The Good and the Bad – This Week in Stockholm

The Good

Sweden just appointed its first ‘Chief Digital Officer’. Source: Nordic Business Insider.

 

The Bad

Sweden’s Navy has been slimmed down from twelve submarines 30 years ago to only two currently in service. Today, at least six underwater craft are needed, according to a publication by the Swedish military newspaper Officertidningen. Source: Sputnik News.

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Advice for expat women – #WomenInPower with Sarah LaFleur

Sarah LaFleur
Sarah LaFleur

We’re excited to kick off our #WomenInPower video series with Sarah LaFleur, the CEO and founder of MM.LaFleur.

What is Women in Power? 

Ellevest talked to four successful women entrepreneurs in the food, fashion, tech and PR industries about how they overcame the challenges of raising money and building a business. No BS, no glossing over the grit, just woman-to-woman advice from influential #WomenInPower.

Why do we need this conversation? Because:

So let’s meet Sarah!

Having worked in environments that were male-dominated, I always felt like I had to conform, When I see the women at my company, it’s a lot about, ‘Okay, how can you actually be yourself?’” -Sarah LaFleur, MM.LaFleur

In our first episode, Sarah gets candid about the VC industry, the first $400,000 she raised for MM, and why she believes the world will be a better place when more women control more money. Watch the full video and start investing toward your future today.

Inspired? Create your free Ellevest investment plan now. It only takes a few minutes and if you think you feel inspired now wait until you finish!

I want you to meet Ellevest because Stockholm Expat Blog is super excited to be working with them to start this conversation about women and money, and we may receive compensation if you become an Ellevest client.”

*Ellevest clients must have a US bank account.

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VOTING IN 2018 U.S. ELECTIONS

  2018 U.S. ELECTIONS

VOTING IN 2018 U.S. ELECTIONS

Your vote counts!  Did you know that many U.S. elections for house and senate seats have been decided by a margin smaller than the number of ballots cast by absentee voters? All states are required to count every absentee ballot as long as it is valid and reaches local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt deadline.

Follow a few simple steps to make sure that you can vote in the 2018 U.S. elections:

  1. Request Your Ballot:  Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)You must complete a new FPCA afterJanuary 1, 2018 to ensure you receive your ballot for the 2018 elections.  The completion of the FPCA allows you to request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives) including primaries and special elections during the calendar year in which it is submitted.  The FPCA is accepted by all local election officials in all U.S. states and territories.

You can complete the FPCA online at www.FVAP.gov. The online voting assistant will ask you questions specific to your state. We encourage you to ask your local election officials to deliver your blank ballots to you electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state). Include your email address on your FPCA to take advantage of the electronic ballot delivery option. Return the FPCA per the instructions on the website. FVAP.gov will tell you if your state allows the FPCA to be returned electronically or if you must submit a paper copy with original signature. If you must return a paper version, please see below for mailing options.

  1. Receive and Complete Your Ballot:States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office and states generally send out ballots at least 30 days before primary elections.  For most states, you can confirm your registration and ballot delivery online.

  1. Return Your Completed Ballot:Some states allow you to return your completed ballot by email or fax. If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials, you can use international mail, a courier service such as FedEx or DHL, or you may also drop off completed voting materials Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at the U.S. Embassy, Stockholm. Place your materials in a postage paid return envelope (available under “Downloadable Election Materials” on the FVAP homepage) or in an envelope bearing sufficient domestic U.S. postage, and address it to the relevant local election officials.

  1. New this year – email to fax service by FVAP! – the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) will provide an email-to-fax conversion service for voters who have difficulty sending election materials to States that do not accept emailed documents.  Get more information here.

Researching the Candidates and Issues: Online Resources. Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will aid your research of candidates and issues. Non-partisan information about candidates, their voting records, and their positions on issues are widely available and easy to obtain online. You can also read national and hometown newspapers online, or search the internet to locate articles and information. For information about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts (vote@fvap.gov). FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook and Twitter.

Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website, FVAP.govIf you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact Stockholm’s Voting Assistance Officer at VoteStockholm@state.gov

Remember, your vote counts!         

Be accounted for even if you are absent!

