Transition Thursday: 10 Exceptional Tips for the Average Joe or Jane as You Transition to Retirement

In the article 10 Exceptional Tips for the Average Joe or Jane as You Transition to Retirement, you can discover retirement advice for the average guy, gal or duo:

1. Get the Big Universal Decisions Right. As you transition to retirement, almost everyone will make a lot of critical decisions including: When to stop working? When to start Social Security? Where should you retire? And more…

Be thoughtful about your choices and try out different scenarios – especially if you do not have significant savings. These decisions can have a dramatic impact on your quality of life in retirement:

– Delaying the start of Social Security can add almost $100,000 to your bottom line. Try a break even Social Security calculator to figure out the best time for YOU to start.

– Working a little longer is a triple treat:

1) You earn more income for a longer period of time.
2) You can save more.
3) You can delay tapping existing savings.

– Where will you retire? If you own a home, it could save your retirement. Consider if and how you might tap into your home equity.

2. Tiptoe into Retirement Instead of Jumping Right In. Retiring used to be a big event with parties and gifts and an abrupt end of work and the beginning of a lot of free time. However, these days more and more people are switching to retirement jobs or working part time before they quit the labor force entirely.

Other ways people tiptoe into retirement include:

– Taking a long vacation or sabbatical to recharge instead of retiring.
– Trying out (renting in or spending time at) a retirement destination, before packing up and moving.
– Making sure you can live on the budget you need to stick to in retirement.

3. Think About Passive Income. Passive income is exactly what it says it is — income that you earn without very much effort. The most popular (and perhaps profitable) form of passive income is a real estate investment. However, you don’t necessarily have to be able to afford an apartment building to benefit from passive income.”

Read the rest at 10 Exceptional Tips for the Average Joe or Jane as You Transition to Retirement.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Wellness Wednesday: Baby Boomer Wellness Tips You May Not Have Considered

Baby Boomer Couple in CityIn the article Top 5 Baby Boomer Wellness Tips, author Heather Vuchinich writes about how baby boomers are creating new ways to stay well:

“By modeling a ‘take charge’ attitude, boomers are demonstrating that there are new ways to age and grow older and creating models for future generations. It’s no surprise that this epic generation is revolutionizing our collective approach to the “golden years” and also sinking the majority of the monies spent on wellness in this decade.
Here are 5 tips to adapt in order to adopt the baby boomer mentality:

1. Try something new
Rather than stick with your same old vacation spot, why not choose a destination that is new and unfamiliar? Follow the boomer lead and plan a wellness vacation that includes a one-stop-shop at a wellness resorts.

2. Face your fears head on
Afraid of getting old and sick? Learn how to prevent illness now, instead of waiting until it’s too late. Take a workshop in healthy aging or preventative healthcare. It’s easier to confront difficult issues when you face them head on.

3. Explore the unknown
As we age it can become easy to believe we’ve seen and done it all. Boomers know that there is always something new to learn. Expand your world and investigate the unknown by asking questions and meeting new people. Boomers interest in overseas travel and volunteer work “vacations” (the concept of giving back) stimulates brain cells and keeps aging brains alert and active.”

Read more tips at: Top 5 Baby Boomer Wellness Tips.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Toss It Tuesday – Use the Four Box Method

Donation Box Full of Household GoodsIn the Lifehacker article How to Kick Your Clutter Habit and Live in a Clean House Once and For All, you will discover how to use the Four Box Method to toss out what you no longer need:

“The four box method is just a modified version of keep/donate/toss. Instead of three boxes, you’ll make four: Keep, Sell/Donate, Store, and Trash.

– Keep are items you need or use regularly, and have space for.

– Sell/Donate will go to Goodwill or your favorite charity, or hopefully make you a little money on eBay or Craigslist.

– Trash is junk: papers to be shredded, broken things that you know you’ll never repair, you know the deal.

– Store is the most ambiguous: these are the boxes of things that you can’t part with that don’t play a role in your daily life. They’re to be stored, but only so much that you have available storage space.”

