FULL QUESTION: I keep hearing about shortages in healthcare workers; how will that impact me?


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io

Great question. And, if it weren't for the fact I'm the daughter that gets "into the weeds" of finding caretakers for our almost 94-year-old mom, I probably wouldn't have even thought about it. But I can say the shortage of healthcare workers in hospitals and other health facilities is having a ripple effect as I'm personally feeling the repercussions in terms of shortages for in-home caregivers.

I know Black always plans for the future by working backward, and for a long time, we tried to get our mom to have in-home caretakers. But even though she has sight and hearing issues, she's still fiercely independent and mentally "with it" and has resisted. However, we're now at a point of it not being optional, so we're struggling to find caregivers.

So, my only words of wisdom are … recognize there are shortages of healthcare workers and, when possible, plan accordingly. Plus, it's always a good time to thank healthcare workers whenever your paths cross to let them know how important they are … to all of us.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io

I am guessing you are not asking whether this is a good field in terms of employment opportunities (it is), as the shortage of healthcare workers is almost epidemic (pun intended).

It is important to acknowledge the shortages and plan accordingly. When it comes to health matters, that is not always possible. However, the need to take a proactive approach to being healthy is as critical as it has ever been, as is the importance of preventative medicine and early detection. So, make sure you take care of any annual or routine exams (many of us deferred them due to COVID-19). We may not be able to do anything about the healthcare shortages, but we can do a better job of minimizing health risks and being prepared to address them if they occur.
Our thoughts about Friday the 13th have not changed (not in years, maybe decades), so we have no problem re-running this question from August 13, 2021. But it did pique Black’s curiosity about how often Friday the 13th occurs, and although this answer is from a source we’ve used before, she found this analysis fascinating. Meanwhile, Red just rolled her eyes as she’s always felt like Friday the 13th should only happen in October because it reminds her of superstitions and “spooky” things.


Red's Head assets.rebelmouse.io


I know you're not talking about the incredibly popular Friday the 13th horror movies , which, for the record, I'm not a fan of. Not because they scare me or I dislike all the blood and gore, I'm just "old school" and prefer the classic horror movies like Bela Lugosi as Dracula and Boris Karloff as Frankenstein. Although Mel Brook's "Young Frankenstein" is a hilarious "classic" and one of my all-time favorite movies.

But I digress. I'm not superstitious, so I don't believe Friday the 13th is an unlucky day. Interestingly, our grandmother thought that the number 13 was very lucky, so Friday the 13th was a particularly good day for her. What I will say is that I've always been interested in parapsychology (keep in mind that I'm "older", so this was before all the TV shows about ghost sightings that now pose as "reality TV"), although I feel that I should draw a distinction between the scientific study of paranormal activity and a belief in superstitions.


Black's Head Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Actually, there is science and logic related to superstitions, and I can see how superstitions can give people a feeling of being in control, which in turn helps them cope with anxiety and uncertainty. Obviously, it is a function of whether you believe something good will happen or something bad, and ultimately it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Friday the 13th is a good example, as whether you think it is unlucky or lucky, you will look for "supporting evidence." (I find it neither, but was intrigued by how many times it happens each year and other interesting facts .)

That does not mean I do not believe in other superstitions, but I do not try to defend them. Sometimes it is a nice break from being pragmatic, and I figure there is little to lose and maybe something to gain. And I am not alone when it comes to superstitions – there are superstitious athletes, like Michael Jordan, who wore his North Carolina practice shorts under his NBA uniform for good luck, and even superstitious scientists.


Red assets.rebelmouse.io


I admit I‘d never heard of The Make-A-Wish Foundation before I was almost 40 (I lived abroad until then), and it was Black’s involvement with this life-changing organization that led me to learn about it. Growing up, charity wasn’t a big part of our life, although I learned decades later that my grandmother was involved in Fight For Sight.

Once I was living in the same city as Black, I could see how important Make-A-Wish was to her (there was Wish kids’ artwork in her house and logos on her racecar). I also saw how it makes such a difference in the lives of children suffering from life-threatening illnesses. And how the power of a wish impacts not only the Wish kid but their families and even strangers, as so many of the wishes bring together neighbors and communities. But the best part may have been as I watched as my daughters learned about charity and became involved by having lemonade sales with all proceeds going to our local Make-A-Wish chapter (find your local chapter).


Black assets.rebelmouse.io


I have been involved with Make-A-Wish for decades and have seen firsthand how it has touched so many lives, starting with Tommy Austin, who granted the first wish in 1980. However, it has done more for me than I can ever do for it. As once you see the hope, joy, and optimism of a Wish child waging a courageous battle, you want to help in whatever way you can (donate, volunteer, fundraise). It reminds me that my problems or frustrations are minuscule in the scheme of things. It is my “reality check” on life.

And, although once a year we celebrate World Wish Day (April 29 to mark the anniversary of the first wish), every day is the perfect day to celebrate the power of a wish and the ripple effect it creates.

So, what better day than today to make a difference by making a donation?!


Red assets.rebelmouse.io


I have to laugh because I’ve had to overcome my mental roadblocks (and natural tendency to freak out) when it comes to personal finance and technology, so I can’t imagine combining the two concepts. However, I know it’s the terminology (and my resistance to change) that creates a lot of my problems.

When it comes to financial apps, I don’t know much about them because I don’t use them. I’m old-fashioned and still use Microsoft Money (which I don’t even think is made anymore) to print my checks and a calculator, paper, and pens (Black’s probably rolling her eyes that I don’t at least use pencils and erasers) to do everything else. My daughters (ages 19 and 23) use Excel spreadsheets for their budgets, which I find interesting as although they’ve grown up with smartphones, neither one uses financial apps.


Black assets.rebelmouse.io


Similar to list-making, where I explained to Red that it does not matter whether you use pencils or a computer (or, in this case, an app), it is the thought process, not the method, that is critical. The fact you are interested in managing your finances is an important first step, and if you WANT an app because you think it will provide better motivation and give you more insight, great, but you do not NEED it. Remember, only you can decide whether to make an expenditure, and the difference between a “need” and a “want” (although an app may prompt that question) as they are different for everyone. (FYI, I do not use an app as I refuse to give anyone online access to my financial accounts.)

Different apps have different features and functionality (such as tracking where your money is going, budgeting, paying bills, paying off debt, investments, etc.). And, they come with different price tags (apps from banks are typically free, but if you change banks, your financial history probably will not transfer), which are usually quoted on a monthly basis with the intent of making it look cheaper, but you need to consider the annual cost. If you are not sure exactly what you want, maybe start with a free version to “test drive” it and then decide if you want to upgrade (or do it without an app.)