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You Don’t Have Life Insurance Through Work Forever

Why you need a personal life insurance policy

What is life insurance?

Life insurance is a contractual agreement between an insurance company and an individual. In exchange for a monthly (or annual) premium, a life insurance company commits to paying a lump sum of money to the beneficiaries named on a life insurance policy after the death of the policyholder.

Why do you need life insurance?

You need life insurance to protect your loved ones, whether that’s your spouse/partner, children, family or close friends. The money the death benefit provides gives your family financial security long after you pass on. Ask yourself: do you want your family to have to come up with your funeral expenses while they’re grieving you? The answer is likely “no.” When you have life insurance, your loved ones receive a tax-free death benefit quickly after you die. Those funds can be used in whatever capacity you need them. Some parents use life insurance to make sure they can provide for their children’s education. Term life insurance can be used as an additional form of mortgage protection. The last thing you want to worry about after your partner dies is how you can afford to pay for your house. Life insurance is a great way to protect your home.

Life insurance is based on risk

A critical point to know about life insurance is that it’s based on the calculated risk. How risky is it to insurance a person? That’s a tricky question to answer, so let’s start with a simpler concept. Think about how you insure a car. Car insurance is based on the year, make and model of your vehicle as well has how many accidents it’s been in and what shape the vehicle is in. Insuring a human is based on a similar concept. The cost of life insurance is based on the overall health of the individual. If you are a healthy person, your cost of insurance is lower than someone who has chronic health conditions. Having health issues doesn’t necessarily prevent people from getting life insurance. It indicates that their policy contains more risk and consequently will cost more money. Life insurance companies want to be able to pay the death benefit when a policyholder passes away; they can only do this if they’re taking calculated risks based upon the health of the policy holder.

I have life insurance through work; I don’t need a personal policy

You may be reading this and thinking “I have life insurance through my job. I don’t need to pay for a policy.” I have news for you: most life insurance policies that you get through an employer are not portable. What does that mean? If you quit your job, or retire from it, you cannot take that policy with you. That’s not the case for all jobs, because some companies have life insurance policies that are portable, but the cost to take your policy with you is likely extremely expensive. So, your homework is: ask your company if your life insurance policy is portable and if so, how much will it cost to take with you when you leave the company or retire? If it’s not portable, reach out to me and we’ll get you set up with a life insurance policy that will protect your family long after you leave your job.


  • You need a personal life insurance policy
  • Ask your employer if your work policy is portable
  • Contact me if it’s not portable for a financial consultation

Hey Gen Z, I Have NFI What You’re Saying! Sincerely, a Confused Xennial

The first step is admitting you have a problem

I’m 43 years young, and I have two teens. My son is 15, and my daughter is 12 going on 25, so I consider her to be a teenager. Needless to say, I have no fucking idea what they’re saying 80% of the time, and they’re perpetually embarrassed by my existence, which means I must be doing something right. 

Even so, I’m a curious person, and I love language, and I’d like to know what the words that are coming out of their mouths (and their peers’ faces) mean. I’ve been conducting some informal research, and I need to know how I’m doing with the 2023 slang vocabulary because I’ll be fucking damned if these children are going to outsmart my verbal acumen. I love words, and I’m a writer FFS. I refuse to let the youth of today stump me with their language. Below is what I’ve deduced from my Gen Z linguistic research project. I take full accountability for my words below and acknowledge that I probably fucked a lot of stuff up, so please correct me if I am wrong.

Gen Z vocabulary test

Cap (or no cap) = My understanding is when a person says “no cap,” it means “I’m not lying. So, “cap” must mean that the person is lying…I think. Please help me; I’m old AF.

That slaps = If you say that Something slaps (for example, a song), it means that it sounds good or is cool.

It hits differently = I’m not going to lie; I enjoy this one. I think it means “that impacted me” or “moved me” in some way.

Rizz = Something about turning someone on? I don’t know, but I think it sounds dumb.

Let’s goooooo = Rock on, let’s do this; you’re awesome, and such.

Bet = Cool, cool.

That’s a bop = That is a catchy song.

Cringe = That’s fucking embarrassing, and do not say or do that again, ever.

ONG = I can’t type this out because I’m Jewish, but it’s like – I swear to G-d.

Now it’s your turn

Calling all Gen Z people in the house. Please help me understand what y’all are talking about because I refuse to accept my linguistic deficiencies. May we never stop learning or using being old AF as an excuse not to understand the youth! For the older people reading this, what Gen Z words do you know? 