Read more at: How to Kick Your Clutter Habit and Live in a Clean House Once and For All.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Moving Mom Monday: Moving Aging Parents Into Your Home

In the Consumer Reports article Moving aging parents into your home, adult children will find advice on how to handle renovations, taxes, and dealing with your sibs:

“As our parents get older, many of us consider letting them move in with us. But the financial ramifications–including remodeling costs, reduced income, and the tax consequences–are often greater than people anticipate, says Bradley Frigon, an estate-planning attorney in Englewood, Colo. Here are some factors to consider before you extend an invitation:

Home-remodeling needs

If your house or apartment is too small to accommodate a parent, one option is to add space. But the cost can be substantial: A master-suite addition costs $111,245 on average, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2015 Cost vs. Value Report. Even if a major renovation isn’t required, you might need to make changes. For example, doorways should be 36 inches wide to accommodate a wheelchair or walker. Widening them can cost $500 to $5,000, depending on construction needs, says Bill Owens, a builder in Columbus, Ohio, who is a certified aging-in-place specialist, a designation given by the National Association of Home Builders. Or you can install swing-clear hinges, which allow doors to open entirely out of the door frame. Each hinge costs about $20 to $100.

An occupational therapist can assess the way your parent does everyday tasks to recommend renovations that will increase his or her safety. Projects might include additional lighting and adding grab bars. Ask your physician for a referral to an occupational therapist in your area. The average hourly wage is about $38, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Smart adaptions will help an elderly parent live safely in your home, and allow you to remain there as you get older.

Possible reductions in income

If your parent is still healthy, she can help around the house and contribute financially. But if she needs daily assistance and you decide to provide the care yourself, that usually requires taking time from work. For female caregivers 50 and older, the average amount of lost income, Social Security, and pension payments totals about $324,000, according to a 2011 MetLife study. For male caregivers 50 and older, the loss is $284,000.

A home health aide can provide such services as cooking, cleaning, reminding your parent to take medications, and taking him to appointments. They make a median of $20 per hour, according to the 2014 Genworth Cost of Care survey. Your local Area Agency on Aging office can help you find an aide, in-home skilled nursing care, and more.”

Read the rest at Moving aging parents into your home.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Toss It Tuesday – 6 Steps In Dealing With Inherited Clutter

Senior couple packing a miving boxWhen reading the article 6 Steps In Dealing With Inherited Clutter, you will learn that “Decluttering can cause a lot of stress. This stress is magnified when it’s inherited clutter. Pressure can mount when you are faced with the decluttering task of things that are not yours or are left to your care. Why? Because simply, this isn’t your mess! Yet you have to clean it up!”

Here are some tips to make things easier:

1. Itemize Things

Itemizing things can reduce the feeling of overwhelm and keep you moving forward. It allows you to make fast decisions and maintain momentum throughout the task.

For example: Cleaning out the children’s stuff after they have left home

Grab a bunch of boxes and label them with things like:

– School Papers
– College Papers
– Toys
– Games
– Photos
– Clothes
– Music
– Throw
– Donate

As you systematically work through the items, you can toss them into the appropriate box. The benefit is you touch each item once, and once only.

You can easily sort out the Throw and Donate boxes. The other boxes are dropped off to your child, with a big smile and pat on the back for you!

2. Let The Owner Choose

If you are helping someone move home or downsize from a large home to a small home, they’ll probably need to feel in control of the move (even though they’ve asked you to take charge).

To help you and them, set limits or boundaries that can ease the owner into a better mind frame.

For example: Moving a parent into a care facility

Explain things to your parent like:

– Space restrictions
– Need Vs Want Vs Have
– What benefits the new facility offers
– Letting go is all part of taking the next step

3. Take Photos

Often, space restrictions will dictate what stays and what goes. Some items may hold sentimental value, monetary worth, or family history.

Making decisions about what to do with these items can be made easier by taking photos of them.

A beautiful photo display book can be printed up, detailing a history of the items that have been tossed. It’s a lovely keepsake book holding vast memories that will be more valuable and space efficient than the actual items themselves.

For example: Moving from a large home to a small home

Take photos of:

– Rooms, places, spaces that hold significance
– Furniture, toys, belongings that won’t fit in the new place
– The person in their favourite spots. By the garden. In the kitchen. Out the front.”

