Transition Thursday: Advice From 7 Baby Boomers Who Reinvented Their Careers

Baby Boomer Entrepreneur

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of people 55 and older in the work force in 2013 was 40.3%, up from 29% in 1993.

In the MONEY Magazine article Advice From 7 Baby Boomers Who Reinvented Their Careers, writer Alicia Adamczyk explains that Baby Boomers continue to reinvent themselves:

“While the rise in older workers can be attributed in part to stagnating wages and insufficient retirement savings, those factors don’t tell the whole story. More and more baby boomers are switching careers later in life not out of financial necessity, but rather for the intellectual rigor and the chance to finally pursue their life’s passion. In fact, a report from the Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement found that ‘Boomers are just as likely or more likely to be engaged in their work than are the younger Generation X or Millennial generations.’

Another report, New Careers for Older Workers, from the American Institute for Economic Research, looked at people who changed or tried to change jobs after age 45 and found that 82% of people 47 and older who took up new careers in the last two years were successful, and 50% saw a salary increase.”

Click here to read the stories of seven boomers who are pursuing second acts.

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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

Transition Thursday: How to Evaluate Emergency Preparedness in Assisted Living

Elserly Man in Wheelchair Sitting Next to Caregiver

Will you, or someone you love, be safe in an emergency?

As explained in the Daily Caring article How to Evaluate Emergency Preparedness in Assisted Living: Questions to Ask, “emergency preparedness is essential for seniors, especially those who are very ill, have limited mobility, or have a cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s or dementia.”

There are key questions to ask that can help you evaluate if the care community has detailed emergency plans, is ready for power outages, knows what to do during a fire or flood, and protects residents from theft or intruders.

4 Areas to Evaluate for Emergency Preparedness

1. Emergency plans

  • What are the detailed emergency plans?
  • How is the staff trained and kept up-to-date on those plans?
  • How will they provide the necessary food, water, medication, and shelter for the residents (including food and beverages for special health needs)?
  • Is there always someone available to be in charge of emergency situations? Is there always a backup person available?
  • What’s the plan if none of the leaders are available to take charge?

 2. Power outages

  • Are generators available to restore power? Is there a backup in case one generator fails?
  • Are the generators located in a safe, well-ventilated area away from the residents?
  • How much extra food is kept on hand? Federal emergency recommendations call for a minimum of 3 days worth.
  • How much drinking water is kept on hand? Federal guidelines recommend at least 1 week’s worth per person.
  • If food or water runs out, what’s the plan to get more?
  • If a high-risk storm or natural disaster is approaching, would food and water reserves be increased?
  • Does the community set aside freezers containing frozen bags of water? Federal guidelines say they can be used to keep food and medications cold, cool overheated residents, and be used as drinking water once melted.

Read more at How to Evaluate Emergency Preparedness in Assisted Living: Questions to Ask.

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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

Transition Thursday: Less Means More for Baby Boomers Who Downsize in Retirement

Section of U.S. Dollar Bill

According to writer Jeff Reeves, “A comfortable retirement is not just the money you have, but also the expenses you’re tallying up, too.” In the article “Less means more for Baby Boomers who downsize in retirement,” Reeves shares advice from experts who suggest that the cost of downsizing can add up.

“A variety of items can add up to a pretty big difference in the monthly budget of Boomers who are willing to downsize. Those items can include:

Taxes. ‘It’s really dramatic, where you have Florida on one extreme that has no income tax, to states like New York or New Jersey or Connecticut that have very high income taxes,’ said Chris Blunt, president of the investments group at insurance giant New York Life. ‘A 7% swing in income tax, if you’re on a tight budget that matters.’ Property taxes can also vary widely even within a few hours’ drive from your current home, and could result in hundreds or even thousands of dollars saved per year.

Access to public transit. Being able to downsize from two vehicles in your household to one – or even none – can save you on car payments, insurance and maintenance. However, a move like that requires Baby Boomers to downsize to an area that can keep them mobile even without a vehicle of their own.

Health care. Many factors influence health care costs, including location and access to good doctors and specialists who are responsive and within your coverage network. ‘There are parts of the country with more cost-effective health care systems than others,’ Blunt said. For instance, a 2015 study by HealthView Services estimated supplemental medical insurance can vary widely – with a 65-year-old in Maryland paying 72% more than one in Hawaii.

Electricity and overhead. ‘With moving to a smaller home, you would expect to see lower utilities and you might see a difference in maintenance costs,’ said Lori Trawinski, director of banking and finance with AARP’s Public Policy Institute. And generally speaking, a smaller and less valuable home will also carry smaller insurance costs than a larger home in a similar area, she said.

