Living apart together

Living apart together

If you don’t wish to remarry or live together, there is a growing trend of older adult couples keeping their respective homes while enjoying a romantically exclusive and intimate relationship. They are freed from expectations of domestic chores and eventual caregiving, yet enjoy more emotional support and companionship than if they were simply dating.

Medicare: Wellness and prevention

Medicare provides a yearly opportunity to address prevention and wellness with your doctor. These visits are 100 percent paid for by Medicare. But they are NOT the “annual physical” you were accustomed to in younger years. It’s wise to understand the difference.

Making friends in later life

Making friends in later life

Good friends are good for the soul—and for your physical health! Loneliness and social isolation create health risks equivalent to smoking fifteen cigarettes a day. But the older we get, the more we need to intentionally cultivate new friends.

What is IRMAA?

Have you been told you owe Social Security extra money (IRMAA) for your Medicare coverage? Learn more about this significant but little-known fee and what you can do to reduce it.

Crime proofing your home

Seniors experience property crime thirteen times more often than violent crime. Burglary is the most common. (Interestingly, it typically occurs between noon and 4:00 pm!) The average loss is roughly $3,000, although that does not account for the emotional impact: A profound sense of violation and vulnerability.

Sharing your home

The boomer generation meets the Golden Girls. Homesharing is on the rise! And for good reason. It’s an affordable alternative that allows for shared expenses, help around the house, and light companionship.

Saying “no” when your kids ask for money

Saying "no" when your kids ask for money

As a parent, it can be challenging to keep your wallet closed, especially if there’s a history of extended financial support. But there are ways to encourage your child’s solvency while minimizing the risk to your relationship.

“With a little help from our friends”: The Village movement

"With a little help from our friends": The Village movement

Are you looking for alternative ways to age in place and get the support services you need—now and in the future? The Village project is a national network of grassroots self-help groups that empower older adults to affordably assist each other as volunteers, reducing isolation and building community in the process.

Medicare coverage while traveling

Medicare coverage while traveling

One of the joys of retirement is the ability to travel. But you may not have Medicare coverage where you go. The rules for traveling outside the United States, and even outside your local network, are very strict and can be very limiting. Learn about the general coverage options for original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Part D plans. Also gain tips about purchasing travel insurance.

Solo aging: Eyes wide open

Aging comes to us all. What makes solo aging different is the need to be more proactive about arranging for help. Twenty-two percent of older adults acknowledge they will need to take care of themselves. (Even if you are partnered now or have children, you are wise to consider the possibility of solo aging because, well, things can change … death, divorce, estrangement. In that light, we are all potential solo agers.)

Getting rid of your stuff

Getting rid of your stuff

Once you get beyond the sentimental value of your belongings, you are still up against the logistics of how to get things out of your nest. Some stuff is easier to pass along to family than other stuff. Options for what’s left over: Sell, donate, or just “get rid of it!”

Thriving through life transitions

Thriving through life transitions

Change is the only constant. And as we enter our later years, it seems the changes are more frequent. Do you sense a transition occurring in your life? Whether the change was of your own making or seems thrust upon you, there are strategies to help you weather the process. And at the least, not feel so alone.

Should you move (closer to your kids)?

The most common reason to move in later years is to be closer to children and grandchildren. Regardless of your reason for relocating, unless you plan to live with family, there will be many hours of the day when you are just plain newbies in town. How will you spend your time? If proximity to younger kin is compelling your thoughts, clarify the role you want to play and see if it’s a shared vision.

“My kids treat me like a bank”

"My kids treat me like a bank"

When an adult child asks for money, it’s hard to say no. You want to respond to a need. But perhaps your child perceives that you don’t need all you have, or that they’re simply requesting some of their inheritance, just a bit early. Before you answer, ask for time to think it over.

Adding smart home safety features

Adding smart home safety features

“Smarts” are in the eye of the beholder. What’s a smart home “gotta have” for one is simply “cute but unnecessary” to another. Check out the top recommendations for older adult smart home safety features.

