Members Only | Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Register
Blog Home All Blogs

This Is The Best Retirement Strategy, According To Standford

Posted By Julie McReynolds, Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, February 7, 2018


This Is The Best Retirement Strategy, According To Standford

Retirement sounds exciting, but only when it also sounds feasible. And, with the decline of traditional pension plans, IRAs and 401(k) plans are the dominating retirement options for workers in America.

Steve Vernon, consulting research scholar at the Standford Center on Longevity set out to determine how you can be sure that you save enough money to last through your retirement and the best possible ways to withdraw your savings over the years. He collaborated with the Society of Actuaries (SOA) on a research project titled, “How to ‘Pensionize’ Any IRA or 401(k) Plan,” to analyze 292 different retirement income strategies and identify a single, straightforward option for middle-income workers.

Of the 292 strategies, the research team identified what they call the “spend safely in retirement strategy”— there are two components to it.

1. Ty to delay Social Security payments until the age of 70. “For middle income people, Social Security is going to be the majority of their income [in retirement],” says Vernon. “It will be anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of their total income. And Social Security is nearly a perfect retirement income generator: It lasts the rest of your life, it protects against inflation, it doesn't go down if the stock market crashes, it's paid automatically into your checking account, part of it isn't subject to income taxes. No other retirement income generator has all of those positive features, so maximizing Social Security is a key part of this strategy.”

The best option is to delay receiving Social Security benefits until the age of 70, Vernon says, or work part-time to cover living expenses until the age of 70. Otherwise, you can also use a portion of your retirement savings to substitute the Social Security benefits you’re delaying.

2. Create an “automatic retirement paycheck.” To supplement Social Security income, Vernon suggests investing any remaining savings in low-cost mutual funds that are common in IRAs and 401(k) plans, such as target date, balanced or stock index funds. You’ll want to generate consistent “paychecks” from your IRA savings and 401(k) that’ll last you the remaining years of your life. You can use the IRS required minimum distribution (RMD) to calculate how much of your retirement savings you’d receive each year.

“This is a strategy that people can use to decide if they've got enough money to retire,” Vernon told CNBC Make It. "But, also, a lot of people are uncertain as to when they'll retire and if they should work part-time for a while, so this strategy can help them think through those questions.:

According to Vernon, the “spend safely in retirement strategy” produces “more average total retirement income expected throughout retirement compared to most solutions [the team] analyzed and provides a lifetime income, no matter how long the participant lives.”

Read the full report here. And, if you think you’ve got your retirement plan all figured out, it’s time to start thinking about where to retire next. For over a quarter of a century, International Living has ranked, rated and named the best countries to retire in, and we’ve rounded up the best places to retire based on your dream vacay.


AnnaMarie Houlis is a multimedia journalist and an adventure aficionado with a keen cultural curiosity and an affinity for solo travel. She's an editor by day and a travel blogger at by night.

This post was originally published by our partners at

Tags:  money  Research 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

6 Subtle Signs That Indicate You're CEO Material

Posted By Julie McReynolds, Wednesday, February 7, 2018


6 Subtle Signs That Indicate Your CEO Material

Are you interested in becoming a CEO one day? The widely accepted path to CEO is to attend a prestigious business school and build a powerful network. I did none of that and still managed to assume the top leadership role at a national healthcare company. I learned business skills on the job such as P&L management, forecasting and budgeting. But what helped me the most besides my hard work and ambition were the softer skills that not only made it easier for people to like me and work with me, but allowed me to manage others successfully and navigate the complexities of the workplace. (Certainly, we’ve witnessed many bad CEO’s over the years who have great business experience but none of the people skills, and they have failed their company, employees, and shareholders.)

Becoming a CEO doesn’t happen by accident. It begins first with the intention and passion to lead a company that aligns with your values. It often involves creating a strategic career plan for yourself to gather the necessary experience and knowledge to assume the top spot.

With all that said, doing an internal audit of your skills is the best place to start.

Here are 6 signs that you are CEO material:

1. You get results. When given a project, you are focused and driven to achieve successful outcomes. You aren’t easily discouraged. You find solutions to reach objectives. You create and achieve realistic but challenging financial goals.

2. You inspire and motivate others. Beyond being a strong individual contributor, you achieve results by partnering and collaborating with others. People get excited about the work from your passion and dedication. It’s infectious. Your team is invested in the work which drives great results and keeps employees engaged and happy.

3. You’re curious. Great leaders are life-long learners. According to a PwC survey, curiosity is one of the most valuable skills a leader can have. Curious leaders don’t accept the status quo. They ask critical questions that stimulate new ideas and innovation. They are avid readers and are always looking to expand their knowledge base.

4. You’re confident but humble. You admit you don’t have all the answers and are open minded and driven to find the best answers even if they aren’t your own. You admit your mistakes and allow others to learn from their mistakes as well. People rise to the occasion and show up doing their best work as a result.

