The Way to a Healthy Mind, Happy Heart – Dancing Feet!

Belly Dance = Healthy Mind, Happy Heart, Dancing Feet! By Regan ‘Rania’ Gardner November 25, 2013

For many centuries Oriental Dance, or Belly Dance as it is commonly referred to has captivated both dancer and audience alike evoking visions of the mystical East with flowing costumes, sensual movement and infectious music.  In the last century Belly Dance has become increasingly popular in the West with many women embracing the art form.

Keeping active is an important part of maintaining a healthy mind and body no matter what your age and Belly Dance is a fantastic way to embrace exercise and movement without the chore of a fitness class. Being a low impact activity Belly Dance is suitable for women of all ages, shapes, sizes and with a variety of physical limitations, I find it very user friendly! Women can work at their own pace, learning how to reconnect with their body and move it in different ways. The movements in Belly Dance help to build core strength, fitness and flexibility and as dancers progress through the levels layering of movement is introduced which helps with co-ordination, balance and body isolation.

Each term along with learning movement and technique the dancers learn a new choreography. This helps consolidate the movements they have been learning as well as transitioning through movements which helps with co-ordination, and of course remembering the choreography is excellent for improving your memory.

Along with the physical benefits of Belly Dance comes the emotional and well being side effects. We strive to provide an environment of encouragement and acceptance, allowing women to be happy with how they are. Spending an hour dancing can be a great stress relief, which helps encourage and maintain a positive, happy outlook and keep depression at bay.

Belly Dance Arabesque have a very supportive community at the studio and we regularly hold social events with opportunities to dance, dress up and have some fun. There is never any pressure to perform but if the desire is there we support that. Our teachers all have many years experience dancing, teaching and performing and are passionate about sharing their knowledge with their students.

Do your mind, body and spirit a favour and head along to a class at Belly Dance Arabesque, chances are you will never look back!

Belly Dance Arabesque Dance and Yoga Studio is located at 23 Payneham Road, College Park and offer regular free come and try classes. Visit the website at or their Facebook page for more info on classes in Belly Dance, Bollywood, Tribal Belly Dance, Fusion and Yoga along with studio events.

Next Free Come and Try Sessions are on Wednesday December 11, 2013 at 7.15pm and Tuesday January 21, 2014 at 7.15pm.

Women’s Responisibility

Women will admit to reading this article. Men will read over it with very little comment.

I had to pick this up from LinkedIn for all women. Interested? I am not going to be popular for this comment and this is going to ‘hurt’ but having said that, Women can be very naïve to the point of being STUPID. I am all for Trust in a meaningful relationship but go to point 2…. Some Men think we are an easy mark. Which brings me to Sallie Krawcheck’s  points 3, 4, 9 & 10. Maybe keep this article handy for reviewing and for those days that doubt creeps into your mind.

Sallie is a formidable career women and I am yet to find much of or any personal information about her. I disagree strongly with Sallie noting only professional women’s financial mistakes. I would include all working women, employed, or running the family home and those who choose to work from home.

I am a Wife and Mother with years of life changing experiences. I am a financial adviser/planner too. One thing I ask is for Women to please take responsibility for your own destiny.

We all make mistakes. I’ve made more than my share, it is called Life…we live and learn. If I had an approachable person/financial planner with empathy way back then…….the stress would have been less as we lived with a mix of bad and good luck and survived. Times have changed and relationships fragment. Women please get advice and financial direction for your own dignity and life choices.

Women all over the world have the opportunity to express themselves and comment on IT devices and we have access to valuable information via each other. Use it and explore.

Marcia Walsh Financial Planner Adelaide Insurance & Asset Protection Specialist Make your move:

Here are the top 10 financial mistakes professional women make:

1) Letting your husband or partner manage the money without your involvement. Very 1968… and not in the cool, mod way. Few of us think we’ll get divorced or that tragedy will strike, but look around. It does. You don’t want to be learning about your financial situation while you’re in shock.

2) Signing your joint income tax return without reading it. This is the mistake that divorce specialists often cite. If tax returns are handed to you at the last minute with a “Don’t worry. Just sign it, honey,” don’t. You’re on the hook.

3) Using your husband’s financial advisor, even if you don’t really like him / know him / can’t stand him. (And he is usually a “him.”) Here’s a test: at your next joint meeting, how much does the advisor engage you / speak to you / look at you? If “he” spends most of his time talking to “him,” find your own.

