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Design Ideas So You Can Age In Place

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Thinking of selling your house because the staircase is getting too difficult to navigate? Or the bathroom has become a slip-and-fall zone? Or your kitchen cabinets and appliances demand too much bending and stretching?

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New Ways to Keep Your Brain Sharp

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You know that physical exercise is good for your health. But did you know that exercising your brain should be part of your regular routine, too?

The field of brain health is exploding. Neuro-imaging of the brain and well-documented clinical studies show that planned brain exercise can keep the brain healthy as we age.

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When There's A Will, There's The Way

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What's one of the greatest gifts you can give your family? Have your health and financial papers in order.

For both health and financial issues there are some decisions and actions that can only be taken with the proper legal documents in place. Many of us put it off. Yet, without signed legal documents in place your wishes are just that --wishes.

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Rising Long-term Care Costs

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The costs for long-term care continue to climb, according to the Genworth 2009 Cost of Care Study. The greatest increases are for care in a nursing home (4.27%) and assisted living facility (1.37%). Care at home from licensed professionals has remained fairly constant. Though other research warns that as the baby boomer population ages and calls upon more at home resources, the prices will climb with demand.

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Maximizing Your Social Security Benefits

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If the drop in the stock market has turned your Social Security payment from "vacation money" to "mortgage money", then it's time to figure out how to maximize your benefit.

  • Don't be tempted to take benefits at age 62. If you can, wait until your normal retirement age to begin Social Security.
  • Staying in the workforce longer not only gives you the chance to build retirement savings but also your Social Security benefits.
  • Don't exceed the maximum income levels if you are receiving Social Security. You lose $1.00 in benefits for each $2.00 you earn over the limit. Ouch!
  • You can stop Social Security payments that you started before your normal retirement age. You'll have to pay back what you received in a lump sum. But then you can start benefits later at a higher rate.
  • Your benefit level impacts the amount your spouse receives if you die. Use the Social Security estimator tool and understand the long-term impact before you turn on benefits.

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Keep Your Financial Plan On Course

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If you have ever dieted (and that is most of us) you know the euphoria of losing that first few pounds. Then time goes on, what's new becomes old you find yourself rationalizing more frequently "just this once."

We're entering a similar danger zone in financial planning. How you react to the more upbeat economic news could have a significant impact your financial success in living the life you want.

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You Can Manage Financial Risk Starting Today

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R-I-S-K -- thanks to the economic crisis, we have new respect for those four simple letters.

The ability to effectively manage financial risk has only one basic prerequisite: You must acknowledge that there is a chance something will happen and its financial impact is not something you can accept or afford. That's it? What's the big deal? The big deal is that we rarely, consciously, acknowledge the financial risks in our lives or the tools we use to protect ourselves from them.

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Five Healthy Living Tips for Seniors

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Healthy living is about more than eating right and exercise. As we age, there are normal physiological changes that affect our body, our mind and our attitude. We can experience small physical changes like poorer vision and more aches and pains to more serious an increase in chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. On the other hand, as we age we tend to become more optimistic.

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