Read additional tips at Less means more for Baby Boomers who downsize in retirement.

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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

Transition Thursday: 4 Expert Tips for Seniors Moving to Assisted Living

Elderly Man with Nurse in Assisted Living Setting

Moving to assisted living can be an overwhelming experience for both you and your older adult. In the article “4 Expert Tips for Seniors Moving to Assisted Living,” Arthur Bretschneider, founder and CEO of Seniorly, a company that makes it easier for families to find local senior housing options, provides advice on four common issues related to moving into and living in assisted living:

Question 1: Seniors who refuse to move
What should families do if their older adult needs to move to assisted living for their own health and safety, but they refuse to go?

Answer:
This is a very difficult situation. The first thing to do is get their primary care physician involved. Sometimes it’s also good to get a Geriatric Care Manager or some other care advocate to help you in this situation. They’re professionals who understand how to get control of the crisis.

Many times, getting a third party involved is not an option. In this case, families need to present this as an option that their senior is going to rather than from. Meaning, frame the move in a way that it’s better than where the individual is now.

They aren’t moving away from their home, they are moving to a community that will give them more control of their days and remove the need to worry about other things.

Question 2: Ease the transition to assisted living
Moving to assisted living is a big change for most older adults. What can families do to make the transition easier?

Answer:
Every family is unique and there is no straight answer to this question. In fact, some transitions are not difficult at all.

For the ones that do have difficulty transitioning, things that could help include:

  • Making their new room or apartment feel as homelike as possible
  • Being around to assist in the transition (or sometimes the opposite depending on the individual)
  • Keeping the individual connected with a phone, tablet, or computer
  • Visiting during meals or activities to help make connections

Or it could be as simple as making sure you find a community that allows them to keep their pet.

Read additional tips at 4 Expert Tips for Seniors Moving to Assisted Living.

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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

Transition Thursday: Moving a Parent to Assisted Living – 12 Strategies to Ease the Transition

Elderly Lady with Nurse at Assisted Living Facility

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

Liz offers some tips on how to help make the transition easier on everyone involved:

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.

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.

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.

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 tips at Moving a Parent to Assisted Living: 12 Strategies to Ease the Transition.

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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

Transition Thursday: Tips for Moving Seniors with Cognitive Disorders

Illustration of three trees depicting leaves and loss of memory

In his article “Tips for Moving Seniors with Cognitive Disorders,” author Chris Semen discusses the issues facing seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s when they have to move locations:

“Transitioning seniors experiencing cognitive disorders, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, will experience even greater stress than those without an illness. This is because removing a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s from a familiar place can cause feelings of disorientation and confusion.”

Chris suggests that caregivers can make the transitioning process easier for their loved one and for themselves by following these tips:

Reinstate a sense of control.

People often experience stress when they feel things are out of control. Caregivers can lessen the stress of transitioning by reinstating a sense of order and control to the events their loved ones find stressful. Offering choices helps the senior maintain his/her sense of self in the midst of chaos. It’s important to understand that when we remove someone’s ability to make decisions on his or her own behalf, we also remove an essential practice that would otherwise help a senior maintain a sense of control over unfamiliar situations.

Give seniors a voice.

With cognitive issues present, it becomes difficult for older adults to voice their fears and opinions. Caregivers can give their loved one a voice by offering a few simple options with outcomes that are always acceptable. For example, asking something as simple as, “Would you like to explore three assisted living communities or just two?” presents an outcome favorable to both parties, while allowing the older adult to make his/her voice heard. When caregivers present options for discussion, their loved one develops a sense of being important to the relocation process.

Read more tips at http://thecaregiversvoice.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

Transition Thursday: Baby Boomers Redefine Retirement

Baby Boomer Couple Dancing

In his Forbes article “The Most Frightening Yet Most Important Retirement Rule That Baby Boomers Still Need To Break,” contributor Robert Laura explains how the Baby Boomer generation is re-defining retirement:

“Boomers are ushering in a late-stage era of life, where they have 10-20 more years of productive and capable working years when compared to previous generations. Furthermore, they have the resources, knowledge, and collective desire to cause dramatic shifts in the way retirement is both defined and lived.

