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page 8

It’s How You Live 2010

Lexington Clipper-Herald

Golden years are turning into green years The adage, "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" is apparently a misconception. When you consider how many people of the senior demographic are continually trying new things, such as making green changes to their lifestyle, it would seem that change is possible no matter a person's age. The green movement in the media tends to be skewed toward the younger demographic. However, plenty of older individuals are making strides to adopt earth-friendly changes and spread the word about helping the environment. Seniors comprise a considerable chunk of the population. For instance, nearly 13 percent of the United States. is over the age of 65. Also, with high numbers of seniors retired or working minimal hours, they are a demographic that has a lot of time to devote to going green. Seniors are not new to the issues of going green. Many grew up during the Great Depression, when recycling and reusing were par for the course. However, doing so back then was a necessity rather than a widespread social movement. Seniors are also less reticent to go without modern conveniences that may do more to hurt the planet than protect it. They are used to walking or bicycling to get around. And the concept of hopping on a train or bus instead of driving individual cars is something many embrace. Retailers, housing developers and other business-

minded individuals are finding that it pays to target the senior market in terms of going green. This demographic that grew up on being frugal finds many benefits to incorporating green concepts into their lifestyle. A popular housing builder and Harris Interactive polled Baby Boomers ages 45 to 62 in 2008 about their interest in the environment. Some findings include: * 94 percent of Boomers had taken steps in the last 6 months to go green. * 79 percent wanted to do more to reduce their carbon footprint. * 81percent were concerned about what type of world they're leaving for their grandchildren. * 25 percent said that a green house is one of the smartest investments a person can make. With that in mind, here are some ways seniors can make environmentally friendly changes around the house in an effort to both save money and help the planet. - Look for a retirement community or assisted living facility that boasts green practices. It has become commonplace for these communities to use solar panels to harness energy and green building materials to compromise the majority of the structure. - Beef up insulation and weather-stripping. Replace drafty windows and doors to save consider-

ably on heating and cooling costs. - Consider using low VOC paints and carpets made of organic materials. Fewer chemicals in the air make for a safer living environment and world. - A high-efficiency dishwasher may use less water than washing dishes by hand. Wait until the dishwasher is full before running a load. - Now is the time to upgrade to energy-efficient appliances to use less energy and save money in the long run. - Go yard sale shopping. Furnish the home with items that may be someone else's trash but your treasure. You will limit the number of things that end up in landfills.

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page 2

It’s How You Live 2010

Lexington Clipper-Herald

Funeral planning is always hard, but it can be made easier DAVID PENNER C-H editor

LEXINGTON – Coping with the loss of a loved one is hard enough, but compounding the issue with questions like, “What do we do next?” and “How much will this cost?” is never easy. Making funeral arrangements now is a way to get all of one’s proverbial ducks in a row before anything happens later. “The other day a woman called us and said her mom was in a care home and that she wanted to get her funeral arrangements taken care of now,” Tami Reynolds, of Reynolds-Love Funeral Home, said. Reynolds said getting started now on the process, even though it is a sad thing to think about, is the smartest way to

services for: employees multi-state filers farmers business owners parents self-employed seniors and retirees students

handle dealing with the loss of a loved one. “When people call us to get the process started, we tell them, we can either come to you or you can come to us,” she said. “Whichever is easiest.” The advantages of planning ahead are numerous, including: – Providing the service in accordance with your own wishes, values and personal preferences; – Avoids family disagreements and emotional over-spending; – Relieves loved ones from the emotional burden of having to make difficult, irreversible decisions at this worst time of their lives; – Relieves family from unexpected

Dr. John M. Ford

Pediatrics Dr. Joseph S. Miller

Geriatrics Dr. Mark Jones

Please see PLANNING, Page 3

Personal or Business tax preparation in Lexington

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Please call for an appointment or stop by our Lexington office, now located at 201 W. 9th St.

