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?.

===

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 – 8 Ways for Baby Boomers to Maintain Their Agility

Baby Boomer Couple MeditatingIn the US News & World Report slideshow 8 Ways for Baby Boomers to Maintain Their Agility, author Ruben Castaneda shares eight agility-maintaining strategies for baby boomers:

Get up. To improve your circulation and avoid stiffness, get up from your desk and take a short walk every hour.

Stretch gently. If you have a problem area, such as a tight Achilles tendon or hamstring, stretch in the morning after a warm shower, before you play a sport and again after to avoid post-activity tightness.

Walk efficiently. As you walk, keep your weight striking near the middle part of the heel, crossing the arch of your foot and continuing to your big toe. This also improves agility.

Sit correctly. If you have to sit on soft furniture, sit on your sitting bones, also known as sit bones or sitz bones. To find your sit bones, take a firm kitchen or dining room chair, slide you hands under your posterior with the palms up. The bony bits you feel are your sitting bones.

Discover more advice at 8 Ways for Baby Boomers to Maintain Their Agility.

===

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.

===

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 – Ways to Age Well

Baby Boomer Couple on BicyclesIn the US News & World Report article Boomers, You Can Do Better Managing Your Health, author Samantha Costa writes that when it comes to health, Boomers shouldn’t wait until something goes wrong:

“The chronic conditions that pose the greatest risk for death among baby boomers are stroke, lung disease, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes, according to the CDC. And many of those cases could be prevented: ‘Ninety percent of health is not what happens in the doctor’s office,’ says Jim Firman, president and CEO of the National Council on Aging. ‘It’s what people do or don’t do in their everyday life.'”

Here are some ways to age well:

Regular checkups. ‘It can be discomforting to go to the doctor,’ says Dr. Bernard Kaminetsky, medical director and founding physician for MDVIP. ‘People often don’t want to confront a problem until it’s obvious and hitting them in the face. Ignorance is bliss. Who wants to deal with the responsibility of having a chronic illness?’ Kaminetsky says this element of denial affects many boomers who have otherwise been healthy their entire lives. But it’s still important to make that appointment, says Dr. Marie A. Bernard, deputy director of the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health. ‘You should certainly see a health care practitioner on a regular basis to get preventive health interventions,’ she adds.

2. Exercise every day. Exercising is almost always a barrier for older adults, especially if they haven’t been exercising their entire lives. The idea of starting in your 50s and 60s can be difficult. ‘We all know what we should do. We know that we should exercise more. However, what we learned about exercise in high school isn’t appropriate now,’ Firman says.

The National Council on Aging’s Go4Life program offers older adults ways to safely exercise – from the most basic stretches to jogging. The group encourages four basic categories of exercise: endurance, strength, balance and flexibility. Endurance activities include brisk walking or jogging, yard work such as mowing or raking the lawn and dancing. Strengthening exercises such as lifting weights, using a resistance band and using body weight to make muscles stronger are outlined in easy how-to guides. For better balance, try standing on one foot, walking heel-to-toe or practicing tai chi. Between these exercises, make sure to stretch the shoulders, upper arms and calves. Aim to spend at least 30 minutes doing moderate exercise five days a week, Firman says.”

Discover more advice at Boomers, You Can Do Better Managing Your Health.

===

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.

===

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 – 9 Tips For Getting a Better Night’s Sleep

Older Man Having Trouble Falling Asleep

We’ve all been there: you’re lying in bed at night, wishing you could fall asleep, but you’re wide awake. Or you wake up in the middle of the night and lie there for hours tossing and turning, wondering why sleep eludes you.

An occasional sleepless night is one thing. But chronic insomnia is a serious issue that can impact your quality of life and even put you in danger. After all, when you’re tired you’re much more likely to make a careless mistake that could lead to a fall or accident.

Insomnia can strike at any age, but seniors are more likely to have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep all night. Why is that?

