Planned Life Changes: Adjusting to the Stages of Life in Lincoln, Nebraska


There are many times in life that we experience change, and often times the best changes are the ones that we have actually planned for.   Among the best examples of this are buying a new house, moving, changing office locations, buying or starting a business, pregnancy and becoming a parent, taking on a remodeling project, retirement, and the list goes on and on.  There are plenty of businesses in Lincoln that make it their main priority to assist with aspects of any one of those life changes where there expertise applies.  Partnering with the people who already have access to knowledge in areas that you are lacking will compliment any project or planned life change, and will ensure that you find success in those endeavors as well as the necessary transitions to get you there.

Dr-Corey-Dousharm--Mosier-Timperley-ChiropracticDuring pregnancy, there are many planned doctor’s visits at specific intervals for those nine months that help you prepare for being a parent and caring for a newborn.  Chiropractic adjustments throughout pregnancy are very beneficial and should be included to complement other medical care and check-ups.  Dr. Corey Dousharm of Mosier-Timperley Chiropractic Clinic sees patients throughout the process of birth, including expecting parents or parents and their newborn babies once they have made their debut into the world.  As a woman’s belly grows with the baby, the spine is put under intense stress. By keeping the spine adjusted and moving, mom is better able to handle all these new stresses, making the growth and change as comfortable as possible. If the spine and pelvis are properly aligned, there is no reason that pregnancy should be overwhelmingly uncomfortable.  The birth process is one of the most traumatic experiences we will have in life. Multiple strains are placed on the cervical spine throughout delivery, especially if vacuum extraction, forceps, or C-section procedures are used. A subluxation (misalignment in the spine) in the cervical spine of a newborn baby can lead to torticollis, difficulty nursing, chronic ear infections, and many other issues if left untreated. Dr. Dousharm utilizes a VERY low force technique when adjusting infants, as their spines are still forming.  She has seen many infants, even as young as one day old, and in correcting their subluxations early, they are less likely to develop the above issues. It is never too early to get adjusted!  As with any other time where stress is present, everyone responds to stress differently, and the staff at Mosier-Timperley strive to provide care that is specific for each individual patient. They have many patients who are in two times a month just for maintenance, however when the stresses of life appear they will come in more frequently.  Chiropractic is a safe and effective way to take charge of your health, and to maintain your health so you are ready for anything life has in store.  Dr. Dousharm enjoys working with women and kids especially, but loves when entire families decide to take the step towards better health for all. She is always happy to provide a consultation so that you can make the best decision for what is right for your family and their health.  The sooner you start taking care of yourself the better off you will be in the future!

Laura-ELITE-Lactation-ProfessionalsAnother thing an expecting couple should consider is taking classes that will help you plan and prepare for childbirth accordingly.  Most childbirth classes are 8-12 hours long and cover what will happen during a few days of your life. Laura Anderson of Elite Lactation Professionals, LLC says that it is a standard recommendation for all babies to be breastfeed for at least one year, yet few people prepare properly for this. In general, many think that breastfeeding will be natural–and it is, just like labor and birth are natural, but it is not always easy. Learning what to expect and what is normal is very important. Our culture has many misconceptions regarding how newborns feed. It is important to remember regardless of what we think, biologically our bodies are expecting to breastfeed and our babies are expecting everything that comes from being breastfed.  Anderson stresses that you should know your resources and seek help, and be aware that having a baby is a major life change and many things about it will be scary and unpredictable. It’s OK to feel unsure and awkward, but it is not OK to feel alone. ELITE Lactation Professionals, LLC offers access to private practice Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC). Families who access their services are provided with prenatal education and postpartum breastfeeding support, available in individual and group consultations, and Anderson notes that they can also develop a Custom Individual Lactation Program. Also, a main component of their business is geared toward making a mother’s return to work smooth. They contract with corporations to improve, maintain and set up a Custom Worksite Lactation Program, and provide Management Training Seminars throughout the country that focus on Corporate Wellness.  In March of 2010, the Fair Labor Standards Act included an amendment that requires all employers to provide nursing mothers with reasonable time and space to pump their breast milk for up to a year after the baby is born. Elite Lactation Professionals, LLC provides corporations with the tools needed to make their Worksite Lactation Program successful.

