Divorce Taking a Financial Toll on Older Americans


Americans aged 50 or more are experiencing gray divorce more than ever. The term gray divorce generally refers to the baby boomer generation and affects all classes and education levels. Research shows that splitting during middle age is particularly damaging to your financial well being. According to Bloomberg News, the US divorce rate for couples past the age of 50 has doubled since 1990 and occurs most often in people who have married and divorced more than once. The rate of divorce among remarried individuals is 2.5 times higher than those in first marriages. And the financial outlook is usually the bleakest for those who have married and divorced more than once. Losing accumulated wealth for a second or third time can ruin personal finances on an unprecedented scale. As such, relative wealth can be a protective factor in keeping couples together. Midlife marriages are not always torn apart by empty nest syndrome or a [...]

Divorce Taking a Financial Toll on Older Americans2020-02-14T14:36:58+00:00

Sometimes Assisted Living is Not Enough


Jerry’s mother Jane decided, on her own, that it was time to move into an assisted-living facility. Jane’s arthritis had worsened to the point where she couldn’t dress herself, she struggled to get in and out of the shower, and she was lonely living by herself. Jane did very well at her new place. The social activities helped her mood, the staff was available to help her bathe and to monitor her medication for her, and she appreciated not having to cook anymore. However, over time Jane showed signs of dementia. The facility she had moved to was simply not set up to meet her needs. Dementia patients can become disoriented, wander away into danger or exposure, or become agitated or aggressive. Dementia is a particularly difficult disease to care for, as the right balance must be struck between sufferers’ need for social contact and mobility on the one hand and safety for themselves and [...]

Sometimes Assisted Living is Not Enough2020-02-07T16:04:44+00:00

Guide to Leaving Well


Contemplating our own death is one of the hardest challenges we will ever have to face. Yet, if we want our dying to be meaningful and merciful, it is imperative that we think about it while we still can. Most of us want to die at home, in a familiar and peaceful setting surrounded by loved ones. We would much rather not spend our last moments in an emergency room or ICU, with strangers futilely pounding on our chests and our families relegated to the waiting room. With those two alternatives in mind, we need to do all we can to keep control, as much as possible, of decisions that need to be made long before our final moments. We need to think carefully, well in advance, about what makes life worth living, and where pain and limitation have so eroded that quality of life that we would prefer not to go there. These are [...]

Guide to Leaving Well2020-01-30T15:24:51+00:00

American Seniors are More in Debt Than Ever Before


America experienced its worst financial crisis since the great depression between 2007 and 2010. Known as the subprime mortgage crisis, it happened because home prices fell in 2006, triggering loan defaults. Then the risk spread into pension funds, mutual funds, and corporations who owned the derivatives. It also spread into the global credit market resulting in higher interest rates and reduced availability of credit. Quantitative easing was necessary for several years to lower interest rates and spur economic growth. The cautionary tale to all Americans was learning to live beneath their means and do not carry excessive amounts of debt. Many Americans did not take heed and as a result, they are in substantial debt. One of the saddest cases of all of the debtors is the senior in their 60s and 70s in retirement years, and generally on a fixed income. According to, the current financial debt crisis among seniors is worse today [...]

American Seniors are More in Debt Than Ever Before2020-01-16T23:43:39+00:00

Lawmakers Discuss the Future of Healthcare


In June, The Hill hosted a Future of Healthcare Summit to address critical issues in healthcare, from the Medicare for All proposals made by Democratic presidential hopefuls to the opioid crisis. Speakers included policymakers, health officials, and industry leaders, on both sides of the aisle. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), for example, took a critical stance on the idea of Medicare for All at the summit. His statements are summarized here. His concerns are practical; “We can’t even pay for Medicare for some,” he said, referring to an earlier report that Medicare will exceed its hospital insurance fund by 2026. Manchin, accordingly, prefers to fix the Affordable Care Act rather than create an entirely new system. Another issue discussed at the summit was that of data security. As health care becomes increasingly digitized, the risk to people’s privacy rises, as evidenced by recent data breaches. Lawmakers are responding to these breaches, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) by [...]

