Articles Posted in Aging

person-731423_640-300x200“Over 30 years ago, researchers and geriatricians identified an “elder orphan” (sometimes called a “solo ager”), as a person aging alone with little support.”

Little is known about “elder orphans,” people who don’t have parents, a spouse or family members. Decades ago, when families stayed closer to each other, a single or widowed person would remain connected to the extended family throughout their lives. However, today, as reported in Next Avenue’s insightful article titled “Identifying the Unique Challenges of Solo Agers,” many without families lack support and their needs are different than others aging at home. Continue reading

MP900442402-300x200“Losing one’s spouse is one of life’s most difficult and overwhelming experiences. Claiming Social Security survivor benefits apparently ranks as a close second, based on a frantic phone call I received from a close friend this week.”

A friend who was unexpectedly widowed, when her husband died at age 44 of a massive heart attack, was left with a toddler, a teenager, too little life insurance and household income that had been cut in half. She managed, as reported in Investment News’ article “Inaccurate info from Social Security Administration a challenge for widows,” in part thanks to Social Security. Continue reading

thinking-about-the-time-1316649-640x480-300x225“While a longer life is a good thing, it will also present challenges – and unfortunately, sometimes financial predators.”

The prospect of a long, healthy and active life is a wonderful thing to consider. However, one in 10 seniors have suffered financial abuse, according to The Kansas City Star’s article “Five ways to avoid elder financial abuse.” The grandson of Brooke Astor spoke at a conference about how his grandmother’s last years were spent living in squalor, as a result of her son and guardian stealing from the estate and cutting the amount of money available for her care. The grandson and his brother sued their father to protect their beloved grandmother, a leading philanthropist and one of New York’s high-profile society figures.

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old-people-couple-together-connected-300x198“If you’re part of a married couple, it’s highly likely that one of you will become a widow or widower at some point. Married couples can ‘show each other the love’ by planning for this inevitability.”

If it’s any comfort, there are now some 20 million widows and widowers in America, according to a study from Merrill Lynch and Age Wave that focuses on widowhood, as reported by CBS News’ Moneywatch in “A retirement planning must-do for married couples.” The study, “Widowhood: The Loss Couples Rarely Plan for—and Should” takes a detailed look at what happens, when the first spouse dies. Continue reading

accessory-adult-aged-1251174-300x251“Workers aren’t the only ones who need to double-check that they’re withholding sufficient taxes. The IRS is warning retirees to ensure they’re paying enough federal income tax.”

The IRS embarked on a big awareness campaign since the summer, telling taxpayers they should review and update their withholding numbers at work to ensure that they are paying enough federal income tax. But they’re not the only ones who should be checking their numbers, reports CNBC in the article “The IRS is warning retirees of this impending surprise tax.” Retirees who fail to update withholding from pensions or annuities may be in for a surprise, and it won’t be a good one. Continue reading

heartbeat-163709_640-300x169“An advance directive comes up frequently in conversations about health care decision-making, as people age. Their purpose is to provide written instructions for medical care, in instances where a patient is unable to communicate them herself.”

An advance directive is a legal document that states a person’s preferences for medical treatment and medical decision-making, reports Valley News in an informative article titled “Advance Directives Provide Clear Guidance for Care.” Continue reading

hand-2906456_640-300x223Aging in place is what most people hope for as they enter their 60s and 70s.  However, to make it a reality, there is a need to plan, according to the article “BBB On Homes: Focus on several things when aging in place,” from LMTonline.com. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define aging in place, as the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently and comfortably regardless of age, income or ability level.

Changes in health or finances don’t always allow this to happen. Here are four things to keep in mind, when considering whether you or a parent will be able to remain at home: Continue reading

investment-3247252_640-300x200“Most Americans enter retirement age with access to Social Security benefits. Many people also have Individual Retirement Accounts, including those that were funded by transferring money from workplace 401(k) plans.”

One trick to a successful retirement is to make your Social Security benefits coordinate optimally with your Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), says AZ Central in the article “Retirement planning: Connecting the dots between Social Security and IRAs.”

Not everyone takes a step back to think this way.  However, it is a smart thing to do. With proper planning, your retirement could lead to better results for your investments and a better decision on when to take Social Security benefits. Continue reading

hands-walking-stick-elderly-old-person-300x200When you don’t have kids or close family members, making decisions about an assisted living facility can be lonely and daunting, often leading people to delay planning. For many people, says Financial Planning in a recent article “Planning challenge: aging clients, no kids, assisted living required,” just the thought of moving into an assisted living facility, means they are entering a dark tunnel or, as some say, heading into God’s waiting room.

The challenge is often the same for people whose adult children live far away or those who are not involved with their family. In coming decades, more Americans will find themselves in a similar situation, according to a 2013 study by AARP’s Public Policy Institute. Continue reading

dependent-dementia-woman-old-70578-300x225A Jamaica man was charged with tricking his 101-year-old neighbor into handing over the deed to his house last week. A trio of Maspeth thieves pleaded guilty to posing as grandchildren and even recruiting kids to rob senior citizens’ homes in July. In Flushing, a man allegedly begged an elderly victim to wire him $41,000 to post non-existent bail in the Dominican Republic. These are just three out of many elder abuse cases that have made their way to the Queens (New York) County Criminal Court in recent weeks, reports the Queens Daily Eagle in its article “Nuanced Directives, Power of Attorney Can Stem Elder Abuse.” These cases of elder abuse, fraud, and predation are reflective of a far larger problem. Continue reading