To Blog or Not to Blog

To blog, or not to blog, that is the question:
Whether ’tis WordPress on the mind to type
The keyboard and laptop of outrageous blog posts,
Or to tweet words against a sea of followers
And by replying accidentally troll them. To delete—to weep,
No more; and by a retweet to say we mend
The comment thread and a thousand disagreeing readers
That blog is heir to: ’tis a communication
Resolutely to be written. To delete, to repeat;
To write again, perchance to read—ay, there’s the post:
For in that deletion of a blog post what words may come…

The Educational System in the United States is Failing Kids with ADHD

The Educational System in the United States is Failing Kids with ADHD

I worked for the department of education in New York City for many years as a substitute teacher. I have had a plethora of experiences working with children in special education classrooms, general education classrooms, ICT or inclusion classrooms, and in afterschool programs. I have also worked with children who have IEPs (Individualized Education Plans) or special needs. I have worked with children who have autism, ADHD, and various mental health issues, and I have found my experiences to be eye-opening.

I recently moved to Oregon and I wasn’t sure what to expect from the educational system. I soon found myself alarmed by the way that students with special needs were treated in the public school system. The administration did not seem to understand how to give my child what he needed. Because he has ADHD (which I believe is hereditary, because I have it), it is difficult for him to focus. Instead of being given assistance, he was called work-avoidant and defiant. Even though he exhibits well-understood and recognizable symptoms of ADHD, when I tried to explain the cause of my son’s behavior, my concerns were dismissed.

It’s sad how ADHD is still looked at as an excuse or a fabricated diagnosis. Many teachers and administrators want to believe that children are just lazy and have the capacity to do more work than they are putting forth. It’s easier to view it this way rather than saying that child actually has a mental health issue that needs attention.

I’ve heard people say that ADHD is overdiagnosed. I can’t comment on that because I haven’t read the statistics regarding it. But I can tell you that ADHD is a real mental health issue that I live with and so does my son. I can testify that the educational system in Oregon is ill-equipped to deal with children who have ADHD. I have yet to find a place within Oregon’s educational system that has the capacity to give children with ADHD the services they need.

For example, I requested an FBA for my son, which is a behavioral assessment to determine what services will help him. The educational institution denied my request even though I know that this will help him because I have an educator’s background.

My voice went unheard and my pleas were met with condescension. I was treated as though I am a “mere parent” who knows nothing about education. My needs are not important and neither are my son’s, apparently.

I was hung up on when I called the Department of Education and tried to express my concerns. I was treated poorly. I told the Department of Education in multiple emails that they were violating the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) but they don’t seem to care that they’re breaking the law.

I am at a loss as to what to do for my son to get him what he needs, and it’s becoming increasingly frustrating to deal with our educational system. I don’t think the lack of aid I’ve experienced is unique to this state, but rather it’s a national problem.

Because people think that ADHD isn’t real (they believe that children are just being complacent and not living up to their potential), they don’t understand the educational accommodations that kids with ADHD need and they are ignored. All too often, children with ADHD are stigmatized as “bad kids.” They are told that they need to sit down when they don’t have the capacity to sit still because their brains work differently than other people’s brains.

Currently I am trying to fix the situation with my child so that he gets the accommodations that he needs. The IEP process has been long and hard. It is taxing on my mental health as I have a disability also.

I have been treated poorly by the system, and sadly I am not surprised. Because there is a lack of understanding about people with mental health issues, my actions are often misinterpreted, just like my son’s. I am seen as rude due to my ADHD symptoms. I am looked at as being antagonistic due to the fact that I am assertive. In the Pacific Northwest, when you assert yourself, you look like you are starting a fight.

I’m not starting a fight. I am simply advocating for my child to get what he needs so that he can get an education, which is not unreasonable. I wish that people could understand this. My friends and family get it, but the administration doesn’t.

If I had the time and energy I would form an ADHD advocacy group for parents of children with ADHD. I would help them to get the accommodations their children need. I hope that people start to realize that this is a real mental health issue that affects millions of adults and children. It’s not something that we’re making up. This is the problem with many mental illnesses: People believe that it’s all “in your head,” as if the brain is not a part of the body and does not impact every area of our lives.

