Monday, September 25, 2017

Healthy Habits: How Heavy Is Your Child’s Backpack?

When kids carry more than 10% of their body weight, injuries can lead to health problems lasting into adulthood
Schools are in session across the U.S. and more than 79 million backpack-carrying students are settling into new routines – some of which include bringing the same items home each afternoon. Think the books and school supplies that your child is carrying in a backpack slung haphazardly across one shoulder are harmless? Think again. Heavy loads can cause injuries and low back pain that often lasts through adulthood.
“A child wearing a backpack incorrectly or that is too heavy can be contributing risk factors for discomfort, fatigue, muscle soreness, and musculoskeletal pain especially in the lower back,” says Karen Jacobs, EdD, OTR/L, CPE, clinical professor of occupational therapy at Boston University, and an expert on school ergonomics and healthy growth and development of school-age children.
Luckily, preventing discomfort and pain is simple. The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) offers the following tips for keeping kids safe while toting books to and from school:
  • Always select a backpack that is the correct size for your child.
  • Make sure the height of the backpack extends from approximately 2 inches below the shoulder blades to waist level, or slightly above the waist.
  • Always wear well-padded shoulder straps on both shoulders so the weight is evenly balanced.
  • Distribute weight evenly. Load heaviest items closest to the child’s back and balance materials so the child can easily stand up straight.
  • Wear the hip belt if the backpack has one, to improve balance and take some strain off sensitive neck and shoulder muscles.
  • Check that the child’s backpack weighs no more than 10% of his or her body weight. If it weighs more, determine what supplies can stay at home or at school each day to lessen the load.
  • If the backpack is still too heavy for the child, consider a book bag on wheels.
Thousands of students, educators, parents, and health professionals will mark National School Backpack Awareness Day on Sept. 20 with backpack weigh-ins, backpack check-ups, activities, and special events.
To learn more about National School Backpack Awareness Day, visit www.aota.org/backpack.
Founded in 1917, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) represents the professional interests and concerns of more than 213,000 occupational therapists, assistants, and students nationwide. The Association educates the public and advances the profession of occupational therapy by providing resources, setting standards including accreditations, and serving as an advocate to improve health care. Based in Bethesda, Md., AOTA’s major programs and activities are directed toward promoting the professional development of its members and assuring consumer access to quality services so patients can maximize their individual potential. For more information, go to www.aota.org.

Parenting Pointers: Cyberbullying Prevention

Cyber-bullying is no joke. Join the author of Saving Phoebe Murrow during National Bullying Prevention Month to protect your children from online/social media (cyber-)bullying:

Let’s say this at the outset: I would suggest that with the advent of the Internet and social media, the job of parenting has grown exponentially more difficult, and you are not alone. It was hard enough navigating children through those tricky teen years, dealing with teens’ raging hormones, peer pressure, and shaky self-image, but adding the Internet and social media to the mix has compounded teen problems and therefore your job as a parent. With the Internet, access to every form of information has expanded (in ways good and bad), and with social media the potential dangers and risks to teens have grown as well.

When tackling the issue of children and social media, we’re really dealing with a nine-tentacled octopus, so to speak. By that I mean there are so many forms of social media these days, and different ones target children of various ages. For example, teens are using everything from SnapChat and Kik Messenger to Instagram and Tinder (a dating site). Younger kids might use Facebook, SnapChat and video game sites. So is it actually possible to protect them? 

A few tips: 
  1. It’s essential to educate yourself about what social media platforms exist, and which age group they target. Here’s a great online article that will get you started. (apps examined in detail: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/16-apps-and-websites-kids-are-heading-to-after-facebook )
  2. You have the right to know what platforms your children are using. Know their passwords, etcetera. You are the parent and you pay for the phone. With responsible use rules can become more lenient.
  3. Invite your teen to teach you how to use various forms of social media. This can bring you into their world. For younger children who are just starting to venture into this world, teach them responsible use of social media. (i.e.: Kind messages only. Remember everyone in the world may see this, including your grandma, so don’t write anything you wouldn’t want her to see!)
  4. Limit time on phones and computers. Take all technology away at a reasonable time each night. While teen anxiety and depression have many causes, overuse of social media is adding to such problems. 

