September 28, 2018

Declutter Now! No Time Like the Present!

Filed under: Downsizing,Retirement Planning,Seniors — Tags: , , , — seniorlivingguide @ 10:06 am

By: Darleen Mahoney

You have a lot of stuff that you have collected over the years! You have a lifetime of beautiful memories and well, just stuff! You have artwork that you saved from your children and grandchildren, collectibles when collectibles were a fad, clothes that are out of style, paperwork that is no longer relevant. You may even have furniture and old holiday decorations in the basement or attic that just need to find new homes.

Decluttering your home of all these things as an active Senior is a labor of love for your family. It will also make it much easier for you to sell your home and make your next move.

seniors decluttering Leaving the cleaning out and decluttering of your home to your loved ones can be an overwhelming task for them. It is an emotional journey and physical labor of love that adult children and family members endure on their own. They may not know the family history of what is important in your home and can cause family friction. If you declutter your home now, you can share in the memories and find common ground in your cherished family keepsakes.

Whether you hope to live out your days in your current home, retire to a smaller home, retirement community, or the possibility of a continuing care retirement community. The reality is eventually your home will likely need to be sold. Decluttering of the past to move toward the future is a gift that you not only give your loved ones, but yourself.

Studies have shown that clutter causes anxiety, depression, stress, and general feeling of being overwhelmed. Cleaning and decluttering can be a stress-reliever.

There are also tax benefits to decluttering. If you donate your unwanted items to a charitable organization, you may be eligible for a tax write-off. You can also get very creative in donating or re-selling vintage items to re-sell shops or donating to schools looking for theatre production costumes.

Does all of this sound daunting? It doesn’t have to be! Get organized and make a plan!

  • Set aside a weekend or specific timeframe
  • Make sure you have supplies: garbage bags, boxes, cleaning products
  • Start with one room, then have a plan to go room by room
  • Go through everything in that room: Label: Keep, Donate, Trash
    • Old Documents, you may want to shred
  • Ask your family members to join you
    • Keep what is important- not to suggest you throw out priceless mementos, most people find out they do not miss “things” that they get rid of after a clean out. Items that do not serve a purpose or cannot be shared with other family members should find new homes.

While the process of decluttering is giving away, throwing away, and passing along to your loved ones is a process that has an element of an emotional journey with things that tie you of your past. Your memories and family legacies are your true history.

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September 20, 2018

Snowbirds: Living the Retirement Dream?

By: Darleen Mahoney

Its almost that time of year again…Snowbird season! It begins in October and runs through April.  I live in Florida and you could almost change the name from the Sunshine State to the Snowbird State! They flock down in the winter from New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Canada, and really any state where the temperature is frigid, and the snow plows are a plenty.  According to Florida Realtor Magazine, by 2025 one in every five people living in Florida will be elderly.

Two million baby boomers head south every year. Most snowbirds are between the ages of 50 and 69. They are active, well-educated and adapt to the warmer lifestyle quite well.

Have you ever considered a snowbird style retirement? Many purchase Independent Living or Retirement living homes in communities and spend their winters enjoying fun in the sun with their seasonal friends while avoiding the harshness of the winters back in their hometowns.

So, let’s talk turkey, I mean “snowbird”. It’s a nickname for the Junco bird, but it’s Senior Snow Birdsused to describe a group of seasonal travelers who go to warmer climates. The term has been affectionately known to describe retirees specifically.

Where are the snowbirds coming from? About four out of five international snowbirds traveling into the United States yearly are coming from Canada. Many of these snowbirds will eventually sell their winter homes and move permanently and make their Retirement Community home and become a “sunbird”.

While Florida is well known for being a desired Snowbird destination; Arizona, Las Vegas, Hawaii, California, and Texas are attracting more seasonal retirees. In Texas, they have a different term of endearment. They are known as “winter Texans”.

If you think becoming a Snowbird is right up your ally, consider the packing, the winterizing of your home, the address changing, tax preparation, and ordering prescriptions. The checklist goes on and on and should be considered and well planned out.

On a very positive note: “Snowbirds: Seasonal Migration of the Elderly in Florida” study shoes that more than 63 percent of snowbirds rate their health as “very good” or “excellent”.  In the same report, those that live in the same area year around, reported to have more complicated health issues.

At the end of the day, what any Snowbird needs the most is a retirement community with the amenities and location that meets all their needs. If you think the Snowbird lifestyle is a good choice for you and you need to start your search for a southern retirement living community, visit SeniorLivingGuide.com where many options are located in one place.

The Snowbird lifestyle allows Seniors to enjoy the best of both worlds, they are able to spend their summers in their hometowns with their family and friends, maintaining a aging in place lifestyle. In the winter when the weather is less than desirable, they are able to leave and spend time in a more resort style senior living community in a fashion that may be more of a vacation, lending to a more healthy and happier retirement.

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September 13, 2018

The Keys To Start a Senior Housing Search

By: Darleen Mahoney

Its time to start searching for senior housing, but where to begin? The senior housing landscape can be very confusing for seniors, their family and caregivers alike.

