As part of a lifestyle and aging series, we’re working with renowned photographer Terry Lorant to showcase inspirational leaders in the industry. Each month, we’ll feature one or a few inspirational member(s) of the Amazing Care Network community who is using his or her voice to empower others in the collective aging experience. Read, in their own words, what the Amazing Care Network’s efforts mean to them.

This month, we’re proud to feature Carlie Headapohl, CVA, CDFA. Carlie is the Founder of Your Money Advocate and is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA®) and a Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA).


ACN: What inspired you to join ACN?

CH: I like to try new things. Not long ago, I was invited by a friend who introduced me to Amazing Care.  Having elderly parents who are 86 and 88, I feel strongly that we need to somehow figure out how to navigate this phase of life together. 

ACN: What was different about ACN?

CH: There’s the financial side of Amazing Care where you can put away money either for yourself down the road, or for your children or parents or loved ones.  It’s a way to build savings; you don’t even notice it.  I like that feature, because I think we are all need to be aware of the fact that we’re going to have to tap into funds later in life, sooner or later, for out of pocket medical expenses which are really getting out of control.  We see that everywhere.

ACN: What are the teas like?

CH: The teas are wonderful.  There’s a great mix of people who attend, all ages, all backgrounds.  They have terrific speakers; you learn something every time you go. The speakers present on very forward-thinking topics, like end of life care, elder abuse, to name a couple of recent topics that were just fascinating.  We are all going to confront these issues at some time, or perhaps we are already, as a sandwich generation, so it really addresses a lot of those concerns.  

ACN: What do you get out of ACN?

CH: At some point, when we confront, “Gosh, I’ve got a diagnosis, and I’m not sure if I’m comfortable with the treatment options; maybe I should get a second opinion, maybe I should try to see what is really the leading-edge treatment for this type of condition,” where do we turn?  Through the Amazing Care network, you can tap into some of that information and expertise, which is quite remarkable.  The key nowadays to surviving certain types of illnesses is getting the latest and greatest protocol for treatment.  They’ve learned that the efficacy of treatment that’s tailored to the latest knowledge on a certain illness can make all the difference in your survival rate and how well you respond to treatment.  I really like that.  I think it’s a huge tool for people who are involved in this network that other people don’t have access to. 

My mother just got diagnosed with breast cancer.  She’s 86 and is hearing “Oh, you’ll do chemo, and if you do this and that you can live another…” and her reaction is “I don’t want to live forever. I’m not doing chemo, there’s no way!”  At her age and stage of the disease, it’s not necessarily the best way to go anyway.  You see this all the time with elderly people…they’re being over-treated.  I had an aunt who had to go to the hospital at 85 and she was facing terrible choices.  She was of complete sound mind and she declined all treatment. She was very clear in her decision.  And yet, in comes the cart to do more EKGs and more tests and I was there asking “Why are you doing this?  She terminated all treatment.”  She had elected to leave the hospital and go into hospice care…that’s what she wanted. 

ACN: How can Amazing Care help empower patients and families?

CH: I think that having access to the Amazing Care Network and constantly being educated as to what’s the latest in the laws, and ways to handle these very difficult phases of life is a huge tool.  And they do a really good job of putting out that information, and inviting people to come who can offer ways to approach these normal things we’re all going to face. It’s a really good thing and I hope it continues to build and grow to be what it’s intended to be.

My father was in the hospital a number of times…he’s 88.  One time they had the wrong dosage of something they were giving him.  Another time, it was a life or death decision and I was the only one there to help make it. The goal was: if he was going to be saved, there would have to be a quality of life, otherwise he didn’t want to be saved. He is very clear about that.  Both my parents are. If you’re going to be someone’s medical power of attorney, you have to be absolutely clear that you know what they want, and that you can act on their behalf to make it happen.  If you can’t do that, then you have no business being that power of attorney.

There was a speaker at one of the teas, and the topic was elder abuse.  Some attendees that day were part of families with similar issues and problems.  It helped raise awareness of the things you need to pay attention to.  For instance, when you see someone moving in with an elderly parent, perhaps a nephew, a son, a daughter, a cousin, one of their own siblings, it can often be a bad sign.  Maybe the money needs to be separated from the caregiving. You wouldn’t necessarily think of it, but the issue resonated with a number of folks at the tea. It was so useful to begin to talk about it, and to think about precautions to avoid some of these problems.

ACN: What are your thoughts on the financial aspect of ACN?

CH: As for the savings part, I think it’s important to have a stash.  You never know when you’re going to need it.  You put it aside, and you don’t factor it in to your everyday budget.  My brother and I have to help my parents financially, and we knew that long time ago, but now, if something comes up, I feel I have this dedicated stash.  I always tell people in my business…you have to build reserves, but then, don’t be afraid to use them.  If you’re building a reserve to pay your deductible, or to pay unforeseen expenses, new tires, or a new refrigerator, whatever it is, don’t use your credit card.  Use those reserves and then commit to building them back up again…that’s why they’re there.

ACN: What keeps you coming back?

CH: I like the networking, I like meeting new people.  Cora is an amazing person and you just want to emulate her…her heart and her mind and her tenacity…I hope it becomes contagious. I like being around people who are really good influences and can help you grow as a person.  Amazing Care offers that as a benefit, and helps you surround yourself with really good positive, caring, helpful people. 

Join ACN! Learn more HERE. If you’re an ACN Member and would like to be featured, please contact