Current statistics suggest that a large percentage of teens have suffered one or more cyber-bullying incidents. Two excellent sources of information on cyber-bullying and prevention: https://cyberbullying.org and https://www.meganmeierfoundation.org and online safety: Family Online Safety Institute: https://www.fosi.org

My novel, Saving Phoebe Murrow, was inspired by a cyber-bullying event in Missouri which sent a teen to suicide. Feel free to contact me if you’re interested in learning more or having me appear at your book group. www.hertafeely.com


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Soul Sustenance: 31 Proverbs to Light Your Path

I enjoy reading uplifting spiritual books, so I was happy to review 31 Proverbs to Light Your Path by someone who is one of my top female Christian authors, Liz Curtis Higgs. Liz has a very real style of writing, one that is gently self-deprecating and makes her more relatable for people from all walks of life. She has a unique way of really delving into the meaning of Scripture, using multiple translations, to get the whole picture of what the original language was trying to say. She incorporates personal experiences in all of her writing, which makes it a lot more interesting to read about.

With this book in particular, she goes through 31 proverbs in concise, easy-to-read, short devotionals. Each one includes a thorough explanation of the proverb, breaking it down into tiny chunks to really emphasize its meaning. Then she includes a short applicable prayer, and a 60-second activity that is easy to do right then and there to help really reinforce the reading with an action or meditation.

The book was a great devotional. It didn't take long to read through each one, and the activities really helped extend and deepen the meaning of the proverb.

Liz Curtis Higgs is the author of more than 30 books, with more than 4.6 million copies in print. Her children’s Parable series received a 1998 ECPA Gold Medallion for Excellence, her nonfiction book Embrace Grace won a 2007 Retailers Choice Award, and her novel Whence Came a Prince received a 2006 Christy Award for Best Historical Novel. Here Burns My Candle was named 2010 Best Inspirational Romance by Romantic Times Book Reviews, and her 2011 novel, Mine Is the Night, was a New York Times bestseller. On the personal side, Liz is married to Bill Higgs, PhD, who serves as director of operations for her speaking and writing office. Liz and Bill enjoy their old Kentucky home, a nineteenth-century farmhouse in Louisville, and are the proud parents of two college grads, Matthew and Lillian. Visit Liz’s website, LizCurtisHiggs.com.

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Sweepstakes: Gimbal's Halloween Giveaway

Gimbal’s Fine Candies recently announced its 2017 Halloween giveaway.

People can enter for a chance to win a trick-or-treat package filled with delicious and ghoulish goodies! The lucky winner will receive a spirited and spooky Halloween set that will make their home trick-or-treat ready –complete with 48 bags of Gimbal’s Gourmet Jelly Beans, decorative pumpkins, spell books, a festive candy dish, a Halloween-themed tablecloth, and an eerie Halloween tree.

The sweepstakes runs from to October 13. Participants can enter on Gimbal’s Facebook page, with all entrants receiving 15 percent off their next online purchase by using the code HALLOWEEN15.

People can enter here: https://www.facebook.com/gimbalscandy

Amazing Apps: Wag!

 Dog-lover, actress, and producer Olivia Munn has starred in and co-produced a new national television commercial to promote Wag!, the first on-demand dog walking app.
 
Wag’s mission is to make dog ownership easier and more accessible for everyone while improving the happiness and health of dogs everywhere. Wag! provides dog owners instant access to vetted and experienced Wag! dog walkers in their local community who can be summoned to walk their dog 24/7.
 
Ms. Munn chose to get involved with Wag!, both as an investor and Creative Strategist, as she felt a personal connection to the company’s mission to improve the lives of dogs and dog owners. Ms. Munn has two adopted rescue dogs herself and has played an active role advocating for the well-being of animals.
 
Viner was inspired to create Wag! after his own hesitancy to take on a pet, given his busy schedule as a tech entrepreneur in Los Angeles. He founded Wag! with the mission to make it easier for everyone to own a dog and provide the attention and care every pet needs. 
 