Read more at: 6 Steps In Dealing With Inherited Clutter.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Moving Mom Monday: Moving to Assisted Living – Your Packing Checklist

Senior Couple with Moving Box

In the article Moving to Assisted Living: Your Packing Checklist, author Paula Spencer Scott provides advice on what to pack when moving to assisted living:

“What to bring? What to leave behind? If you’re moving your parents into assisted living, keep in mind that they’ll still use most of the same sorts of things they’re using now. But it’s important to remember that space is usually limited, so think smaller-scale with fewer items, senior relocation experts say. Focus on what will be used every day, as storage space is limited.”

Here are some ideas:

Furniture

– Bed (rent a comfortable hospital bed, or bring a bed with a familiar mattress)
– Nightstand (ideally with drawers and shelves)
– Seating (small sofa, chairs with arms, rocker; avoid chairs on casters)
– Small table(s) with storage, such as shelves or drawers
– Small kitchen table or drop-leaf table (a standard dining table is usually too big)
– Dresser (second dresser for storage may fit in closet for extra storage; drawers are often easier than hanging everything)

Housewares

– Microwave
– Mini fridge
– Dishes and glasses to use every day (but probably not settings for 10 or 12)
– Pots and pans (large and small pots and frying pans may be sufficient)
– Coffeemaker
– Hot pot
– Mixer
– Nice serving dish (if your loved one likes to cook, there will be entertaining and social opportunities)
– Bedding (two sets sheets, blankets, pillows, comforter — easier than a separate decorative bedspread)
– Bath towels
– Hangers
– Trash can(s)”

Read the rest of the list at Moving to Assisted Living: Your Packing Checklist.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Freedom Friday: Transform Your Hobbies Into New Opportunities

Sunflower in the Sunshine

In the Next Avenue article, Transform Your Hobbies Into New Opportunities, author Debbie Swanson suggests that “adding to your skills can help you make money and friends.”:

“If being in a classroom brings back memories of snoozing in a lecture hall, think again. The world of learning has exploded, with online and in-person classes available for many recreational pursuits. Several hobbies have measured levels of skill and proficiency: the martial arts belt system, certifications in scuba diving, achieving a master level in a pursuit such as gardening, beekeeping or — if you live in Wisconsin — cheesemaking. Adding formal training to your hobbies is not only fun, but may create avenues for side income, enhance your volunteer potential or expand your social circle.”

Here’s how one retiree in South Carolina honed his hobby skills into a new business:

“After retiring at 67 from his career managing textile and equipment manufacturing companies, Buddy May, of Greenville, S.C., delved into his interest in beekeeping. He became a Master Beekeeper with the South Carolina Beekeepers Association, as well as the only EAS (Eastern Apicultural Society) Certified Master Beekeeper in his home state. In 2017, May reached the Master Craftsman level, the highest level of the South Carolina program.

May’s farm produces honey, pollen and blueberries, and he’s active with a weekly farmers’ market. But May is especially stung by the chance to meet people and share his knowledge.

‘I lecture locally, and in other states,’ says May, who has also taught classes at Furman University’s OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) program. ‘It keeps my mind active, and learning more about the gracious insect.’

He’s also been published; May’s buzzy research appeared in the American Bee Journal in 2017 and he has an article coming out in Bee Culture magazine.”

Read more at Transform Your Hobbies Into New Opportunities.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Transition Thursday: 8 Tips from an 80 Year Old Who Has More Savings Now than When He First Retired

In the article 8 Tips from an 80 Year Old Who Has More Savings Now than When He First Retired , author Henry K. “Bud” Hebeler outlines concepts that helped him not only achieve a secure retirement but also be better off now than when he first retired:

Living Life Based on Lessons from the Great Depression. Being brought up in the Great Depression, followed by the war years where national savings rates were almost five times current levels, taught us to live below our means–something that seems to have escaped many today. Younger generations are truly living beyond their means by relying on debt financing of almost everything they buy in hopes that future wages will be able to cover the debt costs.