4) Not asking for jargon to be explained. Don’t let politeness or not wanting to look dumb get in the way of understanding your finances. Research shows that both men and women are shy of asking for explanations of financial terms; even so, men still invest while women more typically won’t. (I agree: it’s hard to know which is the worse outcome. So please just ask the questions. It’s your right.)

5) Not taking into account your greater longevity in your investing plan. If you’re married, you’re likely to live 6 – 8 years longer than he does. Does your financial plan take this into account, and your years without him? Even if both of you are “moderate risk” kind of investors, that means different things if you’re living longer.

6) Not buying long-term care insurance. Here’s a shocker: 70% of 65-year-olds will need some form of long-term care. And, again, we’re around for 6 – 8 years longer than he is.

7) Not taking enough risk. We women tend to be more risk averse in our investing. While this may sound counter-intuitive, our longer lives – and the fact that we retire with 2/3s the retirement savings of men – can call for somewhat greater (but still prudent) risk taking, to earn a higher return. This is something that many women have to push themselves to do.

8) Making the “keep working / stay at home” decision based on today’s salary. How often do you hear this: “If I leave the workforce, I’ll be giving up $x in salary, which barely covers the babysitter’s cost”? Rather than analyzing this based on a static point-in-time, it is more accurately thought of as a net present value calculation. That’s because once we women step out of the workforce, we average 84% of our prior compensation if we return after one year and just 50% (!) after three years. This earnings stream should be compared to the (admittedly tough-to-forecast) salary raises one is likely to receive if one stays in the workforce. This very personal decision may not be one based solely on the dollars; but we should at least make sure we are looking at the right numbers.[1]

9) Don’t necessarily judge a product by your old impression of it. People often tell me they simply want to ensure a steady income during retirement. When I say ‘How about an annuity?”, they most often say, “Oooh, no, not an annuity!!” The reputation of the product – driven in part by its complexity – turns them off. But it can be worth spending the time to understand and relook at a product, if it can accomplish an important goal.

10) Not seeing your money as a means to express your values. Many of us express our values through the products we buy, the non-profits we support, the way we spend our time, and the companies we work for. But few of us view our investments as just such a tool. And, indeed, back in the day, values-based investing had a fringe-tree-hugging reputation. The industry has matured, and today can represent a way for individuals to have their money work at more than just earning a financial return for them.

These are the ten that I have seen. What did I miss?

(1) In The Investing Mistake Almost All of Us Make, I wrote that almost everyone fails to recognize that, for many of us, our most significant asset is the net present value of our future earnings. Thus, many of us do not take steps to protect it or hedge it. Instead we ignore it.

Sallie Krawcheck is the Business Leader of the global professional woman’s network, 85 Broads. The network is 30,000+ women strong, with members from across industries and around the world.




Take a Chance and Talk

People TalkingTalk to me!

Life passes by every second, minute, hour day, and all the things that rattle around on our heads keep popping up because they have not been dealt with yet. Women are good at this ‘list’stuff especially at night. How do I know? All my friends admit to this and my clients and we know that this is par for the course.

When it comes to organising the family, work, sport, play, functions and then the groceries, cooking, house cleaning and everything else it is no wonder the thought process only happens at night. It is the only time the mind has time to reflect on the day. The days turn into weeks and then another month has passed.

Do you get the picture?

Do you get the picture?


If in your thoughts and concerns is the mortgage.  That usually comes first to mind.  Then the other debts, the car lease, credit card, store card, the next due utilities bill. Then someone in the family needs braces or has a dental appointment that you know will cost big time. Plus a special birthday! Ah! Not getting quality sleep?

The car registration and insurance is due and coincides with the house and contents insurance. What next? The household income has increased each year and a new increase is due next month.

The bills are always paid on time and there is money for a holiday each year, if we could organise one that would be great. The money is not the issue. It is time and security.

This is typical of family life stories.

Have you noticed anything missing? ??? What is going to happen to this family of 2 adults and 2 children if there is a loss of one income or a serious health problem causes loss of income?

Why I say, “talk to me” is that it is a responsibility to protect and look after what is precious to you.

Worst case scenario is relying on Government benefits and maybe you do not qualify! Do you really want to be waiting for Centrelink to help out?

Let’s return to the ‘list’ stuff and this time you have talked to me and valued my advice taking protection for you and the family. It is quit a different scenario……sleep at night…….and move on with your  Life. Children deserve your responsibility

No more arguements over worries of insecurity. Money being the main factor…………………….Wouldn’t it make life soooo much easier?

Happy Life! Happy Family!

Make a Plan                       Safe Guard It                      Live It

Bread and Butter

I like Bread and Butter , and I like Toast and Jam, song by Newbeats back in 1964. Well the song ends with another liking chicken and dumplings with some other guy ….