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your current income, unlike home equity loans, etc. These loans are generally available from traditional lenders. There may be fees associated with application and loan closing, which vary from lender to lender. You can shop around for the best lender. It is not recommended to use an estate planning service to recommend a reverse mortgage lender. In terms of receiving the cash value of the loan, there are a number of ways to receive the money. You can select equal monthly payments for as long as you're living in the home; equal monthly payments for a specified term; a line of credit, where you can withdraw funds of various amounts as needed until the line of credit runs out; or a combination of methods. To learn about available lenders for reverse mortgages, The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Assoc-

iation (NRMLA) publishes a list available at ReverseMortgage.org. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also publishes a list of approved lenders. Be sure they are part of the HECM program. AVOID THESE REVERSE MORTGAGE PITFALLS

While reverse mortgages can be a boon to seniors looking to receive cash now, there are some dangers to be aware of that can prove costly to unsuspecting homeowners. 1. The money for taxes, insurance and various fees is subtracted from the amount the mortgage holder receives for their monthly payment, thereby reducing the net amount of the money you will get each month. 2. Be aware that if you move into a nursing home or other assisted care facility, which is likely for many sen-

iors, your home is no longer your primary residence. The lender can then come for the loan. The same is said if you move to another residence for half of the year, which is common in a "snow bird" situation. 3. You could be asked to pay higher fees and closing costs for a reverse mortgage than a traditional mortgage. 4. Many unsuspecting homeowners are sucked into adjustable rate mortgages for their reverse mortgage. ARMs, as many know, have a fluctuating interest rate that can go quite high. Consider fixed-rate loans if you're concerned about adjustable rates. 5. You can use the money gained from a reverse mortgage on any expenditure. That can make splurging very tempting. However, should an emergency arise down the line, you may have depleted the cash available from your home already.

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primary home. You are still required to pay property tax, home insurance and other monthly utility payments, etc. There is no worry about foreclosure or being evicted from the house if you outlive the loan, because payments are being made to you from the lender. You can never owe more than the value of the home, so there is little worry about being in financial peril. What's more, should you sell the house or if it is left to relatives as an estate, the lender is repaid the amount of money you received in the reverse mortgage. The rest is available to you or your heirs. Reverse mortgage amounts are based on a few factors, namely your age and the value of your home. The older you are, the higher the amount you can potentially receive on average. Also, reverse mortgages are available regardless of

EUSTIS

DREAMING UP THE IDEAL RETIREMENT

.

Reverse mortgages, also known as FHA Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM) in the United States, are growing in popularity among the senior set. With this type of plan, homeowners who own their home outright or have a very small mortgage payment can actually receive cash from the home that doesn't require immediate payback. This money can be used for improvements, medical expenses or to supplement social security. Over time your home is worth money thanks to increased value gained over the years. This is called equity. With a reverse mortgage, a homeowner age 62 or older qualifies to receive a percentage of the equity as cash payments. Unlike a home equity loan or second mortgage, however, the loan does not have to be paid back as long as the you or another borrower is living in the residence as a

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IS YOUR JOB. HELPING YOU GET THERE IS OURS.

page 7

Use reverse mortgages to access equity for retirement

Obstetrics

Family Practice

It’s How You Live 2010

Lexington Clipper-Herald

WEL-Life at Plum Creek

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page 6

It’s How You Live 2010

Lexington Clipper-Herald

Don't succumb to stress after retirement WII BOWLING:

Perhaps no medical issue flies under the radar more than stress. A recent survey by the American Psychological Association found that one-third of Americans are living with extreme stress, while close to half of all survey respondents felt their stress levels are on the rise. While stress is a problem many feel stems from work, stress is not solely a byproduct of work, and those without work-related stress can still be overwhelmed by feelings of stress. Simply put, stress can affect everyone, even the nation's retirees. While retirement is often seen as a chance to relax and enjoy the fruits of a life's worth of labors, retirement can also be a stressful time for many people. Getting by on less income can be stressful, as can health issues that might arise as we age. In fact, a person's ability to relax after a stressful event actually becomes more difficult the older we get. Such a reality only underlines the importance of stress prevention for retirees, who can decrease their risk of stress or stress-related illness with some common preventive measures. * Diet and exercise. While seniors might not be able to do all that they used to when it comes to exercise and athletics, daily exercise combined with a healthy diet can go a long way to preventing stress. When exercising, be careful not to over-exert yourself but be sure to include exercise as part of your daily routine.

