*May 2018 Articles*
Signs That It’s Time for a Senior to
Move to Assisted Living
Few people are keen on moving from their homes to senior living communities. However, in some cases, this move is the best option for keeping an aging loved one safe and mentally and physical healthy.
So, when is the right time to consider this move? Timing a transition to senior living can be tricky because it is highly personalized. It depends on how well your loved one is faring in their current home, their present health status, and their future medical and personal needs.
The following questions can help you determine if an aging loved one may be a candidate for assisted living:
Is the senior eating healthy, balanced meals regularly?
Is there fresh, nutritious food in their refrigerator and pantry that is not expired?
Is the senior capable of getting around safely? Look for unexplained bruises or minor injuries that may indicate they have been falling or having accidents recently.
Are they wearing fresh, clean clothing each time you visit?
Can they bathe themselves, groom adequately, and launder their clothes, towels and linens?
When you look around the house or yard, is it as neat and clean as it used to be?
Is the senior remembering to take their medications correctly, with the right dosages and at the right time? Warning signs include hospitalizations, stockpiled or expired medications, and pill boxes that are not current.
Are they able to operate household appliances safely?
Do they remember to turn kitchen appliances off when they are finished cooking?
Is the home equipped with safety features and modifications for aging in place, such as grab bars and an emergency response system?
Do they have a plan in place to summon help in case of an emergency?
If they are still driving, are they doing so safely? Red flags include an increase in accidents and new dents or scratches on their vehicle. If they are no longer driving, do they have alternate means of transportation?
Are they paying their bills on time and opening and disposing of mail in a timely manner? Look for stacks of mail, unpaid bills and past-due notices.
Do they have friends, family or acquaintances whom they interact with regularly?
Does the senior engage in any hobbies or activities that they enjoy?
When you really look at this person, are they still active and vibrant like they were years ago, or do you see a more limited person who needs added help around the house and with their personal care needs?
If the answer to most of these questions is “no” or you are noticing some of the red flags listed above, then it may be time to begin researching local assisted living communities. Requesting a needs assessment through your local Area Agency on Aging will help you determine if your loved one is a good fit for assisted living, or if a lower level of care (independent living community) or higher level (skilled nursing or memory care) may be appropriate.
Making the decision to move a senior into assisted living is difficult, but transitions are usually smoother when they happen sooner rather than later. This move may help keep your elderly loved one healthier, safer and perhaps even happier. After an initial adjustment period, many seniors find that they truly appreciate the higher level of support as well as the added opportunities for socialization, dining and activities. Furthermore, it means that there is a plan of care in place, which eases pressure on family members to provide ongoing hands-on care.
By: Marlo Sollitto, agingcare.com
10 Reasons You Should Claim
Social Security Early
Your retirement planning likely includes getting income from the Social Security Administration, but when you start collecting Social Security benefits can have a big impact on your planning. The earliest you can collect is age 62, but you’ll get more money if you delay your benefits past your initial Social Security eligibility. If you wait until after your full retirement age (somewhere between 65 and 67) to start collecting Social Security you can earn delayed retirement credits, which will increase your benefits even more.
You might think that waiting for bigger benefits is better, but that’s not always the case. There is no definitive answer to when you should collect Social Security benefits, and taking them as soon as you hit the early retirement age of 62 might be the best financial move.
1. You’re Planning Your End-of-Life Care
Your Social Security benefits stop paying at your death, so if you die prior to collecting benefits, you’ll have missed out on benefits entirely. You need to figure out how to maximize your Social Security income, instead. For example, say you’re planning to wait until age 70 so you can claim the larger monthly benefit. If you die right before your 70th birthday, you won’t receive any benefits. It’s very difficult to predict how long you’ll live, especially if you’re in good health now. However, if you are suffering from a terminal or serious illness, the increased monthly benefit for delaying Social Security might not be worth it.
2. You Have a Shorter Life Expectancy
The government incentivizes waiting to collect your Social Security benefits by giving you a larger monthly amount the longer you delay. For example, if you start collecting benefits at age 62 when your full retirement age is 66, your monthly benefit will be about 75 percent of your full-age benefit. So if you expected your monthly benefit to be $1,000 per month at 66, you would only receive around $750 at 62.
Although a larger monthly benefit might sound great, keep in mind that you’d have to wait four years to get that extra $250 per month. You would receive $36,000 during those four years at the reduced amount of $750 per month.
