Tag Archives: Benefits

From MSA: Back to School Shopping

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Time for back-to-school shopping!  Aside from the mid-year field trip or random science project, August is typically the one month where you spend a lot of money on school stuff, which means it could potentially mess up your regular spending plan.  Don’t worry!  We’ve got a few tips to help you stay on track.

Adjust Your Budget for Success

First, you need to assess and modify your spending plan to fit potentially hundreds of dollars into this month’s list of expenses.  Parents spend an average of $630 on back-to-school purchases,1 so planning ahead is essential.

Look at how much money you have available.  How much money in savings can and should go towards education costs?  How much of your discretionary spending can you allocate for your shopping trip?

Make a list of all the supplies you will need to get.  Did the teacher provide a list of books and tools?  Do you need to buy a school uniform?  Check your drawers and closets for supplies and clothing first so you don’t spend money on things you already have available.  And remember to bring your list of items so you can stick to what you need.  (If you don’t have a list, you’re more likely to either buy more than necessary or forget something and have to spend more on gas going back for the items.)

If you still need to make a few extra bucks before you head to the mall, grab any items collecting dust in your back closet and throw a garage sale, then put the proceeds toward your back-to-school fund.

Make a (Thrifty) Fashion Statement

You know your kids will ask for the latest and greatest fashion trends.  Dime-store tennis shoes for the first day of school just won’t cut it – they prefer the hundred-dollar shoes.  Of course, you look at your wallet, remember the mortgage and the backpack full of desk supplies you already paid for, and brace yourself for the tantrum that comes after you say, “No.”

Hold up.  There may be a way.

Before you go shopping, check for coupons, discounts and rebates.  Look at sites like Groupon, LivingSocial, ibotta andRetailMeNot.  These sites give you deals that could make big-ticket items more affordable and budget friendly.  Just remember to peruse their offers before you get in the car so you can plan where you need to go; for example, you might find a coupon for those expensive shoes, but it only works at a particular retailer.

You could also see if there’s an outlet store near you that carries major shoe brands (or other school stuff) at discount prices, and you can look for student discounts on everything from clothes to electronics (just don’t forget to bring a valid student ID).

Protect Your Purchases

Did you know that 85% of parents plan on using their smartphones for buying school materials?2  If you decide to use your phone for shopping online or pulling up coupons, remember to check security before making a transaction.  Look for the lock symbol and https before the web address, which signifies the proper Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protection.

Do not use a random Wi-Fi network while shopping online.  Fraudsters set up fake Wi-Fi networks that look like legitimate business internet connections, and they hack your device when you connect to their phony network.

Also check your receipts and credit card statements for any possible errors, like being charged twice for something or not receiving proper credit for a coupon.

Work with a Professional

Preparing your budget for back-to-school purchases, extra trips to the gas station for driving back and forth from school, and money for field trips and extracurricular activities can seem like a daunting objective.  Your Money Coach and Budget Specialist can help your family start the school year on a good financial foot.  Your Money Coach can provide suggestions and options you may not have considered.  And don’t forget Wallet: our personal financial management software that shows all your account activity in one place, allows you to set spending goals and alerts, and more, which makes it easier to be smart with your money while you shop.  Call 888-724-2326 or visit our website to get started.

MSA August Newsletter

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WEBINAR: DREAMING OF RETIREMENT (August 9th)

Want to retire carefree? Join us as we provide the tips you need for a solid retirement plan. For those of you who do not know the opportunities available, we will provide an overview of retirement plans and savings options. There are many things you need to consider since the cost of living will be different in the future. Our class offers calculations on what to expect and how to meet monthly expenses. Leave this class with the confidence and ability to explore your options and learn how to accomplish your retirement goals.

12:00 pm EST SIGNUP

3:00 pm EST SIGNUP

Assess Retirement Income

Will you be financially stable in retirement? Whether you’re thirty days or thirty years away from retirement, now is the time to assess your future income.

READ MORE

 

Financial Peace of Mind

On August 25th @ 12pm EST, attend our webinar to hear about your opportunity to work with a Money Coach to overcome financial stress and achieve your financial dreams

REGISTER

 

Live Financial Forum

Join us on August 24th @ 12pm EST for the opportunity to ask our panel of experts any financial question you might have and get the answers you need.