Is cohousing for you?

Is cohousing for you?

Cohousing is like a retirement community in that it is a group of residents in individual, private domiciles. Plus, there are shared facilities for group activities. What’s different is that retirement communities are created and run by a developer. Cohousing communities are created by the people who will live in the buildings. All members hold an equal investment—personal and financial—in the process of creating and running the community. Decision making is shared and is usually by consensus.

Should you change to Medicare Advantage?

Should you change to Medicare Advantage?

Open enrollment presents you with an insurance crossroad once a year and, often, heavy pressure to join a Medicare Advantage plan. It’s best to look twice before you jump, however.

Long-distance grandparenting: Toddlers and kids

Long-distance grandparenting: Toddlers and kids

If you are like 68% of grandparents, you live too far away for regular interactions with your grandchildren. No reading bedtime stories or soothing little tears. No ticklefests or hands-on projects. These casual yet meaningful activities just aren’t an option.

Aging in place: Pros and cons

Aging in place: Pros and cons

A vast majority of older adults (77%) say they want to remain in their own homes as they age. Of course! Home is comfortable: We know where everything is—in the house, and also in the neighborhood and town. Friends, doctors, grocery store. We know how to get around quickly and easily. Plus, the emotional benefits of memories, identity, and history are baked into the walls of a home. But for many, the concept of staying put is based on how things are now and doesn’t factor in the changes that are bound to come.

Smartwatches as medical alerts

Smartwatches as medical alerts

Especially for older adults living alone, the ability to summon help in the event of an emergency—such as a fall—is a very real concern. With a cell phone in your purse or pocket, it’s easy to feel well set. Think again. The bathroom is where most falls occur. Do you take your cell phone in when you are using the toilet? Or taking a shower? And what if you hit your head and are unconscious? With a brain bleed, minutes count! But who wants to wear one of those telltale pendants? Fortunately, with the advent of smartwatches, there are stylish options that do not carry such stigma.

Decluttering: Why is it so hard?

Decluttering: Why is it so hard?

Three out of five (61%) of adults over 60 feel they have more stuff than they need. And yet many of us find it emotionally painful to cull our belongings.
While the physical labor of “right-sizing” is daunting, perhaps more powerful—and surprising—is the emotional challenge.

Increasing concentration and focus

Increasing concentration and focus

Do you find yourself more easily distracted these days? There is good reason: Concentration is about keeping what’s useful top of mind while at the same time suppressing thoughts that distract from your primary objective. As we age, the “executive” center of the brain becomes less able to sort out distractions. It’s a filtering process that requires heavy brainpower. Many people worry that lapses in concentration are an early sign of Alzheimer’s. Not necessarily. While memory and focus are related, they are not the same thing.

Are enhanced “hearables” for you?

Are enhanced "hearables" for you?

If you have trouble participating in conversation in a noisy room or tend to want the TV volume turned up, you might want to investigate a new category of device called an enhanced “hearable.” Up until now, there have been few options short of a hearing aid for people with only mild hearing loss. The best have been “personal sound amplification devices” that fit in the ear like a hearing aid. While reasonably affordable and easily purchased online, they have the disadvantage of amplifying all sounds, even the ones you don’t want to hear.

“I’m engaged! Why aren’t my kids happy for me?”

"I'm engaged! Why aren't my kids happy for me?"

Are you enjoying a love you never thought you’d feel again? It’s hard to be happy, though, if your children rain on your romance. Are they being selfish? Not necessarily. An in-depth study of “adult stepfamilies” revealed how disruptive it is when a parent gets involved with a new partner later in life.

What’s in an Alzheimer’s test?

What's in an Alzheimer's test?

There is no single test that can determine if a person has Alzheimer’s disease. But a combination of several different tests can identify if memory and thinking problems are due to one of the many conditions that result in symptoms of dementia. By process of elimination, doctors can determine what may be the root cause of thinking problems. Some conditions are treatable. Others are not.