When you start collecting $1,000 at age 66, that extra $250 per month won’t let you break even for 12 years compared to collecting early. If your health is declining and you don’t expect to live until you’re 78, you’ll receive more in benefits during your lifetime if you start claiming as soon as possible.
3. You Need to Pay Down Debt
There are some debts you need to tackle before you retire. If you have high-interest debt, claiming Social Security early can help you pay the debt down. Depending on the interest rate you’re paying, the 8 percent yearly boost to your benefits that you receive for each year you wait past full retirement age might not be worth the increased monthly benefit. Using the early benefits to reduce or eliminate your debt earlier could mean you’ll be able to keep more of your benefits in the future.
4. You Can’t Work Anymore
Even the best retirement financial plans and projections can go awry. For example, you might have planned on working until you’re 70 so you could maximize your retirement benefits. If you get laid off at 62, however, and have difficulty finding another job, you might need to start taking your benefits just to get by.
Additionally, continuing to work in your industry simply might not be possible or healthy for you later in life. If your job requires manual labor, you might decide the risk of injury or other damage to your health isn’t worth continuing to work. In this case, the healthier lifestyle you’ll get by retiring early could outweigh the smaller monthly Social Security benefit.
5. You’re Only Working Part-Time
If you claim Social Security prior to your full retirement age while still holding down a part-time job, you might have your benefits reduced if your work income exceeds the annual limit. For 2018, if you are under full retirement age, your benefits go down by $1 for every $2 your income exceeds $17,040. If you reach full retirement age in 2018, your benefits go down by $1 for every $3 your income exceeds $45,360 prior to reaching full retirement age. If you’re working part-time to help make ends meet, taking Social Security at 62 might make sense.
6. No One Else Is Relying on Your Benefits
In the event of your death, a surviving spouse, minor or disabled child can receive money from the Social Security Administration based on the amount of your benefits. For example, a surviving spouse can receive between 71.5 percent and 100 percent of your benefit amount, depending on the surviving spouse’s age. A disabled child can receive 75 percent of your benefits each month even after you’re gone.
If no one else can qualify for benefits based on your record, you might want to retire early because no one is depending on that money. If everything else falls into place and you meet the minimum Social Security retirement age, consider collecting your benefits early and enjoying life.
7. You Already Have Your 35 Highest-Earning Years
Your Social Security benefits are based on your earnings in the 35 years that you had the most compensation. If you’re in your peak earning years, you could boost your benefits if you keep working a few more years and delaying your benefits. However, if you aren’t going to increase your average earnings, such as if you’re only working part-time or you’ve had to retire early, you won’t miss out on the chance to boost your benefits with higher earning years. However, you’ll still receive a smaller benefit for not waiting until full retirement age.
8. You Expect Your Investments to Grow Faster Than the Increased Benefit
If you’re the next Warren Buffet, it’s possible you could do better taking Social Security early and investing the money than you could by waiting to take a larger benefit later. When weighing the best decision, consider the inflation rate, the rate your benefits increase and how much you can expect to earn in your portfolio. Given that benefits increase by 8 percent per year for each year you wait after full retirement age, however, it’s hard to outperform that rate of increase in the market. These safe investments do have high returns.
9. You Want to Start a Business
Some people think of retirement as a time to relax, but you might see it as an opportunity to do things you couldn’t do before, such as starting your own business. For example, you might have put off starting a business before because you were afraid you wouldn’t be generating enough income. Social Security benefits could provide enough income to let you launch your business. And if your business is successful, the income it generates could be more than enough to offset the future reduction in benefits.
10. You’re Concerned Social Security Will Disappear
Some people are concerned about potential Social Security changes in the future, such as higher retirement ages, lower benefits or higher taxes on benefits. As a result, they want to take the sure thing as soon as possible. In a 2017 Social Security summary, the government said Social Security trust funds will be depleted in 2034. Even then, however, annual Social Security taxes are projected to keep benefits at almost three-fourths of current levels.
By: Michael Keenan, gobankingrates.com
How One Welsh farmer's Daffodil Crop Could Help Thousands of People with Dementia
Daffodils are not only beautiful flowers and a fitting symbol of spring, but may also hold the key to the fight against dementia.
A Welsh sheep farmer is growing daffodils that contain unusually high levels of galantamine, a compound which is known to slow the progress of Alzheimer's disease.
In fact, Kevin Stephens’ flowers could be used to help more than 225,000 patients who suffer from the degenerative disease.
Experts believe Kevin’s bloom, grown in the Black Mountains in Wales, contain a higher amount of galantamine than normal due to their altitude at 1,200ft. Due to the harsh conditions in which they are grown, more of the compound is created than in regular species.
