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Lifestyle

Meet Barbara Stohlman, Organizer
Published on: 5/10/2021
Our member Barbara Stohlman is featured in Haymarket/Gainesville Lifestyle Magazine.
What? Synthetic Diamonds?
Sherlene Y Bradbury
Published on: 9/10/2020
Synthetic, lab or factory grown diamonds ( the terms will be used interchangeably) are nothing new. What is new is the advancement in technology and renewed interest by the jewelry industry. The first synthetic diamond was created back in the 1950’s by General Electric. The problem then was that it was cost prohibitive to produce gem quality but they were produced for industrial purposes. With today’s technology, synthetic diamonds conform to the stringent jewelry industry demands and have a lower cost and much shorter production time. So much so that the production areas for these stones really are factories, not labs.

Financial

At what age should you take Social Security?
Deborah Lewis
Published on: 2/4/2021
When it comes to Social Security payouts, the “when” can be as important as the “how much.”Americans in retirement, or nearing it, have multiple options on when to start collecting Social Security benefits. The attractiveness of each option depends on a myriad of factors, including income need, health, and career/retirement status.
Make no mistake; there's an abundant amount of cash on the table with Social Security. According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, approximately 67.9 million Americans took Social Security benefits in 2018*.
COMPARING ULTRA-SAFE INVESTMENT OPTIONS
Deborah Lewis
Published on: 2/4/2021
With savings account rates at historic lows, many retirees and other savers are uncertain where to go to stretch their dollars, while keeping their assets as safe as possible. Options include certificates of deposit (CDs), money market accounts, U.S. Treasury securities and fixed-deferred annuities.
How do they compare? Here's an overview:
In retirement, guarantees matter.
Deborah Lewis
Published on: 2/4/2021
1 in 5 Americans age 65 or older are working or looking for work. 1 Why do so many expect to postpone a typical, leisure-filled retirement? One theory points to the decline of pensions and the need to replace the income stream that used to come—guaranteed—from a past employer. Approximatley 14% of private sector employers offer defined contribution or traditional defined benefit pension plans.2 And traditional defined benefit plans are disappearing as only 16% of Fortune 500 companies offered defined benefit pensions to new employees.3
8 Financial Tips To Help Manage The Death Of A Loved One
Mark Avallone
Published on: 12/16/2020
Recently, I lost a friend to a sudden heart attack. The surviving family was face-to-face with an unplanned, difficult reality. We all know that any day can be our last, but few people make a plan for handling the financial decisions the surviving spouse or family will need to make. Avoiding the discussion around death is understandable, but eventually life continues, creditors want their money, and stewardship of assets needs to continue. Here are eight tips that can help you, your spouse, or any loved one, such as an elderly parent or unmarried child, plan for the unexpected.
How Tax Reform May Impact Near-Retirees And Retirees
Mark Avallone
Published on: 12/16/2020
The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 lowers income-tax rates for all tax brackets, especially for high earners, and raises the estate-tax exemption—both of these changes benefit the wealthiest Americans. While the wealthy are clear winners, the vast majority of Americans will pay the same or less in taxes for more than one reason. First, there is the drop in tax rates across all income levels. Second, due to low income levels, almost half of Americans paid almost no federal income tax under the old tax structure; that statistic should remain stable or slightly increase under the new Tax Act. Note: this group includes a majority of our senior citizens, many of whom aren't required to file a tax return due to low income levels (according to Bankrate, the median household income for Americans over age 65 is under $40,000).
The Most Reliable Ways To Generate Retirement Income
Mark Avallone
Published on: 12/16/2020
With over 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day, the question of how to pay bills during retirement is on the minds of many. I have almost daily conversations with individuals planning for their next stage of life and surprisingly, while each situation is unique, the choices all dovetail into the same five ways that cash flow can be generated to pay for a desired lifestyle. And when I emphasize that these five are the most reliable ways to generate retirement income, they often look at me quizzically and express concern that these choices are too limited. Yes, I remind them, there really isn't a retirement income fairy.
5 Tips To Help You Prepare For The Next Market Crash
Mark Avallone
Published on: 12/16/2020
Many stock and bond investors were caught off guard by the swift and severe market downturn earlier this spring. At the market bottom, things looked dismal, and many stock and bond investors panicked. Remember, for every buyer there has to be a seller—and there were folks who sold on March 23rd when the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit an intra-day low of 18,213
8 Planning Tips for a More Enjoyable Retirement
Mark Avallone
Published on: 12/14/2020
As people plan for retirement, it is no longer considered the end of something but rather the beginning of a new adventure and even an exciting phase of life. The individuals and couples that I speak with envision a retirement where they're engaged in their favorite activities, causes and passions. This leads to the question, "How can I pay for what I want to enjoy over an uncertain period of time while not running out of money?”
Families Fight Over Dumb Stuff
More than half of the people who die, leave this earth without a will. Even when they do the estate planning, squabbles, usually among the adult children, break out.
Free Financial Protection Kit from USA.gov
Take a moment to download a few of the publications that will provide some guidance on protecting your finances at USA.gov.
Protecting Yourself from Online Bank Fraud
Online banking has many benefits—from a simple way to pay bills to a historical portal of your banking statements. For those of you who haven’t tried it because of safety concerns, here are three tips to protect yourself from online fraud:
Protect a Parent from Elder Fraud
Every year an estimated 5 million older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. And that’s only part of the picture: Experts believe that for every case of elder abuse or neglect reported, as many as 23 cases go unreported. This post is to honor June 15, 2016, which is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
49% of Americans Retiring Earlier Than Planned
The latest U.S. Census reports that there are 44.7 million over the age of 65 in the United States. According to the Department of Health & Human Services, seven out of ten of them will need three or more years of long-term care before they die. Unfortunately, most families are not prepared when they need to step in and help mom, dad in the face of a crisis or medical issue, and the consequences of being unprepared can be severe amongst families – causing chaos, confusion, and loss of money.

Health

Dementia Communication: Our Four Best Tips
Heidi Garvis
Published on: 9/10/2020
Many of us often make mistakes when communicating with people who are living with dementia. It’s a learning process, but here are a few key practices which may help you. Remember, those living with dementia have a disease and cannot control their behavior. Their reasoning and logic skills are impaired. Changing our approach can reassure them and reduce anxiety.
Medical Alert Systems: What Are They And How to Select One
Have you or a loved one reached the stage where you are considering medical alert systems, also called Personal Emergency Alert Systems (PERS)? If so and you’ve done any shopping at all, you may have been overwhelmed by all the options available. Let’s see if we can’t break it down and look at how to make a sensible selection.

Housing

HOME IMPROVEMENT ISSUES UNIQUE TO SENIORS
Published on: 7/9/2020
Seniors have to deal with two issues unique to their population when undertaking home improvement or repair. Here’s what they are, and how to deal with them.
Aging In Place: What Is It? Elements to Consider
Until relatively recently, it was assumed that seniors would move to either a senior living center or to a nursing home. Not surprisingly, seniors are resisting the idea of moving out of their home, and they desire more independence while staying in a familiar environment. Hence, the development of the concept of aging in place.
Home Improvement Ideas for Baby Boomers
A recent survey by the non-profit research firm The Demand Institute concluded that 63% of baby boomers plan to age in place rather than move again.