Moving Mom Monday: Should You Move To Be Closer To Your Aging Parents?

Elderly Man with Nurse in Assisted Living Setting

In the Next Avenue article Should You Move to Be Closer to Your Aging Parents?, author Deb Hipp offers the advice that long-distance caregiving is tough, but moving to be near parents is a big step. Consider these realities:

Aging Parents and Unrealistic Expectations. Caregivers who provide unpaid care for at least 21 hours per week report the highest stress of all caregiving groups, according to a 2015 report by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. The typical high-hour caregiver provides care ‘for an average of five years and expects to continue care for another five years,’ the report found.

Moving Won’t Heal Old Wounds. Moving may be acceptable if you have a good relationship with your parents and time and resources to spend with your mom and dad – as long as they’re in favor of the move. However, don’t expect to heal a lifetime of conflict by swooping in to save the day.

You Give Up Your Whole Self. Even though Sara Tapscott knows that she didn’t have the resources and physical ability to move and take on full-time care giving for her parents, she’ll always struggle with her decision.
‘If I had a dollar for every tear I shed in guilt, I could have hired 15 caregivers,’ says Tapscott. She and her sister alternated visits to Des Moines until her mother Mary died in 2004. Tapscott even bought a handicapped-accessible van to transport her dad when she visited. In 2006, she moved Leo into a nursing home in Kansas City near her home. ‘He only lasted three weeks,’ says Tapscott. ‘There’s so much guilt if you don’t do it. But you also realize you give up your whole self to move, and in the long run, I didn’t think my parents would have wanted that. I went back and forth about it until they died,’ says Tapscott. ‘I still do.’”

Read more at Should You Move to Be Closer to Your Aging Parents?.

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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: Should You Apply for Social Security Now or Later?

Part of Social Security Card

In the article Should You Apply for Social Security Now or Later?, author Giancarlo Diaz-Munio writes:

“When it comes to the question of Social Security income, the choice looms large. Should you apply now to get earlier payments? Or wait for a few years to get larger checks?”

Consider this:

How much smaller will your check be if you start receiving benefits at 62? The answer varies. As an example, let’s take someone born in 1955. For this baby boomer, the full retirement age is 66 years and 2 months. If that boomer decides to retire in 2017 at 62, his or her monthly Social Security benefit will be reduced about 26%. That boomer’s spouse would see a 30% reduction in monthly benefits. Should that boomer elect to work past full retirement age, his or her benefit checks will increase by 8.0% for every additional full year spent in the workforce. So, it really may pay to work longer.

Remember the earnings limit. Let’s put our hypothetical baby boomer through another example. Our boomer decides to apply for Social Security at age 62 in 2017, yet stays in the workforce. If he/she earns more than $16,920 in 2017, the Social Security Administration will withhold $1 of every $2 earned over that amount.”

Read more at Should You Apply for Social Security Now or Later?.

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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 a Parent to Assisted Living – 12 Strategies to Ease the Transition

Mother and Daughter at Assisted Living Facility

In the article Moving a Parent to Assisted Living: 12 Strategies to Ease the Transition, author Liz O’Donnell writes that moving a parent, even a willing one, into assisted living, or any senior living facility, is fraught with emotion:

“Your parents may mourn the loss of their younger years, their independence, the home they built. They could be scared about aging, making new friends, finding their way in a new place.

You may be mourning all of those things too. You may second-guess your decision. Did we act too quickly? Overreact? Wait too long? And you will feel guilt. Guilt is inevitable. Know that all of these feelings are normal and don’t need to last forever.”

12 strategies to keep in mind as you make the transition:

1. Give it time. Senior living experts say it typically takes between three and six months for someone to adjust to assisted living. That’s an average. It might be quicker; it may take longer. Stay focused on the reasons you made the decision (safety, health, security, sanity). Keeping the big picture in mind will help you through the rough patches.

2. Visit often, or not for two weeks. Only you know your parent, so only you can decide how best to assist them through the early weeks of the move. Many experts will tell you to visit as often as possible. Frequent visits can ease any stress your parent may have that they will be abandoned or lonely. It might be easier for them to meet people at activities or in the dining room if they have a companion with them. But if your parent is calling you several times a day, staying in their room, and waiting for you to show up and keep them company, you may need to give them some space in order to encourage them to branch out. When I went to college my parents wouldn’t let me come home to visit for the first few weeks. By forcing me to stay at school on the weekends, they forced me to make friends. Tough love – it can work both ways.

3. It takes a village. Mobilize yours. When we first moved my mother into assisted living, my sisters and I could not visit for a week or two. We had been staying with her before the move and needed to get back to work. Plus, our father was in the hospital. So I called my relatives and asked them to visit in our absence. Just as parenting takes a village, so does daughtering.

4. Expect setbacks. Just when you think you are over the hump and your parent is settling in, things will change. They will tell you they are lonely. They will decide they don’t like their new dining hall friends. They will ask to go home. These moments are heart wrenching but knowing that they are normal and that they will pass, can help get you through them.

Read more strategies at Moving a Parent to Assisted Living: 12 Strategies to Ease the Transition.