The farmer extracts and stores his supply of the compound from the daffodil’s leaves and is hoping a drug company will buy it for use in Alzheimer’s drugs. In 2012, he created Agroceutical, a bio-research firm with a licence to annually produce 40kg of the compound in powder and crystal form.
After six years of harvesting the flowers, Kevin produces enough galantamine to help 9,000 Alzheimer's patients receive their daily dose of the drug, which works by adjusting levels of an essential chemical in the brain.
But he is hoping for a £2 million investment to increase the scale of production, enough for 225,000 Alzheimer's patients, he claims.
“Within a few years we could have very significant quantities of galantamine and actually make a positive difference to the world,” Mr Stephens told Mail Online.
“Galantamine causes the opposite enzyme imbalance in the brain, therefore if you get the galantamine dosage right you can restore the equilibrium of the enzymes in the brain, stop the plaques forming and delay the neuron damage.”
Agroceutical has already worked with researchers at Bangor and Aberystwyth universities, the Government body Innovate UK, and is now aiding DEFRA research on the impact of high altitudes on the production of galantamine.
With around 850,000 people suffering from dementia in the UK, this news may be a positive step towards fighting dementia.
Dr Aoife Kiely, research communications officer at Alzheimer’s Society, told Mail Online that research has shown the effect of galantamine on the brain to be small but positive in treating Alzheimer’s by easing symptoms.
By: Katie Avis-Riordan, countryliving.com
15 In-Demand Jobs for Seniors
Many older workers move into a new job before retiring. This position might pay less than they earned at the financial peak of their career, but can be personally fulfilling and provide opportunities to socialize or help others. Landing a new job in your 60s or later can be a challenge, but there are a few industries and occupations that tend to employ older workers
1. Teaching in Retirement
Retirees looking to take on a new challenge and make a difference in their community often initiate a second career teaching. The occupation is particularly popular among women who launch second careers at age 62 or older (10.3 percent), but 3 percent of older men have also entered the field, the Urban Institute found. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 7 to 8 percent increase in teacher jobs by 2026. Pay varies considerably by state, but the national median salary is $59,170 at the high school level and $56,900 at elementary schools.
2. College Instructor Jobs
Baby boomers with advanced degrees and decades of work experience in their field can often find a retirement job as a college instructor at a university, professional school or community college. Some 4.1 percent of men and 1.4 percent of women took on jobs as postsecondary teachers at age 62 or older, the Urban Institute found. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting a 15 percent increase in postsecondary teacher positions by 2026. The median salary is $76,000 per year.
3. Administrative Assistant Roles for Seniors
Retirees who miss the buzzing activity of an office can work full or part time as an administrative assistant. It’s particularly common for women to take on office roles in retirement, including as secretaries and administrative assistants (5.9 percent), receptionists and information clerks (3.7 percent), office clerks (2.3 percent) and bookkeeping and accounting clerks (1.9 percent). While these positions generally require a commute to the office, you might be able to work from home as a virtual assistant. The pay is a bit better for supervisors of office and administrative workers, a position 1.2 percent of newly hired older women take on.
4. Nursing Jobs in Retirement
Many women find jobs providing care to others as personal care aides (5.2 percent), registered nurses (4.6 percent) and home health aides (2.8 percent). The pay is best for registered nurses, who earn a median of $70,000 per year, and over the next decade, a 15 percent increase in nursing positions is expected. Registered nurses typically need a bachelor’s degree and must be licensed. The demand for home health aides and personal care aides is expected to grow even faster as the elderly population grows, but less education is required and the hourly wage is much lower.
5. A Second Career as a Real Estate Agent
Many retirees launch second careers as real estate brokers and sales agents who help clients buy, sell and rent properties. The median salary of real estate brokers ($56,730) is higher than that for real estate sales agents ($45,990), who are required to work with a real estate broker. Most real estate agents are self-employed, which means they set their own hours, but might be subject to the schedule of clients. Many older women also find roles as property, real estate and community association managers (3.8 percent), which pays a median of $58,670. Some 32,600 new property, real estate and community association manager positions are expected to be created over the next decade.
6. Sales Jobs for Retirees
Retirees looking to get out of the house and chat with customers might be able to find a satisfying position in sales. Over 3 percent of men and women find new positions at 62 or older as retail salespeople and another 2 percent work as supervisors of retail sales workers. The median pay is $23,370 per year, and part-time schedules are common. Many men find jobs as wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives, which pays much better at $60,340 per year, with those selling technical and scientific products earning even more. Other common sales occupations for older employees include cashiers and product promoters.