Parenting a child does not necessarily mean that you have given birth.  Foster care provides an opportunity for children and potential guardians to find one another and create a family.  Christian Heritage believes that foster care is a calling, and in the beginning most people may not feel totally equipped to do foster care, but they feel called to that mission.  That calling does not seem to be tied to any particular stage of life, and is different for every foster parent.  Christian Heritage offers foster care training classes involving a variety of participants such as young married couples, empty nesters, singles, parents with no children, and parents with many children.  Brian Berrier, the Recruitment Supervisor for Christian Heritage, is always very excited to see people in all stages of life with different circumstances share a common passion to help foster children.  Foster care is a very exciting journey and for some, the journey of pursuing foster care lasts for months while for others it may continue for years. Children in foster care have been removed from their parents because of abuse, neglect, or other family problems.  The first goal when a child enters foster care is to re-unite them with their biological family, however in situations where the children cannot return home Christian Heritage looks to adoption, as their organization believes that every child deserves a family.  Christian Heritage assigns a family specialist to the foster parent(s) and the child/children in their care, who will call on you and the children at least twice a month.  Family specialists also attend school, team, and court meetings to help support both you and the child, and Christian Heritage has someone on-call 24 hours a day.  Anyone interested in becoming a foster parent is invited to begin the process by contacting Christian Heritage.  They will be able to answer any questions that you have and provide you with an idea of the children they have that currently need temporary or permanent homes, and can set up a home visit, which is the next step in the process.  At the home visit, they will make sure your home meets all the standards to be licensed, and visit with you in more detail about foster care and what is involved.  In order to help children in foster care you need to be trained and become licensed, which would be the next step.  Christian Heritage partners with local churches to offer training sessions throughout the year.  This training will help prepare you to care for children in foster care and gives you the opportunity to develop a support group with others that share a common passion to help children.  During training you will also have a licensing specialist walk you through the process of becoming licensed.   After you become licensed we discuss with you what type of placements will work for your family, and Christian Heritage is very intentional about placing children with the right family.  Not matter what stage of the process you are at, Christian Heritage would love to speak to you about foster care possibilities.

Michaela-Young-CEDARSAt CEDARS, as a foster parent you become an integral part of their professional team.  This means you have access to support at any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Michaela Young, Foster Care Program Manager at CEDARS, emphasizes that fostering a child can mean you will experience a big change in your current lifestyle.  The CEDARS Foster Care team makes themselves available to offer support and assistance anytime they are needed.  Youth in Foster Care come from an abused or neglected home and often show signs of trauma.  Maintaining a calm and positive attitude helps these youth thrive and grow in your home.  As a foster parent you can expect to deal with many new things, such as taking a child into your home at a few hours’ notice, working with a case manager, and scheduling your day out to include this child’s activities.  Once properly acclimated, this can be an extremely rewarding experience for foster parents and CEDARS is there to help along the way.  Young notes the great significance and need for foster parents, and considers foster parents as members of the CEDARS family. Fostering should be a positive, meaningful experience for your family in helping children grown and reach their permanency objective.  CEDARS offers monthly support groups and quarterly gatherings for their foster families, to ensure that they are aided and encouraged.  In addition, they offer regularly scheduled training opportunities.  These support systems serve families by providing a forum to share ideas and get tips from peers who are navigating the same foster care path.  Among the services that CEDARS ensures foster families receive are team members and family resource partners with low case loads, many avenues for support, assistance with transportation, immediate response to phone calls and requests, guaranteed respite every month, competitive monthly stipends, convenient individualized and ongoing training throughout each month, and are always strong advocates for the foster parents and children.  CEDARS provides their foster families affiliation with an established organization that has provided services for foster families in Lincoln for 65 years, and their staff has a combined 147 years of experience that enables them to assist you with the transition to a new family life with care and as seamlessly as possible.