Angela Sebaly, co-founder and CEO of Personify Leadership and author of The Courageous Leader, adds that humble leaders are focused on the big picture of mission and team rather than themselves. According to Sebaly, ‘Leaders with humility engage us and give us a sense of identity and purpose.’

5. You demonstrate empathy. Empathy means having the ability to understand the needs and emotions of others. This allows you to connect and motivate others who relate to you as a human being rather than just a boss.

6. You communicate well. And you communicate well at all levels. You manage up, down and across and have the ability to clearly convey your message to stakeholders, colleagues, employees and customers.

If you want to be a CEO, my best advice is to learn to be CEO of yourself first. Own your ambition and talent. Build your portfolio of experience and develop your soft skills to achieve great results.


Bonnie Marcus, M.Ed, is an executive coach, author and keynote speaker focused on women's advancement in the workplace. A former corporate executive and CEO, Bonnie is the author of The Politics of Promotion: How High Achieving Women Get Ahead and Stay Ahead, and co-author of Lost Leaders in the Pipeline: Capitalizing on Women's Ambition to Offset the Future Leadership Shortage.

This blog piece was originally posted on who are partners of NAWMBA.

Tags:  Business  Career  leadership  management  MBA Women  women  WomeninBusiness  WomenMBA 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

5 Tips for the Job Search (That Will Make All the Difference)

Posted By Nadia Alhashimi, Wednesday, January 31, 2018


                                                                                         5 Tips for the Job Search 
                                                                       by Coach Katie Bennett, Ama La Vida Coaching

I have worked with people finding, building and changing careers for many many years. I know there are thousands (if not millions) of resources and tips out there telling you what to do and what not to do. I’m not suggesting mine are any better than anyone else’s, but what I do know is that these ones actually work. These ones actually make all the difference. I know this, because I have seen it first hand. Of course, if you follow these five, you are not a shoe-in for your dream job (you also need to have a kick-ass resume, great interview skills, a stand-out online profile and polished professional etiquette) but I think you know that. These are the things that are less spoken about and, from my experience, less known. But once you know them, and once you do them, it really will make all of the difference.

Search from the inside out. Often when people are searching for a job, the first place they look is the job boards. This may sound like a logical approach, however without knowing exactly what you’re looking for, you risk landing a job that you later realize is completely misaligned with your passions and strengths. The key is to first understand who you are, where you can add value and what exactly you are looking for. It is crucial to identify your passions, your gifts, your core values and your purpose before starting the job search. This way, you will have a far clearer understanding of the types or roles and companies that will bring you fulfillment and success.

Try a non-traditional approach. When you apply for a job through the standard process, you are up again hundreds, if not thousands of other applicants. Often the company even ends up hiring internally and you never hear back which can be bother draining and defeating. I encourage people to reflect on which companies they most want to work for and to write a list of their top 10 to 20. Then, find the relevant contact at that organization and send a thoughtful letter including who you are, why you want to work for them and how you believe you could add value. This shows initiative, intention and will help you stand out against the crowd. Even if you don’t land a job, perhaps you’ll make a valuable contact. And after all, you’ve got nothing to lose.

Network network network. It’s no secret that most people build their career through their network not through standard job sites. It’s never too soon to start networking. Remember that networking doesn’t need to happen at traditional networking events. Networking can happen in a coffee shop or on the bus – you never know where you are going to meet people that could become incredibly valuable contacts. Also remember that those people don’t need to be directly related to your field. They may know just the right person to put you in touch with. Treat every person as if they are just the person you need to know in that moment and watch you network grow and expand in powerful ways.

Make time for self-care. The job application process can be incredibly draining and defeating. Make sure to take care of yourself mentally, emotionally and physically. This is not only important for your well-being, but it is also important for you to perform at your best in applications and interview. Identify what you need to do and schedule time in your calendar to make time for it. Perhaps it’s a 20 minute run each day or 30 minutes to watch an inspiration TED talk. There is no wrong or right as long as you make time to recharge.

Shift your mindset – it’s a marathon not a sprint. Remember that you may not get the first job you apply for (or the second or the third or the eighth) and that is ok. You career is going to be long. Very long. Think carefully about your vision for your career and what you want it to look like in five years or ten years time. As long as you are meeting the right people and moving in the right direction, it doesn’t matter if one specific job fell through. Just keep your eye on the longer vision and take proactive steps to achieve it.


This blog is from our partners at Ama La Vida Coaching. For your own personalized e-coaching as a NAWMBA member, check out our partner page. 


Tags:  Jobs  NAWMBA  WomeninBusiness  womenMBA 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Executive Presence?

Posted By Julie McReynolds, Tuesday, January 30, 2018


Executive Presence Matters?

