June 14, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
Independent Senior Housing, Independent Living Communities or Age Restricted Communities are created for Seniors that are typically active, healthy, and do not require medical assistance. The biggest factor is the age restriction that is placed on the residents that move in, typically the age is 55+-62, but can vary. Its not unusual that some new residents are still working and are years away from retirement age. These communities are built in neighborhoods of homes, townhomes, condos, cottages, apartments, or any type of home where the residents can maintain an independent lifestyle. These communities may offer amenities that attract residents like golf courses, pools, community centers, work out centers, and include ground maintenance and security. There is an activity director who plans a calendar of events including group trips, special dances and karaoke nights.
What are the benefits of an Independent Living Community? These communities provide senior specific social environments and activities to residents that appeal to their “senior only” residents.
Residents of an Independent Living Community live alone or as a couple without any type of skilled nursing. If their health declines and they choose to remain in the community, they still have the option to hire home health care providers or private caregivers.
There are many variables on policies as these are set by management. Depending on a public, private, or government managed property the policies may vary greatly. Costs should line up with the market value for similar housing and community in the area. There can be additional community related costs and taxes for landscaping, pool maintenance, etc. There are subsidizes programs through the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development for those low-income seniors in need.
If you are an independent, active adult over the age of 55 you have many options to choose from in Independent Senior Living! Visit us on www.SeniorLivingGuide.com, click on Active Adult/Retirement, then click on your State and Region of Interest and begin researching what each one offers you and your lifestyle! Happy House hunting!
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May 16, 2018
Courtesy of Janet Campbell
It’s never too late to become financially literate. Statistics show that 65 percent of Americans do not have a budget, which suggests that many enter their elderly years uninformed about personal finances. Taking good care of your finances at this stage of your life is essential – your financial stability, health and personal happiness are at stake, so consider carefully these tips that financial advisors consider crucial for older adults.
Set a budget
Establishing a budget helps you keep track of where your money is going and makes it considerably easier to plan for the future. Most advisors contend that setting up and sticking to a budget is the most important building block in maintaining one’s financial health. It’s especially important for seniors because it ensures that you’ll have enough money to pay for the things you need and want. If you’ve never lived according to a formal budget, once you’ve got it down and incorporated it into your routine you can predetermine what months you’re likely to be tight on money and when you’ll be in the black. A budget helps you plan for unexpected expenses, those times when life bites you and forces you to dig deep into your funds.
Sidestep the scams
Beware of fast-talking salespeople and telemarketers looking to take advantage of confused and vulnerable elderly people. They’re usually the first ones to be targeted, so watch out for “deals” that involve a lot of complex detail, evasive answers or an unwillingness to answer questions, a lack of documentation (i.e. no paper trail), and pressure to sign a contract right away. This is always a red flag, no matter who’s involved or what stage of life they’re in.
Be skeptical about investments
If you retired with investments, they can give you a real advantage in your senior years but it’s dangerous to rely on them too heavily. A budget can help you forecast but it can’t help you where the market’s concerned. An over-reliance on the returns it can bring is a dangerous way to approach your finances, especially if you’re working with limited funds to begin with. Unscrupulous salespeople are especially dangerous when it comes to stock market investing, which can be arcane and intimidating to someone with limited experience. A good rule of thumb is, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Remember, savings, a good budget and careful money management are the building blocks of a solid financial foundation.
Many people nearing or having reached retirement age tend to see Social Security as a nest egg or financial magic bullet. Yes, you can begin drawing on your social security benefits beginning at age 62, but it can be well worth your while to wait a bit. Nevertheless, it’s estimated that 75 percent of Americans start going through their benefits early, which means they’re not maximizing what they could be getting from Social Security. Timing is a big part of doing Social Security right. Put simply, the longer you wait to draw Social Security, the more you’ll get each month. Taking Social Security before official retirement age (between 66 and 67) results in an unnecessary reduction of your benefits, whereas your benefit increases as much as 8 percent a year if you wait until you reach 70.
Follow the basics
The old rule that says you should have three months of expenses ready to go still stands once you reach old age. If you’ve ignored that rule during your working lifetime, make a good stab at it. Set aside what you can in case the unexpected happens when you’re at your most vulnerable. Some people age 65 or older are able to sell their life insurance policy, which may be an option to consider if you can’t afford the premiums or don’t need one anymore. Just be sure to do your research first so you understand the ins and outs of the process.
