Category Archives: Education

Loved One Being Manipulated by Senior Scammers?

Be aware of senior scammers

Know the Warning Signs and Solutions.

These days, it seems like there is a new scam hitting the streets almost daily.

Many of us probably have gotten the purported calls from the “IRS,” claiming we owe immediate back taxes or the county sheriff will be coming to arrest us. There also are the home repair and maintenance senior scammers, who are particularly fond of targeting seniors and boomers. And unfortunately, there also are certain individuals who pretend to be a trusted friend and advisor, but end up cheating seniors and boomers out of their savings or more.

It can be hard for even the savviest of consumers to realize when they are being set up, but even more so for the boomers and traditionalists generations. Boomers include those born between 1946 and 1964, while traditionalists are those born in 1945 or earlier. Traditionalists, in particular, are scammed more easily due to their trusting nature. Traditionalists were raised during a time when trusting your neighbor and sharing what you had with others was a common value. It can be difficult for that generation to get out of the habit of helping others, even when the people they think they are helping are not worthy of their “help.” Continue reading

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Technology Know-How 101

Seniors using technology

Becoming Technology – Savvy in the 21st Century.

Remember the good-old-days, when the hardest technology related issue you had to figure out was how to record your favorite program on the VCR?

Seniors and boomers now are faced with a plethora of technology tools and devices, all with their own learning curves. And while it may seem like a lot to keep straight, there are some benefits for seniors who regularly use technology.

Let’s take a look at some of the most valuable technology tools and devices on the market today, and explore the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Tablets and Laptops

Desktop computers have their place, and for the longest time, they were it as far as an electronic computing “device.” Now, laptops and tablets are quickly replacing the desktop computer as top choices for those buying new computers.

According to information from Statistica, tablets are expected to become the top-selling electronic device among the three by the year 2020 .  In 2010 – the first year Statistica tracked sales – 157 million desktop computers were purchased and shipped worldwide. Laptop figures were at 201 million for 2010, with tablets trailing at just 19 million orders. That trend was reversed in 2014, when tablets became the top-selling device among the three, with just over 230 million shipped globally. Continue reading

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The Online Senior Connection

Couple exploring websites

Top Websites for the Over 50 Crowd.

As many seniors and boomers can attest, getting online can be a rewarding experience. You can meet new friends on websites made just for our age group, reconnect with old friends and family members on social media and find resources for planning a winter getaway to some place tropical.

But using the Internet also can be bit frustrating for seniors and boomers who aren’t as experienced in using it and are trying to sort out credible sites from those that may rip them off. Unfortunately, there is a lot of cyber crime, and it can be very easy to get taken advantage of at any age.

To help our readers navigate – and enjoy – the Internet, we have grouped reliable, reputable websites into categories most important to seniors and boomers as they  navigate through the golden years. Continue reading

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Celebrate the Season the Right Way

Celebrate holidays by giving to others

Four Meaningful Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season.

Bob Hope once espoused that his idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, was very simple: loving others. “Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?” he asked.

It is a good question. While there are many people who give of their time and talents year-round, the holiday season always brings with it an increase in generosity. Maybe it has something to do with the spirit of the season or the fact that around the holidays, charities and other nonprofit organizations are more vocal about their needs.

According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), 72 percent of all charitable contributions received are from individual donors. Only 5 percent of corporations and 15 percent of foundations donate to charitable organizations. The remaining 8 percent comes from bequests.

While monetary donations are a big part of the holiday season, they are not the only way to make a difference this holiday season. Let’s talk about some of the most meaningful ways to give back and bring joy to others as we celebrate the season. Continue reading

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How to be Truly Thankful

Thankful Family

Three Ways to Focus on Gratefulness.

Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero once said that “gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.”

Thanksgiving, by its very name, is supposed to be about being thankful for the things we have and reflecting on the simple pleasures of life. However, life – for many of us – has become incredibly hectic. We often feel over-scheduled and unable to take the time to simply relax and enjoy ourselves.

When Thanksgiving was celebrated for the first time in 1621 at Plymouth Rock by the Pilgrims and Native Americans, the event lasted for three days. During that time, thanks were given for the first successful corn harvest. The second such Thanksgiving was held in 1623 to denote the end of a long drought that had threatened the harvest. Soon, the tradition caught on in other New England settlements.

Over the years, several presidents declared official days of thanks, but not for the same reason the Pilgrims and Native Americans originally celebrated it. George Washington declared an official Thanksgiving in 1789 and encouraged Americans to celebrate the successful conclusion of the war of independence. John Adams and James Madison also designated days of Thanksgiving during their presidencies, each being celebrated in a different way for a different reason. Continue reading

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Don’t Get Caught Off Guard

woman needing self defense

Self Defense Techniques and Tools for Seniors.

No one likes to think about becoming a victim of crime. But as with anything else, being prepared to handle any situation can go a long way toward prevention.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, individuals aged 18 to 21 are the most likely age group to become victims of violent crime; however, 7 percent of violent crime victims and 12 percent of all homicide victims each year are age 50 and older.

The chance of becoming a victim of violent crime also increases based on where you live. WalletHub, an online financial resource tool, created a 2016 Safest States in America list. WalletHub’s analysts compared key safety metric data among the 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine its list. Safety metrics included number of assaults per capita, unemployment rates and estimated losses from natural disasters. Continue reading

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Top Reasons to go to College in Senior Years

Senior man attending college

Top Three Reasons to Rethink Becoming a Senior Learner.

