aging http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/2683/all en-US Best Money Tips: Ways to Age Well on a Shoestring Budget http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-age-well-on-a-shoestring-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-age-well-on-a-shoestring-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_meditating_76437435.jpg" alt="Woman aging well on a shoestring budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on aging well on a shoestring budget, saving money at the gym, and budgeting when you live in an expensive city.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.cheapism.com/blog/aging-well-on-a-budget/">10 Ways to Age Well on a Shoestring Budget</a> &mdash; It's important to maintain connections with other people as you age. Spend time with family, keep up with old friends, and make new ones. [Cheapism]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyqanda.com/save-gym-membership-discounts/">Frugal Fitness: 6 Ways to Save Money at the Gym</a> &mdash; Many university recreational centers offer memberships to the public. This can be significantly more affordable than a traditional gym membership. [Money Q&amp;A]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cleverdude.com/content/how-to-budget-when-youre-living-in-an-expensive-city/">How to Budget When You&rsquo;re Living in an Expensive City</a> &mdash; Bike or walk whenever possible. For longer trips, the bus or subway may be good alternatives to driving. [Clever Dude]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Cheap-Couples-Costumes-42289099#photo-42289099">36 Couples Costume Ideas That Are Ridiculously Cheap</a> &mdash; You only need two sticks and some string to become a puppeteer and a puppet! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://liveyourlegend.net/5-unusual-ways-to-get-paid-doing-what-you-love-even-if-youre-not-an-expert-yet/">5 Unusual Ways to Get Paid Doing What You Love (Even If You&rsquo;re Not an Expert Yet!)</a> &mdash; Do a trial run with a &quot;Pay What You Want&quot; model. You'll get a feel for accepting payment and a better understanding of what people are willing to pay for the product or service you're offering. [Live Your Legend]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.thefrugaltoad.com/personalfinance/eight-quick-and-easy-tips-for-saving-money-around-the-house">Eight Quick and Easy Tips for Saving Money Around the House</a> &mdash; Go over your yearly memberships and do the math. Do you use them enough to justify the cost? [The Frugal Toad]</p> <p><a href="http://cashmoneylife.com/how-many-retirement-accounts-can-you-have/">How Many Retirement Accounts Can You Have?</a> &mdash; Fewer accounts is usually easier to manage, but there are some good reasons to keep multiple retirement accounts. [Cash Money Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/car-prices-on-the-internet-not-always-the-bargain-they-seem-to-be/">Car Prices On The Internet: Not Always The Bargain They Seem to Be</a> &mdash; The Internet has made it easier to research dealer inventory and prices before you step onto the lot, but be careful! The information on a dealer's website is not always accurate. [Bible Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="http://www.goodfinancialcents.com/how-to-invest-100-dollars/">16 Ways to Invest $100</a> &mdash; If you have a spare $100, use it to invest in yourself. [Good Financial Cents]</p> <p><a href="http://moneybulldog.co.uk/4-services-every-small-business-can-benefit-from/">4 Services Every Small Business Can Benefit From</a> &mdash; Any business will quickly amass large quantities of data in no time. A good storage plan that suits your needs will allow make it easier to organize and access your information &mdash; anywhere. [Money Bulldog]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-age-well-on-a-shoestring-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/power9-9-habits-of-the-worlds-healthiest-people">Power9: 9 Habits of the World&#039;s Healthiest People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-poor-health-kill-your-retirement-fund">Don&#039;t Let Poor Health Kill Your Retirement Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/treat-yourself-with-these-7-free-self-care-routines">Treat Yourself With These 7 Free Self-Care Routines</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-and-treat-cold-sores">How to Avoid (and Treat) Cold Sores</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-health-and-fitness-tricks-for-travelers">8 Easy Health and Fitness Tricks for Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty aging best money tips Fri, 28 Oct 2016 09:30:28 +0000 Amy Lu 1822092 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Retire http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-retire <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-retire" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/retired_couple_happy_86773289.jpg" alt="Couple making money moves the moment they retire" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You deserve a big pat on the back, a rousing rendition of <em>He's a Jolly Good Fellow</em>, and a fat slice of cake when you decide to retire. You should enjoy it, too, because it's not necessarily all perfect bliss from that day forward. Rather, you have to devise a plan to keep yourself fed, clothed, housed, and healthy until the day you die, and that prospect is perhaps more daunting than the 45 years of solid work you put in.</p> <p>To help you along the way without having to breathe into a brown paper bag for the rest of your life, here are a few suggestions on what to do with your money when you set a date to punch your final card.</p> <h2>1. Establish Your Income Goals and Needs</h2> <p>Money matters rarely work without a plan in place, and that's exactly what you'll need when you retire. In anticipation of this major life milestone and transition, you'll need to take a hard and honest look at your finances to see where you're at currently, and figure out where you want and need to be. That might mean cutting the proverbial fat from your current budget, or it might mean contributing to your savings at a higher, more rapid rate. Whatever the case, changes will need to be made to set yourself on the right track. Financial expert Steve Anzuoni, of Fairway Financial, details a few practical steps to achieve this.</p> <p>&quot;First establish your income goals and needs, and then list all your expenses and liabilities; then you need to make sure that your monthly recurring expenses are covered by guaranteed income, not potential income,&quot; he says. &quot;Once that is taken care of, it's then a matter of allocating monies to different 'buckets' to account for inflation, future income needs, emergencies, and fun/vacation money.&quot;</p> <p>That last piece of the puzzle is important. Retirees often plan based on their current needs in the current economy. To stay ahead of the curve, it's a good idea to think ahead and plan for those what-if scenarios that pop up from time to time and can, in a worst-case situation, decimate your finances. Inflation and emergencies in particular can bleed you dry if you're not prepared, and now's the time for that consideration.</p> <h2>2. Eliminate Your Consumer Debt</h2> <p>You want to be as financially prepared as possible when retiring, and that means freeing yourself from the grips of consumer debt. The last thing you want to worry about when you settle into retirement are credit card payments, so concentrate now on eliminating them altogether. If you have the extra cash on hand, pay them off. If not, look into ways to reduce the required monthly payments to make them more manageable with the goal of being payment-free by the time you say so long to your coworkers and colleagues. We cover a million and one ways to help <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">pay off your debt</a> here at Wise Bread.