REGISTER

Take Action and Win!

You get the chance to win cool prizes, when you engage in the financial wellness program, work with a Money Coach, and attend classes.

REWARDS

 

MSA July Newsletter

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Identity Theft – Prevention & Resolution

READ: Great Finances Need Protection
A key aspect of improving financial wellness and maintaining financial success is incorporating an identity theft protection plan….
read more

READ: Smart Steps for a Victim
It’s not a matter of if but when you become a victim of identity theft. Take a moment to learn these smart steps for protecting yourself…
read more

WEBINAR: Financial Peace of Mind
On July 28th, come hear about your opportunity to work with a Money Coach to overcome financial stress and achieve your financial dreams.
9am PDT SIGNUP

REWARDS: Take Action and Win!
You get the chance to win cool prizes, when you engage in the MSA program, work with a Money Coach, and attend webinars.
learn more

MAKE FINANCES A PRIORITY. SIGN UP FOR THE MSA NEWSLETTER TODAY.

 

July EFAP News: Maintaining Your Health as You Age

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FEATURED ARTICLE:

Maintaining Your Health as You Age
No matter our age, it is important to care for ourselves physically, emotionally, and socially. As we mature, we need to take the right steps so we can live the most productive and fulfilling lives that we possibly can. 

IN YOUR 20’s

Lay the groundwork for lasting, health habits such as:  maintaining a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, not smoking, avoiding tanning beds and regularly using sunscreen, shunning illegal substances, wearing your seat belt, and ensuring you receive adequate sleep. Enjoy your youth, energy, and stamina; however, be careful to avoid overexertion, dehydration, and risky behavior. Commit yourself to positive social avenues, such as volunteering, to reduce stress and stay emotionally engaged with others. You may be finishing college and tackling your first real job in this decade. Elevated responsibility may lead to stress and depression. Look for ways to find balance in your life, and if you experience symptoms of depression, reach out to e4health.

 

IN YOUR 30’s

Maintain proper nutrition and be cognizant of your intake of iron, calcium, folic acid, Vitamin D, and other significant vitamins and minerals. This is especially true for women as many are planning families now. A woman feeds into her bone health until about the age of 35, and then that bank of bone health is what is used for the rest of her life. Establish a healthy BMI, and start having blood work done at your physicals to create baseline readings. Take care of your skin with proper hydration, sun screen, and moisturizers. Build muscle. One of the most common health complaints of “30 something’s” is back pain. A strong abdominal core along with good posture, weight bearing exercises, and stretching will go a long way to caring for your back.

 

IN YOUR 40’s

Schedule regular check-ups, continue exercising, and eating healthy because this is the decade where many health concerns may creep up. Ensure you are covering all areas such as medical, dental, and vision check-ups. Changes in energy and mood are normal as we age; however, extreme anxiety, loss of interest in things you once loved, or social withdrawal is not healthy. If this happens, talk to a healthcare provider or e4health.

 

IN YOUR 50’s

Risks for chronic health conditions increase as we age, so it is imperative to stay on the path paved with a healthy diet, exercise, and social activity as much as possible. Many women go through menopause during this decade. Talk to your doctor about how to successfully navigate this stage of life. Some men may start experiencing hair loss, prostate issues, or erectile dysfunction. Seek counsel from your doctor on any questions or concerns you may have so you can maintain ideal health.

 

IN YOUR 60’s

Many individuals are thinking about retirement now, or you may determine that working longer is best for you. No matter your plan, healthy habits can help you navigate your 60s with fun and enthusiasm. Be sure to continue regular doctor appointments, stay engaged socially, and challenge yourself. Take a class, learn a new skill, or play “mental fitness” games on your tablet, computer, or phone. Remember to exercise your mind as well as your body.

 

IN YOUR 70’s AND BEYOND

Studies show that stress has a huge impact on your health, and that seniors have an increased risk for depression. Continue your healthy living habits, and focus on being thankful. Count your blessings, not your anxiety triggers. Capture your joy, cling to your spirituality, and hold on to your sense of humor. Be as active as possible – mentally, physically, and spiritually.