“You can

WASP:

Exercise can include a daily walk out in the fresh air, or a trip to the gym for some light weightlifting and cardiovascular work. Seniors should always consult a physician before beginning an exercise regimen. With respect to diet, avoid sugar, fried foods and overconsumption of alcohol, as each of things can aggravate an existing condition, increasing the health-related stress many seniors feel as their immune system weakens and they become more susceptible to disease or additional ailments. * Be sure to socialize. Stress doesn't just come from work or a physical ailment, it can also be the result of a mental ailment, such as depression resulting from loneliness. Just like everyone else, seniors need to share their problems and concerns as well as their good times with others. Just because you're retired from work does not mean you're retired from life. Stay actively involved in your community, and be sure to maintain regular contact with friends and family members. Socialization comes in many different forms, and seniors should take advantage of communitybased programs to connect with other seniors or even share their experience with younger generations whenever possible. * Develop a daily routine. Part of the joy of retirement is having the freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want to do it. However, many retirees find that a daily routine helps them instill

ic. She said it’s one of the hardest things a family will have to deal with. from Page 2 “For us it is rewarding to help them financial burden. get through the process,” she said. “We Reynolds said she always asks a very cry right there with them, but we do our simple question when people talk to her best help them through the process.” about pre-planning their funeral or a Reynolds-Love funeral home does not loved one’s funeral: What would you be charge their service fee for children doing if someone you loved died today? under the age of 18. “You would be planning a funeral,” “We have done that for a long time,” she said. Reynolds said. “Families of children When a grandparent dies, Reynolds who have died have so many other said, in some ways it is easier to handle things they have to worry about, this because their relatives know they have way it is just one less thing.” led a full life, but when at younger perPlease see PLANNING, Page 4 son or a child dies it is much more trag-

PLANNING:

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a sense of order in their lives and avoid stress. The daily routine can include a morning round of golf, a weekly lunch or dinner with the kids, or anything else that promotes a sense of purpose.

LOOK BEYOND TODAY Trust Your Eyes to the Experts

Most of us don’t like to think about the idea of our passing, but it is, in fact, a life event, and pre-need planning of our own funeral arrangements is one of the most caring and thoughtful things we can do for our loved ones. By planning ahead, we protect them from the burden of making difficult decisions at a time of emotional pain and grief.

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page 3

It’s How You Live 2010

Lexington Clipper-Herald

Reynolds-Love Funeral Home

106 W. 8th St. • Lexington

324-2221 www.reynoldslovefuneralhome.com

• Go to the store • Visit the doctor • Have lunch with a friend • Attend church or school functions • Take a nap • Go out of town for a few days • Relax knowing the person you care for is not alone!

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915 Meridian, Cozad 308-784-2009 202 E. 7th St., Lexington 308-324-6897

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page 4

It’s How You Live 2010

PLANNING: from Page 1

One of the decisions people will have to make is whether or not they want to be cremated or buried traditionally in a casket. “About 30 to 35 percent of people now are choosing to be cremated,� Reynolds said. “It’s about half as much of the cost of being buried in a casket.� The number one this is planning ahead Reynolds said. “This is something everyone should be thinking about.�

Lexington Clipper-Herald

Commonly asked questions 1. Why use a trust policy through the funeral home – Life insurance policy does instead of investing it your- not lock in funeral cost. self ? – Cash value in life insur– We put the money into an ance can count against you for irrevocable trust. It cannot be getting on assistance. counted as an asset if you have – Some life insurance polices to go on Medicaid or some type face amounts never grow thus of assistance. not keepin up with funeral – Irrevocable trust you don’t costs. have to pay taxes and does not – You pay only for your go through probate. Any excess funeral expense dollar for dolinterest over the funeral goes lar if paid in two years with a back to the family. trust policy. 2. I have life insurance why 3. What happens if I decide do I need a funeral home trust? to use another funeral home?

At Barmore's, we're more than just your local pharmacy, we're your neighbor! We are dedicated to helping take care of you and your family. Whether you need a prescription, a special gift or just have a question, we are here to help!

regarding funeral planning – The money is held with the trust company. – Trust can be transferred to any funeral home. 4. Do we have to pay the whole amount up front? – Reynolds-Love Funeral Home has payment options for people 90 and under. – Reynolds-Love Funeral Home has a two-year same as cash and can extend out up to 10 years. 5. Can my family change anything on the prearrangement?

– Yes, if you decide to upgrade or add you just pay the difference or desire something less expensive funds are given back to the family. 6. Will veterans benefits or Social Security pay for a funeral? – No, on average you will only receive $300 from veterans benefits. – Only $255 is paid from the Social Security death benefit, of which, is only paid to the surviving spouse or dependent children.

