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Surrounded

By David Hudson

I looked on distant blue mountains reaching to the sky

Surely nothing could be so beautiful as the purple peaks so high

I walked a mountain trail while snow transformed the scene

The world became the Artist canvass, so magnificent and clean

Then it became apparent the Great Artist’s most glorious design

Is best viewed surrounded by it, the thought transformed my mind

I stood beside the ocean so deep, so beautiful, and vast

Surely nothing could match the magnificence of the sunset as day past

Then I viewed the world beneath the sea with so many things unknown

Once more surrounded within it, the Artist brilliance shown

There He created an unseen world as grand as it could be

He colored it with glowing hues that most will never see

I stood beside the hospital bed of a cancerred little boy

Surely nothing within this scene could bring beauty, hope, or joy

Then the Artist did His work as is always true

His hand began to mend the broken and make the broken new

When surrounded by such suffering the beauty, joy, and hope

Is found in helping others and helping others cope

I set beside the bed of the one I love so dear

As that cruel dementia delivered my worst fear

It took away the memory of the one I love so much

The thief robbed the life away of the mind I long to touch

Where can you find the Artist engulfed in a broken heart

He’s waiting there beside you to make new each broken part

 

Investment Advisory Services offered through AlphaStar Capital Management, LLC, a SEC Registered Investment Adviser. SEC registration does not constitute an endorsement of the firm by the Commission nor does it indicate that the adviser has attained a particular level of skill or ability. AlphaStar Capital Management, LLC and Master’s Estate Services INC are independent entities’

 

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Earning A Referral

By: David Hudson CEP, RFC

What does it mean when a friend or professional refers you to someone they have transacted business with? Every professional knows it is much more than dropping a name. When someone refers you to a professional it demonstrates a serious level of trust. If I refer you to a person for products or services there is no doubt that I am taking a risk. If that person doesn’t do a good job for you at a fair price you may blame me. Think of the many scam artists that have won someone’s confidence to get referrals to all their friends. Later when the scam is exposed the referring individual becomes their ex-friend and perhaps their enemy.  That’s the reason many organizations and business owners refuse to give referrals at all. That’s sad.

When no one gets a referral the consumer is left to swim shark infested waters alone. We know some businesses and individuals are honest and fair.  Some have worked years to become  especially good at a certain skill. Others overcharge, do poor work and are dishonest. If we refuse to refer our friends and clients to those that are worthy, we leave them at the mercy of the unscrupulous.

So how do we balance the risk verses reward dilemma? First, we must make sure the individual or business we are going to refer is honest and worthy. Check the Better Business Bureau to find their rating, and to see how long they have been in business. Ask them for referrals from others they have done business with for a long period of years.  If you find “red flags” check with regulatory agencies that oversee the business.  Once you have done your homework give them a period of time before you start telling all your friends or clients how wonderful they are. An honest business person doesn’t mind taking the time and making the effort to earn your business. A person that “high pressures” you into giving them a list of your friends and family isn’t worthy of your support.

Once you feel sure you have a quality business relationship with a professional tell as many people as possible. Think of the people that have served you well for years, who might need their services? Thousands of good honest businesses suffer because of those that do poor work, overcharge, and are dishonest. Giving a referral is serious. It is not something to be taking lightly. However, leaving your clients and friends at the mercy of those that do poor work, overcharge and/or those that are unscrupulous isn’t something to be taken lightly either.  If you know of someone that has done excellent work, is fair, and has served you or others well, they have earned your referral. Don’t withhold it!

 

 

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Friends

Diana and Joseph 1The day my grandson, Ezra was diagnosed with leukemia the outpouring of love and support for him, my son, and my daughter-in-law was overwhelming. As time passed the phone calls and visits slowly faded until only a few true friends remained. For three and a half years the long trips for chemo, mounting bills (both medical and travel) and hospital stays seemed endless. We are all thankful to God that the chemo trips and long hospital stay are behind us. The bills linger but will eventually fade away. As of last June the last chemo trip became history. This week one of the family’s true friends lost his little girl. During the early days and throughout Ezra’s illness the dad was always there. Now it’s time to be the kind of friend that he has been. It’s the kind of friendship that can only be forged through the fires of suffering and unspeakable pain. This kind of friendship can’t be felt or understood by those that have never felt the pain.

 

Friends

By David Hudson

People pass through our lives as we all know

Some come to stay and others come and go

Some have been with us since we were a child

While others we hold close for only a while

Some friends are good for laughs, they are so much fun

They are great at parties and days filled with sun

But the friends we hold closest on nightmare filled days

Are the ones that’s tasted our suffering in so many ways

For when all others have forsaken us and we’re left all alone

Only they understand when all has gone wrong

These friends are few and like diamonds they’re rare

They never forsake us, our burdens they share

When suffering has transformed us it’s to this very end

Only then we become to others that kind of friend

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7 Myths of Estate Planning & Long Term Care

Myth #1 In order to satisfy my legal obligation, you must leave at least $1 to each of your children. Fact: To avoid conflict and to avoid having your will or trust contested it’s best to leave a statement in your documents saying you are intentionally excluding the individual from being the heir to your estate. Please consult your attorney for more details.

Myth #2 If you sign everything over to your heirs and you need to go into a nursing facility you can go on Medicaid immediately. Fact: North Carolina Medicaid has at least four long term care programs. If you or your loved one goes into an assisted living facility or memory care unit Medicaid has strict limitations on income. If you aren’t below those limits your care won’t be paid by Medicaid even if you have no assets. Contact me if you need more information.

