Category Archives: Financial Planning

Women and Money: Where the Magic Begins

Posted in Financial Planning, Goals, Women and Money on by .

The women I meet are AMAZING.

They are running, and they are running FAST.  They are seeking to improve their communities, embracing aspirations, taking care of others, and following their desires … all while sorting out their own personal financial journey.

These women’s stories are relatable, passion filled, and inspiring:

“I want to play an important role in stopping human trafficking so much that I feel it in my bones.  I’d like to earn a master’s degree in Cybersecurity, but I still have undergraduate student loans.  How do I make it work without hurting my future choices?”

“I have had a long, successful career as a lawyer, and now I want to start my own business.  I have some money saved for retirement, but I don’t want to tap into it for my regular day-to-day spending while I get my business off the ground.  What do I do?”

“We didn’t have any money growing up and when we did, it went fast.  I now have an incredible job and make more money than I ever dreamed.  Yet, I barely have anything saved.   How do I learn to think differently about money?”

“My sister is a playwright and doesn’t make a lot of money.  I’m single and have worked in corporate America all my life.  I want a comfortable retirement, and I’d also like to help my sister so she can continue to pursue her craft comfortably.  How do I do this without negatively impacting my own retirement?”

These are all deeply personal, laudable, life-altering goals!

My answer to each one is the same – and it’s neither to stop spending nor to tuck away a heartfelt dream.  Simply stated: we must “SIZE IT” in order to “SEIZE IT”!

We need to …

… determine how big the desired goal is;

… see what money is coming in, what money is going out, and what money is saved;

… consider all the possible ways to achieve the goal – there’s never just one way; and

… calculate the dollars needed for each of options.

Once we do this, the MAGIC begins to happen.

As we talk through the various paths to success and see the trade-offs, she begins to OWN where she wants to go and how to get there.  She says YES to things that fill her up and NO to things that are just things.  She is courageous in her answers because she is coming from a place of knowledge, power, and energy.  She is moving from a being a worrier to a true warrior around her money.

If she wants a masters degree, to retire, start a business or understand her money, she has to be intentional with money.  She has to be disciplined and persistent.  She has to track it, monitor it, and let it flow.  Money is energy.  It needs to flow in and flow out and with intention it needs to know its true purpose.

This is what’s truly thrilling about empowering women through financial planning.


It’s evolving from being a worrier about money to becoming a warrior for your goals.

It’s about being intentional in your financial choices.

It’s seeing money as energy that can strengthen your financial world … and give you the power to move towards your heartfelt desire.

Let’s create the magic together.  We love helping women HONOR their purpose, LIVE their purpose and CELEBRATE their purpose.

Ithaka Financial Planning Blog posting February 2018

Posted in Financial Planning, Insurance, Tips on by .

Ithaka Financial Planning Blog posting February 2018

How does Umbrella Insurance work to mitigate your risk?

Beth and I recently met with Mitch Freedman of Freedman Risk Management Partners, LLC.  Mitch puts together comprehensive property and casualty insurance solutions for high net worth clients.  His focus is making sure insurance policies work to protect clients’ true financial risk in the most cost effective manner.  He is excellent at explaining insurance concepts and risk, so we thought we would share his thoughts on Umbrella Insurance.

Beth and Carolyn:  What is Umbrella Insurance?

Mitch:  Personal umbrella insurance is an extra layer of liability coverage that sits over your homeowners, auto, boat and other personal (non-business) asset coverage.  A serious auto accident or injury to a visitor at your home can turn into a large claim against you.  Umbrella liability insurance steps in to provide this added protection.

Beth and Carolyn:  Who needs Umbrella Insurance?

Mitch: Just about anyone who owns a home or car should consider umbrella insurance.  In our litigious society, anyone can be sued for injury or damage to someone else, especially when it causes severe injury or worse.  Those with significant assets should be even more diligent about protecting themselves through umbrella liability coverage.  They are the proverbial “target” with deep pockets.

Beth and Carolyn:  How much coverage should you have?

Mitch:  There is no perfect answer to how much coverage one should maintain.  Net worth is often a starting point but other factors such as a client’s tolerance for risk, risk profile (number of homes, cars, boats, youthful drivers, etc.) and premium.  Ultimately it’s a judgment call made by the individual.

Beth and Carolyn:  What are a few key things to keep in mind when buying Umbrella Insurance?


  1. Umbrella coverage tends to be very affordable.  For a couple hundred dollars per million dollars of coverage, you can typically buy coverage up to $10MM.  This small cost helps you sleep at night knowing you’re protected in the event of a serious claim.
  2. Make certain all of your underlying assets are listed on your umbrella policy.If a home, vehicle, or boat is not listed, and an accident occurs the policy will not provide the coverage it’s meant for.
  3. Understand the growing frequency of personal injury suits stemming libel, slander, or defamation. This is a growing area of personal injury claims in our world of social media.  Take particular care if you have kids online.
  4. Understand that the insurance company has a duty to defend you, even if the suit has little merit.Defense costs are covered by the insurer, and are outside the limits of the policy, so they don’t eat into what is available to pay a potential settlement.

Beth and Carolyn:  Thanks Mitch for shedding some light on this oft misunderstood area of insurance!


Carolyn and Beth

Questions for Mitch?

Contact him at: