Leaving a Legacy, Instead of Excuses

What is your legacy

How will you be Remembered?

“It pains me to admit it, but apparently, I have passed away.”

So begins the pithy obituary Emily Phillips self-penned, which appeared in the Jacksonville Times Union following her death on March 25, 2015. The obituary goes on to capture the life – and humorous personality – of Mrs. Phillips in a way that let even perfect strangers know that she had lived a well and full life.

Phillips isn’t the only one who was interested in making her obituary read like an adventure novel instead of a death knell. Readers of Mary “Pat” Stocks’ obituary may have found themselves giggling more than crying. “She left behind a hell of a lot of stuff to her daughter and sons who have no idea what to do with it,” it reads just two lines in. The obituary also decries the cause of death as the 94-year-old carrying her oxygen tank up a flight of stairs to get to her bedroom the night before.

James Groth made what can only be described as his final sarcastic comments via his self-penned obituary following his death on July 28, 2015. Among the other things he shares about his life, Groth notes that he died knowing that “Monty Python and the Holy Grail was the best movie ever” and that his regrets were few, “but include eating a rotisserie hot dog from a convenience store in the summer of 2002.” Continue reading

Avoid the Wardrobe Malfunction

Using a wardrobe consultant

Top Tips for Stylish Seniors.

For some seniors and boomers, retirement is all about the ability to do whatever you want, whenever you want, while wearing whatever you want. After years of conforming to the working world – with its stuffy suits and starchy business attire – it can be a welcome relief to pull on a pair of old sweatpants and just hang out.

While it’s true that if you’re just hanging out and relaxing, it doesn’t really matter what you wear, there may be times when you need to wear something a little more formal than your favorite pair of golf shorts. There also may be times when – especially during the downsizing process – that you need to eliminate unneeded or infrequently used items to make room for belongings you will need to take with you to your new home.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Wardrobe Pro

In these and other occasions, a wardrobe consultant can be an invaluable asset. Wardrobe consultants assist their clients with a variety of issues relating to fashion. They can provide clients with suggestions to enhance their appearances and their wardrobes for special events or occasions, or assist clients in improving or downsizing their daily wardrobes. Continue reading

Go the Extra Mile to Protect Your Property

The importance of homeowner insurance

Why Seniors Need Renters or Homeowner Insurance.

As we age, we find ourselves investing in a number of things that provide an extra layer of protection: life insurance, a quality health insurance plan or supplemental insurance to Medicare coverage and even a home alarm system to protect us and our belongings.

But many seniors skip the obvious when it comes to shielding themselves against unexpected expenses – renters or homeowner insurance.

Pros and Cons of Coverage

Whether you own or rent your home, chances are, what would happen if someone was hurt on your property isn’t forefront in your mind. You may think it will never happen to you. And while it is true that not everyone will experience these kinds of unfortunate events in their lifetime, insurance is designed for the “what if” scenarios. Going without adequate coverage is not a gamble that should ever be taken. Continue reading

Safe Senior Driving

Senior driving

Hit the Road or Hand in the Keys?

Ageing is an all-encompassing inevitability. Along with the physical and emotional components of growing older, a number of varied decisions must be made regarding an individual’s safety and quality of life as they age.  With an ever-increasing population of baby boomers aging into the senior category of 65+, the surge of older Americans hitting the road has prompted distressing statistics as in elder drivers being twice as likely to die in car crashes than middle-aged individuals.

Careful Evaluation 

With normal health and physical restrictions due to the aging process, many seniors cling to their ability to drive and refuse to recognize the safety hazards they may pose to themselves and others on the road, outliving their ability to drive safely by 7 to even 10 years. With over 40 million boomers on the road (a 50% increase from 1999) and many of them ill-equipped with the necessary reaction times, eyesight, and physical maneuvers to drive safely, an average of 16 older Americans are killed and 648 are injured each day from car accidents. With these staggering numbers, it is up to physicians, caregivers, rehab care clinic workers, geriatric services, family members, and even seniors themselves to assess their command of the skills required to drive safely. Continue reading

Best Places to Age in Grace

Athens, Georgia - Sean Pavone - Retirement destination options

Tips for Selecting a Retirement Destination.

There are a number of things we must consider when planning for our retirement. Among the most important considerations is our debt obligations, whether we have saved enough to retire comfortably and where we intend to live out our golden years.

While many seniors and boomers downsize in retirement, they tend to focus on the design of the home or the amenities of a retirement community, rather than the location. Failing to consider the location in which you plan to spend your retirement years can end up costing you more in your retirement savings than you had anticipated spending.

Finding a senior-friendly city and state is a crucial component to retirement. Not only will it mean an easier time finding the services you need, but it also will guarantee that your retirement savings will stretch further. There are a number of cost-effective cities, including some where you can live for as little as $100 per day.

Newspapers, magazines and online resources that focus on retirees have all taken a stab at compiling lists of the best places for seniors and boomers to retire. We’ve examined many of those reports, and have compiled our list of the top places for seniors to age in grace. Continue reading

Moving Right Along

One of many mobility options

Exploring Mobility Options for Seniors.

There are many things to which we look forward as we age: the ability to spend less time working and more time with our families having fun; the ability to travel and see new sights; and the freedom to try out new hobbies we’ve never had time to explore.

But there also are some things about aging that can be a hardship, including the loss of our mobility. Whether due to age, illness or injury, loss of mobility can put a crimp in our plans for retirement and beyond. We take for granted the ability to get up and walk across the room – or to stand for longer periods of time – until we find we can no longer do either comfortably or safely.

When this happens, it may be time to explore mobility assistive options such as scooters, walkers and canes. Continue reading

How to Stay Safe While Traveling Solo

Senior woman safely traveling alone

Top Tips for Going it Alone.

For many seniors and boomers, traveling is something to which they are looking forward when they finally retire and have more free time on their hands. Many have a bucket list that includes places they want to see and explore, and some have been saving for years to be able to afford the luxury.

According to the AARP, boomers were the most active travelers in 2016, taking an average of four to five trips per year for leisure. Forty-five percent of seniors and boomers traveled both domestically and internationally last year, and the trend is expected to continue into 2017. The AARP also reports that 62 percent of boomers traveling in 2016 were couples (married or living together) traveling internationally and 74 percent of those were traveling domestically.

But what about single men and women who wish to travel, but don’t have a companion to accompany them? This may pose more of a challenge to senior women than men, as women can face greater obstacles and safety concerns when traveling alone. If you are a single senior woman who wants to travel, there are ways to make your dream a reality. Continue reading

Relocating or Downsizing to Another State?

Relocating to a new home

Top Tips to Make Sure the Move is Stress-Free.

Downsizing for any reason can be a taxing endeavor. There are a number of steps in the process that, if not completed in the right order, can end up causing more stress than necessary. In fact, knowing which steps to take and in which order is one of the informational sessions we present at each one of our Upside of Downsizing conferences.

Sometimes downsizing involves moving, and not just from one residence to another, or from one town to another in your home state. It can involve relocating to an entirely new state, which adds another column of items to your “to do” list. Continue reading

No Longer Safe to be Behind the Wheel?

Senior transportation options

Top Transportation Options for Seniors and Boomers.

Americans are healthier than ever before, resulting in an average life expectancy of 78 years. With many seniors and boomers retiring by age 63 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2016) – and having retirement last an average of 18 years – that’s a lot of time to have free to enjoy the things you want out of life.

While Americans may be healthier and living longer, that doesn’t mean they are capable of continuing to safely drive. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), seniors and boomers are outliving their ability to drive by as much as a decade. While many older drivers recognize when they have conditions that prevent them from safely driving, others may continue to drive out of necessity, especially in areas where public transportation may not be readily available or where including the cost of public transportation doesn’t fit into a tight budget.

Seniors who live close to friends or family members can consider asking them for assistance when they need to make occasional trips to places like the grocery store or a doctor’s appointment. Seniors and boomers who do not live close to friends or family members have other options. Let’s discuss a few of them. Continue reading

Don’t Just Look to the Friendly Skies

seniors who enjoy to travel by car

Top Three Reasons to Consider Driving on Your Next Trip.

Summer soon will be upon us, along with the peak of the travel season. While it is true that people travel for all sorts of reasons year-round, summertime is the peak season for those heading to vacation destinations. According to the U.S. Travel Association, a majority of Americans who take vacations do so during the summer months

When planning a getaway, the method of transportation is a huge factor in your vacation budget. If you are planning a trip that is of considerable distance – say Europe – then flying is really the only viable option for getting to your destination in a timely fashion. But for those individuals who are planning to vacation a little closer to home, driving may be a better option than flying for many reasons. Continue reading

Tired of the Same Old, Same Old?

Shake things up to find enjoyment

Ways to Make Life More Exciting Again.

Retirement is something for which many of us spend years dreaming about and longing. We plot and plan what we are going to do with all our free time once we leave the hustle and bustle of the 9-to-5-life behind.