photo-Sandra-Larsen-bancwise-realtyThere are many aspects involved with buying a new home, business location, or any other type of property; however, there are just as many resources available to assist you with each of the necessary steps to planning and executing any type of real estate transaction.  Sandra Larsen, a Realtor® with BancWise Realty, offers several tips on each step of the process.  First and foremost, connect with an experienced, active Realtor® who will act as a buyer’s agent to represent your best interests.  This agent will offer contacts that will be of value to you, whom they have already done business with and can recommend based on past successful experiences.  A buyer’s agent can also show you any available property and guide you as to the pros and cons of each property, all while the commission cost to a buyer is $0.00.  Larsen recommends that when choosing a lender you should go with a local, reputable lender who can provide you with a pre-qualification letter.  She notes that in our local culture, when an offer is presented to a seller with a pre-qualification letter, it gives the seller some sense of security knowing their potential buyer has connected with a good lender and can afford to follow through on the purchase and closing of the property.  Larsen also suggests utilizing Neighborworks, which is a program in Lincoln that provides assistance with down payment and repairs for first time home buyers after taking several informative classes that they provide.  You can access their website at  Having sufficient information is essential, and Larsen has formed a process through experience to find the right fit by using the criteria her clients provide, as well as taking note of their input during the process, being present for tours to gauge reactions, and staying on top of what is available in the market.  This enables her to negotiate the best price and terms on behalf of her client by using her knowledge about what similar properties in the area have sold for, or to provide an accurate cost estimate of the property ahead of time.  Price and condition play key roles in making a property attractive to the potential buyer in order to minimize large out-of-pocket costs in the first year of ownership.  For home buyers, this can also be mitigated by negotiating to have a home warranty included in the transaction.  Larsen has established a reliable, trustworthy referral base to help come along-side her clients to solve any problems that may arise, and stresses the tremendous value that a professional, experienced advocate can provide to any buyer, whether it is their first or tenth time purchasing property.

Joe-Courtney-bancwise-realtyJoe Courtney, a Realtor® with BancWise Realty and a colleague of Larsen’s, adds that the property buying process can often times be overwhelming.  Courtney suggests interviewing several Realtors before committing to one, as this will be someone that will be present in your life for three to six months in order to take care of you every step of the way.  With this in mind, you should make sure they are someone you can effectively communicate with and trust, is knowledgeable of the market, and experienced with contracts and negotiations.  You can always ask you friends and family for a Realtor® referral as well.  Chances are if they had a good experience, then so will you.  If you are buying your first house, there are several steps that are crucial.  One of the most important is to make sure the house is right for you! Courtney also speaks to the importance of getting pre-approved for financing right away, or as soon as it is possible, as it is crucial to know all the costs involved with buying property before you get too far into the process.  Your budget will likely shape all the decisions you make for the future of the buying process, and it is difficult to shop if you don’t know what you can afford.  One of the most important things you can do during the entire process is to ask plenty of questions! Your Realtor® is one tool of many out there to educate you on any and all aspects of purchasing property.  You aren’t expected to know everything, and that’s one of the reasons why you have hired your realtor as your educated ally.  Remember, your agent is working for you!  For most Americans, purchasing a home will be the biggest investment of their lives, and the process should reflect this by covering all bases properly due to the gravity of the situation and the impact it will have on the rest of your life.  In addition to new buyers, there are also move-up buyers, who are looking to buy a better property than they already own.  This process can be a challenge if you need to sell your current home before you can purchase your new home.  Your first priority should always be to sell your current home, as it is the only thing that may be holding you back from getting into the new one.  You can also move the process along buy searching for properties on your own in addition to what your Realtor® sends you.  Courtney finds that when buyers look on their own they adjust criteria more often, as they come across properties that they may not have previously considered.  In addition to new home buyers and move-up buyers, there are buyers in the market that are looking to downsize.  For example, when the kids are gone you may not need 4,000 square feet of space for one or two people.  This process can be frustrating as there may be many times during your life that you will be changing the style of living that you are accustomed to.  Courtney recommends having this conversation with your Realtor up front to see if your needs and wants for your new home are realistic.  Also, if you are downsizing, it is a good idea to de-clutter, sell, or donate all items that you don’t use or wish to take with you, so you have a better idea of the actual space that you want in order to get a perfect fit.  BancWise can accommodate a buyer at any stage of life, as they are a locally owned company specializing in residential real estate sales, and offer Realtors® that have experience with the local market and work with both buyers and sellers.