 

Life happens. We grow older, experience many ups and downs, navigate careers, walk through numerous family challenges, and cope with infinite changes. The one constant can be how we care for ourselves. Your body is the engine that propels you through the day. Healthy food is the fuel for that engine. Exercise builds the strong framework that supports the engine. Mental fitness is the computer brain that controls the engine. And social interaction, well, that is your model and color. Some days you are a flashy red Corvette, other days you may be the conservative beige station wagon.

 

It doesn’t matter what you drive, as long as you put the right fuel in the tank, get the vehicle maintained, and take her out once in a while.

FREE Webinar:

Taking Care of Your Skin

July 19th

12-1pm and 3-4pm EST

11-12am and 2-3pm CST

10-11am and 1-3pm MST

9-10am and 

12-1pm PST

Having healthy skin is important not only for your appearance, but because your skin performs so many important tasks for your body. This webinar will provide an understanding of the various functions of the human skin, some of the common disorders of the skin, and how to maintain good skin health. 

REGISTER TODAY!

Space is limited

Click on the time you would like to attend above


You can also log on to

www.HelloE4.com with your username and password. On the homepage, click on “UPCOMING WEBINARS,” and follow the easy instructions.

THIS MONTH LET US BE YOUR RESOURCE FOR:

Counseling to address the emotional aspects of any health condition you or a family member may be concerned about

Online learning via our webinar, “Taking Care of Your Skin” on July 19th

Articles and tips on topics related to health and self-care

Biometric screenings and health risk assessments (HRAs)

Resources and referrals to traditional and alternative medical providers, as well as specialized health care treatment facilities in your area

ALWAYS AVAILABLE

ALWAYS CONFIDENTIAL

For whatever work or life issue is on your mind, or for anything related to daily living that you could use some extra help with, let us be your resource. It’s free, it’s confidential, and it’s available to you, as well as your family and household members. Just call or log on to get started.

e4health administers the College’s EFAP program.  To access their comprehensive web site, with many tools and articles, go to the e4health web site.
Username:  middlebury college
Password:    guest
Or call them at: 800-828-6025
(phones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

TIAA ONE-ON-ONE COUNSELING SESSIONS WITH ERIK MOREAU

July– September, 2016

  • Thursday July 21, Marble Works, Suite 203
  • Tuesday July 26, Davis Library 150D
  • Tuesday August 9, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday August 17, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday August 31, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday September 7 , Davis Library 150D
  • Tuesday September 20, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday September 28, Davis Library 150D

To schedule an appointment with Erik Moreau, please call the Field Support Team at (800) 732-8353, M-F 8am – 8pm (EST).

Reminder From HR About CTO Maximums

The maximum amount of CTO (combined time off) that can be carried into the next fiscal year is capped at 24 days (see table below for maximum hourly equivalents).  Any CTO in excess of 24 days will automatically be transferred into your SLR as of June 24, for pay period 13 (6/6/16 – 6/19/16).  Please plan accordingly. In order to avoid confusion and ease planning for employees, the CTO max is applied to the last full pay period in June.

Throughout the year each employee is responsible for managing his/her CTO amounts within the applicable limits. Remember, if you allow your balance to reach maximum during any pay period except the final one of the fiscal year, your excess accrual does not automatically transfer to SLR –instead you will stop accruing and forfeit the un-accrued CTO time.  Now is a good time to check your CTO balance in BannerWeb or a recent paycheck stub and plan your CTO use for the next few days and the upcoming fiscal year accordingly.

You may also transfer your own CTO at any time. When you report your time via BannerWeb, enter the number of hours you wish to transfer on the web time sheet in the row titled “Transfer CTO to SLR.”

CTO Maximum Amounts

Date CTO Maximum in Days CTO Max. in hours for employees w/ scheduled 8 hour days CTO Max. in hours for employees w/ scheduled 7.75 hour days
As of the last full pay period of June. 24 192 186
Any other time 36 288 279

June EFAP News: Learning for a Lifetime of Development

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FEATURED ARTICLE:

Lifelong Learning

We live in a fast paced world where everything from technology to standard classroom basics is evolving at a swift rate. Staying current not only helps you in your career, but also improves your overall health and wellness.