</p> <h2>3. Manipulate Your Mortgage</h2> <p>Along with your consumer debt, you should try to pay off your mortgage &mdash; if you can swing it. This feat may not be feasible if you've recently purchased a home, but if you've lived at the same residence for the past 20 years or more, you might be able to meet this goal. Otherwise, find ways to reduce the mortgage to make it fit better into your new, tighter budget.</p> <p>&quot;Owning your home not only means a lot less money going out every month, it means a lot less worry should things get tight,&quot; says financial adviser Scott Hanson of Hanson McClain Advisors. &quot;Conversely, if you are unable to pay off your mortgage before you retire &mdash; even if you have as little as five to seven years remaining on the note &mdash; you might consider working with your lender to lower your interest rate and extend your loan out 15, 20, or even 30 years. Simply put, not only is cash-flow king, but why spend what are likely to be the healthiest years (of your retirement) struggling to pay down a mortgage at the expense of maintaining your pre-retirement standard of living? Money not going out is the same as money coming in.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Downsize Your Living Situation to Cut Costs</h2> <p>If you have more space than you realistically need, it's time to downsize. You can (hopefully) take the money from the sale of your home and purchase a new place that better suits your lifestyle, perhaps even in cash if you've tended well to your existing mortgage over the years and you're savvy about your new purchase.</p> <p>Financial planner Charlie Reading, author of the book <em>The Dream Retirement: How to Secure Your Money and Retire Happy</em>, agrees.</p> <p>&quot;If you have a house where the mortgage is paid off, an easy way to boost your retirement income is to move to a smaller or a cheaper house,&quot; he says. &quot;Releasing this equity and moving into a smaller home can provide you with valuable funds that you can use to generate an income. You also have the option of equity release here, however financially downsizing is likely to be a more astute choice if that is practical.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Relocate to a More Affordable Area</h2> <p>Along with downsizing your home, take some time to think about where you want to live and the associated cost of living in that area. If you live in an expensive area now, maybe it's a more sensible to move someplace where you'll get more bang for your limited bucks. Of course, you'll need to be happy wherever you move, so along with the financial factors you'll also want to consider your quality of life. Are there things to do to keep you occupied and social? Is transportation nearby? Is it relatively easy for family and friends to visit? Will you get fast and easy medical attention when you need it? These are all important questions to answer when contemplating a move to a new area.</p> <h2>6. Invest in a Rental Property to Earn Additional Income</h2> <p>I'm an investor in rental properties, and I wholly plan to use those properties to bring in additional income for savings and retirement for as long as the properties make money &mdash; and sense. If going this route is a legitimate option for you, I highly recommend it. Just beware of the hidden costs. If you manage the property yourself, like I do, all the income is yours (but don't forget to set aside a decent stash for taxes). If you require assistance, however, like from a management company, you could be looking at fees between 30% and 50% of your net income. There are more affordable options, like through the Evolve Vacation Rental Network, which charges the lowest fees in the industry at just 10%.</p> <p>Consider this anecdote: Jim and Laurel Whillock <a href="http://evolvevacationrental.hs-sites.com/case-study-kona?__hstc=235270366.eb7f97e450deb1291f24fe4d5e0ac9ed.1460397740307.1466114738612.1466171762596.19&amp;__hssc=235270366.1.1466171762596&amp;__hsfp=877489778">invested in a vacation property</a> on the Big Island of Hawaii as a way to earn income in retirement. They purchased a one-bedroom condo on the beach and hired a property manager, who charged a 43% fee, to help with the logistics and operation. During the first six months, the condo was occupied 35% of the time, earning the couple only $6,500. After switching to Evolve, in a 12-month period, the couple booked 260 nights generating rental income of $48,199, an increase of 242%.</p> <p>In any case, what I'm saying is, do your research before thrusting yourself into the rental-income market; there are other management options out there. The goal is to make money, not lose it &mdash; especially when finances are tighter during retirement.</p> <h2>7. Phase Your Retirement Over an Extended Period</h2> <p>Not ready to go all in for retirement? That's perfectly okay. There's no &quot;right&quot; way to retire, and if you need more time to ease into the transition, by all means take it.</p> <p>&quot;Go down to three days a week and enjoy the benefit of not taking your pension as early, and the growth that comes with it,&quot; Reading suggests. &quot;This doesn't have to be your current job &mdash; why not start working in a role you have a passion for, even if it doesn't pay you quite as much as your current one does? Who knows, maybe this will become your new purpose, and you won't ever want to stop.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Develop a Strategy for Medical Insurance</h2> <p>We're starting to enter into territory that nobody likes talking about, especially those nearing or at retirement age. But ensuring that you have proper medical coverage while also getting all your other end-of-life ducks in a row isn't something you can put aside or overlook. This is reality, however harsh it seems, and these items must be addressed &mdash; the earlier, the better.</p> <p>&quot;Because medical insurance can be very expensive, it may actually prevent you from being able to retire,&quot; Hanson warns. I strongly suggest you check into your options before retiring. If you can't afford to purchase medical insurance, you may be forced to find another job until you can apply for Medicare at age 65.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Re-evaluate Your Other Insurances for Optimal Protection</h2> <p>While you're assessing your medical insurance situation, it's a good idea to check in with your other insurance plans to make sure you have the kind of coverage you need at this stage, but also to see where you may be able to cut costs &mdash; though the latter should never affect your quality of life. Don't reduce coverage you'll need down the road just to save a few bucks in early retirement. To make the right decisions, you may want to enlist the help of an insurance adviser.</p> <p>&quot;[Insurance advisers] can advise on ways to adjust your insurance profile &mdash; around both your home and auto policies,&quot; says insurance expert Angi Orbann. &quot;They may be able to find cost savings and they will help you ensure that you are adequately protected as you move into the next phase of your life. An insurance adviser may not be the first person you think of when it comes to your money and retirement, so it's an important tip to remember.&quot;</p> <h2>10. Create a Last Will and Testament</h2> <p>Fact: 41% of Boomer Americans don't have a will, according to USA Today &mdash; and if you're among them, it can spell big trouble for your estate when you pass.