When life changes include selling your home, be sure to call the knowledgeable professionals at BHA for caring & experienced Real Estate Service. www.bharealestate.com

600 N. Washington Lexington • 324-4611

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Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s How You Live 2010

Lexington Clipper-Herald

page 5

Myths associated with hearing loss and treatment Hearing is something many people take for granted. While it's certainly possible to a lifetime without so much as a single hearing problem, nearly anyone who has ever been to a musical concert has no doubt considered the possibility of hearing loss, be it temporary or permanent. Just as common as the consideration of hearing loss are the myths associated with hearing loss and treatment. The Better Hearing Institute (BHI), a not-for-profit corporation with a goal of educating the public about hearing loss and what can be done about, breaks some of those myths. Minor surgery can fix my hearing. Though medical treatment or surgery can benefit hearing loss, only 510 percent of adult cases of hearing loss can benefit from surgery or other treatment. I have on good ear and one bad ear. When one ear is bad, the natural tendency is to begin favoring the other ear when using the telephone or having face-to-face conversations. This creates the illusion that the socalled "better ear" is normal when it really isn't. In fact, according to the

BHI, most type of hearing loss affects both ears equally and roughly 90 percent of hearing loss patients are in need of hearing aids for both ears. Hearing loss is for the elderly. Arguably the most common miscon-

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ception about hearing loss, this is also entirely untrue. In fact, only 35 percent of people with hearing loss are over the age of 64. Nearly 6 million people in the United States alone between the ages of 18 and 44 have some hearing loss, and more than one

million are school age. My doctor would have told me if I had hearing loss. According to the BHI, only 14 percent of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss during a physical. Due to the quiet nature of a doctor's office, it's easy for the physician to assume your hearing is fine because the environment is quiet and you likely are not exhibiting any symptoms of hearing loss. When visiting the doctor for your next physical, ask him to look for any signs of hearing loss during the physical. Hearing loss is normal for my age. Hearing loss isn't normal for anyone, no matter what a friend, relative or even physician might say. Hearing loss is untreatable. Hearing loss might have been untreatable years ago, but technology has changed that. Though surgery might not be the answer, the BHI notes that 95 percent of people with sensorineural hearing loss can be helped with hearing aids. To learn more about hearing loss and hearing loss treatment, visit the Better Hearing Institute Web site at www.betterhearing.org.

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page 4

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s How You Live 2010

PLANNING: from Page 1

One of the decisions people will have to make is whether or not they want to be cremated or buried traditionally in a casket. â&#x20AC;&#x153;About 30 to 35 percent of people now are choosing to be cremated,â&#x20AC;? Reynolds said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about half as much of the cost of being buried in a casket.â&#x20AC;? The number one this is planning ahead Reynolds said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is something everyone should be thinking about.â&#x20AC;?

Lexington Clipper-Herald

Commonly asked questions 1. Why use a trust policy through the funeral home â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Life insurance policy does instead of investing it your- not lock in funeral cost. self ? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Cash value in life insurâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; We put the money into an ance can count against you for irrevocable trust. It cannot be getting on assistance. counted as an asset if you have â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Some life insurance polices to go on Medicaid or some type face amounts never grow thus of assistance. not keepin up with funeral â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Irrevocable trust you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t costs. have to pay taxes and does not â&#x20AC;&#x201C; You pay only for your go through probate. Any excess funeral expense dollar for dolinterest over the funeral goes lar if paid in two years with a back to the family. trust policy. 2. I have life insurance why 3. What happens if I decide do I need a funeral home trust? to use another funeral home?

At Barmore's, we're more than just your local pharmacy, we're your neighbor! We are dedicated to helping take care of you and your family. Whether you need a prescription, a special gift or just have a question, we are here to help!

regarding funeral planning â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The money is held with the trust company. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Trust can be transferred to any funeral home. 4. Do we have to pay the whole amount up front? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Reynolds-Love Funeral Home has payment options for people 90 and under. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Reynolds-Love Funeral Home has a two-year same as cash and can extend out up to 10 years. 5. Can my family change anything on the prearrangement?

â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Yes, if you decide to upgrade or add you just pay the difference or desire something less expensive funds are given back to the family. 6. Will veterans benefits or Social Security pay for a funeral? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; No, on average you will only receive $300 from veterans benefits. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Only $255 is paid from the Social Security death benefit, of which, is only paid to the surviving spouse or dependent children.

