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Published: Sunday, 4/27/2014 - Updated: 2 years ago


Panel highlights difficult choices in facing retirement

Retreat provides advice for women


A Grand Rapids, Mich., author urged a group of women in central Toledo on Saturday to plan for retirement and gave them advice on how to do that.

“Our lives turn upside down in a second,” Cheryl Edwards-Cannon said. “It may be loss of a job. It may be loss of a loved one. It may be loss of your own health ... Women traditionally are planners ... The earlier you go into your planning, the better shape you and your loved ones will be in.”

Ms. Edwards-Cannon gave a 40-minute keynote address on the importance of planning of life choices to a group of about 40 women who met in the morning at Grace Community Center, 406 W. Delaware Ave., for a 2014 Spring Health & Wellness Women’s Retreat event in celebration of April as National Minority Health Month.

She also gave them a 14-page questionnaire-workbook titled “Planning for a Healthy Future.” It featured questions on financial planning, legal documents, a summary of legal conditions, insurance coverage, and pre-funeral planning.

“As soon as you have this [workbook] completed, make sure you share that information with those you trust,” Ms. Edwards-Cannon said.

Sarita Gregory, 58, of Toledo, one of those in the audience, said she was definitely going to fill in the questionnaire.

“I am going to do my homework book because I think it’s important,” said Ms. Gregory, a caretaker for those with mental and physical health issues. “I only have one child and there isn’t anybody else to make decisions for me unless I do them myself.”

Daisy Abrams, 65, of Toledo, another attendee, who is a mother of three and a grandmother of nine, said the presentation was informative and compelling.

“It was very educational — things that you don’t think about, things that need immediate attention because tomorrow’s not promised,” said the retired Jeep auditor, who is a breast cancer survivor.

A member of African-American Cancer Support Group in Toledo, she said she had been free of cancer for 2½ years.

Event panelists included Mini’imah Garrett, a domestic violence victims advocate, who told attendees about the Toledo-Lucas County Victim-​Witness Assistance program, which works with victims as offenders’ criminal cases goes through common pleas court. She also distributed a leaflet titled “It’s Time to Heal” — an invitation to attend Domestic Violence Educational Empowerment Group meetings.

The meetings are 5 to 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday. The program is open to domestic violence victims and is free. For locations, call 419-213-4994.

Contact Mike Sigov at: sigov@theblade.com, 419-724-6089, or on Twitter @mikesigovblade.

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