</p> <p>Licensed funeral director Kelli Hoodman explains.</p> <p>&quot;Creating a will tells loved ones how one's property should be distributed after one passes away,&quot; she says. &quot;Depending on how complex one's estate is, one may want to contact an attorney or simply create a will online. Without a will, one's finances and property are distributed by the state, and they may not land in the hands the deceased would've wanted them to be in.&quot;</p> <p>Don't overlook the funeral planning, either. Your last will and testament isn't just about who gets what. It's also as much about where you'll go when you pass. You should have the final say in that while you're alive and kickin'.</p> <p>&quot;Expressing final wishes for funeral planning in a will is important, but it should not be the only place they are documented,&quot; Hoodman adds. &quot;Funeral planning is best done with a local funeral home or cremation society. Otherwise it may take time for a will to be found, and one's final wishes might not adhered to.&quot;</p> <h2>11. Preplan Your Funeral Services</h2> <p>It probably won't be your best day ever, but preplanning your funeral is not only therapeutic, says Hoodman, but it's also fiscally intelligent.</p> <p>Funeral costs rise each year, and a traditional funeral and burial today can cost over $10,000. Cremation, which has recently become America's preferred method of disposition, is far less expensive at only a couple thousand dollars, depending on which services are selected.</p> <p>&quot;No matter which choice one makes, inflation and other factors raise the price of cremation, burials, and funerals over time,&quot; Hoodman says. &quot;Companies like Neptune Society offer preplanning services that allow retirees to create a legal document that states one's wishes for memorials, cremation, and other matters concerning death care planning. Over the many decades a retiree may live, preplanning now could save them hundreds or thousands of dollars.&quot;</p> <h2>12. Designate a Power of Attorney</h2> <p>Lastly, if you want to be in control of your life &mdash; and afterlife &mdash; choose someone close to you whom you trust implicitly as your Power of Attorney.</p> <p>A Power of Attorney (POA or attorney-in-fact) makes decisions for a person when that person can no longer make decisions for themselves. For example, if a senior is diagnosed with Alzheimer's, an attorney-in-fact would be legally permitted to make financial and medical decisions in that senior's stead.</p> <p>&quot;Choosing someone trustworthy is crucial for this role,&quot; says Hoodman. &quot;A retiree should ensure that their POA knows their preferences on medical dilemmas, like whether or not to use life support, and their financial information to ensure their money is spent properly.&quot;</p> <p>You don't like being taken advantage of while you're alive, so it's important to ensure that you won't be taken advantage of in death, either.</p> <p><em>Have you made any money moves to prepare for retirement?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-retire">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-moves-now-that-youll-regret-when-you-retire">5 Financial Moves Now That You&#039;ll Regret When You Retire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-personal-finance-calculators-everyone-should-use">15 Personal Finance Calculators Everyone Should Use</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-moves-you-should-make-five-years-before-retirement">5 Financial Moves You Should Make Five Years Before Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-of-the-fastest-ways-to-go-broke-in-retirement">4 of the Fastest Ways to Go Broke in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-occasions-when-you-should-definitely-hire-a-financial-advisor">7 Occasions When You Should Definitely Hire a Financial Advisor</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement aging debt downsizing estate planning goals investing medical care money moves mortgages relocating rental properties Tue, 09 Aug 2016 10:00:14 +0000 Mikey Rox 1768664 at http://www.wisebread.com Is Long Term Care Insurance Worth It? http://www.wisebread.com/is-long-term-care-insurance-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-long-term-care-insurance-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/61715372.jpg" alt="Old woman learning if long term care insurance is worth it" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Worried about how you'd pay for a long stay in a nursing home? These concerns aren't rare. The 2016 Insurance Barometer Study found that 58% of respondents worried they wouldn't have enough money to afford the costs of long-term care.</p> <p>Fortunately, there is an insurance product that can help ease these concerns: long-term care insurance. It pays for services to help people who need assistance with daily activities, or who require supervision because of a disease such as Alzheimer's. People often use this insurance to cover stays in nursing homes.</p> <p>The U.S. population is aging. The U.S. Census Bureau said that there were 46.2 million people 65 and older in 2014, or 14.5% of the country's population. These people are the prime target for long-term care insurance. But you may need it sooner if you have reason to believe you'll need such assistance earlier in life.</p> <h2>Is It Worth It?</h2> <p>Should you invest in long-term care insurance? That depends on a host of factors. Do diseases such as Alzheimer's run in your family? Did your parents and their parents die young, or did they live to an old age? Did they require long stays in nursing homes?</p> <p>Unfortunately, there's no way to predict whether you will need long-term care in your life. You might be healthy today. You might eat well and exercise regularly. This doesn't mean that your health can't suddenly change.</p> <p>Then there are other financial alternatives to consider. By the time you need long-term care, you might be eligible for the government's Medicaid program, which will pay most of the cost of any stays in critical-care facilities or nursing homes. This program is only open to consumers with few assets. Many senior citizens on fixed-incomes, though, will qualify.</p> <p>Also, Medicare will often pay for the first 20 days that you spend in a nursing home. From the 21st to the 100th day, Medicare requires that you make a co-payment of $161 a day.</p> <p>If you do want to invest in long-term care, know that the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-health-care-terms-youve-heard-of-but-dont-know-what-they-mean" target="_blank">insurance can be costly</a>. The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance says that an insurance policy providing $164,000 in immediate coverage will cost a male age 55 in good health an average of $1,060 a year. A single female in good health would pay an average of $1,390 a year for the same coverage, according to the association.</p> <p>A couple, both age 60 with standard health for that age, would pay an average of $2,710 a year &mdash; the combined cost for both members of the couple &mdash; for a long-term care insurance policy with $164,000 in immediate coverage.</p> <p>Better policies will cost significantly more. The association says that a policy providing $164,000 in immediate coverage at age 60 and $365,000 at age 85 would cost a 55-year-old man in good health an average of $2,075 a year. It would cost a 55-year-old female also in good health an average of $2,411 a year.