Better Than Cake

Kathleen M. Rehl

Kathleen is retired following a career in financial planning and an “encore career” of speaking and doing research about widows. She authored the award-winning book, "Moving Forward on Your Own: A Financial Guidebook for Widows." Kathleen enjoys writing legacy poetry and stories, as well as assisting various nonprofits.

Better Than Cake

Kathleen M. Rehl  |  Feb 22, 2023

ON DEC. 23, 2022, while Santa and his elves were busy loading his red sleigh with gifts, the 117th Congress was putting together some goodies of its own, formally known as the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023. Before we rang in the new year, President Biden signed the bill into law.
Included in that 1,600-page, $1.7 trillion appropriations measure was a special present for folks like me—the so-called Legacy IRA. This allows me to increase the sum I give to charity and the money I earn on my fixed-income investments,

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All Together Now

Kathleen M. Rehl  |  Sep 10, 2022

ONE OUT OF FOUR Americans lives in a household with three or more generations under one roof, according to Generations United’s 2021 report. The number of folks living in these multigenerational households has increased sharply over the past decade, from 7% in 2011 to 26% in 2021. Although “multigen” households come in many shapes and sizes, the rarest type is a four- or five-generation family living together.
For most of my pre-teen years, I lived in a four-generation household.

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Better Than Dollars

Kathleen M. Rehl  |  May 17, 2022

A FRIEND ASKED ME recently if I got paid for the writing I do. She assumed that I’d be compensated, especially for research articles published in scholarly journals.
“Yes,” I replied. “I’m paid generously—in psychic income.”
“What’s psychic income?” she asked.
I explained. “Instead of earning a paycheck for my paper, I earn the satisfaction of this well-respected periodical running my article.” That’s also the way it is for my short stories and poetry that appear in specialty publications.

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Giving Twice

Kathleen M. Rehl  |  Sep 22, 2021

MY ANDROID RANG on a sunny Saturday afternoon. The screen said it was from a police station. Hesitating, I took the call. My biracial son came on.
“I’m going to jail, Mom. But I didn’t do it.”
Instant memories, almost 50 years old, of police guns pointing at my African husband’s head and mine. Wrong profile of an interracial couple. It wasn’t us. Checking IDs, they realized we weren’t the suspects sought.
With my son’s phone call,

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Final Thoughts

Kathleen M. Rehl  |  Feb 12, 2021

YOUR ESTATE PLAN specifies what you want done with your money and possessions after your death. But your life’s treasures extend beyond these material items—to your values, heritage, relationships, hopes, dreams, memories and stories. You can share some of this with family and friends through a legacy letter, sometimes called an “ethical will.”
Not long before my mother died, she wrote her legacy letter. She asked that it be read during her memorial service.

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Better Than Golf

Kathleen M. Rehl  |  Mar 28, 2019

FOR ME AND MANY other older baby boomers, the traditional retirement model doesn’t work. We’re healthier and living longer than prior generations. Most of us don’t want to sit in a rocking chair, gaze at the sunset, play golf continuously, eat boring lunches at the senior center or live like we’re on vacation every single day.
Instead, we want to remain relevant, with meaning and purpose in our lives, and we want to continue to learn and grow.

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Merging Money

Kathleen M. Rehl  |  Nov 5, 2018

I TIED THE KNOT again—at age 71. Four years into widowhood, I met Charlie online. Also widowed, he and I began dating cautiously, each respectful of our late spouses and those marriages, as well as our adult children and grandchildren.
We also focused on financial and legal issues. We knew from experience, and from research we had read, that financial disagreements can derail love. In an international survey of  widows and money, women shared advice about re-partnering: Talking about money matters was essential before remarriage,

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