When we retire, we often have all sorts of ideas about how we plan to take advantage of our newly-free schedule. Spending some quality time with our families, exploring a new hobby or even traveling to places we’ve always wanted to visit are among some of the top goals for seniors and boomers in retirement.

Another option some seniors and boomers consider is returning to college, either to earn a new degree, or to simply take a few courses for their own enrichment.

The most recent U.S. Census data indicates that there are now 40.3 million people aged 65 and older living in the U.S. As the senior population soars in this country, more colleges and universities are taking advantage of this growing segment of the population by luring them back into the classroom with plenty of incentives.

If you’ve never considered college as an option in your senior years, here are five top reasons to rethink it. Continue reading

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Don’t Waste Your Time and Talents

Senior volunteer helping student

Step up to the Plate During Retirement.

In our last blog, we discussed the issue of depression in seniors and boomers. Unfortunately, it can be common to become a bit blue during the golden years, especially for those who have worked all their lives or who may have experienced a chaotic pace of life prior to retirement. Freeing oneself from those kinds of commitments can actually backfire, making retirement a hard adjustment for some.

But there’s no reason to just sit around and watch life pass you by just because you’ve retired. Retirement is not meant to be a sentence to boredom for the rest of your life. Many people find meaning in life by volunteering their time and talents in their community and beyond. Becoming an active volunteer can be a great way to fill a void left by retirement.

At our Upside of Downsizing conferences, we emphasize the idea that by downsizing your homeownership responsibilities, you can make an enormous difference in the lives of others, while also benefitting personally in many ways through volunteering your time and talents. Continue reading

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Don’t Wade Through Downsizing On Your Own

understanding the downsizing process

For years, we have been sharing with seniors and boomers the benefits of downsizing their homes.

Among other things, downsizing from a large house to a more manageable apartment or condominium frees seniors and boomers up to enjoy activities that otherwise are put on the back burner to maintain a home and yard. Downsizing also is a great way to reduce living expenses, providing extra income to support your favorite charities or to travel and see the world. Continue reading

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Don’t Get Burned Online

identity theft protection

Last week, we talked about the benefits of seniors and boomers using social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. This week, we’re going to discuss strategies and tips for enjoying all the Internet has to offer without risking your safety, identity, or financial security.

Identity theft is the fastest-growing crime in America, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Nearly 10 million incidents of identity theft occur each year. The growing amount of data available online has made identity theft, among other forms of cyber crime, easier to accomplish. While the Internet has made it easier, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to protect oneself while online.

One of the best ways to keep your information safe is by using a secure password. The strongest passwords include letters, numbers and symbols and a combination of upper and lowercase letters. An example would be 79SdJk47!2. By using combinations of this nature, it makes it harder for online scammers to guess passwords and hack into your accounts. This includes everything from Facebook to your online banking. It also is important to use different passwords for different online accounts. If you use the same password for every account you access online and someone gains access to it, they can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time. It is also important to change your passwords every so often. Continue reading

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Virtual Reality Isn’t Just for Young Adults

Computer image of virtual reality

Most of the time, when virtual reality is being discussed; it is in relation to gaming and recreation. But there are a number of ways to apply the technology that can be of benefit to today’s seniors and boomers.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over a third of adults aged 65 and older fall each year. Some of those falls result in serious injuries and even deaths. In August 2015, biomedical engineers and clinicians from the University of Arizona began developing a virtual reality device that would reduce the risk of falling for seniors and boomers who have balance and mobility difficulties.  The device includes virtual reality balance training games designed to improve balance and coordination. Continue reading

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Don’t Stress Over Holiday Gift-Giving

gift of conference presentation

The holidays can be a stressful time for many reasons, including when it comes time to figure out what kind of gifts to buy for friends and family.

If someone on your holiday shopping list is thinking about downsizing – or has an aging parent who may need to downsize – consider giving a download of the conference presentation explaining the process. This holiday season, Upside of Downsizing is offering 30 percent off on its DVD collection that is designed to help people gain freedom through downsizing. Continue reading

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Don’t Fall Victim to Common Scams Targeting Seniors

common senior scams

Today’s seniors and boomers were raised during a time when they were taught to be polite and trusting. Sadly, con artists tend to prey on those who are too trusting, thereby making the senior population a prime target for scams and fraud.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, not only is this age group more likely to be a victim of fraud – they also are less likely to report it . Some do not know how to report it and to whom, while others are embarrassed that friends and family will find out they were scammed. Continue reading

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Does Your Industry Fit?

Many industries offer professional help at the Upside of Downsizing conference

What would you say if I told you that over 50 different business and industry professionals play a role in the downsizing process?

From counselors and estate-planning attorneys, to resale stores and massage therapists, there are a lot of hands involved when people make the decision to downsize.

How, exactly, you might ask, does a massage therapist play a role in downsizing? As anyone who has been through the process can tell you, it’s a very physically and emotionally-draining experience. Massage is known for its stress-reducing abilities, so getting a massage before, during or after the process may help to keep your head in the game and stress at bay.

Resale stores often end up with items that downsizers do not wish to take with them for the move, but are too useful to be thrown in the trash. Counselors can help with the emotional aspects of downsizing, while estate-planning attorneys help to ensure your assets are protected.

Photographers and memory-book services also can be involved in the process, helping to capture memories of the home that will be left behind in the process. For many, it is a home in which they raised children or have lived for many years. Continue reading

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