</p> <h2>Long-Term Care Costs Continue to Rise</h2> <p>According to the 2016 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the cost of long-term care is only getting more expensive. According to the survey, the national median cost of a month's stay in a semiprivate room in a nursing home is $6,844. That figure rises to $7,698 for a month's stay in a private room. The median cost for a stay in an assisted-living facility was $3,628 a month.</p> <p>Other costs associated with long-term care are staggering, too. The Genworth survey found that the median cost for a month's worth of homemaker services was $3,813 and the median cost of a home health aide was $3,861 a month. The median cost of adult day health care services was $1,473 a month.</p> <p>The odds are high that you, too, will need to some form of long-term care as you age. According to a 2013 study by the Centers for Disease Control, more than 8.35 million people receive support from the five main types of long-term care services: home health agencies, nursing homes, hospices, residential care communities, and adult day service providers.</p> <p>You can't predict today whether you will need such care or whether you'll ever need to use a long-term care insurance policy. But for some, the annual investment does provide peace of mind that if you are hit with a huge bill for a long stay in a nursing home, you won't have to bankrupt yourself to pay for it.</p> <p><em>Have you considered long-term care insurance?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-long-term-care-insurance-worth-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance">When Should Single People Get Life Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-planning-for-a-loved-ones-long-term-care">A Simple Guide to Planning For a Loved One&#039;s Long-Term Care</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-need-medigap-insurance">Do You Need Medigap Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-expenses-you-should-never-cut">8 Expenses You Should Never Cut</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-steps-to-take-after-graduating-from-college">5 Financial Steps to Take After Graduating From College</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance aging elderly expenses Health long term care insurance nursing homes senior citizens Tue, 26 Jul 2016 10:30:09 +0000 Dan Rafter 1757849 at http://www.wisebread.com What Is Power of Attorney? http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-power-of-attorney <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-is-power-of-attorney" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/father_daughter_happy_91770401.jpg" alt="Woman learning what power of attorney is" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Struggling with money issues or big medical decisions can happen to all of us. Aging, illness, or other factors can contribute to the difficulty. You can get help, though, through a legal document known as a <em>power of attorney</em>.</p> <p>In a power of attorney, you sign a document stating that another person whom you trust, known as the <em>agent </em>or <em>attorney-in-fact</em>, has the power to act on your behalf to make certain decisions. Your power of attorney could limit this person to making only financial decisions on your behalf. But you can make the document broader, giving your agent the power to make a wide variety of decisions, including choices about medical care, or decisions regarding where you live, and when it's time to sell your home.</p> <h2>When You Need One</h2> <p>In most cases, it is elderly people in their retirement years who choose to enact a power of attorney. This is especially true for elderly people who are struggling with memory issues or other illnesses that make it more difficult for them to keep track of their finances.</p> <p>You might not think you need a power of attorney if you are married. After all, even if you can no longer handle the tasks of paying your bills on time, your spouse can withdraw funds from your joint bank accounts to make sure that your mortgage company, auto-financing company, or utility company are paid on time each month.</p> <p>But there are other financial decisions that can be complicated even for married couples. For instance, it might make sense to sell your home. But in many states, both spouses must agree to a home sale. If one spouse is incapacitated and unable to make this decision, the other spouse might not be able to put the home on the market.</p> <p>Also, your spouse will have no legal authority to make decisions regarding accounts or property owned solely by you. A power of attorney, though, can guarantee that important financial or property matters are handled by someone whom you trust.</p> <h2>Different Types of Contracts</h2> <p>There are several different types of power of authority contracts. What is known as a <em>durable power of attorney</em> might be the most powerful. This type of power of attorney remains in effect for your entire lifetime. This gives the agent free reign to manage your accounts on your behalf for as long as you are alive.</p> <p>Because a durable power of attorney lasts the rest of your life, though, you need to be clear about what you want it to say. If you want your agent, for instance, to only be able to make decisions regarding your home and its sale, spell that out in the power of attorney document. If you want your agent to have broader control over both your finances and your medical decisions, spell that out, too.</p> <p>A conventional power of attorney goes into effect when the document is signed and ends when that person becomes incapacitated.</p> <p>You can also create a <em>springing power of attorney</em>. This type goes into effect when a specific event takes place. In most cases, a springing power of attorney will become effective when you become mentally unfit to handle financial, medical, or property decisions.</p> <p>The challenge often lies in determining when this specific event has actually taken place.</p> <h2>Be Wary</h2> <p>Creating a power of attorney is a big decision, and one that you should only make after <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-financial-moves-to-make-when-a-loved-one-dies" target="_blank">meeting with loved ones and legal professionals</a>. Remember, you are signing over your right to make your own financial, property, or medical decisions.</p> <p>Keep in mind your spouse, too. Your spouse can continue to make decisions on your behalf even after you have signed a power of attorney. But once your spouse becomes incapacitated, the agent you named in your power of attorney will take over.</p> <p>Deciding who will serve as your agent is the big decision here. You can choose a family member, your spouse, a friend, or another loved one. The key is to find someone you both trust and who is willing and able to take on this responsibility.</p> <p><em>Have you considered granting power of attorney? Has someone given you this responsibility? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-power-of-attorney">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-set-up-a-trust-for-your-child">Should You Set Up a Trust for Your Child?