If people cared enough to learn about these different mental health issues and educate themselves instead of living in ignorance, the world would be a better place. We are all unique individuals and people with ADHD are actually fascinating human beings. They think quickly and they interrupt you because they have hundreds of ideas and they want to get them out, but we are stigmatized and we are misunderstood, which leads to us feeling depressed and isolated; all because we don’t know how to relate to people who don’t understand us.

That is what is happening to my son at the moment. He is suffering because he is misunderstood. He’s being told that he is not following directions when he is having difficulty functioning due to his own mental health issues.

Why should he be punished for something he can’t control? Shouldn’t the school try to work harder to understand who he is as an individual instead of acting in a punitive manner?

My hope is that we can learn to help kids who have ADHD rather than telling them that there’s something wrong with them. Who wants to hear that there is something wrong with them? Nobody.

Let’s stop thinking about what’s wrong with us, and start thinking about what’s right with us. Let’s look at the positive aspects of ADHD, not just the negative ones. Being able to hyper focus is like having a super-power. You can zero in on a single project and get it done so much more quickly than somebody else could. I like to think of my brain as a car—when it’s in neutral it does nothing, but if I can get it into drive, the race is on. I can do anything. The trick is getting my brain to switch gears; it’s taken me some time to figure out how to do that, and I’m still learning.

I want to know if you, too, experience my same frustration with the educational system in the United States. Do you have a child with special needs? Are you having trouble getting them the services that they are entitled to? Let’s come together and try to change the system so that it can better serve our children. Kids don’t deserve to be stigmatized. They deserve to be helped.

Be Your Own Psychologist

Can you be your own psychologist? In some ways, you totally can. You can be your own therapist because the path to healing is different for each person. Think about it, therapy is unique for each person and there are so many different kinds of it. I think the majority of people want to be saved from their pain by a magical or external force. I know there have been many points in my life where I wished that things would just get better. I wanted my boyfriend to save me or my mom or anyone who seemed like they had the answers. I didn’t feel like I knew how to help myself. Later, I began to see that nobody has “the answers.” And there are no answers. There are different questions and answers for each of us. There’s no rule book or instruction manual for our lives. Your life is different from mine and thinking that there’s one way to live life isn’t the case.

If you want somebody to save you, you’re not alone. This is human and natural. When you feel like you need someone to fix you, you are not the only one. Life is difficult and we would like things to be easier than they are but unfortunately, that’s not the case. People seek mental health treatment because they want to be well. However, wellness isn’t obtained instantly. It takes time to get well and it’s important to remember that you are the master of your own mental health journey. Even if you have an entire treatment team of mental health professionals working with you, you’re at the head of that team. You’re leading the way and making it possible for you to heal. Your destiny is defined by what you do.

Your therapist is like your tour guide on the journey of your life. They’re not going to tell you where to go, but they can explain what you’re coping with and how to get better. Their role isn’t to carve out the road for you to walk on. You decide how you get where you’re going to. But your psychologist can tell you what landmarks to pay attention to and what they represent. I like having a personal guide on my life journey. I enjoy that my guide is there to point out places for me to explore. If I didn’t have my guide (therapist) I would survive, I’d be okay, but it wouldn’t be the same.

Your therapist is a tour guide, but once they show you what to look for, you now know. You learn the tools to spot monuments and historical sites along the way. The hope is that once you learn what to notice/observe you won’t need to rely as much on your tour guide, and you can backpack through life without so much guidance. I remember talking to Ari’s therapist and asking her if she thought therapy was a life-long process. She said that she believed that therapy shouldn’t be forever. It should continue until the person in therapy feels like their life is more manageable and they have the coping skills to handle it.

So, you CAN be your own therapist. It takes time to learn how to do it, but one day you’ll be touring your own life and showing other people around.

Repressed Memories Scare Me

Repressed memories are a funny thing and by funny I mean, scary. There are things that I wish I remembered from my childhood, but actually, do I want to remember them? I’m not sure if I could handle those influx of memories. There are memories that I believe are real, based on events that have happened. However, I’m not sure if I need them up in my head because they’ve hurt me. They’ve been causing me pain dating back to so long ago. There’s a memory that I’m pretty sure happened when I was three, but I’m still not sure if it’s “real” or it “actually happened.” It seems so distant. It appears like a rainbow faintly hovering in the sky. It’s not a pretty memory, so maybe a rainbow isn’t the best analogy there.