With Wag!, busy dog owners can summon walkers with as little as 30 minutes notice. Walks are tracked by GPS in real time through the app. A “pup report” is delivered by the app at the end of each walk, including a picture/video of the pet, a map of the route taken, and full disclosure on exactly when and where the pet did its business.
 
Walks can last 30, or 60 minutes, with an additional charge of $5 per dog in the same household. Walkers are available 24/7.
 
Dog owners can get their first walk free when they download the Wag! app from the Apple Store or Google Play.  
 
About Wag!
Founded in January 2015, Wag! is an on-demand mobile app that gives dog owners more flexibility to manage everyday life without neglecting their dog’s needs by giving instant access to experienced and trustworthy Wag! dog walkers in their local community they can book at their convenience. Walks can last 30, or 60 minutes, with an additional charge of $5 per dog in the same household. Walkers are available 24/7. Wag! walks are insured and bonded and every walker has passed a thorough vetting process before being invited to walk dogs on the platform. Wag! is a proud sponsor of Rescue Bank and donates proceeds from every Wag! walk to supply meals to shelter dogs nationwide. Wag! also partners directly with local shelters in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City.

Healthy Habits: 6 Ways to Control Stress Sweat

Stress is bad enough on its own. Unfortunately for most of us, however, stress usually also brings with it stress sweat, which tends to be particularly stinky, staining, and embarrassing. Given that there are two to four million sweat glands distributed all over our bodies and that stressful situations are seemingly ubiquitous in modern life, trying to avoid stress sweat might seem like a futile endeavor – but (thankfully) it isn’t. There are simple ways you can control stress sweat even when the @#%S is hitting the fan.

But first, what makes stress sweat different from exercise- and heat-induced sweat?

The majority of the sweat glands in our skin are “eccrine” sweat glands. These glands are responsible for most of our heat-related and exercise-related sweating and secrete an odorless, clear fluid (made mostly of water and salt) to help control temperature by promoting heat loss through evaporation. Eccrine glands are found in large numbers on the soles of the feet, the palms, the forehead, cheeks, and in the armpits.

Dreaded “stress” sweat, on the other hand, comes primarily from another type of sweat gland called an “apocrine” gland. Apocrine glands are found mostly in the armpits and genital region (but there are some on the scalp, too) and exist near dense pockets of hair follicles. They produce a thick fluid that they empty into the hair follicle just before it opens onto the skin surface.

While apocrine sweat is initially odorless, it doesn’t evaporate as quickly as eccrine sweat and can develop an odor when it combines with bacteria that normally inhabits the surface of our the skin. The odor has that characteristic smell that we often call “body odor.” While it may smell, stress/apocrine sweat doesn’t actually produce that much wetness–at least not like the amount caused by eccrine sweat.

When the body is reacting to an emotion, like anxiety, stress or excitement, apocrine sweat is released from apocrine glands. Something interesting about stress sweat is that it’s immediate, whereas exercise or heat-related sweat can take longer to kick-in.

Scientists aren’t sure why apocrine glands produce odor beyond the process described above, but there might be an evolutionary and protective reason behind it. Animals tend to emit an odor when they’re stressed, too. That odor acts as a signal to peers that something dangerous or scary is going on and they should react accordingly. If this theory is true, it makes sense that stress sweat would be immediate and not delayed. Note that stressful situations will also increase eccrine sweating, but it’s not as immediate or as pungent.

