Russia, Beyond the Headlines

These days, people have all sorts of opinions about Russia. Even beyond politics, images come to mind of fur-lined parkas and frozen tundra – hard and cold weather conditions, despite the fact that parts of it have a humid, subtropical climate.1 Perhaps we should take a moment to see Russia for its more positive attributes: captivating storied traditions, picturesque landscapes, and a rich and influential culture in the arts, including classical music, ballet and literature.2

A few of the hallmarks of transitioning into retirement and aging gracefully are to stay engaged by continuing to learn and explore – perhaps even cultures that are less familiar. With so many Russian-based headlines in the news today, it may be worth taking a deeper look into the history and culture of Russia as well as other countries to see how their philosophy and lifestyles have evolved. Discovering these insights can help us better understand our own outlook when it comes to politics, culture and human nature.

Our biases and our prejudices can be  influential factors in our decisions, including financial ones. And that’s not always a good thing; sometimes it helps to be a bit more objective. That’s where we can help. We can assess our clients’ lifestyle and financial objectives without subjective biases. As an independent financial services firm, we help people create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives.

One good habit to retain throughout a lifetime is reading. Research shows that reading can help keep memory and cognitive skills intact.3 In the case of Russia, consider its magnificent contributions to literature, including “Anna Karenina,” “Crime and Punishment,” “The Brothers Karamazov” and “War and Peace.”4 Yet the country’s tradition of great literature did not end in the 1800s — there are many fine examples to be discovered today.5

Learning a new language also can be an effective way to exercise mental acuity. Learning Russian includes mastering a different alphabet, which can provide increased stimulation for the brain.6

If you like to cook, consider exploring both traditional and contemporary recipes for Russian cuisine, such as pelmini (dumplings), beef stroganoff or gozinakh (walnut honey candy).7

And finally, if all of your explorations into Russian culture motivate you to travel there, consider that the dollar exchange rate against the ruble is quite favorable at the moment, especially compared to cities such as London and Paris.8


Content prepared by Kara Stefan Communications.

1 2017. “Fast Facts about Russia.” Accessed April 8, 2017.
2 Frommer’s. “Russia: Arts, Culture & Music.”–music. Accessed April 14, 2017.
3Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation. 2017. “Keep Reading to Keep Alzheimer’s at Bay.” Accessed April 8, 2017.
4 Frommer’s. “Russia: Arts, Culture & Music.”–music. Accessed April 14, 2017.
5 Varia Fedko-Blake. The Culture Trip. Jan. 27, 2017. “12 Great and Overlooked Russian Novels from the Last 100 Years.” Accessed April 8, 2017.
6 2017. “The Russian Alphabet.” Accessed April 14, 2017.
7 2017. “Cooking Recipes.” Accessed April 8, 2017.
8 Elizabeth Helen Spencer. March 9, 2017. “How to Travel to Russia.” Accessed April 8, 2017.




This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic retirement income strategies and should not be construed as financial advice.

The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.