I have PTSD and some of my triggers are not understandable to me. I can only speculate as to what they’re related to. I do know is that I get panic attacks at seemingly random times and I’m not sure of the actual reasons for them. I have managed to figure out how to cope with panic attacks through medication and therapy but I still don’t understand why some of them occur.

I’ve done a variation on hypnotherapy that incorporates family systems theory. It helped me to get in touch with the things that I may repressed from my past. It also guided me toward figuring out how to heal. I’ve never formally done true hypnotherapy. I am curious about hypnosis as a treatment for trauma. Although there is something the frightens me about doing hypnosis, because I have issues with control. I wonder if there’s anyone who actually does not have control issues. Maybe a person who does mindfulness meditation and lots of yoga has less issues with trying to control things. However, I think as a rule, most people have some sort of control issues. If given the choice they would prefer to be able to control some of what’s happening. Under hypnosis, I would not have control over my actions, and that frightens me to no end.

I wonder if it would be worth it though. Perhaps lacking control would be a positive experience for me. I could figure out how to cope with that feeling of powerlessness and begin to heal from my trauma. There are many situations in which I do not have control. There are a number of scenarios in which accepting that I lacked control helped me to grow as a person.

If there is anything to be gained from undergoing hypnosis, I would love to give it a shot. But it’s about taking that leap and seeing if I am brave enough to try something new. There are risks involved in being hypnotized. If people have been through serious trauma and there are some core memories that come up during hypnosis, that could be intense. I’ll consider this treatment for myself, but I’m not entirely sure if it’s the right move for me. If I do try hypnosis I’ll let you all know what happens.


I’m Open and Closed

I used to believe that I was entirely an open book. I am honest, passionate, blunt at times and I express myself as much as I can. I do this so assertively because when I was a child, I did not do this. I did not use my voice. I kept silent because I thought no one wanted to hear what I had to say. I feel like I’ve told this story a thousand times in 1000 different ways. It’s getting old now, and I want to let go of it. I can reflect on my invisible childhood, or I could move on and embrace the Sarah Fader I am today. Who is she? She is a bad ass on Tuesdays, sensitive on Wednesdays, exhausted by Thursday and hopeful on Friday. Yes, I am a rollercoaster of emotions and I come in like a fucking hurricane but I am not ashamed of that. It’s the nature of my charm. I’ve been through a lot of challenging times (to put it euphemistically). Traumatic experiences change who we are and literally change the formation of neural pathways in our brains. In addition to changing our brains, trauma impacts how open we are to new experiences. I used to be more open than I am at this moment, but because of my trauma history, sometimes (even though I want to open up) I crawl into my turtle shell and hide to protect myself.

When I think about my brain changing, it creeps me out. I don’t like the idea of my brain morphing because I couldn’t control what happened to me. Nevertheless, there are times that we have control over what happens and there are times when we are at the mercy of outside influences, which can feel scary. When there’s a loss of perceived control, it’s disarming to some people, and by “some people,” I mean me. I don’t like feeling out of control. It makes me incredibly nervous and I want to stop it from happening. However, there are few things in life we actually do have control over. We don’t have control over what happens in a given situation unless of course you are writing a play, story or you’re me writing this blog post right now. Relinquishing control is intimidating but if you can do it; if you can truly let go and embrace the ambiguity of life, you will be in a more positive frame of mind.

I don’t feel as open as I used to be. There are distinct moments when I am comfortable with a person enough to be completely candid, but I’m struggling to keep the doors to my heart ajar. I want to protect myself from further damage or hurt. But you can’t foresee who is going to impact you in that way. I can’t predict the future enough to protect myself from getting emotionally destroyed. If I could, I would be on that! Anxiety whispers in my ear to be careful who I trust, to close myself off until it’s safe to come out of my shell. But the other piece of me, the open part, wants to walk out into the sunlight regardless of the consequences. On Saturday, we’ll see which part of me wins.

The Power of The Mind Body Connection

The mind-body connection is powerful. I often disassociate from my body because it is usually emotionally painful to be inside of it. One of the reasons I do this is that I somaticize my symptoms of anxiety and depression. It’s important for me to remember that my mind and body are, in fact, connected. The disassociation I engage in has to do with the fact that my emotional pain becomes intertwined with the physical pain I experience and I can no longer tell the difference between the two. What this means is that I feel emotions within different parts of my body. This is painful to me in a multitude of ways. I’ve been so anxious that I pushed my neck out of alignment. At that point, I was in excruciating physical pain and intense emotional distress. I’ve learned that pain isn’t something that I necessarily need to run from, but rather sit with and embrace. I can be patient with feeling pain because pain is a message that is being sent to my body and mind. Pain is telling my mind and body that something needs to change. It’s communicating that my system needs to adapt.