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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: 7 Simple Ways Baby Boomers Can Catch Up on Retirement Savings

Retirement Savings Jar

In the article 7 Simple Ways Baby Boomers Can Catch Up on Retirement Savings, author Cameron Huddleston writes:

“Listen up, baby boomers. More than half of adults 55 and older have less than $50,000 in retirement savings, and about one-third haven’t even started saving for retirement. That means many of you have a lot of catching up to do before you punch the clock for the last time.

Some boomers are fortunate to have a job with a pension. Those without that guaranteed source of income or any savings will be forced to survive on Social Security benefits or the support of their children. In some cases, baby boomers simply might not be able to retire at all.”

Here are some tips that can help you catch up on retirement savings:

Downsize Before You Retire. Don’t wait to downsize to a smaller home in retirement. Of course, selling your house isn’t the simplest way to catch up on retirement savings, but it can have a big impact on the amount you set aside over the next several years. You might even find that life actually gets simpler after moving.

Limit the Impact of Taxes on Your Retirement Savings Another way to catch up on retirement savings is to spread your money across different types of accounts to reduce the tax hit when you withdraw it. Withdrawals from various types of accounts are taxed at different rates. “Why throw that money away in taxes if you don’t have to?” asked Neal Ringquist, executive vice president of Retirement Clearinghouse, a provider of retirement savings services in Charlotte, N.C.

Delay Your Retirement. Some boomers will find there is only so much catching up they can do. The better option for these folks might be to work a few more years. Delaying retirement offers two benefits. For starters, it gives you more time to build a nest egg. It also reduces the period of time you’ll need to rely on retirement savings.

Find more tips at 7 Simple Ways Baby Boomers Can Catch Up on Retirement Savings.

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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: Why More Baby Boomers Are Moving Back to the Cities

In the article Reverse Migration: How Baby Boomers Are Transforming City Living, author Clare Trapasso writes about how baby boomers are choosing to move back to city living:

“Instead of migrating south en masse to retirement communities in the Sunshine State or the wilds of Arizona, more and more baby boomers—a particularly urban-savvy group of Americans—are moving back to the metro areas they abandoned when they began raising families. And in leaving their suburban homesteads, these empty nesters are redefining the urban centers they now call home. Again.”

Reasons why boomers are choosing city living include:

  • Sick of the suburbs. Tired of maintaining a big house in the boonies.
  • Want convenient transportation
  • Want to be in close proximity to health care providers
  • Want condos with concierge services
  • Want to be close to restaurants, shops, and cultural venues such as museums and theaters

Read the rest at Reverse Migration: How Baby Boomers Are Transforming City Living.

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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: Senior Discounts Aren’t Just for Seniors Anymore

Piggy Bank Sitting on Stack of Money

In the New York Times article Senior Discounts Aren’t Just for Seniors Anymore, author Tammy La Gorce writes:

“Maybe they are embarrassed about their age. Or unaware of the many discount programs for seniors. Or simply thinking about something else.

All are reasons that seniors may not ask for or receive the discounts they qualify for at myriad retailers. After all, a Walgreens cashier can’t be expected to automatically deduct the 20 percent senior discount the chain offers on certain Tuesdays. And many shoppers — particularly those who are just in their 50s, for whom there are fewer offers — aren’t in the habit of asking if a discount is an option.”

Check out:

The Senior List: Find dozens of restaurants where older people can qualify for discounts of 10 percent or more. This includes major chain eateries such as Applebee’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Burger King and Chili’s.

Retired Brains offers more categories of discounts, like apparel, travel, groceries and entertainment. Who knew that baby boomers and others over 62 could get 10 percent off clothing at Banana Republic and 5 percent off at Greyhound? Or that a 55th birthday qualifies purchasers for 10 percent off Best Western hotels and Midas auto services? (Discounts and deals may vary by the individual store or franchise.)

Find additional discount opportunities by reading the rest of Senior Discounts Aren’t Just for Seniors Anymore.

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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: Should Your Parents Consider Moving to Independent Living?

Some seniors feel that moving out of a home they’ve lived in for decades automatically means they’re losing their independence.

But independent living is almost the opposite of that. It’s about making it easier and more fun to live on their own.

What is independent living?

Independent living is housing that’s designed exclusively for people over age 55. It can range from apartments to houses, but they’re all designed to be senior-friendly. This usually means they’re smaller, easier to get around in, and don’t require maintenance or yard work.

Many independent living communities also offer extras, like:

  • Group meals
  • Transportation
  • Housekeeping and laundry service
  • Security and staff available 24/7
  • Recreational centers or clubhouses
  • Organized activities like arts & crafts, holiday parties, classes, movie nights
  • Facilities like a pool, fitness center, tennis court, golf course

Who is independent living right for?

Independent living is a good choice for active, healthy older adults who can get around on their own and don’t need help with activities of daily living.

Most people living in independent living still drive, may be employed, have active lifestyles, and participate in the greater city community.