Lawmakers Discuss the Future of Healthcare2020-01-10T16:37:14+00:00

How Senior Living Facilities Should Address Resident Abuse


If you have an elderly family member or friend living in an assisted living or skilled nursing facility, it is imperative that you stay attuned to the signs of abuse to your loved one. The National Center on Elder Abuse reports the most common types of abuse include physical (29%), psychological (21%), gross neglect (14%), financial exploitation (14%), and sexual abuse (7%). While the facility's staff perpetrates the majority of these abuse cases, 22 percent of cases are a result of resident on resident abuse. However, these statistics reveal only part of the story. While abuse of senior residents is not the norm, according to McKnight's Senior Living, it is a persistent and pervasive problem. Federal and State lawmakers are emphasizing the role of regulations and public policy to identify and decrease the abuse of residents while continuing to improve care quality. Once a comprehensive set of US standards for care are established, facility owners [...]

How Senior Living Facilities Should Address Resident Abuse2020-01-03T16:35:44+00:00

What is COLA and What Does it Have to do with Social Security?


A non-partisan advocacy group called The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) has a new analysis that asserts the federal government measuring tool to calculate the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) is flawed. The decrease in social security benefit monies that are paid to seniors is eroding their financial protection against rising costs. Changes in the COLA is tethered to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers Index (CPI-W), which determines the inflation rate for a basket of goods and services from one year to the next, affecting more than 64 million beneficiaries next year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has released its annual CPI-W data from Quarter 3 since 1975, providing the final inflation number needed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to calculate a given year’s COLA. The CPI-W has eight major spending categories, each with its subcategories, which receive a weighting to establish the movement in price, thus determining inflation costs. [...]

What is COLA and What Does it Have to do with Social Security?2019-12-22T16:48:45+00:00

Your Guide to Becoming a Tech-Savvy Senior


We live in a world of the Internet of Things (IoT). Embedded electronics with internet connectivity simplify tasks and are a pervasive part of our daily lives. Typically, the younger generations are very adept at navigating the IoT while many seniors feel overwhelmed by technology, devices, and the internet in general. The good news is that learning the basics and becoming a tech-savvy senior is not that hard, particularly if you take a couple of weeks to get acclimated and have some guidance in the form of online tutorials or personal assistance. Digital literacy training will give a senior the confidence and skills they need to access information and online services. What is a computer anyway? It is an electronic device that manipulates information in a coded format. A computer can store, retrieve, and process information or data. The data is rendered through software applications that provide us screen displays of written text, pictures, video, [...]

Your Guide to Becoming a Tech-Savvy Senior2019-12-18T15:32:09+00:00

Benefits of Exercise for Seniors


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released its latest findings addressing healthy exercise guidelines for older adults. The overall conclusion is that all aging adults should include aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercises as well as add balance training. The authors of the study by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) state “All three aspects are important for this population because older adults are at an increased risk of falls, and strength and balance are needed to prevent falls.” Physically active adults are better able to engage in activities of daily living and have improved physical function. The good news is, even if you have never exercised before, you can get benefits from beginning today. Determine your level of fitness and talk to your doctor before beginning any program. To exercise safely, adults with chronic conditions may require exercise modifications either in physical technique or time allotment. Even with a chronic condition [...]

Benefits of Exercise for Seniors2019-12-12T15:36:57+00:00

Unpacking the Senior Safe Act


The Senior Safe Act, signed into law by President Trump in 2018, is designed to protect our elders from financial abuse from either within a family or support system or by scam artists preying upon them. Tens of billions of dollars each year are illegally taken from US seniors and these numbers only reflect the crimes being reported. Issue Percentage of cases reported Third-party abuse/exploitation 27% Account distributions 26% Family member, trustee or power of attorney taking advantage 23% Diminished capacity 12% Combined diminished capacity and third-party abuse 12% Fraud 6.30% Elder exploitation 5.70% Friend, housekeeper or caretaker taking advantage <1% Excessive withdrawals <1% SOURCE: North American Securities Administrators Association Often a senior does not report financial abuse or identity theft because they are unaware, embarrassed, or worse, they think that someone will deem them mentally unfit and they might be “put away” as a consequence of having been exploited.  While these are real issues [...]

Unpacking the Senior Safe Act2019-12-06T14:50:30+00:00