Bonds and Bond Ladders Were Particularly Good Strategies. One of the odd things I did that was consistent with the professional retirement advice, but not specifically recommended, was to buy Savings Bonds for much of the bond portion. Back then, the Savings I Bonds were paying around 2% to 3% coupon plus whatever was the annual inflation rate. And unlike other bonds, they benefited from both deferred taxes and inflation adjustments.

After I converted my company’s 401(k) to a Roth IRA, I bought laddered Treasury Inflation-Protected (TIPS) so that our bonds would not have any tax, and the laddering was such that a bond matured every year of our retirement, as do our Savings Bonds.

Watch Inflation. Although the majority of our fixed-income has inflation-adjustments, I still expect that in the long run, stocks should produce better returns than bonds in an inflationary environment, and although dividends will be subject to ordinary income tax rates for the funds in taxable accounts, the growth will benefit from lower capital gains rates. Better yet, on death their cost basis will be marked up to the values at death so there will be no capital gains tax.

At the same time our investments were growing due to compounding and lower tax rates, inflation was compounding too, so our investments are worth only half as much now as they were in the year I retired if measured in dollar values at retirement.

Mom and Pop retirement planning over the kitchen table often fails to recognize that inflation compounds and severely restricts spending capability when aged—a time when dental and medical bills grow much larger.”

Read the rest at 8 Tips from an 80 Year Old Who Has More Savings Now than When He First Retired .

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Wellness Wednesday – Serving and Portion Sizes: How Much Should I Eat?

Group of fresh fruits and vegetablesIn the National Institute on Aging article Serving and Portion Sizes: How Much Should I Eat?, emphasizes the importance of eating a variety of foods from each food group that will help you get the nutrients you need. What about portion and serving sizes? Here is an explanation:

“The word ‘serving’ can have different meanings depending on how it is used. A Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Plan serving is how much of each food you should eat to meet the plan’s daily recommendation. (Learn more about serving sizes on the Nutrition Facts label.)

The term ‘portion’ means how much of a single food is actually on your dish—a portion size can vary from meal to meal. For example, one restaurant might serve larger portions than another.”

EXAMPLES OF PORTION SIZES

One cup cooked vegetables, salad, baked potato = baseball

1 to 1½ ounces cheese = four dice

Three ounces of meat or poultry = palm of hand

Read the rest: Serving and Portion Sizes: How Much Should I Eat?.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Toss It Tuesday – Downsizing Tips for Empty-Nesters

Senior couple packing a miving boxIn The Washington Post article Downsizing tips for empty-nesters, authors Hans Wydler and Steve Wydler offer downsizing advice for folks “stuck with a too-big house that no longer meets their needs or fits their lifestyle. Over the years after helping scores of empty-nesters downsize, we’ve found that folks sometimes lose their way during this phase. Here are tips to help keep everyone on track:”

No one loves your stuff as much as you do. The first three things we tell empty-nesters to do to get their home ready for market is to de-clutter, de-clutter, de-clutter. It’s amazing how many things one can accumulate over a lifetime. As we age, we also tend to hold onto things as they connect us with our past. We know first-hand. We lost our dad almost 20 years ago, and to this day, our mom still refuses to throw out any of his belongings. Unfortunately, things that we think are important to our children may not be, and things that we think are disposable may have tremendous intrinsic value to our loved ones.

De-clutter on the front end. If you get something new, throw something old out. One in, one out. If you have too much stuff, change the ratio. For example, if you buy a new shirt, get rid of two or three old ones.

Move when you can, not when you have to. Don’t stay too long. It’s easy to do. You’ve raised your family in a home, and have a lifetime of memories there. It’s a growing trend for empty-nesters to modify their homes — by installing elevators and creating wide spaces to accommodate wheelchairs, for instance – to meet their needs as elderly people. Unfortunately, not every house can be adequately modified. And modifications can’t erase all the unneeded space in the family home. We’ve seen it happen way too often – elderly homeowners start to lose the ability to maintain the house, whether for financial, physical or other age-related reasons. That’s when bad things start to happen.”

Find more ideas: Downsizing tips for empty-nesters.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582