While most of us recognize that stress sweat is a “thing,” we usually just suffer through it. This is a shame because there are ways to help control stress sweat and doing so can, in turn, make life a whole lot less stressful:
  1. Big picture: manage your stress and learn how to control it to prevent or limit stress sweating in the first place. Think mindfulness, meditation, and life balance, and when you’ve figured that out, please let me know.
  2. Use an antiperspirant to prevent sweat-related wetness. Antiperspirants work on both types of sweat glands. Apply at night for best effectiveness. At bedtime you’re typically sweating the least, which gives antiperspirants’ active ingredients time overnight to form the superficial plugs (that help limit sweating) before you start sweating again in the morning. If you apply antiperspirant when you are already sweating, your sweat will just wash away the product before it can start to work. And, yes, you can use antiperspirants on other body areas besides your underarms. Just test it on a small spot first to make sure it doesn’t cause irritation–especially on sensitive parts. As always, talk to your doctor or dermatologist about any concerns.
  3. No luck with the regular stuff? Try a stronger antiperspirant like Certain Dri, which is actually formulated for those suffering from extreme, clinical sweating—a condition called hyperhidrosis.
  4. Also use a deodorant to fight stress sweat odor–or use a combination antiperspirant and deodorant for convenience and cost savings.
  5. Trim and groom your hair where apocrine sweat and odor is a problem. This won’t limit the sweating, but it can help your antiperspirant and deodorant reach your skin more thoroughly and, therefore, do their jobs more effectively. Trimming hair also prevents sweat and oil from hanging around and cuts down on the surface areas on which bacteria and sweat can react (remember, it’s that reaction that leads to body odor.)
  6. There are other, more sophisticated treatments to stop sweating and the odor linked to it, too. One such innovation is the medical device miraDry, which studies show reduces body odor by destroying sweat glands and hair follicles via microwaves. You need to go to a doctor’s office for the miraDry treatment, but the results are permanent and will stop sweating, odor and hair growth in the treated area.
 While stress may be unavoidable, we can alter our reactions to it for calmer, sweeter days.

Author bio: Angela Ballard is a registered nurse and health educator with the International Hyperhidrosis Society (IHhS)the only independent, non-profit, global organization committed to helping improve quality-of-life for hyperhidrosis sufferers through support; public awareness; up-to-date, balanced treatment information; advocacy; research; healthcare provider education; and helpful products.  Learn more and get involved at www.SweatHelp.org. IHhS thanks its sponsors Clarion Brands (makers of Certain Dri) and Dermira for their support of hyperhidrosis research, education, support, and advocacy efforts.

Book Nook: Beasts from Bricks and How to Build Brick Cars


My daughters both love Legos, so it was a pleasure to review two new titles from Quarto, Beasts from Bricks and How to Build Brick Cars

How to Build Brick Cars was admittedly more enjoyable for my hsuband than my daughters. Neither of them is really into cars, but they still enjoyed trying out some of the models. There was a wide variety: classic and contemporary sports cars, race cars, muscle cars. The builds were designed by Peter Blackert, one of the world’s foremost custom builders in the brick world as well as a real-life car designer for the Ford Motor Company, and the book also includes informative and historical text about each car with step-by-step instructions. This is actually really appropriate for the car lover in your life - whether that's an older kid or teen who is just getting into cars, or an adult who wants to feel like a kid again.

My children did enjoy Beasts from Bricks even more. My older daughter loves jungle animals, especially big cats, and also really likes ocean animals, and this book provides step-by-step instructions for fifteen different animals from all over the world. The instructions also include educational information about the animal and its habitats, and the book has a bonus gallery of some large-scale animal designs created by Ekow Nimako.

Lego bricks are a great way to build STEM skills while having fun at the same time. It's a great activity for the whole family as well. The hardest part is sorting out all the bricks from our pile, but the instructions were easy to follow and the girls love displaying their creations!

Thrifty Thinking: Military retirees who choose DoD’s lump sum buyout will likely pay a high price

The Defense Department is casting the lump sum feature of the new Blended Retirement System as a way to give service members new financial choices at retirement, but a detailed analysis of the program reveals that those who sign up for the cash buyout will likely pay a high price.

The lump sum program offers retiring service members the opportunity to receive upfront dollars by forfeiting a portion of their working-age retirement pay (either 25 percent or 50 percent of the monthly payment). Retirees can choose to take the lump sum as a single payment or in four equal annual installments. Either way, their monthly retired pay will remain at the reduced level until age 67 and then returns to the full amount.

Lump sum amounts will be determined using the Government Discount Rate, which is an annually approved rate that is currently 6.99 percent. Based on a detailed analysis of the future finances of two hypothetical career military members (one enlisted, one officer) who retire at age 42, First Command Financial Services, Inc. projects that lump sum amounts calculated at the 6.99 percent rate would total less than half of all the monthly payments forfeited over a 25-year period.