In the article Elderly Insomnia: Causes and Treatment Tips, you will discover the common causes of insomnia in the elderly, along with nine tips to help you get a better night’s sleep.

These tips include:

1. Stick to a regular routine. Try to go to bed and get up at approximately the same time every day. This will help tell your body when it’s time to sleep.

2. Set the stage at bedtime. When you’re getting ready to wind down for the night, lower the lights a little, play some soft music, take a relaxing warm bath or shower, or do something else that will relax you. Establish a regular, calming bedtime ritual that works for you. This way, when it’s time for lights out, your relaxed state will make it easier to fall asleep.

3. Turn off the TV. Avoid watching television or spending time on the computer later in the evening. These can stimulate your brain and make it more difficult to get to sleep.

4. Create the right sleeping environment. A dark, quiet, cool bedroom will help you get to sleep and stay that way.

5. Cut out the caffeine. You may enjoy having a cup of coffee or two in the morning to start your day, but if you continue drinking coffee or other caffeinated drinks later in the day, they can keep you wired well into the night. A good rule of thumb is to avoid caffeine for at least three hours before you plan to go to bed. The same goes for other stimulants like nicotine.

6. Limit alcohol. Sure a glass of wine or a cocktail may make you feel drowsy at first. But alcohol can actually interfere with your sleep cycles, making it more likely that you’ll wake up during the night.”

Discover more tips at Elderly Insomnia: Causes and Treatment Tips.

===

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: 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
===

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

Wellness Wednesday – What Kinds of Foods Do I Need to Eat as I Age?

Group of fresh fruits and vegetables

Adults over the age of 50 have different dietary needs from those of younger adults.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has published Health Tips for Older Adults, a web-based publication that offers tips on health and wellness for older adults.

According to NIH, “When you get older, your body begins to need fewer calories, but you need just as many nutrients. Nutrient-dense foods pack a lot of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your body needs into a small amount of calories.

Eat more of these nutrient-dense foods

Older adults, along with other Americans, are advised to “eat from the rainbow” of foods rich in nutrients, like these:

– fruits and vegetables (choose a range of types with vibrant colors)
– whole grains, like oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, and brown rice
– fat-free or low-fat milk and cheese, or soy or rice milk that is fortified with vitamin D and calcium
– seafood, lean meats, poultry, and eggs
– beans, nuts, and seeds

Eat less of these foods

Some foods have many calories but offer few nutrients. Older adults should eat less of these foods:

– sugar-sweetened drinks and desserts that have added sugars
– foods with butter, shortening, or other fats that are solid at room temperature
– white bread, rice, and pasta made from refined grains.”

Discover more tips at Health Tips for Older Adults.

===

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

===

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

Wellness Wednesday – A Baby Boomer’s Guide to a Five Star Retirement

Baby Boomers in Exercise Class

Bluebird Care, an Irish home care company, has published an infographic called A Baby Boomer’s Guide to a Five Star Retirement that offers tips on health and wellness, financial readiness, travel and culture, community service and personal development.

Here are five wellness tips:

1. Stay fit. Building as little as 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise is heart healthy and adds stamina and vigor.

2. Fitness activities that are aerobic and can be done with low impact on body joints are best. Consider swimming, cycling and yoga to keep in shape.

3. Don’t neglect exercises for the brain. Studies have shown that activities like crossword puzzles, sudoku and even reading the newspaper daily help keep the mind sharp and agile.

4. For some people, body parts do wear out. If this is the case, discuss alternatives with a GP. Knee and hip replacements are on the rise and helping older persons maintain an active lifestyle.

5. Eat wisely, but eat well. Focus on nutrient rich foods instead of supplemental vitamins. Be mindful of portion sizes and exercise moderation in alcohol consumption.”

Discover more tips by viewing A Baby Boomer’s Guide to a Five Star Retirement Infographic.

NOTE: If the infographic looks too small in your browser window, click on the graphic so it shows at 100%.

===

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