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-retire">12 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Retire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-financial-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season">13 Financial Gifts to Give Yourself This Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/post-divorce-finances-7-steps-to-rebuilding-your-financial-house">Post Divorce Finances: 7 Steps to Rebuilding Your Financial House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fair-way-to-split-up-your-familys-estate">The Fair Way to Split Up Your Family&#039;s Estate</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance aging attorney-in-fact estate planning illness legal decisions legal documents power of attorney Mon, 20 Jun 2016 09:30:26 +0000 Dan Rafter 1732052 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Age Well on a Shoestring http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-age-well-on-a-shoestring <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-age-well-on-a-shoestring" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mature-man-workout-resistance-weights-Dollarphotoclub_45115826.jpg" alt="mature man working" title="mature man working" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on how to age well on a shoestring, tools to help you reclaim your time, and a morning checklist for the best day ever.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.cheapism.com/blog/3379/aging-well-for-less">10 Ways to Age Well on a Shoestring</a> &mdash; Working out your muscles with resistance exercises will give you better balance, stronger bones, weight control, and improved sleep. You can save on weightlifting equipment by using cans of food or milk jugs filled with sand. [Cheapism]</p> <p><a href="http://www.carefulcents.com/reclaim-time-stop-distractions/">Reclaim Your Time: 4 Online Tools to Stop Distractions</a> &mdash; RescueTime tracks your web activity so you know how much time you spend on certain websites. [Careful Cents]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Morning-Organizational-Checklist-36228252">Have the Best Day Ever With This 10-Step Morning Checklist</a> &mdash; Doing 10 minutes of cardio in the morning jump-starts your metabolism and gives you a quick energy boost. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://retirementrevised.com/the-10-most-important-things-to-know-about-medicare/">The 10 Most Important Things to Know About Medicare</a> &mdash; Make sure you know the difference between traditional, fee-for-service Medicare and a Medicare Advantage Plan. [Retirement Revised]</p> <p><a href="http://www.shebudgets.com/home-organizing/10-affordable-ideas-give-desk-makeover-needs/53907">10 Affordable Ideas to Give Your Desk the Makeover It Needs</a> &mdash; Store your knick-knacks in a nice tray with slightly raised sides. It will help organize your desk and make it look less cluttered! [SheBudgets]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.retiredby40blog.com/2015/02/05/3-ways-to-lower-food-costs/">3 Ways to Stop Eating Out</a> &mdash; If you find that you keep doing unplanned food runs while you're out, get into the habit of eating a nutritious, filling snack before you leave the house.&nbsp;[Retired By 40]</p> <p><a href="http://jamesclear.com/candy-checkout">Why Stores Place Candy by the Checkout Counter (and Why We Fail With New Habits)</a> &mdash; By the time you reach the checkout line, you've made so many decisions about what to buy (and not buy) that it becomes easy to give in to an impulse purchase. [James Clear]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mydollarplan.com/best-places-to-sell-your-stuff-to-make-quick-cash">Best Places to Sell Your Stuff to Make Quick Cash</a> &mdash; Half.com is great for selling your used books and DVDs. [My Dollar Plan]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/sharing-random-acts-of-kindness-as-a-family">Sharing Random Acts of Kindness as a Family</a> &mdash; Get the whole family involved in spreading kindness. You can organize a toy drive, pass out cups of coffee to your neighbors as the leave for work, or invite friends over and cook dinner for them. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cleverdude.com/content/are-you-teaching-your-kids-the-right-life-skills/">Are You Teaching Your Kids The Right Life Skills?</a> &mdash; Before your kids reach adulthood, make sure they know how to cook and do laundry. [Clever Dude]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-age-well-on-a-shoestring">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-simple-rules-of-excellent-houseguest-etiquette">11 Simple Rules of Excellent Houseguest Etiquette</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/treat-yourself-with-these-7-free-self-care-routines">Treat Yourself With These 7 Free Self-Care Routines</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-stealth-wealth-is-the-best-wealth">5 Reasons Stealth Wealth Is the Best Wealth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/looking-on-the-bright-side-how-to-find-a-silver-lining-in-the-current-financial-crisis">Looking On The Bright Side: How to Find A Silver Lining In The Current Financial Crisis</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-refillable-things-that-will-save-you-cash">10 Refillable Things That Will Save You Cash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle aging best money tips Wed, 11 Feb 2015 20:00:09 +0000 Amy Lu 1289194 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Let Poor Health Kill Your Retirement Fund http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-poor-health-kill-your-retirement-fund <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-let-poor-health-kill-your-retirement-fund" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/retirement-health-177852330-small.jpg" alt="retirement health" title="retirement health" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="151" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Poor health can destroy your finances in retirement if you fail to build both a healthy retirement fund and a healthy retirement body.</p> <p>Research shows that physical and financial health are closely linked. In a 2002 University of Michigan study, <a href="http://hrsonline.isr.umich.edu/">married couples with excellent health averaged $500,000</a> in net worth, about three times that of married couples with poor health who had an average of $164,000. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-supercharge-your-retirement?ref=seealso">10 Easy Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement</a>)</p> <p>When it comes to costs, many Americans may underestimate how much money they'll spend on health care in their golden years. Over half of the respondents to a Fidelity Investments Retirement Savings Assessment survey say they'll need about $50,000. But Fidelity predicts an average couple will <a href="http://www.fidelity.com/inside-fidelity/individual-investing/fidelity-study-shows-84-percent">need more than $220,000</a> over the course of their retirement &mdash; just for health care!</p> <p>Indeed, retirees now spend more on health care than they do on food, and at the present rate, health care will be retirees' largest expense after housing.</p> <p>So to help you prepare, start thinking hard about the following steps.</p> <h2>Building a Healthy Retirement Budget</h2> <p>Investment broker Fidelity recommends <a href="https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/retirement/health-care-costs-when-you-retire">taking these four steps</a> to prepare for health care costs in retirement.</p> <h3>1. Set a Savings Goal</h3> <p>Set an annual savings goal of 10% to 15% or more of your income, including 401(k) plans and IRAs. Consider saving part of any raises, bonuses, or tax refunds and increasing contributions to savings plans by 1% every year.</p> <h3>2. Go on Auto-Pilot</h3> <p>Sign up for automatic savings plans with your financial services company. Use the automatic increase feature in your 401(k) plan if it's offered.