For the hypothetical officer example, First Command based its projections on a pay grade of O-5, an assumed retired pay of $3,410 per month and annual cost of living adjustments of 3 percent. The 25 percent option produces a lump sum of $157,250. That’s a significant benefit, but it pales beside the $372,978 in total monthly payments forfeited over the 25-year period. By taking the lump sum option, the service member sees the value of their retirement package shrink by $215,728.

Enlisted personnel face similar challenges. For the hypothetical enlisted example, First Command assumed a pay grade of E-7, retired pay of $1,770 per month and annual cost of living adjustments of 3 percent. The 25 percent option produces a lump sum of $81,622. The monthly payments forfeited over the 25-year period totaled $193,600.  The value of the service member’s retirement package shrinks by $111,978.

In both cases, the dollar amounts are double for the 50 percent option.

The Blended Retirement System, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, calls for a 20 percent reduction in current retirement pay in exchange for a defined contribution program of automatic and matching Thrift Savings Plan contributions, a mid-career continuation pay bonus and the lump sum buyout option. The program will apply to all new service members starting next year, but current military members with 12 years or less of service are eligible to opt in to the new program.

When the first wave of eligible service members who opted into the Blended Retirement System start to retire in 2026, they’ll likely be dealing with a different Government Discount Rate but the challenges promise to be the same.


Highlights of First Command’s analysis of lump sum payment options

Officer examples

Pay grade O-5 taking a 25% reduction in pension in exchange for a lump sum
Assumptions
  • Retirement pay for BRS of $3,410, or $40,920 first year
  • 3.0% post-retirement COLA
  • Retirement pension started at age 42
  • Discount Rate of 6.99%
  • discounted pension lasted through age 66
Results
  • Reduced pension for the first year would be $30,690
  • First year reduction was $10,230
  • Total of the reductions over the 25 years prior to FRA at age 67 totaled $372,978
  • Lump sum at retirement in exchange for the reduced pension using the Discount Rate of 6.99% totaled $157,250

Pay grade O-5 taking a 50% reduction in pension in exchange for a lump sum
Assumptions
  • Retirement pay for BRS of $3,410, or $40,920 first year
  • 3.0% post-retirement COLA
  • Retirement pension started at age 42
  • Discount Rate of 6.99%
  • Discounted pension lasted through age 66
Results
  • Reduced pension for the first year would be $20,460
  • First year reduction was $20,460
  • Total of the reductions over the 25 years prior to FRA at age 67 totaled $745,987
  • Lump sum at retirement in exchange for the reduced pension using the Discount Rate of 6.99% totaled $314,500

Enlisted examples

Pay grade E-7 taking a 25% reduction in pension in exchange for a lump sum
Assumptions
  • Retirement pay for BRS of $1,770, or $21,240 first year
  • 3.0% post-retirement COLA
  • Retirement pension started at age 42
  • Discount Rate of 6.99%
  • Discounted pension lasted through age 66
Results
  • Reduced pension for the first year would be $15,930
  • First year reduction was $5,310
  • Total of the reductions over the 25 years prior to FRA at age 67 totaled $193,600
  • Lump sum at retirement in exchange for the reduced pension using the Discount Rate of 6.99% totaled $81,622


Pay grade E-7 taking a 50% reduction in pension in exchange for a lump sum
Assumptions
  • Retirement pay for BRS of $1,770, or $21,240 first year
  • 3.0% post-retirement COLA
  • Retirement pension started at age 42
  • Discount Rate of 6.99%
  • Discounted pension lasted through age 66
Results
  • Reduced pension for the first year would be $10,620
  • First year reduction was $10,620
  • Total of the reductions over the 25 years prior to FRA at age 67 totaled $387,197
  • Lump sum at retirement in exchange for the reduced pension using the Discount Rate of 6.99% totaled $163,245

About First Command
First Command Financial Services and its subsidiaries, including First Command Financial Planning and First Command Bank, coach our Nation’s military families in their pursuit of financial security. Since 1958, First Command Financial Advisors have been shaping positive financial behaviors through face-to-face coaching with hundreds of thousands of client families.