Seniors might consider independent living because they:

  • Feel that maintaining their house is getting more and more difficult.
  • Have shrinking social circles and are getting lonely.
  • Are having a more difficult time with driving, which limits activities.
  • Have lost a spouse and feel that joining a community of people their own age would help them stay engaged in life and prevent loneliness.
  • Want to move to be closer to their kids, but don’t want to live with them, don’t want the upkeep of a house, and do want to make new friends in their new city.

Read more about the advantages of independent living at DailyCaring.com.

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DAYNA WILSON: 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: 8 Tips for a Happy Retirement Life

Baby Boomer Couple in City

In the article 8 tips for a happy retirement life, author Lee Price writes:

“It’s easy to be worried about retirement when you hear all the discussions about a weak economy or poorly performing investments.

But instead of thinking only about the financial logistics of retirement, have you put much thought into what you want your day-to-day life to be like?

For many people, the idea of giving up work (and for some, their identity) is scary. There’s also the worry of whether you would actually be bored when you’re no longer in the workforce.

The truth is that retirement can be whatever you want it to be. That might mean taking an art class, volunteering for a charity close to your heart, or taking an active role in childcare for the grandkids.”

Here are some tips that can help you create a happy retirement:

It’s not just about the money. Yes it is important to have a financial plan in place for retirement, but it’s not the only thing you should be thinking about. What kind of life do you want for yourself? How do you want to feel? These are also important questions that you should try to answer.

Make some concrete plans. It’s all well and good to say that you want to travel – but why not be specific? Make yourself an action plan with items to tick off by a certain date – it could be a visit to Fiji before your next birthday.

Do what makes you happy. Now is your time to focus on you, so find things to do that are meaningful for you and give you joy. That could mean taking on a course in photography or even getting a pet.

Keep your mind active. If you think you will miss the stimulation of the work environment, you might want to take steps to address this early on. It might be a course to learn French or taking up the guitar.”

Read the rest: 8 tips for a happy retirement life
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DAYNA WILSON: 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 Tips for Seniors

Baby Boomer Couple with Moving Professionals

More than 12 percent of the American population is over the age of 65 and an estimated 1.5 million “senior” Americans will move into new residences this year.

Mayflower has been moving household goods across the country since 1927. The company offers some Moving Tips for Seniors that can help you execute a smooth move:

Take inventory. As soon as you decide to move (even before you put your house on the market), begin taking inventory of everything in your home. Start with the most remote corner of the basement and work your way through the entire house until you reach the peak of the attic.

Will it fit? You will most likely need to scale down the number of belongings you take to your new home. Compare the size of your new space with your old space. Will all of the belongings you plan to take fit? Visualize where your current possessions will go and then decide what to do with those pieces that probably will not fit.

Declutter your curio. Inevitably, many of us gather considerable collections over the years, some of which can be distributed among family or sold for supplemental moving funds. Ask family and friends about taking sentimental pieces and then consider selling or donating additional items to cut moving costs.

Keep emotions in check. The emotional impact of changing one’s lifestyle, parting with objects from the past and going through a house full of belongings — and memories — is hard work, both mentally and physically. Make sure there is enough time allotted to review possessions and to adjust to the idea of moving. Realistic decisions also need to be made regarding how much packing and moving should be done without the help of a professional.”

Read more Moving Tips for Seniors.

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DAYNA WILSON: 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: 10 Popular Baby Boomer Activities

Baby boomer senior couple in front of RV

In her article 10 Popular Baby Boomer Activities, author Marianne Spoon writes:

“Baby boomers have adopted attitudes and lifestyles unlike any previous generation. The 78 million diverse Americans born between 1946 and 1964 enjoy a variety of activities, ranging from aerobics and workouts to quality time with their favorite rock ‘n’ roll albums.”

Aging baby boomers are unlikely to settle for your typical bingo night. So which pastimes appeal to the generation of bell bottoms and Beatlemania? What are popular baby boomer activities?

Spooner continues:

Active lifestyle is very important. Boomers participate in a mix of solitary and group activities such as tennis, golf, jogging, walking and aerobic exercise, to name a few. Because baby boomers were the first to be targeted by health advertisers on TV, it’s not surprising that they take their well-being seriously. But the generation is also known to take exercise to the extreme. Coined “Boomeritis,” many active boomers are breaking their aging bodies by overdoing it. As a result, hip and knee replacements are on the rise for individuals between the ages of 40 and 60, but doctors are unsure of whether the procedures will withstand boomers’ active lifestyles.

Many plan to continue working well after 65. Activities surrounding switching career paths or trying something new are likely to become more popular as baby boomers age. According to one industry survey, baby boomers reported wanting to switch to professions such as consulting and teaching, where they can use their experiences to help and guide others. Some even reported wanting to be tour guides, leading leisurely trips through tourist spots.

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) is very popular. Baby boomers’ independence and innovation leads them to activities to do on their own. This is why home improvement projects and do-it-yourself endeavors are popular among the group. Improving quality of home makes sense for boomers looking to stick with their current residence as they age.”

Read the rest: 10 Popular Baby Boomer Activities

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DAYNA WILSON: 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