Keep following the same good financial advice you’ve gotten throughout your life once you reach retirement age. Budget, save, and stay away from “can’t miss” investment offers. Much of what’s served you well all those years won’t go wrong once you hit 67.
Courtesy of Pixabay.com.
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May 4, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
Do you remember the days with the house and the yard and the upkeep? There are days that it seems like yesterday and it was very rewarding, but it was also a lot of work and commitment! You spent your Saturday’s mowing the yard, edging, weed eating, and tending to the garden. You may have really loved the garden most, but all of the work had to be done.
Now you are retired! It’s time to do more of what you enjoy! You’ve moved into a smaller space to fit your retirement lifestyle; to give you more time to yourself, to play golf, to travel, to spend more time with your family, and less time on home maintenance. What you miss the most is the relaxation and satisfaction that you received from gardening. Don’t despair, there are a lot of options for gardening in a small space. Spring is here! Spend some time outdoors tending to a garden and be able to enjoy it!
Here are some fun ideas on how to plant a garden in a small space:
- A Container garden – Containers of different sizes and shapes, including galvanized tubs, in a small outdoor space with various flowers and even vegetables and herbs can create a tranquil setting for anyone to entertain, relax, and enjoy a good book.
- Vertical Planters – Maximize your space by planting vertically! Visit your local nursery or hardware store. Tip: repurposed shutters can be used as a vertical planter.
- Hanging planters – If you have the ability to hang your plants from the ceiling or a wall post, they can be a fun asset as you can also include plants and flowers that will trail down adding a different dimension to your patio or small space.
- Ivy fence – Growing ivy on a small fence around an outdoor space can add a lot of depth to your space and easily provide the garden look and feel you might be looking for.
- Herbs – Mixing and matching herbs in small pots and planters is not only eye-catching, but edible!
- Window boxes – If your space is very limited, a window box may be your best option. Succulents do very well in these and are fairly low maintenance with good drainage.
- Birdbath – How great is this idea? Repurpose a birdbath and pack with hardy succulents and pebbles to hold in the moisture.
If you enjoy gardening, downsizing into a senior living or retirement community may not mean that you must give up that part of your life! There are so many options available to consider. The key is appropriate lighting for your plants and soil, the rest you can get very creative with and create a beautiful and functioning gardening.
Another great article on gardening in small spaces:
April 25, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
Typically, as people age and it becomes increasingly clear that they are unable to care for themselves, their adult children are left to decide on how to care for them and what those next steps look like, especially for those whose parents are living alone.
You may notice that Dad is forgetting where the car keys are or he is misplacing his phone. Maybe he is not as interested in social interaction with family and more resigned to spending time alone. You recognize that these are signs that he should not be living alone. You find yourself saying to your siblings and family members, “What are we going to do about Dad?”. You know that you need to look at the different options available. You may opt to move them in with a capable family member, choose a home care provider, or move him into a senior living community.
To help make these decisions and form a plan that works for everyone, it can be helpful to have a family meeting with your siblings, other relatives, and/or friends. The family meeting should begin by working out any conflicting care option opinions. Ideally, you will be able to compromise and end with a plan. If you do not feel the meeting will be generally agreeable and emotions have the potential to run high, you can involve a social worker, a family counselor, or a mutually agreed upon mediator to help ensure that the meeting is successful.
As these options are weighed, a clear vision of what success looks like is very important. Consider their mental and physical conditions and how they may progress and the kind of care and assistance they will require in the future. Benefiting your parents’ well-being and health, while maintaining a peaceful and balanced family life should be considered the primary objective.
If you choose to move your family member into your home, please be aware that there are some considerations to make before committing to this role, including a large amount of time. You need to take be honest with yourself and your other family members. Make sure you fully understand the commitment and demands of caring for an aging person and ask yourself if you have the ability to take those on. There will be disruption in your life and relationships, frustration, and a large amount of additional stress that you will be adding to your home.
You may want to look into options of in-home providers, they provide a myriad of services that can be very helpful and free up your time while providing different social interaction for your parent. Understanding the pros and cons – such as how comfortable your family member will need to be with their in-home provider – should be considered before relying on them for specific tasks.
Caring for an aging parent and making decisions regarding their on-going care can be overwhelming. Take the time to consider all of your options, use your support system as a resource, and keep your parents’ best interests at heart – you will find a care option that works for everyone.
http://dailycaring.com/7-things-you-must-do-when-hiring-an-in-home-caregiver/ -Tips for Hiring In Home Care Provider
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March 28, 2018
By Janet Campbell [firstname.lastname@example.org]
As a senior, there may be several reasons for wanting to downsize your home. You may want to move closer to loved ones, to a warmer area, or because of financial reasons. Whatever the case may be, there are certain steps that can ensure that a smooth and easy transition.