Bread and Butter , (or margarine, olive oil or what ever is your liking ), is a staple of life.

Life! Are you existing in a chosen lifestyle? Good food, entertainment and all the trimmings or living on bread and butter or vegemite , or baked beans on toast, toast and jam?

Malcolm Fraser said, “life is not mean’t to be easy.”

The little green frog, Muppet Kermit said, “It’s not easy being green, the colour of spring”.

Life is what you make it and making it has parameters and support for every generation. There will always be those more/less fortunate than others.

How many times have we heard the stories of those that have had such bad luck that they cannot afford to live? Then there are those with so much that they will never want in this life.

Unavoidable events are part of life and I am sure you would agree that most of us have had the unexpected event, health issues, experience or accident.

The media , TV especially, have personal insurance advertised relentlessly. Life Insurance to cover the family if you die or diagnosed terminally ill. Trauma insurance if you are diagnosed with cancer, heart attack, stroke. Total and Permanent Disability Insurance. Income Protection Insurance.

All of the above insurances are to help you after one of those life events with money, bread and butter (the mortgage, utilities, food in the fridge and pantry), toast and jam (the car loans, mobile phones, internet, foxtel, clothing).

Are you heading for a Train Wreck? A Huge percentage of Australians have less than 3 months surplus funds to cover debt and live if there is no income coming into the coffers.

I have not mentioned the credit card debt. The Line of Credit, the mortgage facility and how some use the attached credit card to ‘live’ every month and at the end of the month pay the total debt by sweeping the card to avoid any interest charges. Imagine having the credit card maxed out and most of the toast and jam bills falling due next week and Hubby comes home with the news that he lost his job.

I can hear the Scream……and the first question. What are we going to do now? With one child on the way and no other income coming into the house, what are we going to do? This is a train wreck of capacity to pay normal living expenses.

As a Financial Adviser with colleagues in Family Law, we agree that money stress is often the major cause of relationships eroding. Like rocks fragmenting over time, lack of money will pelt like a sledge hammer into rock.

There are all sorts of reasons for lack of money besides not being able earn an income, self employed with no work or bad debts, or being very bad at budgeting. For those employed, self employed, one income families and dual income families there is no excuse not to have at least Income Protection unless there is a valid reason of health issues.

Have a chat with me or a financial adviser as soon as possible. Superannaution could be a help too.

I like bread and butter and toast and jam too but not everyday!Toast Jam

Meerkcat compared

Meerkats compared. Simples?

Meerkcat compared

The meerkats advert (you know the one) that sings deep – very deep – into your brain is a beauty. I just love the cute meerkat and his loveable accent.

Compare the meerkat….it’s simples.

As the advert itself notes – they do provide a limited comparison of products that are available in the market place.

However, the truth of the matter is (as always) much less simple, and in fact much more complex. Just like  Life itself.

The reality is that insurance products are complex products. They are very specific contracts that offer certain specific benefits when specific events take place.

A headline isn’t good enough, the detail is where the action happens.

Should you compare online?

Absolutely! Online comparisons are a great starting point. They can provide some good information about some of the range and price of products.

Having visited an online shop, finish the comparison job and see a qualified, professional financial meerkat!

Financial Planner vs Meerkat

Because Financial Planners have a duty of care to their clients. They will consider just how well the product fits, and how suitable and appropriate it is for you and your family.

Like their animal world counterparts, good financial planners stand sentry to warn their clients  of approaching dangers.

When it comes to real life needs you may want to sing the meerkat song and then visit a real financial meerkat. It really is that simples!


Protection and Reward

oneinfiveYou know in Australia, almost 20 per cent of people have a disability and this number is only increasing with an ageing population!

Total and Permanent Disability almost always means that you are dependent on another for assistance for many daily needs.

Being a Risk Specialist in this Financial Planning world you can only imagine some of the excuses I hear about Insurance. BUT when the unexpected happens it is too late to re consider protection. Have you ever thought about not having choice? Trying to survive on the Government’s Pension or Centrelink? Not likely.

While caring for a family member with a disability can be very rewarding, it’s also a huge responsibility and, in some cases, a full-time occupation. Where do the funds come from? Affordability is having the funds available for care. Money alone is not the answer either.

A Financial Adviser is the person to not only organise the risk protection for you and your family but also the person who knows where to direct you to the specialist people you need to put the otherwise confusion together. We make it simple to understand, even thought it is a little daunting.

