Is downsizing right for me?

The Surprising Costs of Downsizing Your Home


by Jane Bennett Clark

May, 2016

“When I look at my retirement stash, I have to admit it’s kind of small. When I look at my house, I realize it’s kind of big. And when I consider the two together, I think that maybe I should downsize and use the equity in my house to buy a condo or add to my retirement savings and rent.

Downsizing isn’t for everyone, but it’s one of the few strategies — along with working longer, delaying Social Security or spending less later in retirement — available to near-retirees who find themselves short on retirement savings and don’t have time to catch up, says Steven Sass, of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. ‘The house is a major source of people’s savings. If you don’t want to work longer or give up eating out in retirement, downsizing should be part of the plan.'”

Read more at: .

Hydration and the elderly

United States presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (age 68) has been in the news lately due to dehydration issues. I have never been much for drinking water either so I recently added the free Water Drink Reminder app to my phone. It reminds me to drink water and I log my intake throughout the day to make sure I am drinking enough.  It has helped me to become more hydrated.  Maybe Mrs. Clinton should add the app to her cell phone.

The Hydration 4 Health website reports the following about Hydration and the Elderly:old woman drinking water

“As we get older, body water content decreases, the risk for dehydration increases, and the consequences become more serious.

Dehydration has been associated with increased mortality rates among hospitalized older adults1 and can precipitate emergency hospitalization and increase the risk of repeated stays in hospital.2,3

Dehydration is a frequent cause of hospitalization of older adults and one of the ten most frequent diagnoses responsible for hospitalization in the United-States.3
Evidence suggests high dehydration rates of elderly patients within hospitals and other health care institutions.2

Dehydration has also been associated with various morbidities, such as impaired cognition or acute confusion, falling or constipation.”

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Have you ever been “Uninvited?”

I stopped by Barnes and Noble (B&N) the other day.  I wanted to see what new books they had on retirement or senior issues that I could read and then pass on to you.

Barnes and Noble has changed.  I noticed that the usual rows of beautiful wooden shelves were nearly bare.  Many of the books were facing cover out, as opposed to binding out, just to take up space.  It appears that many shelves now hold home school curriculum and toys. Back in the late 80’s when I worked as a community business development manager at a B&N in Lewisville, TX, I loved going through the rows of shelves to see what just arrived. At that time, the shelves held so many books that there was little room to face a book cover out.  I often went home with a stack of books I’d purchased because I couldn’t select just one or two.

These days most people buy books online or download them to their digital readers.  Lately, with my income being on the low side, compared to when I worked full-time, I either buy them online or check out the book from the local library. However, I have already read all the local library’s books on retirement.  So there I was, looking through rows of nearly empty shelves at B&N trying to find books on retirement.

As I was browsing, I was stopped by a book which was faced cover out right at my eye-level. It was called Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst.  I was familiar with Lysa from her daily uplifting message on K-LOVE radio and Proverbs 31 Ministry.  

Read moreHave you ever been “Uninvited?”

Nervous about meeting with a financial planner?

Financial planning isn’t scary when you meet with the right advisor

August 22, 2016

Today, I had the pleasure of meeting Wendi Strom, financial planner from LOTUS Financial Partners.  I originally contacted Wendi and her LOTUS partner Lucila Williams about using an article Wendi wrote for The Denver Post.  I was seeking permission to use the article on this website.  Not only did she grant me permission, she invited me to meet her in her Denver, CO office to discuss the site.  Her enthusiasm and invaluable advice were much appreciated. It was exciting to meet someone so generous with her time, as well as passionate about helping others.

If you have thought about seeking the services of a financial planner who listens and takes the time to build a relationship with you, I would highly recommend the LOTUS Financial Partners.  Wendi is patient, kind and compassionate, as well as very knowledgeable.  She is easy to talk to and not about high pressure sales.

LOTUS can guide and support you in all of your important life decisions.  They are certified financial planners as well as advisers on life and health insurance matters.  They are dedicated to helping you “live life with purpose.”

Read moreNervous about meeting with a financial planner?

Grandparents Day is this Sunday

Grandparents Day is the First Sunday after Labor Dayimages (4)

“This day has a threefold purpose:

  • To honor grandparents
  • To give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children.
  • To help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.

History:  In 1970, a West Virginia housewife, Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade, initiated a campaign to set aside a special day just for Grandparents.   Through concerted efforts on the part of civic, business, church, and political leaders, this campaign expanded statewide. Senator Jennings Randolph (D-WV) was especially instrumental in the project. The first Grandparents Day was proclaimed in 1973 in West Virginia by Governor Arch Moore. Also in 1973, Senator Randolph introduced a Grandparents Day resolution in the United States Senate. The resolution languished in committee.

Read moreGrandparents Day is this Sunday

You have an incredible purpose

images (54)“Choose Life!”

Presented on The Lutheran Hour on September 4, 2016
By Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz, Lutheran Hour Speaker

“Sometimes there are moments in your life when you feel tempted to think that your best days are behind you and your purpose in life has faded.

Dear friends, I especially want you to know, right now, you don’t need to despair. Whatever your situation in life might be, you have a very important job to do. You have an incredible purpose. Embedded in your day-to-day life at this very moment is an important calling.

You heard me correctly. Whether you are a CEO of a corporation, or a mom taking care of her kids at home, a farmer, a laborer, a retiree, or a person struggling with illness or loneliness, you have an incredible purpose; a very important job.

A wise salesman once said that his purpose was not to sell products but to befriend people. That salesman touched on the ultimate purpose that you and I have in life, our calling, job number one. It is to show love to other people.”

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Ever heard of a real estate beneficiary deed?

I didn’t know real estate beneficiary deeds existed until recently.  In the August 13-14, 2016 Loveland Reporter-Herald I read a question and answer article about someone whose parents died.  The reader wanted to know how to transfer his parents’ real estate property into his name.  A follow-up to that piece stated a simple way to accomplish this task is to set up a beneficiary deed.  I looked into it.

Below you will find information from The American Bar Association so you can also understand the simple process of transferring real estate upon death.  However, not all states currently use the transfer-on-death deed.  It became law in Colorado in 2004.deed

Transfer-on-Death Deeds

By Susan N. Gary

September 2007

“A transfer-on-death (TOD) deed, or beneficiary deed, allows an owner of real property to execute a deed that names a beneficiary who will obtain title to the property at the owner’s death without going through probate. This article examines the advantages and disadvantages of using TOD deeds and details how these deeds work. It provides several typical estate planning scenarios that highlight when the use of a TOD deed may be appropriate and when a different method should be used to transfer real property.

The execution of a TOD deed has no tax consequences.

Pros and cons of TOD deeds. A TOD deed solves many of the drawbacks associated with the other mechanisms available for transferring real property at death. Making a TOD deed an option will help property owners in a variety of circumstances. In contrast with using joint tenancy or a legal remainder interest, a TOD deed creates no present interest in the named beneficiary. This provides several benefits: The owner does not make a completed gift for gift tax purposes; if the owner changes his mind about the beneficiary, the owner can change the designation at any time before death; and because the beneficiary has no interest in the property until the owner dies, the beneficiary’s creditors cannot reach the property. In contrast with the transfer of property under a revocable trust or a will, the transfer of property through a TOD deed is much less expensive. In some states the cost of probate is substantial, and in any state a probate proceeding will cost more than the fees associated with a TOD deed.”

Read the entire at:

Susan N. Gary is a professor of law at the University of Oregon School of Law.  She is an Academic Fellow and Regent of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, the preeminent U.S. organization for estate planning lawyers and academics.

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