Want to be an adult? Here’s how!


In the lingo of millennials, daunting tasks like making a budget, online dating, even communicating clearly are called “adulting.” And there’s no manual for people over 21.

But for 45 Washingtonians recently, there was a workshop. #Adulting offered life hacks on home buying, stress, fitness and relationship success for introverts and extroverts.

Sponsored by Edlavitch DC Jewish Community Center’s EntrypointDC for young adults, the program took place on Jan. 9.
Here are some takeaways:

Navigating difficult conversations


From confronting your roommate who isn’t doing the dishes to asking for a raise, social worker Rebecca Berman said the first step before having a difficult conversation is to figure out why you’re having and what you hope to accomplish.

Decide on what your priorities are: Accomplishing your objective? Preserving your relationship? Your own self-respect? Rank them.

Having a difficult conversation is “a balance between holding one’s own and leaving the opportunity to learn more,” Berman said.

Real talk about modern dating

There are millions of fish in the sea and almost that many dating apps. Matchmaker Jaime Bernstein said that the sea today is online — that’s where 95 percent of the action is taking place.

Bernstein’s rules about dating profiles are strict: Post no more than three photos: a full body shot, a head shot and a “personality” shot that shows off who you are. Additional photos increase the chance that someone will see something they don’t like and swipe left.

Schedule a date on Sundays through Thursdays, since a weekend date comes with higher expectations and more pressure. And where should you meet? “A bar.” Bernstein also recommended sitting next to each other during the date.

Three is a big number in Bernstein’s book: “Somewhere between the third date and the third month [of dating], you should have a conversation about the status of your relationship,” she said.

Financially fit for everyone

Even millennials need an estate plan, said financial planner Ari Weisbard. If you die without one, then the state “may make decisions that may be quite different from what you want.” This could mean having property that goes to your children as opposed to your spouse, or having the wrong person made your children’s guardian.

A Roth IRA is the better choice for a retirement account for younger adults, said Zach Teutsch, a financial planner for people in their 20s to 40s. Roth IRAs are funded with post-tax income, so withdrawals in the future can be made tax free. Once you get older and begin making more money, you can move to a 401k. “You should do both,” he said.

Asked, is it ever too late to save for retirement? Both men answered no. Especially, if you’re young, they said, there is always time to save.

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