First Command Financial Services, Inc., is the parent of First Command Financial Planning, Inc. (Member SIPCFINRA), First Command Advisory Services, Inc., First Command Insurance Services, Inc. and First Command Bank. Financial planning services and investment products, including securities, are offered by First Command Financial Planning, Inc. , a broker-dealer. Financial planning and investment advisory services are offered by First Command Advisory Services, Inc., an investment adviser. Insurance products and services are offered by First Command Insurance Services, Inc., in all states except Montana, where as required by law, insurance products and services are offered by First Command Financial Services, Inc. (a separate Montana domestic corporation). Banking products and services are offered by First Command Bank. In certain states, as required by law, First Command Insurance Services, Inc. does business as a separate domestic corporation. Securities products are not FDIC insured, have no bank guarantee and may lose value. A financial plan, by itself, cannot assure that retirement or other financial goals will be met. First Command Financial Services, Inc. and its related entities are not affiliated with, authorized to sell or represent on behalf of or otherwise endorsed by any federal employee benefits programs referenced, by the U.S. government, or the U.S. armed forces.

Parenting Pointers: How to hand down the family business (One generation to Another)

By Jonathan Pellegrin

There are four distinct periods in the generational transfer of ownership and management of a family company.  They are:
  1. Exploration Period
  2. Decision Making Period
  3. Execution Period
  4. Aftershocks—Post Sale Period.

These periods provide structure for going through the process of considering and making an ownership change.

Exploration Period

Answering the following questions helps to arrive at a rational decision of whether or not to embark on a generational transfer at this time.

  • What are the trigger points causing consideration of handing down the company now?
  • Are the controlling shareholders in favor of passing the company to the next generation now…or ever?
  • Is there a plan for monetizing the value of the senior’s ownership interests as the stock is passed to the next generation?  Does the senior generation have adequate financial resources to provide a comfortable retirement and sustained standard of living?
  • Does the senior generation want to pass ownership in equal amounts to next generation members?
  • Is there a management succession plan in place?
  • Is there a process of selecting the next CEO?
  • How will a successor CEO be selected?
  • Is the senior generation operating under the illusion that the company can be managed by a committee of siblings—with ownership and management responsibilities shared equally?
  • What happens to the ownership mix as management is passed from one generation to another?
  • Is the current CEO really willing to step aside and give up the reins of leadership?
  • Do the senior family members understand that everything might not be equal in a generational transition?
  • It’s best to engage the help of your lawyer and accountant as well another business owner who went through the same process to serve as your sounding board when you are going through the process.

It seems that every situation is somewhat different, however the process and the accompanying templates and checklists in virtually every ownership and management transfer are useful tools that will help families achieve their objective or reach a satisfactory alternative given the facts and circumstances at the time.  Open, candid communications among family members are imperative for reaching an optimum result.

First, some critical checkpoints:

  1. Is the senior generation CEO really ready to step aside?
  2. Is there an obvious successor to the CEO?
  3. Are there adequate financial resources available, including debt capacity that are sufficient to provide a living to the retiring family shareholder/leaders?
  4. Is there an appetite in the next generation to raise the requisite funds to provide for the retiring shareholders?

If the answers to these questions are all “yes”, the decision making and execution processes are pretty straight forward.

Complications may occur when:

  1. There is more than one family member with the desire to own and manage the company in the next generation.
    1. Is the successor leader a clear choice?
    2. Will the new leader have support of his/her siblings?
    3. Will shares of the company be offered equally to all the siblings regardless of what their level of job responsibilities are, or will stock be divided unequally based on other factors.

  1. Some of the family members who are not interested in the business may want fairness and equality in the distribution of the value of the company in the generational transition. 
    1. Are there other family assets that can be provided in the estate plan of the senior generation in lieu of company shares for the benefit of those who aren’t interested in the business?
    2. Can career interests of siblings not interested in working in the family firm be encouraged and supported in other ways? 
___________________________________

This is a difficult process and should be done with care.  It’s one thing, if there is just one next generation member who is interested in taking over the business.  It’s another if more than one next generation member are   interested in operating the company.  And nothing will happen if the senior generation member is not fully committed to passing the company to the next generation…or it’s a half-way measure that is not likely to turn out well.