</p> <h3>3. Use Health Care Savings Accounts</h3> <p>HSAs, offered through employers, offer a triple tax advantage. Contributions and investment earnings accumulate tax-free and roll over year to year if not spent. Distributions for qualified medical expenses are not subject to federal taxes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-choose-a-health-insurance-plan?ref=seealso">How to Choose a Health Insurance Plan</a>)</p> <h3>4. Understand Medicare Options</h3> <p>Most people qualify for Medicare hospital insurance, or Part A, at age 65 and don't pay for the coverage if they paid Medicare taxes while working, according to Fidelity.</p> <p>However, you pay monthly premiums for Medicare medical insurance, or Part B, which covers doctor visits and other medical services. Plus, there's no limit on out-of-pocket expenses.</p> <h3>4. Understand Unbundled Vs. Bundled Coverage</h3> <p>Unbundled coverage involves using Medicare Part A and Part B along with Veterans benefits, former employer retiree plans or purchasing supplemental, or Medigap, insurance from a private insurance company. That route may be best if you want to fill in gaps in coverage and keep the original Medicare coverage. You can use any doctor or facility you like but may pay higher premium. The policies don't include prescription coverage so you'll need to buy Medicare Part D to cover prescription drugs.</p> <p>Bundled coverage is Medicare Advantage or Managed Care plans, privately managed plans that combine Medicare Parts A and B, and supplemental coverage you purchase. They often include prescription coverage and can offer lower premiums or better benefits. Simpler than unbundled coverage, it requires just one ID card.</p> <p>The disadvantage is that it can limit you to only network providers.</p> <p>Medicare's website offers a <a href="https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx">useful tool</a> for comparing supplemental insurance in your state.</p> <h2>Building a Healthy Retirement Body</h2> <p>Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and being informed during your working years is key to your financial fitness in retirement. Here's ten actions to take now to improve your health in the future (some pulled from health care insurer Aetna's excellent website, <a href="http://www.planforyourhealth.com">Plan For Your Health</a>):</p> <h3>1. Know Your Cholesterol</h3> <p>Cholesterol has a big impact on heart health. Healthy cholesterol levels are 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/cholesterol-levels/art-20048245">lower for total cholesterol</a>, 100 mg/dL or lower for LDL cholesterol, and 60 mg/dL or higher for HDL (or &quot;good&quot;) cholesterol, and 150 mg/dL or lower for triglycerides (fat).</p> <h3>2. Don't Smoke</h3> <p>Smoking raises blood pressure, increases fatty plaque in arteries, and increases chances for heart attacks.</p> <h3>3. Check Your Blood Sugar</h3> <p>Have your blood sugar level tested once a year. High blood sugar levels indicate higher chances of diabetes, which in turn means higher odds for other health problems.</p> <h3>4. Eat Right</h3> <p>Eat high-fiber foods, fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Apples can decrease the risk of cancer, according to <a href="http://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2014/cancer-fighting-foods-drinks.html">AARP</a>. A handful of nuts a day may help prevent both heart disease and cancer. Beans and lentils are good for your colon, garlic fights off digestive-tract cancers, and curry has ingredients that may offer protection against brain tumors. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eating-at-the-intersection-of-cheap-and-healthy?ref=seealso">Eating at the Intersection of Cheap and Healthy</a>)</p> <h3>5. Exercise Daily</h3> <p>Daily exercise reduces the ill-effects of aging, such as worsening eyesight and less bone density. Even 10 minutes of exercise a day helps, writes James Rouse, a naturopathic physician and host of &quot;<a href="http://optimumwellness.com/">Optimum Wellness</a>.&quot; The many simple exercise options, he says, include going for walking, dancing, bicycling, playing water volleyball, or jumping on a trampoline.</p> <h3>6. Be Friendly</h3> <p>Stress builds up if you keep your feelings bottled inside. Talk to your friends and family and ask for support. If you don't have a good support system, work to develop one to have someone to talk to when you're upset.</p> <h3>7. Relieve Pressure</h3> <p>To prevent or manage high blood pressure, use less salt, limit alcohol and caffeine, quit smoking, mind your cholesterol, and exercise daily. Besides making you unhappy, too much stress can increase your heart rate and raise your blood pressure. Try meditation, deep breathing, muscle relaxation, listening to relaxing music, or picturing pleasant scenes.</p> <h3>8. Take Health Tests</h3> <p>Women should have a Pap smear annually until age 65, a mammogram annually starting at age 50, a bone density test to guard against bone thinning, <a href="http://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-04-2013/basic-health-guide-men-women-dr-oz.html?cmp=RDRCT-HLTHGD_MAR12_013">advises Dr. Mehmet Oz</a>, host of &quot;The Dr. Oz Show.&quot;</p> <p>Men should have a prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, test at age 50 for a baseline reading, followed by yearly testing. Both men and women should have a colonoscopy at age 50, then once every 10 years.</p> <h3>9. Watch Your Weight</h3> <p>Over 60% of American adults are overweight and a third are obese. An average woman of 5 feet 4 inches is obese at 175 pounds. An average man of 5 feet 9 inches is obese at 196 pounds, says Dr. Oz. Measure your waist above your hip bone and below your rib cage. It should be less than half your height.</p> <h3>10. Beware the Sun</h3> <p>Use sunscreen and reapply it every two hours when you're in the sun, Dr. Oz advises. Men should remember their ears and scalp where they're more prone to skin cancer than women. Wear sunglasses in bright sun to help ward of failing eyesight in latter years.</p> <p><em>How are you planning for health care costs in retirement? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/michael-kling">Michael Kling</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-poor-health-kill-your-retirement-fund">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-apps-that-pay-you-to-workout">6 Apps That Pay You to Workout</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-retirement-savings-fast-with-this-6-step-plan">Boost Your Retirement Savings Fast With This 6-Step Plan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-76-new-years-resolutions-thatll-make-2017-your-year">Flashback Friday: 76 New Year&#039;s Resolutions That&#039;ll Make 2017 Your Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-occasions-when-you-should-definitely-hire-a-financial-advisor">7 Occasions When You Should Definitely Hire a Financial Advisor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-retire">12 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Retire</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Retirement aging fitness Health investing retirement retirement fund Fri, 04 Jul 2014 13:00:04 +0000 Michael Kling 1153231 at http://www.wisebread.com A 94-Year-Old's Take on Making Good Decisions http://www.wisebread.com/a-94-year-olds-take-on-making-good-decisions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-94-year-olds-take-on-making-good-decisions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sunflowers_and_woman.jpg" alt="Woman in front of sunflowers" title="Woman in front of sunflowers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;ll admit it: I&rsquo;ve spent too much money, I&rsquo;ve said things I regret, and I&rsquo;ve made bad choices. To be fair, I&rsquo;m sure everyone&rsquo;s guilty