From the Center of Retirement Research…Senior housing

Image result for elderly loneliness images Senior Housing a Remedy for Loneliness?

by Kimberly Blanton, Squared Away Blog

August 25, 2016

“After his wife of 36 years died from cancer, Dick St. Lawrence experienced something new: loneliness.

‘Worst feeling in the world,’ St. Lawrence, 81, said about Linda St. Lawrence’s death in the winter of 2014.

Like many widows and widowers before him, he had to build a new life for himself, despite having the comfort of a large family of four living children, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. His first small step was accepting an invitation to play poker at Shillman House, an independent housing community for seniors. The man who called to invite St. Lawrence knew a woman who used to play Mahjongg with Linda.

Next thing he knew, he’d sold their family home in Framingham, Mass., around the corner from Shillman House, and settled into one of its 150 apartments. Now he plays two poker games a week, works out at his old gym, and socializes with Shillman’s residents every evening in the dining room. At night, his Cairn terrier, Rusty, keeps him company during Red Sox games on television.

‘I want to visit as long as I can,’ Dick St. Lawrence jokes about his plan to spend his final days there.

The vast majority of baby boomers in an AARP survey said they want to age in their homes ‘as long as possible.’  But when the rubber meets the road – in old age – the elderly often learn that isolation is bad for their psyche and their health.

There are downsides even to living in a community for independent seniors, with the constant reminders of the vulnerabilities that come with aging. When a Shillman resident suddenly becomes ill and is driven away in an ambulance, dread quickly spreads among the residents that he or she might not be coming back.

Still, they say, the positives far outweigh the negatives. All in their 80s, the seniors interviewed have visibly slowed down but are still enjoying vigorous social lives.”

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Considering long-term care insurance?

Long-Term Care Combo Policies

by Terry Savage

August 9, 2016

“Needing long-term care is an unpleasant thought as you approach retirement age.  But ducking this issue could be the most expensive mistake you make about your retirement.

Aside from the obvious reluctance to think you might need help with basic activities of living, you might figure you’ve saved enough to cover the costs of care.  Think again.

According to the latest Cost of Care survey by Genworth, which sells long-term care insurance, it now costs an average of about $3,800 per month for in-house care for a year, a similar amount in assisted living and about $7,700 per month for a private room in a nursing home.

Need for care typically lasts only about two to three years, but extended care for Alzheimer’s could wipe out (your) savings….

According to Home Instead Senior Care, one of the largest franchisers of care-giving services, only about 20 percent of its clients pay for care through long-term care insurance policies.  The rest are digging into their own pockets.”

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To compare long-term care costs by state go to:

Terry Savage is a nationally known expert on personal finance, the markets, and the economy. Terry is a regular blogger at the Huffington Post. She is a frequent guest on television and radio shows, including CNN, CBS, and she has appeared many times on Oprah.


Inspirational and innovative idea

“Take a look inside the Dutch retirement home where students live for free when they spend 30 hours a month socializing with the older residents.”

(via SBS Dateline)


Embracing life after 50

Becoming an Elder:  The Next Step in a Life of Meaningimages (47)

By Lorie A. Parch

July 26, 2016

“It often seems that our culture neither values the aging or the aged.

Simply put, things aren’t like they were in our grandparents’ era when older folks received a fair amount of respect.. So these days, the idea of becoming an ‘elder’ may not sound like something you’d ever want to do. If so, you’d be missing out on an essential life experience, says Michael Gurian, a counselor and author of the about-to-be-reissued The Wonder of Aging: A New Approach to Embracing Life After Fifty.”

…Gurian thinks that becoming an elder in your circle, or even in a wider community, is extremely important—and not just because it helps others. ‘We want to become elders because a life of meaning now depends on it,’ he says emphatically.”

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Note:  Gurian’s book was re-released in paperback June 7, 2016.

Strategies to ease pain of health care costs

Ease the Pain of Health Care Costs in Retirement

by Kimberly Lankford, Kiplinger’s Retirement Report

February 2016

“This number should hurt a lot: The average 65-year-old couple will pay $240,000 in out-of-pocket costs for health care during retirement, according to Fidelity Investments. And that does not include potential long-term-care costs.

Critical, yes. Incurable, no. The worst thing you can do is take to your bed and expect the pain will go away with an aspirin or two. The best medicine is to make sure your retirement plan takes into account this large line item — and to find ways to cut future costs or develop income streams to pay expenses.images (50)

It’s easy to see how the costs can add up. Just Medicare premiums alone for 25 years — for standard Part B (which pays for outpatient care), a Part D prescription-drug policy and a Medigap supplemental insurance policy — will set a couple back close to $200,000. And that does not include dental and vision care, hearing aids, and out-of-pocket drug costs. A Medicare Advantage plan could cost somewhat less. Thank goodness Part A, which pays for hospital care, is free.

In your planning, prepare for unexpected spikes in spending, such as a new dental crown. Also, adjust your estimates for inflation, perhaps by 4% a year. And if you expect to live longer than average, plan for those extra years.

Here are some strategies to ease the pain of an acute case of health care costs.”

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Single ladies

Retirement may be dicey for single women 

Sharon Epperson/Laura Sanicola

March 22, 2016

“Across all age groups, women have substantially less income in retirement than men, according to another report from the National Institute on Retirement Security. For women age 65 and older, their income is generally 25 percent lower than that of men. As men and women age, the gap widens to 44 percent by age 80.

As a result, the study found that women are 80 percent more likely than men to be impoverished at age 65 or older. Additionally, women age 75 to 79 are three times more likely to fall below the poverty level than men in the same age group.

Why the disparity? The gap may stem in part from the fact that women live longer on average than men, said Diane Oakley, executive director of the National Institute. In the United States, a woman turning 65 today can expect to live to more than 86. For men, it’s 84.

Women generally still earn less than men during their working years and that could affect their financial situation down the road, said Andrew Simonelli, director of communications and marketing at the Insured Retirement Institute.”

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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.'”

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