Finding the Right Home
Deciding on the right home for your golden years can take a bit of reflection and research. Before attempting to downsize your current home, make sure that it is a financially viable solution. Typically, if you can’t cut your living expenses by 25 percent, it may not be a suitable option in the long run.
If you know that it makes sense financially to downsize your home, there are many other things to consider; your lifestyle is an easy place to start. For example, perhaps you are still working and need a dedicated office space. Or perhaps you intend on having family or other guests visit, and need extra living space. Other factors to consider are purely practical: How easy is it to move around? Can you access all of the appliances? Is it in the right location for your needs? Is a condo or single family home more practical? Try to brainstorm everything you are going to require, and see to it that your new living situation meets those needs.
Once you have established where your new home is going to be, it’s time for the hard part: deciding on what to keep and what to get rid of. The floor plan of your new home is key: if you know what furniture and other possessions will fit and what won’t, it will make the decision process much easier.
An article published in the New York Times outlined some of the benefits of hiring a professional moving manager for seniors. These moving managers specialize in helping seniors make the tough decisions, such as what to store with relatives, what to sell at auctions or liquidate, and what to throw away. They also take the brunt of heavy lifting, which can be extremely hazardous for elderly people to take on. Furthermore, they allow you to separate yourself from the moving process, which can be a daunting and potentially traumatic experience.
Making the Move
A moving checklist can help make your move as organized and smooth as possible. This checklist includes creating a division of assets—a who gets what—among your family, friends and loved ones. This should be done well in advance of the move date to avoid any contention in what can already be a stressful time. Be assertive about re-homing your items, and don’t focus on what you’re losing, but on what you’re giving to someone else. Keep the belongings that are most sentimental to you, and be willing to settle for photos of anything you simply don’t have the room to keep.
Pack one room at a time and be strategic — put clothing, linens, and small accessories in suitcases instead of boxes, for example. Use small boxes for heavier items and large boxes for lighter items to make for easier transport. Labeling boxes for what goes where can also save time and improve efficiency.
The most important thing to remember when downsizing and moving to a new home is to be patient with yourself. Make extra time for you throughout this process by eliminating tasks you may not necessarily have to do. For example, consider a grocery service, dog walking service or dog boarding service. By employing such services, you will save yourself both time and hassle so that you can focus on the somewhat difficult process of moving.
Because moving from a beloved home into an unfamiliar one can be an emotionally trying time, so allow yourself space to grieve and don’t hesitate to reach out to family, friends, religious leaders, or a counselor for support. Once you’ve had time to heal, you’ll see the beauty in living a simplified life and be glad you made the change.
March 27, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
The baby boomer generation is no longer the generation of shuffleboard, craft nights, and pot roast for dinner in the dining hall. They want more, they are demanding a different lifestyle.
Now that we have that in the open, what do baby boomers want in their retirement homes? How do you go about getting not only what you want, but what you need?
The best advice: do copious amounts of research on what is available in the location that is ideal for you – including additional support nearby and social opportunities available – and be realistic about your long-term physical needs, your financial resources. “It’s important to align the emotional, social and financial parts of retiring,” says Denise Leish, a financial adviser in Silver Spring, Maryland.
The basic foundations in a retirement community that you should look for:
- Transportation – Senior transportation programs
- Parks nearby and walkable neighborhoods
- Safe neighborhoods-check the crime rates
- Health care- Available health care nearby with doctors that accept Medicare, specialists, and hospitals
- Other services – Meals on Wheels and other Senior focused services
- Shopping, Grocery Stores and Restaurants – Close enough that you will be able to get out and enjoy the community and social activities without a long drive.
- Social Integration – Neighborhood activities, programs, travel opportunities, etc.
Sara Little, 68, and Barbara Shaver, 69, offer a few pieces of advice on making a move into retirement especially if you decide to relocate to a new area, make sure you like the area before you buy and do it while your still young and can enjoy it. They moved to an over-55 community in Sarasota, Florida, they rented nearby to make sure they’d like the area. At the core of their decision: They had “some grounding” there, Little says.
“We had friends who already lived here, and more were moving here,” Little says. “We also got involved in church right away and in activities like swimming and sailing” https://www.cnbc.com/id/100549801.