It’s easy to see the undercurrent of this happening as research suggests that baby boomers are more likely to start a business than any other generation right now.  Furthermore, a growing segment of them are worn-out from years of the corporate grind and don’t feel the connection between their job and the people it impacts outside their office walls or company grounds.  They’re shifting their focus from accumulating a giant nest egg to a desire to be part of something bigger and better… to have a positive effect on others… and don’t necessarily want to retire from work, rather they just want to work in the right situation and retirement.

In the past, retirement was defined as freedom from the workplace.  Now boomers are redefining it as freedom in the workplace.”

Read the rest at Forbes.

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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

Transition Thursday: Baby Boomer Parents: Your Grown Children Don’t Want Your Stuff

Baby Boomer couple with moving box

In her article “Boomer parents: ‘One day, this will all be yours.’ Grown children: ‘Noooo!’ ” Samantha Bronkar, staff writer at the Christian Science Monitor, relays the message that the grown children of downsizing baby boomers parents don’t want their  collections of stuff.

“As baby boomers begin to downsize, they are discovering their grown children do not want their stuff. In fact, they recoil in something close to horror at the thought of trying to find room for collections of Hummels and Thomas Kinkade paintings.

Two hundred stuffed animals, two violins, and a 7-1/2 foot-tall Christmas tree: That was just a corner of the possessions Rosalie and Bill Kelleher accumulated over their 47-year marriage. And, they realized, it was about 199 stuffed animals more than their two grown children wanted.

Going from a four-bedroom house in New Bedford, Mass. – with an attic stuffed full of paper stacked four-feet tall – to a 1,300-square-foot apartment took six years of winnowing, sorting, shredding, and shlepping stuff to donation centers.

Among the possessions the Kellehers are keeping are three hutches – one that belonged to his mother, one that belonged to her mother, and one that they purchased together 35 years ago. One shelf is carefully lined with teacups Rosalie collected during her world travels. Another houses a delicate tea set from Japan, a gift her mother received on her wedding day.

‘We really don’t need them,’ she admits.”

Neither do their kids.

Read the rest at The Christian Science Monitor

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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

Transition Thursday: Helping the Elderly Downsize

In her long career as a psychiatrist, Dr. Phyllis Harrison-Ross has been described by friends and colleagues as practical and calm. But two other traits, humor and patience, went right out the window when she decided to downsize.

“You ask yourself what you want to keep, and the answer is ‘everything,’ ” said Dr. Harrison-Ross, who turns 80 next month. “It’s an emotional roller coaster that takes a toll on you. It’s very tiring.

“I thought I could get down to the bare essence of things myself,” she said. “But that proved to be very difficult, much more than I had expected.”

Her solution: Dr. Harrison-Ross hired a senior move manager.

Read the rest at The New York Times

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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

Buying a Fixer-Upper – 5 Facts to Consider

Fixer Upper House That Needs a Lot of WorkMost buyers are lured by the low asking prices and the opportunity to buy a property they can afford in a good neighborhood, school district or with a larger lot to expand. However, it’s often less costly to buy the more expensive house.

Here are some reasons why:

#1 Fundamental repairs to foundation, structure, plumbing, electrical, roof, etc.can be huge ticket items. These issues need to be addressed first. Meanwhile buyers are really dreaming about on the granite counters, designer paint colors and creating their spa bathroom retreat with all the luxury bells and whistles they see on HGTV.

#2 I work with excellent contractors who really know the costs of remodeling; however, even so they cannot predict all unforeseen ‘surprises.’ Unanticipated costs of 10%-25% are more the norm than the exception. For instance, Houselogic.com states a middle-of-the-road bathroom remodel runs from $100-$200 per sf. An average kitchen costs approx. $60,000. and HGTV estimates a gourmet kitchen over $80,000. Buyer frankly can run out of money.

#3 Yes, there is the FHA 203K loan. But, there are specific time lines, approvals, appraisal required to utilize this loan program. mortgage company guidelines restrict how much money a buyer qualifies to receive. Also, good contractors are busy in summer making it hard to coordinate the FHA required estimates and deadlines.

#4 Fixers tend to be older homes. And with older homes come potential health and safety risks such as lead based paint or asbestos. Remediation can be costly and your contractors must have the appropriate EPA certification.

#5 Sellers would often rather find a buyer using all cash that can close quickly with no contingencies rather than working with a 203K loan scenario.

After major renovations are complete buyers will have a custom home, exactly to their liking and tastes, but it won’t come cheap. And, I always caution clients about over improving. An option to consider might be a more ‘cosmetic’ fixer as old appliances, fixtures, faucets, wallpaper, shag carpet and linoleum are easier and cheaper to renovate!

Ready to go “bargain” hunting?