2018 U.S. ELECTIONS

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Sweden enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at https://step.state.gov/step.  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you don’t have internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website at http://travel.state.gov, where you can find current Travel Advisories and Alerts, as well as Worldwide Cautions.  Read the Country Specific Information for Sweden at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_4965.html. For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.  You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free from within the United States and Canada, or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter at https://mobile.twitter.com/travelgov and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/travelgov. You can also download our free Smart Traveler App, available through iTunes and the Android market, to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy in Stockholm is located at Dag Hammarskjölds Väg 31, Stockholm and is open Monday throughFriday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., except for Swedish and American holidays, phone number +46 (0)8 783 5375. Our regular telephone hours are between 9:00 a.m. -11:00 a.m. every Tuesday. If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, the emergency number for the U.S. Embassy is +46(0)8 783 5300.

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New Year, New Free Investment Plan – Ellevest

Create a free investment plan with Ellevest* that crunches the numbers based on the realities of gender-based pay.

There’s no instant formula to greatness here, no “simple steps,” because that’s just not how life works, right? But from my years of experience working on Wall Street, here’s my advice to help you achieve financial confidence.” —

Sallie Krawcheck,

Sallie Krawcheck, Co-Founder & CEO of Ellevest

Roll with life’s punches – Or be a good Scout

Maybe your grandmother called it “Mad Money”; we call it the F.U. Fund (as in Ceelo’s song of the same name). It’s extra cash to make sure you have enough to cover your needs if you lose your job, break up with the person you thought you were spending the rest of your life with and need to move quickly, or any other emergency.

Your F.U. Fund should be 3 to 6 months of take-home pay in cash so that it’s easily accessible. Set up a separate account so that you won’t be tempted to dip into it. (Note: Ellevest offers an easy to access Emergency Fund Goal). But remember: do not start an emergency fund if you have credit card debt — pay that down first.

Master your debt – Don’t let it master you

Most of us will take on some form of debt in our lives, and not all of it is bad. Some debt, when paid on time, and with a low-interest rate, can help you build up your credit score. Think of a mortgage as an example of debt that can be part of a healthy financial plan. How you manage debt should take serious thought. Some people prefer to get debt — even low-cost debt — paid off and done with. One kind of debt that’s always bad is credit card debt: if you are carrying a balance on your credit card that means you are paying interest. If you want to lose weight, drop the debt. Pay it off as soon as you possibly can before you do anything else — even investing. (Read more about women and Debt here.)

Ellevest

Get free money from work – if it’s on offer take it

If your company offers a 401(k) retirement fund and a match, you should be taking advantage of it. Why? Because a 401(k) allows you to invest pre-tax earnings, which saves your tax bill in the long run. In addition, if your company offers a match they are basically giving you free, untaxed money towards your retirement.

Ellevest

Make sure you’ve set up deductions to meet any necessary threshold to take advantage of your company match (get clarification from HR if you’re not sure). Now you’ve set up a retirement fund for your future that will compound over time. Boom. Have an old 401(k) from a previous job that is languishing away somewhere? Read what some women have done with their 401K accounts and roll that baby over right away. With Ellevest you can create a free investment plan that crunches the numbers using an algorithm based on the realities of gender-based pay. Do that today if you have a US bank account.

  • Ellevest offers 401(k) rollovers as well as IRA transfers.
  • Ellevest will conduct a review of your current 401(k) plan, including what you pay in fees, your investment options, and will make a personalized recommendation regarding whether rolling over your 401(k) to Ellevest is in your best interests.
  • Ellevest will help you with the rollover process and charges no additional fees to rollover your 401(k).

Do you already have your emergency fund in place? Is the thought of starting an F. U. Fund motivating? My motivation is being able to travel home when needed. I’ve got be able to fly home at the drop of a dime.

I want you to meet Ellevest because Stockholm Expat Blog is super excited to be working with them to start this conversation about women and money, and we may receive compensation if you become an Ellevest client.”

*Ellevest clients must have a US bank account.

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From Stockholm this week: The Good, Bad, Pretty & Ugly

The Good

This week

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge laughing as they took part in an ice hockey penalty shootout in Stockholm yesterday on the first day of their two-day tour of Sweden. Source: BBC

The Bad

This week

Swedish neutrality could be consigned to the history books after two centuries as the perceived threat from Russia, complete with warplanes flying overhead and a mystery submarine in the Baltic, prompts one of the world’s most pacifist countries to re-militarize. Source: Politico

 

The Pretty

This week

7 New Brands Moving Swedish Fashion Forward. Source: Vogue

 

The Ugly

This week

Lorry attack against Swedish ‘infidels’ was planned for months. Source: The National

 

 

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