different. There are many more two-parent, dual-income families and single-parent households, along with increased work expectations, longer commutes, and a 24/7 mindset. The result is often a more harried existence for today’s parents as they try to balance their work commitments and family obligations – a juggle that is one of the major issues people face during their working years.
30 Years: Our Core Culture Has Stayed The Same
Well, HTC has passed another milestone – 30 years.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is still true that two out of three start-up businesses, with employees, will only last two years and about half of the remaining ones will last five years. I guess we can say we made it.
With a milestone like that, we should have a big celebration but due to the Covid situation, we have not really had a chance to celebrate.
After 30 years of history, a lot has changed and a lot has stayed the same at Heartland Trust Company. Obviously, the Covid-19 virus has caused us to make some very radical changes. We have kiddingly said that in two short months we adopted technology changes that normally would have taken five years to implement. Also, some new words and concepts have crept into our everyday language. For example, the idea of a virtual or Zoom meeting was a rare thought a year ago but in today’s world, it seems to be an almost daily event.
There are many great quotes out there that are relevant right now, but it’s a lyric from Bob Dylan’s song, Brownsville Girl (a B-side track from the 80’s) that is in my mind: “Strange how people who suffer together have stronger connections than people who are most content.”
Yes, the times they are a-changin’ in many different ways, and it is easy to feel alone or isolated as we all do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. But remember . . . our families, businesses, communities, states, and countries are all in this together. We have all been forced to look at things from a different angle. Ultimately, it is making us stronger and pushing us forward so that we can be more resilient in the future.
Is Being Vulnerable a Weakness
By Brian Halverson, President
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a hot topic in today’s business world, and rightfully so. It is your ability to express and control your own emotions and also your ability to understand and interpret other people’s emotions. Why is this so important, you may ask? Just watch an episode of The Bachelor or Bachelorette. Many of our own problems we bring onto ourselves.
As humans, it is impossible to get every decision just right or have the proper reaction to everything. It’s hard work balancing a sick kid, getting everyone out the door in the morning and on time, dealing with a flat tire, meeting deadlines, dealing with health issues, etc. This is where having the ability to be vulnerable is so important. If you are aware you made a poor decision or said something out of line in a meeting, recognize that and have the courage to admit it. It’s far better for your team at work or your family if you address it, put it behind you, and move on. If you don’t, it will linger on and not only affect your performance but those around you.
At the end of the day, we all want to be happy and that starts with ourselves. In my mind, being vulnerable is not about winning or losing, it’s about showing strong character.
Be Present; Be Great
After my grandmother’s funeral in early August, the message from Pastor Corey Bjertness stuck with
me: “Achieving meaningful greatness comes from having good character and consistently being
present.” In our family life, meaningful greatness is not achieved by working long hours so your kids can
have the fanciest toys or electronics. In our work life, it’s not achieved through a grand marketing plan
or a single transaction.
Meaningful greatness is achieved by consistently being present.
When it comes to family, there are things we don’t want to miss: T-ball games, summer vacations, piano
recitals, and more. There are also those small moments you don’t realize you miss.
What Are the Warning Signs of Financial Scams Targeting Older Individuals?
If you or someone you know has been targeted by a scam artist who is trying to steal
money or personal information, you’re not alone. According to the Senate Special
Committee on Aging, older Americans lose an estimated $2.9 billion annually to fraud and
exploitation, a number that is probably substantially underreported.
Most scams start with a call, an email, a text, or an official-looking letter that appears to be
from a government agency or a legitimate company. Sometimes the scam artist will go
door-to-door soliciting business or donations to charity.
Scam artists are very good at gaining the trust of well-meaning people by convincingly
impersonating someone authoritative, knowledgeable, or trustworthy — such as an IRS
agent, a tech repair person, or even a relative. They play on your sympathy or make
convincing threats to pressure you to go along with a scam. “Send money or provide
personal information right now, if you want to help someone or prevent something bad
from happening” they say.
Here are some typical scenarios:
- IRS scam: “You owe back taxes and penalties. Send payment immediately via a wire
transfer, or you will be arrested.”
- Sweepstakes scam: “Congratulations, you’ve won a prize! To collect it, provide us with
your bank account number so we can deposit a check.”
- Grandparent scam: “Hi Grandma, it’s me. Don’t you recognize my voice? I’ve been in an
accident and need money for car repairs. Send gift cards, and don’t tell anyone because
- Home repair scam: “I was just doing some work down the street for your neighbor,
Bob, and I saw that you need some shingles replaced. I can do that for half the price I
usually charge if you pay me in cash today.”
If you are targeted, never give out personal information or send money. You don’t need to
make a quick decision. Call a friend, a relative, or the police for advice. Report the scam
immediately to a fraud hotline such as the Senate Committee’s toll-free hotline, (855) 303-
Source: U.S Senate Special Committee on Aging, 2019
Prepare and Enjoy
Before the start of every Concordia football game, Coach Terry Horan quotes Joshua 1:9: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
As we move through life, there are defining moments that we can prepare for and some we cannot. Moments that make us happy, sad, mad, proud, and a myriad of other emotions. Something as memorable as a summer weekend when we play the best golf game of our life with a great group of friends, or the exhaustion and uncertainty from a long health battle. These experiences shape our outlook on life, the stories we tell our kids, and how we plan for tomorrow.
In our line of work, we understand what people are going through because we experience the same things. Whether something is expected or unexpected, prepare for it and embrace those you trust to help you get through it.
What Coach Horan was impressing on the Cobbers before taking the field is that we have prepared for today. Not just in the days and weeks leading up to the game, but the months and years as well, whether we knew it or not. Every experience has shaped us, no matter how large or small. Get out there and enjoy the moment. We have a game plan, but also be prepared for the unexpected to arise for us to overcome. Be confident and strong and remember that someone will always have your back to help you through the hard times and enjoy the good times.
Patience Is a Virtue
Everyone has heard the saying “good things come to those who wait” or maybe you’ve heard of the marshmallow test given to children. Likewise, delayed gratification is a major part of investing. Chasing an asset class that just had a winning period or selling one that experienced a losing streak can wreak havoc on a portfolio.
The current volatility in the stock markets reminds me the value of having a game plan and sticking to it. No asset will go up forever; almost everything is cyclical. If you are patient and stick it out, however, odds are the outcome will be positive. If you go back 10 years ago, the unpredictable asset class was housing and, eventually, the entire stock market. About 20 years ago it was the technology sector. At those points in time, if you got out at the bottom and didn’t get back in in a timely fashion, you may still be feeling the effects.
Updating Our Software to Serve You Better
Technology is always changing. To keep clients and employees satisfied, businesses need to strike a balance between staying up-to-date without constantly changing the way business is done. At Heartland Trust Company, we are always looking for ways to improve our technological footprint while keeping your information secure.
In 2018, we transitioned to new trust accounting software. Our entire team took on hours of extra training to learn the new software before the conversion. So far, the transition has been very successful. Our clients have access to a secure, user-friendly, and robust program with many new and exciting features. Our staff has new tools to streamline processes and serve you better.
Tips for Protecting Your Identity
Data breaches seem to be inevitable these days. When they happen, your personal and financial information can be compromised leaving you feeling vulnerable. While you can’t control the manner in which your personal data is safeguarded by others, you can make it more difficult for criminals to use your personal information to cause you harm.
Most companies must first view your credit report prior to extending credit. With that in mind, freezing your credit may be one of the easiest ways to protect yourself against identity theft. By putting a freeze on your credit, you restrict access to your personal information thereby preventing thieves from opening new accounts in your name.