As Aussies, we are reluctant to consider the thought of not being free of will and decision. The mind-set changes because we like to think that we are OK and nothing is going to change our enjoyable lifestyle for the worse.

If you are a parent of a disabled son or daughter or if you were fortunate and had an Insurance Cover Payout on disability then simply leaving money or the balance of your estate to a family member with an intellectual disability may not provide them with an adequate level of financial support. In fact, it could do more harm than good. It could disqualify them from access to important Government entitlements. Not only that, but if the money is accessible or they are easily influenced, it could be spent too quickly and ineffectively given their long term needs.

However, by engaging a specialist estate planner and a professional trustee company you can help prevent this from happening. A specialist estate planner can help you structure your estate appropriately and will consider the following issues:

• Control and protection of financial affairs (for example ensuring ongoing income and payment of bills)

• Healthcare (who makes the important medical decisions?)

• Housing and wellbeing decisions (who decides on day-to-day expenses?)

• Lifestyle maintenance (what are their routines, likes and dislikes, etc)

By appointing a professional trustee, they can make important financial or medical decisions on behalf of your relative with an intellectual disability, when you are no longer around.

While it’s the requirements of the intellectually disabled person that are of significant concern, it’s also important to consider the other family members’ needs, including brothers and sisters. Having a clear and effective plan means that when the inevitable does happen, you can be sure that all the important issues have been considered and subsequently addressed and that there are clear processes in place to ensure continuing care as well as financial stability.

So who will look after your loved one when you are no longer around? This includes not only their financial affairs, but their personal affairs such as care and rehabilitation as well. It also raises the question, ‘who becomes responsible for that person’?

Quality of Life

Having a plan in place and appointing a professional trustee not only protects the vulnerable person and provides for them throughout their lifetime, but gives you and your family certainty and peace of mind.

Don’t leave it to chance, or to your family to work out, ask us today how you can plan for the future needs of your family.

Financial Advice and Planning gives individuals so much more…………..proper help to plan a decent future and guidance through the maze of information. Complete access to a person that fully understands the intricacies of your personal life and details and that of your families. Good, sound planning trickles down to your siblings. The trust and personal relationships are formed with the entire family giving them the opportunity to become guided to independent structured lives.

Being disabled is not always physical as it includes those mentally disabled. Not being able to function normally. Not able to work. Organisations like beyondblue are there to assist.

Having support in time of need is a catalyst to recovery. Having the funds to support you require in time of need helps with the recovery process. Imagine not being able to work then your funds deplete after your sick leave and holidays have been paid out then there are no other monies coming into the household. None, zero not a cent. That is enough to make a healthy person sick.

Life is precious and the people around are precious although at times, not appreciated. Implementing some control mechanisms with a healthy goal orientated plan along with having a Will and Estate Planning might sound too hard. I can assure you with an empathetic, understanding, professional Financial Adviser that knows the risks is a good person to know and hold you in a quality of life.


City to Bay 2013

CityBay-1Congratulations! To All the participants, runners, joggers, walkers that completed the 12k’s or the 6k’s.

A special Congratulations to those wonderful caring people that pushed and ran or walked with prams and wheelchairs to help the young and those with Disabilities soak up the atmosphere. What an Atmosphere it was too!

At 7am the sky was grey and rain still dropping. Not the best conditions to be walking under. I braved the shower and pulled on my joggers and clobber. Made a big healthy smoothie and checked the weather forecast.

As we drove toward Kurralta Park the sky glimpsed blue. The thought rushed my mind that I was very happy that this year I chose the 6k walk from the starting point at Kurrlata Park K Mart Car Park as opposed to the 12k walk last year.


Men, woman, kids, dogs, and spectators were gathered in arrays of groups, all waiting. There seemed to be more children involved this year. Great to see the kids out there in the fresh air, moving limbs, skipping and having fun.

With the delayed start came the occasional blustering gusts of wind. The start arch nearly collapsed on one side but quick recovery with the aid of ropes saved the arch.

Since 1973 the fun run has gathered momentum year in year out for 40 years. A Great Adelaide Tradition. If you have always thought about getting involved then Do It in 2014.   Make it a goal with a definite plan at

See my follow-on Blog about Australian People with Disabilities. Apparently there are almost 20% of Australians reliant of carers for disabilities.

Thank you to the Sunday Mail and all involved to make this 2013 another memorable event.


Wooo! Wooo! Where’s the gear lever?


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Made It!






Leukemia Awareness

FREE INSURANCE for 12 months!