We don’t know a lot of things about the brain, and we are still researching and learning them with time, but we do know that there is a profound connection between our brains and our physical bodies. Our brains tell our bodies what to do and how to feel. Sometimes I forget that I am not just a head or brain, I am attached to a physical body that grounds me to the earth. There are things that I can do to remind myself that I can stay in my body. There are exercises that help me, such as somatic exercises. These are things like going to acupuncture or even having a dance party in the kitchen with my kids. I know that sounds kind of silly but it does remind me that I have a body that can move and communicate positive things to my mind. When you dance your endorphins are engaged and you start to feel great.

My reaction to disengage from my body because of emotional pain is normal. Disassociation is a common reaction to trauma. When you experience a traumatic event you can check out, and many trauma survivors do this. When you are unable to connect with your body, it’s generally because your mind has gone elsewhere in order to protect yourself.

This is actually a defense mechanism. It’s not something that is intentional, but rather a way to prevent oneself from feeling further pain. People are not seeking out ways to feel pain, because pain is something that we avoid instinctually as human beings.

The mind-body connection is fascinating to me. I believe that the way that we think impacts our physical and emotional health. That is why Traditional Chinese Medicine is valuable because it integrates mind and body together. Western medicine focuses on the physical body but neglects the mind. In Western medicine, mental health is seen as something separate from physical health when in reality they are integrated. We need to shift our thinking and focus more on the fact that the mind and body are connected. When we do this we will be healthier as human beings.


Just when I thought I knew myself

I’ve always prided myself on knowing myself. I know who I am, what I want, and where I want to be in life. For example, I’ve been writing since I was a child and my life goal was always to be a professional writer. When I was little I used to envision myself at bookstores signing copies of my novels. It was exhilarating in my fantasy and I wanted it to come true. For a long time, I believed I could be the person in this vision. Somewhere along the way, I grew up and entered the world and realized that becoming a professional writer that was paid for her work was incredibly hard and people who made that happen were magical or knew something’s cousin or brother or ex-wife, which basically meant that they had an “in.” Anyway, being a writer stayed fantastical and it was difficult to transition the fantasy into reality. Until one day I actually started writing professionally and it made no sense to me at all. But here I am, doing that I guess.

Then there’s love. Love makes absolutely no sense at all. I jumped head first and I fell in love with someone and he fell in love with me. It was messy and scary to be that vulnerable, but it happened and I don’t regret diving into that unknown, except that now I don’t know if I am ever going to see him again because life totally fucked that one up, or maybe I did. Probably I did because I am so great at pushing people away. I want to be loved but I’m afraid that whoever ends up loving me will give up on my neuroses, sigh and walk away, or even run. I don’t leave people, because I know what it’s like to be left and it’s horrible. You’re sitting on that park bench in the dark, wondering how you’re going to get home.

Anyway, I decided to let my freak flag fly but not in a good way, in an unregulated way. I put a lot of pressure on him to understand me when it’s fucking hard to understand someone else, let alone yourself. But the biggest problem was that this: he wasn’t ready for me and I was ready for him but terrified of that readiness. So we were both afraid of love and wanted it at the same time.

Two years – a rollercoaster of passion, love, miscommunication, fighting for him and finally being together only to realize that I lost that battle. He told me he couldn’t, that he wasn’t ready for all that or maybe I wasn’t the one. I don’t know anymore. My love for him was and is real. And I can’t say that I’ll ever love like that again. That love is reserved for him and he didn’t seem to recognize how powerful it was. I wish he could see it. All I wanted to do was hold him close and take care of him. But he wouldn’t let me close enough to do that. He promised to be there for me and he wanted to, but I pushed him away, but that’s another story for another day.

When I go to sleep tonight I will imagine he’s holding me. I’ll remember the times I fell asleep on his chest, comfortably, hoping that moment would never end.

But, I saw things too rigidly, I could have let things go and stopped trying to make it a certain way. He will probably never read this. I wish he would give us another chance because I will never stop loving him. I will remember what we had because it meant something to me. And it always will, he always will.