If there are two senior generation partners who want to pass the business to the next generation it can get messy with cousins trying to figure out how to mediate issues and resolve differences with a committee of family members.  
I personally believe that next generation members who want to take over the family company need to have skin in the game.  They need to mortgage personal assets, raise debt or bring in outside capital to finance the purchase.

The senior generation members need to be monetized for their shares and the risks of ownership need to be assumed by the next generation family members who want ownership and involvement in the company.  

It’s necessary to know and understand the extent of financing that can be provided by the company in facilitating the generational transfer.  And it must be clear how much debt can be carried by the company without affecting its ability to perform.  Too much leverage can be dangerous.

Decision Making Period

Considering all of the factors and information accumulated during the exploration period, including the short, intermediate and long term outlook for the company and its ability to effectively operate in the served markets of the company, a decision must be reached before moving to the next period.  

Do the benefits outweigh the risks for both the sellers (the senior generation members) and the buyers (the succeeding generation members) in completing this transaction?  Or should the company be sold or should any decision about ownership changes be postponed?  Will the new owners of the company be able to withstand the cyclicality of the business and the industry in which it operates?

It’s possible that the owners may reach a decision to sell the company and provide encouragement to the next generation to explore their interests and do something else.  If that’s the case the process of executing a sale of the business is different from a generational transfer.

All of these factors weigh in the decision of what to do.  If the decision is to do nothing at this time or not to sell, there should be a commitment to increasing the value of the company over time.  Merely going through the analysis, can be very motivating to the owners to make decisions that will improve the profitability of the business as well as its value.  

If the decision is made to proceed with the generational transfer, the process moves to the execution period.

Execution Period

A generational transfer is an inside sale, more like doing an Employee Stock Ownership Plan.  There are good firms that specialize in doing ESOPs.  The benefit of this structure is that the senior generation is able to take a chunk of money out of the company, leaving bulk of the ownership to the next generation and employees of the company.

No matter what is done, at this point it’s important to get an independent valuation of the business.  Analyzing the financial structure of the business and its earnings record, will provide an idea of how much leverage can be put into the company to help finance the purchase of stock from the retiring senior generation.

Naturally, the senior generation will receive less from inside sales rather than going to market with an outside sale to a strategic or financial buyer.

Execution of an “inside sale” is much easier than executing a sale to a strategic or financial buyer.

Post-Sale Period—Aftershocks

Little changes in the case of inside sales.  The culture of the company remains the culture of the company and the same people are and will be involved in the company as it goes forward, with the exception of senior generation members who are being cashed out and retire.  The future of the business belongs to the next generation and the seniors are rewarded for their early efforts building the company.  

Formerly Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Johnson Hill Press, JONATHAN PELLEGRIN is the author of The Art of Selling the Family Business. 





Book Nook: Whole Self - A Concise History the Birth and Evolution of Human Consciousness

Kendrick Mercer, a financial, political, cultural, anthropological, historical expert, is author of the new book I recently got to review, Whole Self: A Concise History the Birth and Evolution of Human Consciousness.

The book was an interesting read - even if you don't like evolution. It is a fact that the human brain has developed over time, so it's easy to read the book with that interpretation. The science behind brain development is fascinating, and this is a book that has a new angle on human development compared to other books I've read.

The book focuses on teaching readers our normal and natural state of being - tranquility (something that a lot of people really have a hard time reaching). By finding the truth of each moment, we can act and react appropriately, without escalating our stress. If we are all able to work from a state of calm and peace, we can really make progress on some of the major issues facing our human race.

KENDRICK MERCER is a historian, philosopher, and consultant. He has provided more than fifty years of coaching to thousands of people who note the transformational power of his business and personal development advice. His extensive knowledge of history, anthropology, evolution, psychology, and science has helped numerous corporate CEOs, presidents and executives, as well as entrepreneurs, independent business owners and more.
Mercer graduated from Willamette University in 1958 with a major in history. He went on to earn a Doctorate of Jurisprudence in 1961 from Willamette University Law School, and passed the Oregon State Bar, standing fourteenth in a field of 400 participants, and joined a law firm in Oregon. For more information, please visitwww.kendrickmercer.com and connect with Mercer on Twitter.
Whole Self was released on June 20, 2017 and can be ordered from Amazon and wherever fine books are sold.