J.R.-Knopp-Nebraska-Home-SalesJ.R. Knopp, a Realtor® and team member at Third Generation Builders, points out the importance of really considering what you are looking for in a home whether you are building or buying, including how you want the kitchen, living room, and all the rooms to lay out. The best way to start is to contact your Realtor® and have them set up tours of a bunch of newly constructed homes or ones that are currently being built, or if it’s in the spring or fall a home parade or trade show are great resources to pull ideas from. This will give you a good idea of different types of homes and some ideas for layouts, qualities, and designs for the inside of the house. The next big step is to find the perfect lot to put your new house on and that is usually the most difficult task when it comes to building a house. Some things to consider when looking for a lot is the area of town and features of the lot, such as views, neighbors, daylight and the position the home will face, and the grades of the land.  Knopp recommends choosing a Realtor® and builder that are straightforward, honest, and have a timely approach to business. When doing successful business with clients, he relies on being very straightforward, easy to talk to, and using his experience to explain everything out in full detail. The end goal is to find the best quality for the best price, and to have a positive working relationship with each client throughout the process.

As with the planning of any life change, your financial situation plays a major role in the decisions you make.  Matt Egge, a financial representative with Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, has plenty of advice from his experience with financial planning.  If you are looking to finance a new project or major investment, Egge recommends taking an overall look at your current financial situation as a great starting point.  Important topics to address include what your current budget looks like, how much the project you are looking to finance will cost you, and how these coincide with the timeline of when the project needs to be completed.  There are many options to save for a project, and it is important to find a way that best fits your specific situation.  For example, if you have enough in your budget and enough time to save the amount you need, a basic savings account is probably the easiest and less stressful way to finance the project.  However, a drawback to using this method is that you could otherwise be investing this money in an investphoto-Matt-Egge-Northwestern-Mutualment that could provide you with a higher rate of return.  If you do not have the ability to save the necessary amount of funds in enough time, you may need to take a look at getting a loan to finance the project.  There can be some benefits to going this route, as you may be able to find a low interest and/or fixed interest rate loan that is tax deductible, which could be a better option, especially for those who could really utilize the tax deduction.  Some other options to consider when financing a project could include utilizing cash value from a life insurance policy, withdrawing assets from an individual investment account, or taking an early distribution from a qualified plan.  Each of these options can have some tax consequences and therefore should be discussed with your financial advisor and/or accountant.  If you are looking to finance your first home, you may qualify to take up to $10k of earnings from your Roth IRA without paying the 10% premature withdrawal penalty.  However, you must have held the Roth IRA for at least 5 years.  Contributions made to the Roth IRA may be withdrawn free from tax and penalty at any time for any reason.  It is normally not ideal that you make an early distribution from a qualified plan due to the tax consequences as well as the disruption to your overall retirement goals.  Overall, each situation is different and meeting with a professional to gather clarity would be beneficial when weighing your options.  Egge, who works mostly with people who are looking to do financial planning for life changes, stresses that it is never too early or too late to begin financial planning.   He has found that a good starting point is when you are on your own and begin your career, but notes that everyone’s vision of being financially secure looks different.  Getting a good financial foundation early on can give you peace of mind and confidence in your financial security.  You will experience a lifetime of changes, so it is important for your financial plan to remain flexible to adapt to changes over the years and for you to revisit it often.

Financial planning is essential throughout one’s life and never can be started too early.  Brad Ewerth, a financial planner with Ewerth and Associates, says that it is important to educate clients on the rules of finance as this is knowledge that will be vbrad-ewerthaluable a countless number of times over the span of an individual’s life.  However, financial planning involves much more analysis than merely determining which asset allocation model to use with investment dollars. Financing a new project, whether personally or in a business environment, requires analysis of the cost of the project, possible amount to finance, interest rate (which can be shopped around), term length of debt and monthly cost.  Once this is determined, then a cash flow analysis should be completed to make sure there is adequate cash flow either personally or from the business to meet the monthly debt obligation payment. Making the determination whether the monthly payment can be easily met on paper is critical before making a long term commitment to finance any project.  Additionally, compounding interest versus simple interest and the impact of taxes short-term and long-term are areas that Ewerth helps his clients fully understand, as this knowledge is extremely valuable for retirement and college planning.  Along with income tax planning, these two areas address some of the biggest financial obligations and concerns that many families face.  Unfortunately, it is easy to defer the planning process in these two areas; however, wasted time is difficult to make up, as every financial decision made can have an impact on retirement.  Accordingly, Ewerth strives to educate and strategize with families and businesses, as well as presenting several efficient financial options to consider with regard to retirement, college and tax planning. The rules for college planning are complex and completely different than the rules considered for tax planning.  Understanding both is critical, as again, funding incorrectly can impact how you live out your retirement years.