Then it arrives – and we find ourselves mired in the same old routine all over again. Retirement becomes boring and predictable. Sure, there may be moments of extreme exhilaration. Maybe you have finally planned that trip to Europe; or maybe you signed up for that painting class you’ve always wanted to take.

But what happens during the moments when you’re not taking a big trip, or engaging in a new hobby? Most of us cannot afford to live in the lap of luxury for the entire length of our retirement, regardless of how well we plan. Instead of thinking about the big events, take time to think outside the box, and plan for ways to make every day new and different to maximize your retirement enjoyment. Continue reading

Faded Memories

Seniors dealing with Alzheimer's

How to Downsize with Alzheimer’s in the Mix.

We have said it before, and you will likely hear us say it many more times: downsizing is taxing on the body, mind and spirit. More than just the physical aspects of sorting, donating, discarding and packing, downsizing takes an emotional toll on everyone involved in the process.

The emotional stress of downsizing can be triggered by memories of the items you are sorting, attachment to a home where you may have raised a family and made many memories, and the echoes in the back of your mind whispering that change can be scary, even if you are otherwise looking forward to the next stage in your life.

All the emotions associated with the downsizing process can be complicated further if one of the seniors involved is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Persons with Alzheimer’s disease may already feel anxious or agitated, which can worsen if they are taken from a familiar environment and placed in a new one. So, when downsizing in this kind of situation, there are certain tips and tools that can make the transition smoother for not only the person with Alzheimer’s, but also for others who are involved in the process. Continue reading

Top Tips for Getting into Tip-Top Shape

Seniors staying in shape

How to Achieve Your Best Physical State.

When we retire, we often have a bucket list of items to work through now that we have the time to enjoy life to the fullest. For some, it may be improving their golf swing. For others, it might be about learning how to paint or play a musical instrument.

No matter how you plan to spend your golden years, exercise should be a regular part of it. Numerous studies tout the benefits of exercise as we age. Neuroscientists, psychologists and physicians all agree that exercise is one of the best things you can do for both the body and mind. Studies have shown that regular exercise can reduce the risks of developing Alzheimer’s disease by nearly 50 percent! Not only is it good for the brain, it’s good for the body. Engaging in regular exercise fights obesity and can fight chronic conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Be sure to squeeze in some healthy – and safe – ways to get or stay in shape throughout your senior years. Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore. There are many fun ways to get into tip-top shape, whether you’ve been exercising for years or are just getting around to getting into shape. Continue reading

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

When Size Matters

Senior living community

Tips for Choosing a Senior Living Community.

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, retirement is defined as the act of withdrawing, going away, retreating.

When it comes to the modern definition of retirement – that glorious age where we can shed the 9 to 5 work responsibilities and live our lives to the fullest – some of those words in the traditional definition may apply.

Many seniors and boomers, who have been gainfully employed their entire lives, withdraw from the workforce to spend more time with their families, hobbies and other activities. Some choose to “go away” on trips they’ve always wanted to take, but never had the time to enjoy while working and raising a family. And many retirees “retreat” to senior living communities, where they can engage socially with others their age and get assistance, as needed, as they age.

Retirement communities can be a fabulous experience for seniors and boomers. In previous blogs, we’ve explored the benefits of choosing to downsize and move into a retirement community. To recap, the benefits of choosing a retirement community are numerous: save money on living expenses; save time on household chores; opportunity for social interaction and group social activities; on-site skilled care if needed. Continue reading

Spring Into an Exciting Adventure

Senior couple enjoying outdoor activities

Top 5 Fun Activities for Seniors.

Now that the weather is warmer and Spring is in full bloom, the opportunity is ripe for seniors and boomers to brush off the doldrums of the long winter months and engage in some seasonal activities.

For many seniors and boomers, Springtime is a favorite season. There is nothing quite like the smell of fresh, spring air and the warmth of the sun to lighten the spirits. Seniors who may find it difficult to navigate through the harsh conditions associated with the winter months once again will be able to get outside, socialize and enjoy nature.

Springtime also inspires many seniors to become healthier and more active again, and the weather is more amiable to helping them achieve these goals in the spring than the winter.

The following top 10 fun activities can be enjoyed by all seniors and boomers, whether living in a senior retirement community, an assisted living community or with a family member or caregiver

#1 – Enjoy Nature

Springtime is unique in that many things are blooming. The feeling of life being renewed – of seeing the offspring of animals and trees and plants budding with new life – is a fantastic way to boost the spirits. Seniors who live in a retirement community may have convenient access to a walking trail or other outdoor area right on campus. Continue reading