7. Driver Jobs for Retirees
If you know your way around town, you may be able to supplement your retirement income with a driving job. Many men find jobs as drivers at age 62 or older. Driving options include delivery workers, truck drivers, taxi drivers, chauffeurs and bus drivers. Among these occupations, bus drivers earn the most, with a median salary of $33,010, compared to $24,880 for taxi drivers. Driving jobs might require irregular hours, including evening and weekend work, but some people have a regular route with more steady pay.
8. Joining the Clergy in Retirement
Retirees often lose ties with their work community, and this creates an opportunity to get more involved in your spiritual community. Many men (1.7 percent) enter the clergy at age 62 or older, the Urban Institute found. Clergy jobs pay a median wage of $47,100 per year, and are expected to grow by 8 percent over the next decade. Members of the clergy might promote religious education and provide counseling, guidance or services to members of the congregation. A bachelor’s degree is common, but education requirements vary by position.
9. Providing Child Care in Retirement
Child care workers get to witness childhood delights, such as playing with bubbles or learning to talk. But they are also responsible for the daily dressing, bathing and feeding of small children who aren’t always rational. About 3.4 percent of women age 62 and older take positions caring for children. The pay is a low at $22,290 per year, but you do have an opportunity to play a significant role in a child’s life.
10. Taking on a Management Role Before Retirement
Some people move into roles with more responsibility in the years leading up to retirement. Many men age 62 and older shift into new positions as managers (1.6 percent) or chief executives (1.1 percent), the Urban Institute found. Top executives often earn six-figure salaries and the compensation package might also include stock options and performance bonuses, but pay and perks can vary considerably based on the size of the company. Long hours and travel are often required, and the position can be stressful because managers are often responsible for the performance of a department or entire business.
11. Use Your Experience as a Management Consultant
Management consultants are called upon to analyze a problem and propose ways to make a company more profitable. The median pay is $82,450 per year, and the field is expected to grow by 14 percent over the next eight years. Consultants with experience reducing costs or making organizations more efficient may be particularly sought after, and many consultants earn six-figure salaries and have the potential to earn bonuses. Many analysts work more than 40 hours per week, often under tight deadlines, and must travel to meet with clients or conduct on-site evaluations. Self-employed consultants might be paid by the project or the hour.
12. Financial Services Jobs for Seniors
Financial managers track the financial health of a company and help direct the financial strategy. The median salary is $125,080 per year, and a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of experience in another financial occupation are often required. Many older workers also find new positions as accountants and auditors, where the median pay is $69,350 per year. Those who want to work seasonally may be able to serve as tax preparers during tax season.
13. Become a Writer in Retirement
Whether it’s sharing what you’ve learned on the job or exploring your creative side, many people take on writing jobs in their 60s or older. A bachelor’s degree is often required for full-time jobs, but there are also opportunities to freelance or work on a project basis. Writers might work independently on a book, take assignments from a newspaper or become an entrepreneur who starts a blog. Writers and authors need to be able to brainstorm ideas and communicate clearly and effectively, sometimes on a tight deadline.
14. Engineering Positions for Older Workers
Electrical and electronic engineers design and test new technologies, such as communications systems and GPS devices. They may also supervise the production of electronic equipment or troubleshoot problems. Engineers generally need at least a bachelor’s degree as well as some practical experience. Excellent math skills and the ability to apply them to new devices is helpful. Many electronic engineers (18 percent) work in the telecommunications industry. The median salary is $97,970 per year.
15. Musician Gigs for Seniors
Retirement can be a time to rediscover musical talents you set aside while working and raising a family. Some retirees find part-time jobs as musicians and singers. The median hourly wage for musicians and singers is $26.96, but pay varies based on the job. Musicians might perform solo or as a group at weddings, parties or bars. Marketing might be required to get gigs. Some musicians write and record their own music, while others play existing songs. Musicians might also provide music lessons to children or adults.
By: Emily Brandon, msn.com
- Senior Resource Center, Inc. (SRC) is not a law firm, but is affiliated with Falco & Associates, P.C. SRC provides a legal overview of potential legal issues and may make a referral to Falco & Associates, P.C. or a law firm of the individual’s choice if legal work is necessary. Services provided by SRC are not legal services and the protections of the lawyer-client relationship do not exist with regards to these services.
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