For those who are retiring and ready to enjoy their golden years, there are plenty of activities that serve to keep you busy and having fun while trying something new.  The Lincoln School of Music offers many types of classes and activities to supplement your schedule and expose you to a new passion or skill involved with music.  Their most popular lessons are private lessons, especially for piano and guitar, which are designed to help tailor each session to an individual’s specific and personal goals.  Private lessons are appropriate for students of all ages, and provide a great place to meet like-minded individuals working towards a common goal or learning an instrument.  These lessons also include a recital at the end of the course to show off everyone’s new skills.  Tim Woosley, Music Director for the Lincoln School of Music, emphasizes that anything really great takes time, especially learning any new skill or talent.  Even though we now live in a drive-thru, instant culture where we are used to getting what we want right away, the amount of time and dedication you invest will proportionately give you the desired outcome you are aiming for.  If you invest your time wisely, you will be able to see and appreciate the return of a new skill that will add to the enjoyment of your life.  The Lincoln School of Music also periodically creates new courses, and offers a selection group lessons aimed at different age groups and seasons of life, such as grade school, high school, post-graduation, and retirement.  They will be offering special group guitar lessons this summer, which will be a new feature and the most unique and exclusive offer ever made available to Lincoln residents.  This will be a multimedia experience that will help maximize the learning curve associated with the guitar.  You can find out more information about these group lessons, as well as private lessons on a variety of instruments on their website.

Another project that you may take on, especially during retirement when you have more time to devote to a hobby, is restoring a classic car.  Classic cars are a good hobby for anyone to get involved in because they are a commodity that is difficult to find, and generally hold good value based on the market.  As you do work to the car, it will increase the value, as long as it is done correctly and to a standard that will last over time.  It is also a better place to spend your money, rather than on perishable items or bad habits that can never give you a return.   Additionally, the satisfaction of having a piece of history that you can drive on nice days, and that your family and generations to come can enjoy, is pretty great too.  Restore a Muscle Car (RAMC) is a one-stop shop for every aspect of classic car restoration.  They have a crew of over 16 technicians that specialize in different skill sets, including body and paint, interior, engine rebuilds, wiring, suspension/chassis, and all the way up to high level detailing.  RAMC can help with as little or as much work as you need them to, and can help to complete any project that you don’t feel comfortable with doing yourself.  Dave Hall, owner of RAMC, notes that every client is different in their goals with their classic car.  Some want them to drive on a nice weekend, some want to drive them every day, while others just keep them as an investment.  RAMC sees a variety of clients, some of whom need help with a few changes or updates to their car and others that want them to restore the car from ground up.  Hall and his staff try to get an idea if it is a temporary investment for a few years or a lifetime investment to hand down to other generations, which then allows them to better serve each client’s wants and needs.  For example, if a client is looking for a car that they want to restore or simply drive and enjoy, the RAMC staff will search the country through their connections to try and locate the classic car of the client’s choice.  As a part of assisting a client with figuring  out what they want, they also guide their clients according to budget, and will also help in looking any prospective vehicle over prior to purchasing if needed.  All restoration work done at their shop is documented and posted on the website for their clients to follow along week by week with the progress that is completed.  It keeps them just as involved as we are every step of the way!  Hobbies are a great way to invest your time and money in something that personally moves you.  RAMC will share your passion by keeping you motivated, and will provide you the tools you need to complete your restoration project successfully.

Life is full of changes, both individual and collectively.  Becoming a parent, buying a new home, starting a new business or job, and retiring are milestones that we all hope to be blessed with or work hard to earn, and planning for these changes can be just as enjoyable as the changes themselves.  It is important to remember that there are a wealth of resources at your fingertips, and plenty of people and businesses out there that are already experts in their field and want to help you have the best experiences possible related to any changes that you plan to take on in the future.