of some bad choices, but it made me wonder &mdash; who am<em> I </em>to be giving advice on how to make good ones? So I decided to go out and get some advice from someone with a lot more life experience &mdash; my grandmother, who at 94 is as independent, effervescent, and opinionated as ever. I knew she&rsquo;d have some ideas for me, but boy was I surprised by her perspective. Here are some of her thoughts on making decisions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-lessons-from-great-grandmother">7 Frugal Lessons From&nbsp;Great-Grandmother</a>)</p> <h2>Be Grateful That You Have Choice</h2> <p>It&rsquo;s natural to dread having to make a tough choice &mdash; I know I often do. But what if you thought of that choice as a privilege? My grandmother grew up at a time in which women just weren&rsquo;t given much say; she was raised to listen to her parents and then later, all the big decisions went to her husband. Now that she&rsquo;s all on her own, she relishes doing what she wants, even at the cost of sometimes making choices she regrets. So next time you&rsquo;re struggling with a decision, remember that you&rsquo;re actually indulging in a luxury that has not always been available to everyone &mdash; and that in some parts of the world still isn&rsquo;t.</p> <h2>Do the Best You Can</h2> <p>How can you ever know if you&rsquo;re making the right decision in a given situation? The answer is, you don&rsquo;t. My grandmothers says all you can do is your best, because what often determines the turnout is unknown. She also told me she thinks life is a gift. I take that to mean you have to learn to love it, even when it doesn&rsquo;t always turn out the way you had hoped.</p> <h2>Do What You Want</h2> <p>As an active and able 94-year-old, my grandmother relishes being able to do whatever she wants. Maybe some of that&rsquo;s a luxury of old age, but she&rsquo;s also learned that you just can&rsquo;t make everyone happy, so it&rsquo;s best not to try. Going with the flow can often be a way of taking the easy way out. Make the decisions that are right for you.</p> <h2>Try to Be Deliberate</h2> <p>When it comes to shopping, my grandmother admits that she sometimes has a hard time <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/impulse-shopping-a-controllable-handicap">saying &ldquo;no&rdquo; to something she wants</a>. As someone who grew up and lived most of her life with very little more than the basics, I think she&rsquo;s probably the only one who sees her purchases as indulgences. Still, she says it&rsquo;s important to learn to think hard about what you want. Not so much so that you can make the right choice, but so that you can make ones that you won&rsquo;t regret.</p> <h2>Take Advice From Other People</h2> <p>My grandmother has more friends and family than anyone I know, and she often turns to other people for their <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-good-advice">opinions and advice</a>. She&rsquo;s not afraid to say she doesn&rsquo;t have the answers, or to seek out someone who can help, whether it&rsquo;s with filing her taxes or fixing her dryer. If you&rsquo;re struggling to make a decision, remember that you don&rsquo;t have to go it alone. Reach out to those around you for both help and support.</p> <p>I can&rsquo;t say I&rsquo;m a pro at decision-making, but my grandmother was quick to say that despite having more experience, she doesn&rsquo;t have the answers. But through all the decisions she has made &mdash; both good and bad &mdash; my grandmother is still as hopeful and spirited as ever. And that&rsquo;s a choice too.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-94-year-olds-take-on-making-good-decisions">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-your-decision-making-skills">10 Ways to Improve Your Decision-Making Skills</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-steps-to-improving-your-critical-thinking">7 Steps to Improving Your Critical Thinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-34-smart-ways-to-improve-your-social-media-presence">Flashback Friday: 34 Smart Ways to Improve Your Social Media Presence</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-fridge-door-can-improve-your-life">8 Ways Your Fridge Door Can Improve Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development aging decision making grandparents Thu, 29 Dec 2011 11:36:18 +0000 Tara Struyk 839374 at http://www.wisebread.com Power9: 9 Habits of the World's Healthiest People http://www.wisebread.com/power9-9-habits-of-the-worlds-healthiest-people <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/power9-9-habits-of-the-worlds-healthiest-people" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000007294837XSmall.jpg" alt="Happy senior couple" title="Happy senior couple" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The United States is facing a health crisis of unprecedented proportions: Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. Diabetes and heart disease rates are on the rise. For the first time in living history, the life expectancy of America&rsquo;s children is less than that of their parents.</p> <p>In other parts of the world, however, people are living longer, healthier lives. In certain areas known as Blue Zones, people tend to live well into their 90s and beyond while remaining mentally and physically vibrant. It&rsquo;s no coincidence that people in these regions share several lifestyle traits.</p> <h2>The Blue Zones</h2> <ol> <li><strong>Sardinia, Italy</strong>: a mountain village where researchers encountered a 102-year-old man who hikes at least 6 miles a day.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Okinawa, Japan</strong>: home to some of the world&rsquo;s longest-lived people.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Loma Linda, California</strong>: where a group of Seventh Day Adventists commonly live to 100 years old and enjoy more healthy years of life than the rest of the United States.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Icaria, Greece</strong>: a tiny island with 20 percent lower rates of cancer, 50 percent lower rates of heart disease, and almost no dementia.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica</strong>: where residents enjoy lower levels of obesity and longer lives than the rest of Costa Rica.</li> </ol> <p>Dan Buettner, explorer and writer for <em>National Geographic</em>, has worked with longevity researchers to identify the habits that allow Blue Zone inhabitants to reach the age of 100 at ten times greater rates than most of the United States, while suffering a mere fraction the rate of heart disease and cancer as the rest of the world.</p> <p>The key to living longer, fuller lives, says Buettner, is to create an environment of health. Science has determined that less than 25% of a person&rsquo;s lifespan is determined by genes. The rest can be influenced by lifestyle factors.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Healthy Lifestyle Habits</h2> <p>Buettner and his team of researchers have identified nine lifestyle factors common among Blue Zone inhabitants, all of which are associated with an extra 3-6 years of quality life. The secret to vitality and longevity is incorporating these habits into your daily life. Adopting all nine of these habits &mdash; known as the Power9 &mdash; is not necessary to experience the benefits of increased health and longevity; according to Buettner, practicing just six of the Power9 will deliver 90% of the benefits. His book, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Zones-Lessons-Living-Longest/dp/1426204000/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;s=books&amp;qid=1272063236&amp;sr=8-1">The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who&rsquo;ve Lived the Longest</a></em>, provides practical guidelines for setting up your home, your social life, and your work place to help add more quality years to your life.