In response to baby boomers’ demands for a different kind of retirement lifestyle, many developers are designing communities with a village feel to them to include shopping, dining, professional services and community programs. One good example is The Villages in Central Florida, which calls itself the “premier active adult community”. It is quite large, with an estimated 157,000 retirees, it touts its own zip code and daily newspaper. Another example, The Classic at Hillcrest Greens, is built on the site of a former golf course in the western Wisconsin community of Altoona. Its amenities include a restaurant, yoga and fitness studio, game room, library and a salon.
Its fair to say that there is something for everyone if you are entering the age of retirement and a 55+ community is an option. You no longer must settle for a retirement community whose only activities are shuffleboard and golf, there is so much more! Spend some time and do your research. Know what is available and don’t be afraid to ask questions and visit these locations and get to know your future neighbors.
February 27, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
Texas is at the top of many retiree’s lists when looking for their ideal state to retire and enjoy their “golden years”. What does Texas offer that is attracting retirees, specifically Baby Boomers, to the Lone Star State?
Texas is the second largest state in the country and offers a wide variety of topography and open spaces for them to live around. The choices range from mountainsides with views of plains and prairies to coastal plains and forested hill country. There are independent and active adult communities new and existing with the amenities and social opportunities that retirees may be looking for today. If you are looking for a fast-paced town with concerts and night life or peace and quite in a natural environment, Texas has them all. http://www.nic.org/blog/key-takeaways-lone-star-states-seniors-housing-market/
While Florida is clearly still at the top of the list for many retirees moving from the North to enjoy the sunshine and beaches, Texas offers many of the same attributes in their weather conditions, which can be a big draw. The mild temperatures vary within the state and provide many opportunities for retirees who want hot summers and cool winters, like San Antonio or Austin. If they prefer a bigger city with a lot of diversity and activity, baby boomers may be attracted to Houston and Dallas, even though they have higher humidity during the summer with more rain.
While some of the biggest draws are the weather, topography, and local activities; it may come down to the brass tacks of affordability. Texas has lower taxes, a lower cost of living, and a reduced tax rate (including no personal income tax). This is important because a retiree with a fixed income is going to be able to make their budget go farther. Therefore, it’s no surprise the state of Texas would be considered one of the best places to retire financially.
Whatever the reasons – varied landscape, warmer climate, diverse cities, or affordability- Texas is attracting retirees. Texas active adult communities are growing to accommodate this emerging growth, meet the needs of the Baby Boomers, and ultimately become a retirement destination for active adults.
Visit us on www.seniorlivingguide.com , click on Texas to visit different Senior Housing available in the Lone Star State.
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February 12, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
I could review the statistics of heart disease in America and the surprising fact that women are more prone to die from heart disease than men or that it is the leading cause of death over cancer. Yes, that’s right! Cancer!
“In the United States, 1 in 4 women dies from heart disease. In fact, coronary heart disease (CHD)—the most common type of heart disease—is the #1 killer of both men and women in the United States”. (https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/heart-disease-women).
At the end of the day, the important facts that we need to know are how to help prevent heart disease in our everyday lives and the signs that we may be in “trouble” and need to seek medical attention.
Preventing heart disease can be challenging for those who are conditioned to living an unhealthy lifestyle based on their choices of food, alcohol, exercise, etc. Getting healthy doesn’t happen overnight and must become a way of living, not a short-term solution to a medical issue.
Healthy living choices to help prevent heart disease include:
● Eat healthy.
● Get active.
● Stay at a healthy weight.
● Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
● Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
● If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
● Manage stress.
Have you ever been surprised to hear that someone who was “perfectly healthy” died of a heart attack? The people close to that person said, “he was never diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, we all thought he was perfectly healthy. Who knew?” Everyone is shocked when this happens. This is because someone might not be diagnosed with cardiovascular disease until he or she has a heart attack, stroke, heart failure or angina. Therefore, watching for heart disease symptoms prior to a heart event is critical.
According to Mayo Clinic, (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20353118), symptoms in men and women can be different. Men will more likely have chest pain, while women may experience chest pain/discomfort along with shortness of breath, nausea, and extreme fatigue.
Other symptoms may include:
● Pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in your legs or arms if the blood vessels in those parts of your body are narrowed
● Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back
There are also various other symptoms for different types of heart disease:
● abnormal heartbeats (heart arrhythmia’s)
● heart muscle (dilated cardiomyopathy)
● valvular heart disease
● heart infections
In a nutshell, all these different types of heart disease have 3 symptoms in common and they are your keys to knowing that you need to seek medical attention right away. They are chest pains, shortness of breath, and fainting.
