Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Financial Independence

I just read a great article from AARP Online titled Celebrating Financial Independence - 4 keys to help you achieve debt-free living” by Jeff Yeager (June 20, 2012).  Independence Day and personal financial independence are uniquely American.  In what other country do citizens have so many rights, freedoms, opportunities and choices!
This Blog was actually first called “A House within Your Means” and we appreciate the four principles the articles advocates and supports as a means to true financial freedom that all income levels can obtain by making good choices.
We can be tempted by many lifestyle choices.  Deciding to live within our means may be one of the most important for both our self-confidence and self-worth.  Aspects of the American Way promote buying big and spending more but going back to the basics of paying ourselves first and saving up for purchases is also very American.  The pride and freedom of burning one’s mortgage or cutting up our credit cards is liberating.  While a certain amount of debt is sometimes necessary for housing, vehicles and college, working and saving to avoid debt in the first place is a better solution.
This is certainly where choices come into play.  We only need to buy what we really need.  We have the choice not to keep up with others who are mortgaging their future as well as their piece of mind.  Particularly in retirement, who really wants to be stressed with finances?
So as you celebrate the Fourth of July, consider your current plans and the choices that can provide you will independence.
Kris Jensen III

Get in on the Good Life!®

Monday, June 25, 2012

Creating Moments That Matter

Last Thursday marked an exciting milestone in my granddaughter Sophie’s life. It was the day of her 8th grade graduation.

For weeks before the big day, I wracked my brain over what I could give her to celebrate her accomplishment. I didn’t want it to be just any old gift like money or a piece of jewelry. I wanted it to be special; something she’d remember long after I was gone.

Then it came to me. Since she was a little girl, she had always loved taking photos. She’d always snag her mother’s camera at parties or different events and snap whatever she could – getting a thrill out of her work (even if it happened to just be the floor, or the side of someone’s head). As she’s gotten older, she’s continued to hold on to that passion, hanging beautiful prints by Ansel Adams all over the walls of her room, and even saving up her own money to buy her own nice camera.

So for this perfect graduation present, I decided to enroll Sophie in a photography class at the local community college for a few weeks this summer. With an interest in the hobby myself, I thought - what could be more special than taking the class together? We’d have the chance to learn something new and be able to spend a few hours a week – just she and I, creating moments together that I hope, neither one of us would ever forget.

On the day of her graduation, I stuck the receipt to the class into a card and when she opened it up, the look on her face was truly priceless. She was so thrilled that I even got the “you are the coolest grandma ever!” line - which of course brought a huge smile to my face.

In just a couple of short weeks, we’ll be starting the class, she at age 13 and myself at 62, and will prove that no matter what stage you are in life, there’ll always be the opportunity to embark on a new adventure.

Get In On It

Monday, June 18, 2012

Celebrate Summer!

From graduations to weddings – there sure is a lot to celebrate in the month of June. What most of us sometimes forget though is that beyond these events that we traditionally celebrate, there are a whole lot of other reasons to celebrate, every day of the year.

Whether it’s with a bottle of champagne on your 58 ½ birthday or an outdoor BBQ on the anniversary of your trip to Alaska, Jensen Communities® encourages you to take the time to celebrate this great life you’ve been given, with a list of things that we think are worth a celebration.

  • Celebrate your family
  • Celebrate your friendships
  • Celebrate having more time to do the things you love
  • Celebrate the anniversary of you move to a Jensen community
  • Celebrate the completion of your first half marathon
  • Celebrate your age  - no matter what it is
  • Celebrate your health
  • Celebrate affordable living
  • Celebrate the places you’ve been, the place you’ve just traveled too and the places you’ll go.

As we kick off summer, it’s a great time to celebrate. From all of us here at Jensen Communities® we ask you to help us add to this list of all the things worthy of a celebration –and send us pictures of how you’re enjoying those moments. We’ll then go ahead and share your photos on the Jensen Community Facebook

Go ahead, start celebrating and don’t forget to submit those pictures!

Jensen Communities

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Perfect Father's Day Gift

Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you that there’s nothing in this world I love more than a day at the lake, with a fishing pole in my hand.

Believe it or not though, there is something else (or someone else, I should say) that trumps my long time outdoor hobby and that’s my son. When he was born 36 years ago, he changed my life; and is the only person in this world that I’d trade in my rod for, any day.

That being said, I’m sure you can imagine, when he called me this past Memorial Day weekend from half way across the country and told me that he’d be coming out to visit for Father’s Day weekend, I was beyond thrilled. In past years, my work schedule kept me from seeing him and his family. Now that my life has comfortably slowed down some in retirement, I’m happy to get that time back whenever he has time.

“Dad,” he said “don’t plan anything. We’ll just take the old rods out, pack a cooler, and head down to the lake – just like old times.” Talk about the perfect weekend!

To all the dads out there – Happy Father’s Day. I hope every one of you, like me, can spend it with ones who matter most.

Flyin’ Free

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer Fun and Family Traditions!

There are holidays all year long but summer time offers the best combination of weather, time off from school and work, favorite vacation spots and many family traditions.  Having the time and freedom to really enjoy summer is a blessing.  Now that we have celebrated Memorial Day summer has unofficially started.  Let’s get the most out of life in shorts and T-shirts!
For almost 20 years our family has camped out at various State Parks in Vermont.  They are clean and very inexpensive.  They offer a great place to do as little or as much as you want.  Usually 30 to 40 relatives and friends enjoy catching up with each other during several days over the July Fourth weekend.
Camping is something that most of us really enjoy (for those that don’t there are always those quintessential Vermont Country Inns).  There are some basics like setting up of shelter and gear but way more time to sit and chat, go on a hike or bike ride, or just relax at the camp site or lakeside beach.
As our families have grown the opportunities to get together at other times of the year are more limited but once we are together again in VT it never seems like another year or more has past.  Everyone can’t always come due to distance of travel or other obligations, but the important thing is the camaraderie and enjoyment of being together again.  We miss those that are cannot attend, or who are no longer with us but cherish all who are present as they are family and it is simply special time to spend together.
At Jensen communities® we hope that you all enjoy some time off this summer including your own family traditions and special vacation destinations.  Safe travels!
Kris Jensen III
Get in on the Good Life!®