</p> <p>Surprisingly, only one of the Power9 deals with exercise, and a full third involve social factors. In fact, says Buettner, the single most important thing you can do is extend your life is to build your own &ldquo;Right Tribe.&rdquo; The world&rsquo;s longest-lived people were either born into or choose to associate with the right people &mdash; those who provide emotional support and the motivation to engage in healthy activities. Research shows that if you surround yourself with people who are active and eat healthy foods, you are more likely to adopt these habits yourself.</p> <h2>The Power9</h2> <h3>1. Move naturally</h3> <p>Find ways to move mindlessly and adopt a lifestyle that makes moving unavoidable. In many Blue Zones, walking is the main mode of transportation. People also engage in some sort of moderate daily activity such as gardening, walking, or playing with their children. Buettner believes that many Americans exercise too hard; our bodies were not made to withstand years of heavy pounding and high-intensity physical activity. Regular, low-intensity activity &mdash; doing something light every day &mdash; may be more beneficial. Focus on activities you enjoy &mdash; even something as seemingly simple as a daily walk can provide health benefits.</p> <h3>2. Know your purpose in life</h3> <p>Having a meaningful reason to get out of bed in the morning can help reduce stress and ward off disease. Studies show that people who retire early often see a decline in their health and even experience higher mortality rates than those who continue to work. If you enjoy your job, keep working as long as possible. Volunteer work and community service can also help provide a sense of purpose.</p> <h3>3. Downshift</h3> <p>People in Blue Zones typically have less stress in their lives. Look for ways to simplify your life: slow down, get plenty of rest, and take vacations. Try to punctuate your day with periods of calm, whether that means meditating, taking a relaxing bath, or carving out some time for yourself to engage in a hobby.</p> <h3>4. Follow the 80% Rule</h3> <p>As Americans, we&rsquo;re used to eating until we&rsquo;re full, but allowing yourself to feel hunger can actually be beneficial. A study involving mice revealed that the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin may help fight stress and depression. People in Blue Zones typically stop eating when they are 80% full. Buettner&rsquo;s book and the <a href="http://www.bluezones.com/">Blue Zone</a> web site provide advice on adopting healthier eating habits.</p> <h3>5. Eat a plant-based diet</h3> <p>People in Blue Zones don&rsquo;t diet; they eat wisely. Blue Zone diets consist of large amounts of locally grown vegetables and less protein than the average American diet. Limit processed foods, meats, fats, and sweets as much as possible. Also drink plenty of fresh water and herbal teas. In Icaria, residents drink high levels of herbal teas that act as diuretics, lower blood pressure, and prevent heart disease.</p> <h3>6. Drink red wine</h3> <p>Red wine is high in powerful antioxidants that can help fight cancer, reduce inflammation, and lower cholesterol. In Sardinia, researchers found a red wine with the world&rsquo;s highest-known levels of antioxidants. Drink red wine consistently and in moderation &mdash; a glass or two a day is recommended.</p> <h3>7. Belong to a healthy social network</h3> <p>Having a strong and supportive social system is key to reducing stress and living a healthy life. There is a biological link between social connection and how well our bodies function. Fifteen years ago, the average American had three good friends; that number is now down to two. Our increasingly wired society and busy lifestyles have made us more isolated, which can shave years off our lives. Make an effort to spend time with friends and nurture a face-to-face network instead of just connecting with people online. Proactively build friendships with people who practice healthy habits. Participating in social exercise groups or volunteering are great ways to meet healthy, like-minded individuals.</p> <h3>8. Have a belief system</h3> <p>Having some sort of faith system or spiritual practice has been shown to have health benefits. Participating in a belief system doesn&rsquo;t have to mean organized religion: Okinawans believe in ancestral worship; yoga and meditation are also forms of non-religious spiritual practices. &ldquo;People who feel their life is part of a larger plan and are guided by their spiritual values have stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, a lower risk of heart attack and cancer, and heal faster and live longer,&rdquo; says Harold G. Koenig, M.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center.</p> <h3>9. Put your family first</h3> <p>People in Blue Zones make family a priority and nurture supportive relationships with their loved ones. Studies have shown that the average working American parent spends just 19 minutes a day engaged in childcare. As you work on simplifying your routine, look for new, beneficial activities you can do with your children and extended family members. Complete a craft project together, get the family together for a bike ride, or involve the children in making dinner and choosing healthy foods for the family.</p> <p>For more information, visit the <a href="http://www.bluezones.com/">Blue Zones</a> web site, which features a Vitality Compass for gauging your current state of health and life expectancy.</p> <h3>Additional Resources</h3> <p><a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103744881 "> The Island Where People Live Longer</a><br /> <a href="http://www.aarpmagazine.org/health/find_purpose_live_longer.html"> Find Purpose, Live Longer</a></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a post by Karen Eisenbraun from our sister blog, <a href="http://www.healthytheory.com">Healthy Theory</a>. Visit Healthy Theory for more health tips and news.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/fast-food-companies-funded-by-health-insurance-investments">Fast Food Companies Funded by Health Insurance Investments</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/should-you-stop-eating-canned-foods">Should You Stop Eating Canned Foods?</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/fatty-foods-can-be-addictive-like-cocaine">Fatty Foods Can Be Addictive Like Cocaine</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/are-we-too-clean">Are We Too Clean? </a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-theory">Healthy Theory</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/power9-9-habits-of-the-worlds-healthiest-people">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-hair-for-cash">How to Sell Your Hair for Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-and-simple-sunburn-remedies-that-really-work">Cheap and Simple Sunburn Remedies That Really Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/curing-warts-removing-splinters-and-19-other-bizarre-uses-for-banana-peels">Curing Warts, Removing Splinters, and 19 Other Bizarre Uses for Banana Peels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-list-of-hangover-cures">The Ultimate List of Hangover Cures</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Health and Beauty aging blue zones healthy longevity power9 Mon, 26 Apr 2010 12:00:02 +0000 Healthy Theory 43403 at http://www.wisebread.com