Special Offer 2013

An Exceptional Offer – $250,000 of Child Critical Illness Cover worth $300.00

Children are supposed to have loads of fun! Play hide and seek, climb and run around in the play ground and jump puddles. Not all kids have the same vitality as they are too sick to join in the fun.

Anna, is a little girl who had just celebrated her third birthday in fine style. A party with her friends and family complete with ice cream cake, a visit from a fairy princess and of course, lots of pink.

Anna is a typical toddler, but over the next two years she faces a heart-wrenching battle to defeat the leukaemia she was diagnosed with shortly before her memorable birthday party.

Her story is not unique. We’ve all heard similar tales from within our community, and from friends and clients.

For the majority of us, protecting our family financially is a key consideration as, while no one wants to imagine their child getting sick, the facts surrounding childhood illness are sobering.

According to the statistics, more than 558,000 children aged 0 – 4 were admitted to hospital in 2007-2008 and 200,000 children fall critically ill each year in Australia.

According to the Children’s Cancer Institute of Australia (CCIA), on average, three Australian children die from cancer every week making it the largest killer of children from disease.

Of course, there is a great deal of research and work done to improve treatments with survival rates in Australia at about 75 per cent across all types of childhood cancer. This is a far cry from the rate prior to the 1960s, where childhood cancer was almost always fatal.

If your child suffered a traumatic event, it is natural for every parent to want to be able to try and create a situation where any additional stress is minimised in order to be able to be there to support the child.

Being able to take time off work to care for a sick child, without having the insurmountable pressures of worrying about work or earning an income, is truly a gift. It’s one that is easily obtainable if some forward planning has occurred first.

Most people mistakenly believe that private health insurance covers their family if there is a medical problem. However, private health insurance only covers hospital stays and some medical or extras expenses. It doesn’t cover rehabilitation, alterations to the home or long-term nursing care.

It certainly doesn’t cover lost income from time away from work, or payments such as mortgage, school fees or other additional expenses which still accrue – whether your child is sick or whether you can’t work while you’re taking care of them.

Ask me about the offer for the Child Cover option pays out a lump sum of up to $250,000 if something traumatic were to happen to a child. The flexi-linking enhancements can help make premiums more affordable by enabling clients to bundle insurance inside and outside of superannuation.

This new enhancement is available to clients via Super offering or for Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) members too.

Not all families require $250,000 criticla illness cover for each child either. Some may choose from $10,000 to $50,000 and others choose more but no cover in currrent times is probably not a sensible option especially with both parents relying on double incomes.

 If you feel that this is a difficult conversation to have about your child or children then please feel free to call for an empathic talk with me first.  You are most welcome.

marcia walsh's page @ AFD website

You can visit me on the AFD website  or  click here


manage your life

Human Beings – How do we manage every day lives?

manageyourlife-1Does it make any difference where we live?

Whether you live  in Australia or the USA some people do fine. Others not so well. And then there are those that stress.

Uncooperative children (you think came from another Planet)! Teenagers! In-Laws/Out-Laws, the family pet that escaped and all the fun things we take in our stride, have not been included in my definition of stress.

I thought the following captured some reality:

” When an event or situation – otherwise called a stressor – lasts for months or even years, chronic stress is the result. Caring for a loved one with cancer, being under financial pressure, or not having significant social contact with others can all lead to chronic psychological stress.”

But determining how much chronic stress impacts on your health is challenging, as every one of us responds differently to potentially stressful situations.

“Stress is when the demands of your environment exceed the coping resources that you believe that you have,” says Dr Mary-Frances O’Connor, psychologist and stress researcher at the University of Arizona. “So in all cases, there’s perception – perception of what the environment demands and perception of your own ability to cope with it.”

“Part of why stress research is difficult is that when you’re talking about human beings, there’s a subjective component,” says O’Connor. Even in bereavement, an area O’Connor has researched extensively, individuals have varied responses to the death of a loved one.

With no stressor able to be objectively classified as always stressful to all people, researchers must rely on personal accounts of feelings and experiences, and try to match them up with physical changes that occur.

Despite the challenges, clear patterns are emerging in how chronic stress affects our biology, and our health.

To read the entire article go to:

Financial Planning is about putting the ‘fail safe’s’ in place for when ‘life happens’in your personal life or your buisness life.  Be you own personal guardian. Have your income protected to take the time off work for your self. Have your loved ones covered for Cancer, Heart Attcack, Stroke, to name a few of the things that happen in real life. This allows freedom with those extra funds. It makes available for quality care and extra medical and medication costs.

Finally, a Financial Planner, like me 🙂 is with you when there is the occurrence for support and comfort at time of Claim.  Safe Hands, Sound Advice.