Whether you are looking because your curious for future planning or have a specific situation or need, its important to keep it simple. Jot down a few simple steps and check those boxes until you narrow down a senior living community or facility that best suits your needs and will point you in the right direction.

Step 1: Know what you need– This may sound simple, but is it? Make a list of services, support with both long and short-term goals, including what your future needs may look like. Is there a need to maintain independence or a focus on keys to searching for senior housingadditional help such as medication management, bathing and dressing, and safety? Knowing these things will help in budgeting and senior housing options.

Step 2: Budget– Establish a budget. Knowing how much you can spend each month on senior living may narrow your options as many communities and facilities price points have a very wide range. Keep in mind, many current expenses can be included in monthly senior housing fees-taxes, utilities, and meals. If your budget is tight, there may be financial resources to help.

Step 3: Location! Location! Location! – Where do you want to live and why is it important to you? Do you want to be close to family, medical centers, or are you looking to move to a new destination in your retirement years?

Step 4: Must Have Lists– Make a list of what is non-negotiable in a senior communities’ amenities or options for your move? Do you want a pet friendly community, wellness programs, activities with travel options? It would be beneficial to make a list of items that would be everything that you would hope to have available, but not necessarily “deal breakers”, such as restaurant style dining, fitness center, pool, wine nights with your neighbors.

Step 5: Visit a Senior Living Website– Searching online for a senior living community in your desired location and specific needs will allow you to view multiple communities at one time; bookmark them, visit their listing pages, websites, and social media pages.  The key is to visit trusted senior housing websites such as SeniorLivingGuide.com which allows you to connect directly with each community and not any type of broker.

Step 6: Read Reviews– Make sure that you visit multiple review sites online

Step 7: Social Media– Visit each senior living communities Facebook page. You should see pictures of activities, residents, and how the staff is interacting with the residents. This is also a good opportunity to see if they are showcasing any dining options, organized outings, or long-term resident highlighted posts. Don’t forget to read the comments.

Step 8: Ask Around– Once you are starting to narrow down a community that fits your needs, ask around to see if you can get any feedback from trusted sources you are familiar with.

Step 9: Contact Your Senior Community List– After you have narrowed down your list of communities that you are interested in, make a short list of questions and call each one asking for the marketing department. If you feel comfortable with their answers, then schedule a visit.

Step 10: Visit Your Senior Community List– This is where you can really start to narrow down your search. Make sure that you look for resident and staff interaction, general vibe and feeling in the community. Are the residents engaging with each other, with the staff? Are they sitting by themselves in a corner? Check out all the safety issues that are important such as handrails, emergency call systems, slip guards in the bathtub. Is the community clean? The biggest question you need to ask yourself, can you see yourself living there?

Step 11: Consult an Attorney– Seeking professional advice from an Elder Law Attorney to review your Senior Community contract as well as seeking help with additional financial help such as Veterans Aid and Attendance and/or Medicaid may be beneficial.

Following these steps will help make the search for the senior housing solution that will best fit your health, lifestyle, and future.

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August 8, 2018

Why Move to A Senior Living Community?

By: Darleen Mahoney

Your neighbors did it, your best friends did it, your newly retired co-workers did it. They all moved to senior living communities, but why?

You arSeniors moving boxes to new senior living communitye now contemplating making the move yourself but want to make the right choice. The house is too big, and the yard is so much work. Now that you are retired, you want to start enjoying it. In truth, that is the point, right?

According to Senior Housing News, in a survey of residents and non-residents of a retirement facility moved to a senior living community they found the following:

  • 5% -current residents made the move because they had a health change
  • 9%- non-residents said that a health change would motivate them to move to a senior living community
  • 6%-current residents moved to avoid home maintenance responsibilities
  • 5%-non-residents said that they would move to avoid home maintenance responsibilities

What you may not realize is that so many of today’s senior living communities are designed just like a vacation resort. These communities have beautiful, modern and spacious floor plans, resort style accommodations and social activities.

You can finally downsize and sell that lawnmower! Check out all the possibilities you may be getting when choosing to move to a senior living community!

  • Lawn maintenance– While you appreciate and want a well-manicured lawn you want to retire from the work. Lawn maintenance is typically included, but still allows those with green thumbs can still consider communities with gardens or patios for small planter gardens.
  • Transportation– Reliable transportation at your fingertips. Even if you are still driving, its always quite a comfort to know that you have transportation available, if needed.
  • Concierge/Housekeeping – Hotel like accommodations such as housekeeping and laundry services and on-site maintenance.
  • Social Activities– scheduled events, trips and activities. Many seniors may discover new hobbies as they enter senior living communities and retirement as they didn’t have the time while working.
  • Restaurant Dining– Meals prepared by Chef’s three times a day. Some communities have multiple dining locations and options if you choose.
  • Medical Care Available– The peace of mind of having proper medical care and staff that can handle a medical situation when needed.

Finding what you are looking for in your area, budget and interest is key. The Senior Housing News survey also found that the majority of respondents aged 70-79 did or would utilize the internet to search online to learn about their senior housing options. A great one stop shop for senior housing options is SeniorLivingGuide.com as the website provides many communities with links to their websites, their social media, and phone number. We invite you to visit when you decide to sell that lawnmower and downsize that home.

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