Women’s Retirement Challenges

A recent study conducted by MetLife shows that “women face a number of unique financial risks—including outliving retirement funds, aging single, lower retirement incomes, greater health care costs and added care-giving responsibilities—and have not planned adequately to address these concerns.”

Approximately one in six women will have to delay retirement because of funding shortfalls. Working with a qualified financial planner and investment management firm can help to overcome this and other issues.

For more information on the study, including some very enlightening statistics visit the story at Financial Advisor Magazine…


Google gets into the Solar Business

Google now in the solar business

Google announced that it is getting into the solar business by using $75 million to finance and own solar systems on 3000 homes. This is a great way to expand the reach of solar without the homeowners having to shell out $30k-$40k. Google owns the panels, and the homeowner pays Google a fixed monthly fee. There are thousands more roofs in the US and lots more opportunity to continue to move away from dirty fossil fuels!

Read the MSNBC story

Ocean Plastic Waste

Marcus Eriksen's boat, Junk

I had the great opportunity to meet Marcus Eriksen this past April at the Georgia EarthShare Earth Day events in Atlanta. If you don’t know who he is, Marcus is the guy who sailed from LA to Hawaii on a boat made of plastic bottles. His mission is to make people aware of the tremendous amount of plastic garbage in the oceans, specifically in what are called the gyres. Gyres are areas where currents come together to deposit the waste. Visit his website here.

I saw the headline below earlier: Green Chemistry Company Turns Ocean Trash into Plastic Bottles

The brand ‘Method’ has found a way to use that plastic found in the ocean gyres and recycle it into new bottles. Does it eliminate the problem of plastics ending up in the ocean? No. Is it a step forward? Yes!

Leadership Panel at Fort Stewart

This past Thursday, I had the wonderful opportunity to sit on a leadership panel, sponsored by Webster University, at the Education Center at Fort Stewart, GA. The event, called the “World Class Leadership Lecture Series” was coordinated by Webster instructor, Bill Garlen – an experienced and very successful businessman who truly believes in giving back and doing the right thing. On the panel with me were two other exceptional leaders: Frank Slotin, CPA and managing director at Karp Ronning & Tindol in Savannah and Robert James, a Harvard educated attorney and developer out of Atlanta & Savannah.

I’ve had the good fortune to work with all three gentlemen in the past, so I was excited when I received the invitation. We were told to expect a number of MBA students from Webster’s program, but also administrators, senior military personnel and undergrads from the other schools offering classes at the Education Center. A very diverse crowd of over thirty people attended, including the Command Sargent Major (highest ranking non-commissioned officer at the fort.)

The questions were excellent, and it was evident that the students had prepared. They asked about attributes of leadership, how core values fit into a successful career and for advice on management. Topics such as how to use social media, the transition from military management to the soft skills necessary in business and even how to open a restaurant were discussed – and much more, as you can imagine in a 1 1/2 hour event. Nothing was off-limits.

I have been on several panels and given many talks over the past few years, and I have to say that this was the most rewarding and enjoyable. The attendees were engaged and were interested & interesting; the panel worked well together and gave some great advice. I feel like we made a real difference in the lives of these folks.

Bill Garlen, the coordinator of the event, sent out a wonderful email the next day and said “I believe everyone that attended agreed it was one of those rare times when everyone realized they were experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime moment of authentic leadership at its finest. You have truly impacted their lives forever.” Even the Command Sargent Major said that it was one of the best events he had ever attended. I am most grateful for the compliments!

I would like to challenge anyone who reads this to go out today and make your difference – big or small, it doesn’t matter, just so long as you do it.

Responsible Investing Continues It’s Growth

Here’s an excellent article on the the socially responsible investing industry and it’s growth, even during this bad economy and uncertainty. Krull & Company has also continued to grow during this period as well, bringing on new clients from across the country!

3 Reasons Why Responsible Investing is Booming During the Downturn

Empire State Building now LEED Certified

This is great news, proving that it’s cost-effective to make existing buildings more energy efficient. The expected payback time is only three years -after that, it’s all icing (and reduced energy use, emissions, etc.) Buildings are the greatest users of energy in the US – everyone can do their part by adding insulation, sealing cracks, replacing old windows, etc. You don’t need to put $30,000 in solar panels on your roof to make a difference.


U.S. Poverty Rate at Highest Level in Years

One in Six Americans are now living below the poverty level. This means that a family of four is basically living at or below $22,000 per year.

Corporate profits are hitting records, and the disparity between rich and poor grows. It would seem to me that now is not the time to be cutting social safety nets, but rather a time of ending corporate welfare and tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.