It used to be assumed that as we age, our ability to understand new concepts diminished. Some studies even reported that learning ability declined around 1% every year after an individual reached 25. New studies have debunked this. What slows down is the speed of learning, only slightly, not the ability to grasp, learn, and implement new concepts.

Young adults may able to memorize information faster or stay focused longer; however, older adults are better at using information along with life experience to problem solve and brainstorm solutions. Think about it, the typical worker today will have six or more “careers” within their lifetime. Such experience is valuable in analyzing current situations and providing solutions based on life experience.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF LEARNING

Many studies are currently recording and reviewing the direct health benefits of lifelong learning. Early studies are showing adults who engage in formal or informal education reap numerous benefits such as emotional balance, a healthy social life, improved memory function, and increased overall happiness. Adults are often afraid to learn new concepts, new software, or new procedures, but research clearly demonstrates that mental stimulation helps adults maintain cognitive functioning.

We understand that we need to feed our body nutritious food and engage in regular exercise for optimal health and wellness; your brain also needs fuel (from healthy foods and nutrients), rest (from adequate sleep), and cognitive stimulation (learning new subjects, playing games, and group engagement). Imagine such stimuli as the fitness club for your brain.

SO HOW DO I STAY MENTALLY STIMULATED?

Take a class. Choose something you have always been interested in, but never had the time to pursue. This may be a collegiate subject such as public speaking, or a fine arts subject such painting with water colors. Many universities offer free or discounted classes, both online and in the classroom. Check their websites. Several Ivy League universities have partnered with organizations to provide such classes. Also several universities allow you to “audit” a class, where you enjoy the class, learn the concepts, but don’t have to “test” for an actual grade. Similarly, search community organizations and businesses for interesting opportunities. Your local hardware store probably schedules several free workshop classes a year, or sign up for that dance class you have always wanted to take.

Play a game. Learning new board games, card games, or playing stimulating smart phone apps engages and challenges your brain. Several games, especially smart phone apps, are scientifically designed to keep your brain mentally fit. Or join a weekly card game group. Many community organizations post these on their websites.

Challenge yourself. Try a new recipe or experiment with an old standby recipe. Tackle that project around the house – research and study how to do it, make your plan, recruit some assistants, and then do it.

Be social.  Actively engaging in relationships and conversations not only stimulates your brain, but also improves your overall happiness. Join a walking club or make a standing commitment with a friend for lunch every week.

Henry Ford voiced some insightful advice on adult learning: “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”

SOURCES:

http://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/lifelonglearning/higher-education/implications/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/media-spotlight/201210/can-lifelong-learning-help-we-age

FREE Webinar:

College Transition

June 21st 

12-1pm and 3-4pm EST

11-12am and 2-3pm CST

10-11am and 1-3pm MST

9-10am and

12-1pm PST

Preparing for college can be a daunting task. This webinar addresses both the psychological and financial aspects of this new phase of life as well as mapping out a timeline of important milestones in the college process (e.g., standardized testing, applications, admissions, and financial aid).

REGISTER TODAY! Space is limited

Click on the time you would like to attend above.

You can also log on to

www.HelloE4.com with your username and password. On the homepage, click on “UPCOMING WEBINARS,” and follow the easy instructions.

Unable to make it to the scheduled webinars? 

We have them archived for your convenience. Visit

  www.HelloE4.com click on E4 University, then click on Webinars to search by  webinar title. 

THIS MONTH LET US BE YOUR RESOURCE FOR:

Counseling to help you identify and achieve educational goals.

Online learning via our webinar, “College Transition” on Tuesday, June 21st.

Daily living support to help locate personalized educational resources for yourself or your family members.

Consultation with a financial specialist who can provide ideas for financial aid.

ALWAYS AVAILABLE.

ALWAYS CONFIDENTIAL.

For whatever work or life issue is on your mind, or for anything related to daily living that you could use some extra help with, let us be your resource. It’s free, it’s confidential, and it’s available to you, as well as your family and household members.

e4health administers the College’s EFAP program.  To access their comprehensive web site, with many tools and articles, go to the e4health web site.
Username:  middlebury college
Password:    guest
Or call them at: 800-828-6025
(phones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)