By Vivian Hairston Blade

Patricia was considering the candidates from the final round of interviews for her open senior manager position. She asked Ron, her Human Resources partner, to review the applicants with her as she made her final decision.  Both candidates were well qualified with the skills and experience needed for the role, and had a track record of execution. But, the success of this person was largely going to depend on their ability to gain respect, trust, and influence.  As they discussed Shannon’s fit for the job, Patricia expressed her concerns. “Shannon certainly has the credentials for this role, but I don’t think she has the executive presence necessary to drive our strategic priorities.”  Ron tended to agree with her.  “Yes, I know. Something about her makes me feel she’s just not strong enough for this senior level position.” Though Patricia and Ron agreed on this gut feeling, they couldn’t exactly put their finger on why they felt that way.

“Executive presence” is a commonly used, yet nebulous term. Executive presence often is thought of as just your ‘presence’, or the way you carry yourself.  But it’s so much more.  People often use it without being able to articulate exactly what it really means or how to fix it. It’s so challenging to describe executive presence because it’s not a single dimension.

What is Executive Presence?

Executive presence is a combination of demonstrable outcomes and soft skills that come together to comprise your complete package.  Executive presence is the leadership or executive level capacity others see in you.  It is your package of business savvy, relationship savvy, and professional style.  Even if you are an emerging leader, others can sense your executive presence capability.

Executive Presence is comprised of four key dimensions:

·         Business Intelligence – Your application of business & industry knowledge in your work.

·         Business Impact – Your track record of impact on company growth and key priorities.

·         RelationshipsYour ability to build strategic relationships & influence others.

·         Reputation - Your personal brand around your outcomes, leadership style, and professionalism.


Why Executive Presence Matters

When the combination of these four dimensions are strong, your executive presence will be identified as strong. You also will feel confident, and be seen as both confident and competent. Leaders are expected to be well-rounded in their business acumen, meaningful contributions to business outcomes, and leadership skill.  Your executive presence shows your ability to fit the character of these expectations at successive levels in your career.  

Executive presence is critical in the success of your career.  The impressions you leave can directly impact your ability to move up in the organization, or to be trusted with important responsibilities. It impacts your ability to earn Invited Reach, where leaders reach out on your behalf as advocates and sponsors to make opportunities available to you.

Who can you think of that has strong executive presence. What are the characteristics that give you that impression?  How do you believe executive presence may have impacted their success?

Like your technical skills, executive presence is a skill that takes work, practice and commitment. Your executive presence will be evaluated. Make sure it’s on your list of things to work on. 

Attend my session at the NAWMBA East Region Symposium for insights on what’s missing in your executive presence, and for tips on making significant improvements. Register by going to 

Tags:  Business  Kentucky  leadership  Louisville  mba  MBA Women  NAWMBA  personal branding  Professionals  WomeninBusiness 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Bossing the Boss! – (Managing Up for Better Relationships at All Levels)

Posted By Julie McReynolds, Thursday, January 25, 2018

Bossing the Boss! – (Managing Up for Better Relationships at All Levels)

by Margaret Johnson

Most of us, no matter what environment we work in, have some type of boss. If you are a supervisor you may tend to focus on the people that work for you and managing the process. If you aren't a supervisor/manager, you might focus on your work and keeping the boss informed. But do you consider the part of your job called managing up? 

It is consciously working with your boss to create the best results for you, your boss and the organization. If we don't manage the boss or if we do manage the boss - we are taking a risk. 

Managing up entails really understanding yourself and your boss as far as strengths, weaknesses, work styles, expectations and needs and developing a healthy relationship that effectively works with this information.

How can you do this? I suggest you start by having a conversation with your boss and discuss their goals, problems, pressures, strengths and weaknesses and needs. It’s never too late to start if you aren’t having them already. Test out your assumptions by observation and asking. Pay attention to clues you get from the boss' behavior on what is right and wrong and make adjustments. And don't just have one conversation - occasionally reconnect to reconfirm. 

Easier said than done? Yes. Depending on your boss, it can be stressful to even think about having a conversation around this. But consider what will happen if you don't and how much better work would be if you had this understanding of your immediate supervisor or others above him or her.

When you are ready, make sure you discuss these things - 

  • clarify expectations

  • identify personality and work styles 

  • how and what information needs to be shared

  • what your strengths are and how can you use each other’s in the best way

Work with it - don't fight it!

Be brave. Take the risk and get to know your boss and their expectations. It will make your work life so much easier.

But wait! What if your boss is less than ideal? 

  • Understand the incompetence and ask others for advice on handling him or her.

  • Focus on how you can fill their gaps.

  • Be very careful about ratting anyone out to higher-ups - consider office politics as you handle the situation

  • Remember to take care of yourself and your health.  Indulge in self-care to reduce stress and focus on what you need. 

  • Try a little empathy, set boundaries and focus on the broader good. 

Need help managing relationships with higher-ups? Join me, Margaret A Johnson, at my Managing Up lunchtime keynote session for assumption busting around managing up and tips to make the best of these relationships. You can register here to join me in Louisville, KY on February 22nd!

Tags:  Business  Career  Kentucky  leadership  Louisville  management  MBA Women  NAWMBA  women  WomeninBusiness  WomenMBA 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
Page 5 of 11
1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11