Caring for Aging Parents’ Finances

Caring for parents as they age is a challenge many children will face. Boomers are the generation in the spotlight of this issue today. Not only are kids faced with learning how to physically care for their parents, they should also consider learning as much as possible on how to care for their parents’ finances too. As older parents’ cognitive abilities begin to decline, it is important that plans are in place to handle transfers of responsibilities to ensure that the resources built up over a lifetime are available when needed.
There is a lot to consider, and
this article may help in getting the ball rolling.

Don’t Slip Up!

Even the simplest tasks can be complicated by the winter weather we’re experiencing in many parts of the country. Even if you are a cold-weather person, ice and snow can be a challenge. For those from warmer-weather states that get some snow, the danger is even greater. A simple slip and fall on the ice and snow can be a big pain or worse.
A few tips for you:

  •     Wear sensible shoes with tread from rubber or neoprene
  •     Plan ahead and don’t rush to avoid slips
  •     Walk slowly and angle slightly forward over ice

Get some more tips here, and stay safe, ok?

Medicare- Making Value Matter

In a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on January 26, the Obama administration announced major changes to the way that doctors and hospitals will be compensated under Medicare. The payments will shift from service-based fees to quality of care in an attempt to contain rising costs. Starting in 2016, the new payment fees will be based on performance rather than on services like surgeries performed and tests administered. Advocates claim that performance-based initiatives will help control costs while improving quality. Read more from HHS here.

Crucial Conversation Starters for You and Your Spouse

Conversation starters are usually pretty tame. Where are you from? What do you do? Blah blah blah. They’re usually used on strangers to simply break the silence, not on your spouse to help facilitate discussion. There are five topics in this article that will start important conversations the two of you need to have; that will help break the silence on important, senior issues with your life partner. From understanding where your important data is, to making advanced medical and end-of-life decisions, these conversation starters will spark deep and rewarding exchanges with the one you love. Seniors who prepare for the future together enjoy more of it together. Read about these engaging topics here

The Vanishing Act

Your uniqueness is at the center of who you are, but around the edges of that uniqueness are a lot of changes. Slight changes in the body are happening all the time, and some of the resulting changes are fascinating and unexpected. The reasons for these changes are sometimes natural and sometimes influenced by our surroundings, lifestyles and other influences like medication. One change that sometimes happens can leave you stranded in an airport! Check out what can happen to your fingerprints here.

Of Wealth and Older Women

Because of gains made against barriers to higher education, prestigious professions and credit hurdles in past generations, and demographic causes like outliving their husbands, some women today are retiring with substantial assets, and their numbers are growing. It isn’t all challenge free, though. Because women tend to outlive their spouses by five years, their wealth has to last longer.  No matter what your outlook, for women who want to prepare for the long term, two pieces of advice are almost universal: Buy long-term care (insurance) and move assets into a financial product providing a steady income stream enough to handle projected expenses. Check out some practical advice here.

Seniors, Taking Care of Business

Seniors with an entrepreneurial spirit are making some interesting waves online. The creative spirit is alive and well with business ideas spanning a host of apps and services covering topics from digital cameras to senior-focused products and educational services. Some were created as simple help sites for friends, and some as businesses out of the gate with products that are a fit for seniors. The common thread is that these examples were all started by seniors. Have a look at this article and learn more from these online senior business successes. 

A Time to Take A Mortgage, A Time to Pay A Mortgage

As retirement edges closer, some people are considering the commitment they made to their mortgages and the options open to them. Americans approaching retirement, between the ages of 51 and 69 years, are carrying more debt on their mortgages than previous generations. However, whether it makes financial sense to pay off the mortgage or to let it ride can be a matter worth considering. Those people with low-interest mortgage rates and lower debt may be well served to make the leap and pay off the outstanding debt, while others may have additional factors to consider. Have a look at this article that discusses the pros and cons of paying off the mortgage before retirement.

Stay Young, Stay Active

The balanced life is equal parts mind, body and spirit, and paying attention to all three is more important than ever for seniors. Activities can be sports like golf, tennis or biking, or they can focus on building up your brain by engaging in games of skill and cunning like chess or bridge. Hobbies like painting and photography can unleash the creative side. No matter what you choose, make time for activities that make your mind, body, and spirit happy and healthy. See some great suggestions and follow some interesting links here.

Stay Right Where You Are

Across America, there is a great transition happening as boomers begin to enter retirement age. A great movement is underway to age in place. The concept is a simple. Like anyone, seniors want to stay in their own homes, neighborhoods, and towns. But to do this, it requires specialized services to maintain a healthy independence. There are many reasons that designing environments for seniors to age in place is an important and interesting issue going forward. Learn more about some of these issues here.