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What Do They Know?

Do you have someone you would trust with your life? Do you have a person you would trust completely with your finances and other business? If you are one of the people that can answer yes to these two important questions you are indeed blessed. One of the most important details of having an estate plan is having someone you completely trust to carry out your wishes if you are not able to. Unfortunately many people never have documents completed because they aren’t blessed to have such a person in their lives. Many are forced to seek professionals to serve as their agent, successor trustee, or executor because they aren’t blessed to have a competent person they completely trust.

If you are one of the blessed ones that have a competent trusted individual to take care of you and your business when you no longer can, do yourself and that person a huge favor. Please discuss with the person what you want to happen if and when their services are needed. Many people view such a conversation as negative or unnecessary. Many parents don’t want to burden their children with details of sad events that may happen in the future. Many children refuse to discuss events with parents that they hope will never happen.

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The Pressures of Life

Have you ever felt like your life was filled with constant pressure? Anyone would be a fool to suggest that life isn’t filled with challenges. Everyone has their own day to day problems. Many people feel they are constantly under pressure. My purpose is not to suggest there is no pressure, but to redefine what pressure is and take away as much of it as possible.
At we would occasionally be in close games. I can think of four instances in particular. Twice we won the games and two times we lost. In the closing minutes of each game a situation would arise that most people would refer to as a “pressure situation”. I never believed there was really any pressure involved. Typically, toward the end of those games I would call time out and look into the faces of the players, and give a speech February 2010 005that I learned from one of my basketball heroes, Dean Smith. I would say, “ Alright you guys (or girls), you know how much I hate to lose, but you also understand that no one is going to live or die based on who wins this game. So go back out there and do what we’ve practiced doing all year. These are the times when games are the most fun. By giving them that point of view, all the pressure melted away.
How much pressure a person feels depends solely on how they defined pressure. When you define pressure in the realm of life there really isn’t much outside pressure. If no one is going to live, die, or become paralyzed by our actions, what pressure is there? Pressure comes when we imagine the most negative results and fear they are going to happen. Pressure isn’t what’s happening outside, but what we feel inside. How do we rid ourselves of the negative feeling that haunt us? I believe we do it by facing reality. I use five questions to build confidence and chase fear away. Read more [+]

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Facing Retirement

To many people the retirement years are a huge mystery with many unknown factors. Too often pre-retirees and retirees face what should be their best years overwhelmed by fear and uncertainty. Sure retirement is full of uncertainty just as all of life is. Why should retirement be any different? The truth is it really shouldn’t be different at all. Please don’t waste your best years worrying. Here are some suggestions that should make your golden years truly priceless.

First, face your fears. Define what you are really afraid of. What is the worst thing that can happen? What are the odds that it will happen to you? Is there anything you could do to lessen the affects if the worst thing happens? Could you save a lot of sleepless nights by facing your fear sooner instead of later?

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The Bridge Builder

The Bridge Builder
By Will Allen Dromgoole

An old man going a lone highway,
Came, at the evening cold and gray,
To a chasm vast and deep and wide.
Through which was flowing a sullen tide
The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
The sullen stream had no fear for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.

“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting your strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day,
You never again will pass this way;
You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide,
Why build this bridge at evening tide?”

The builder lifted his old gray head;
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followed after me to-day
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been as naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be;
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him!”

Homeless VA 073

Investment Advisory services are offered through AlphaStar Capital Management, LLC, a SEC Registered Investment Advisor. AlphaStar Capital Management, LLC and Master’s Estate and Financial are independent entities. Masters Estate does not offer tax or legal advice.

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A.D.A.P.T. Providing Guidance and Direction

Imagine you are finally going on a well-deserved vacation. You have been looking forward to it for a long time. You start your trip on a beautiful sunny day. You aren’t driving so you eventually doze off. After a while you wake up not knowing how long you have slept. The sky is no longer sunny. It is dark. It seems to be getting darker by the minute. Nothing looks familiar. Your driver seems disoriented. You wonder if there is enough fuel in the tank to get to the next service station. You are afraid. You aren’t sure where you are or how to get back to where you wanted to be. The thoughts of a wonderful vacation have vanished. You are in the middle of nowhere with no way to get back. You fight back tears. You try not to panic!

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Free Long Term Care Insurance For Vets?

Are you a veteran, the spouse of a veteran, or have a friends or relatives that are veterans? I have some great news for you! The United States Government is providing long term care benefits for veterans and their spouses. The money can be used for nursing home, assisted living care or even for at home care or adult daycare services. The benefit amount for veterans is almost $ 2,200 per month and the spouse of a veteran  Homeless Vet Flag 3may be eligible for about $ 1,100 per month. Each year the amount is adjusted upward for inflation. There is no deductible period before the benefits start paying (other than the time it takes the government to process and approve the paperwork). Once the benefits start paying there is no maximum number of years it will pay.
Does it sound too good to be true? It really isn’t. Of course there are some basic qualifications that must be met, but they aren’t difficult to meet. Here are the basics. First, the vet must have serviced in the military for a minimum of 90 days. During those 90 days there had to be a war or military conflict going on in some part of the world for at least 1 day. Please notice, I did not say the particular veteran had to have served in the war or conflict, only that there had to be one taking place during the time the vet served. The last basic qualification is that the veteran must have had a discharge that was NOT dishonorable. An honorable or medical discharge will work fine. The veteran does NOT have to have a service related disability, nor does the cause of the long term care need to have been associated with any military related disability.

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