Heart disease can be treated more proactively when treated early on. Contacting your doctor to discuss your heart health concerns is being proactive in a longer, happier, healthier heart and life.
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January 22, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
Being financially prepared before and during retirement is integral in assuring a comfortable and less stressful “golden years”.
Knowing what your retirement bills will look like verses your work life bills and expenses are helpful in budgeting. You may save money on commuting expenses and buying expensive clothes, work lunches and multiple co-worker “life events” financial contributions, but what is the offset in your income?
The first thing you would want to do is assess your finances. Any good budget begins with understanding of your current income and expenses.
Your biggest expense in retirement will most likely be your housing. If you can pay off your mortgage before retirement this will eliminate your biggest monthly expense. If you are unable to do this, you might find it beneficial to downsize and decrease your monthly mortgage, cashing in on any equity to help build up your nest egg. You may also want to consider retirement living and active adult retirement communities as options as they can offer turnkey solutions for long term home stability.
The other biggest expense during retirement will be health care expenses. It is imperative to do a deep dive into what is available to you, especially if you retire before being eligible for Medicare. You may also want to consider budgeting and saving for long term care expenses, as you or your spouse may need them.
Tracking your expenses with online budgeting tools can also be a real eye opener on where your money may be going. Budgeting tools like Mint and You Need a Budget will sync with your bank account and will be able to track where your money goes. https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/on-retirement/articles/2016-08-10/7-tips-for-budgeting-in-retirement
Additional recommendations you might want to consider:
• Have fun-watching TV is not a healthy way to live and these should truly be the years that you have worked so hard for!
• Emergencies! – Big ticket items like New AC, Car repairs, new refrigerator, etc.
• Avoid Debt!
Most retirees have a fixed budget where they may live on a month to month income, creating a budget and being prepared will allow you the opportunity to enjoy your retirement with less financial stress.
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November 1, 2017
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Written by Adinah East
The Sandwich Generation Statistics 2017 That You Need To Know Now
Being a part of the sandwich generation is a common phenomenon for many adults in their 40s and 50s. Many of these Gen X adults find that they are caring for their parents that are aging as well as the children that they had later in life all under one household. While caring for both a parent and a child can tax your abilities and spread you thin at times, it can prove to be a positive situation for all involved at times.
Having your parents under the same roof as your children can work to develop a family a family bond that is stronger than ever. A survey by the Pew Research Center suggests that 31 percent of adults in this dual caring role are very happy with their lives and another 52 percent say they are pretty happy. These positive sandwich generation statistics 2017 are similar to adults that are not a part of the sandwich generation, making both harmonious living arrangements.
Breaking Down The Sandwich Generation Facts
When we look at the sandwich generation facts, as many as 48 percent of adults under the age of 50 have financially supported at least one grown child in the past 12 months. Of this group, 27 percent are the primary financial supporter of their children. When we look at the sandwich generation facts and how they relate to parents, as many as one in five adults have offered a form of financial support to their elders, in the past year. These sandwich generation statistics 2017 indicate that most adults will be a part of a sandwich generation scenario at some point in their life, if not now, then in the future.
Breaking down the sandwich generation facts even further, we see that Hispanics take on the role of caregiver for elderly parents and children most often. Over 30 percent of Hispanic adults have a parent who is currently over 65 and care for at least a child in their family. In comparison, 24 percent of whites and 21 percent of blacks have the same caregiver relationship.
Most sandwich generation adults are middle aged with 71 percent of the group aged 40 to 59. A total of 19 percent is younger, and 10 percent are age 60 or older. Both men and women are tasked with the role of caregiver for their parents and children with equal percentages found for each gender in the study.
When we look at the sandwich generation statistics 2017 regarding income, more families that are affluent with an income of $100,000 or more take on the role of caregiver for their children and parents than not. This doesn’t mean that these families are less burdened financially as they have the same stressors as any adult that enters into a caregiving role for a parent while taking care of their family. These sandwich generation statistics 2017 break down with 43 percent of sandwich generation adults making $100,000 and 25 percent making between $30,000 and $100,000. Only 17 percent of adults caring for a parent and child make less than $30,000.
When you look at the sandwich generation facts, any adult can really find themselves as a part of this generation by caring for an aging parent and young children. The sandwich generation has no boundaries and is not dependent on income, race or gender. If you are considering being a caregiver for your parent as well as your family, the Caring People Inc blog will explain in depth what the sandwich generation is and how your life will be affected in this role.
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