When life changes include selling your home, be sure to call the knowledgeable professionals at BHA for caring & experienced Real Estate Service. www.bharealestate.com

600 N. Washington Lexington â&#x20AC;˘ 324-4611

When itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time for GOLDEN LIVING MAKE THE RIGHT

MOVE Assisted Living

& Long Term Care

709 E. Pacific (E. Hwy. 30) Lexington Patti Johnson Owner/Broker/Agent 325-1764

Linda Kneifl 324-5742

Doug Heineman Assoc. Broker 325-6747

324-5581 OR 888-324-5581

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Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s How You Live 2010

Lexington Clipper-Herald

page 5

Myths associated with hearing loss and treatment Hearing is something many people take for granted. While it's certainly possible to a lifetime without so much as a single hearing problem, nearly anyone who has ever been to a musical concert has no doubt considered the possibility of hearing loss, be it temporary or permanent. Just as common as the consideration of hearing loss are the myths associated with hearing loss and treatment. The Better Hearing Institute (BHI), a not-for-profit corporation with a goal of educating the public about hearing loss and what can be done about, breaks some of those myths. Minor surgery can fix my hearing. Though medical treatment or surgery can benefit hearing loss, only 510 percent of adult cases of hearing loss can benefit from surgery or other treatment. I have on good ear and one bad ear. When one ear is bad, the natural tendency is to begin favoring the other ear when using the telephone or having face-to-face conversations. This creates the illusion that the socalled "better ear" is normal when it really isn't. In fact, according to the

BHI, most type of hearing loss affects both ears equally and roughly 90 percent of hearing loss patients are in need of hearing aids for both ears. Hearing loss is for the elderly. Arguably the most common miscon-

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ception about hearing loss, this is also entirely untrue. In fact, only 35 percent of people with hearing loss are over the age of 64. Nearly 6 million people in the United States alone between the ages of 18 and 44 have some hearing loss, and more than one

million are school age. My doctor would have told me if I had hearing loss. According to the BHI, only 14 percent of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss during a physical. Due to the quiet nature of a doctor's office, it's easy for the physician to assume your hearing is fine because the environment is quiet and you likely are not exhibiting any symptoms of hearing loss. When visiting the doctor for your next physical, ask him to look for any signs of hearing loss during the physical. Hearing loss is normal for my age. Hearing loss isn't normal for anyone, no matter what a friend, relative or even physician might say. Hearing loss is untreatable. Hearing loss might have been untreatable years ago, but technology has changed that. Though surgery might not be the answer, the BHI notes that 95 percent of people with sensorineural hearing loss can be helped with hearing aids. To learn more about hearing loss and hearing loss treatment, visit the Better Hearing Institute Web site at www.betterhearing.org.

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page 6

It’s How You Live 2010

Lexington Clipper-Herald

Don't succumb to stress after retirement WII BOWLING:

Perhaps no medical issue flies under the radar more than stress. A recent survey by the American Psychological Association found that one-third of Americans are living with extreme stress, while close to half of all survey respondents felt their stress levels are on the rise. While stress is a problem many feel stems from work, stress is not solely a byproduct of work, and those without work-related stress can still be overwhelmed by feelings of stress. Simply put, stress can affect everyone, even the nation's retirees. While retirement is often seen as a chance to relax and enjoy the fruits of a life's worth of labors, retirement can also be a stressful time for many people. Getting by on less income can be stressful, as can health issues that might arise as we age. In fact, a person's ability to relax after a stressful event actually becomes more difficult the older we get. Such a reality only underlines the importance of stress prevention for retirees, who can decrease their risk of stress or stress-related illness with some common preventive measures. * Diet and exercise. While seniors might not be able to do all that they used to when it comes to exercise and athletics, daily exercise combined with a healthy diet can go a long way to preventing stress. When exercising, be careful not to over-exert yourself but be sure to include exercise as part of your daily routine.

“You can

WASP:

Exercise can include a daily walk out in the fresh air, or a trip to the gym for some light weightlifting and cardiovascular work. Seniors should always consult a physician before beginning an exercise regimen. With respect to diet, avoid sugar, fried foods and overconsumption of alcohol, as each of things can aggravate an existing condition, increasing the health-related stress many seniors feel as their immune system weakens and they become more susceptible to disease or additional ailments. * Be sure to socialize. Stress doesn't just come from work or a physical ailment, it can also be the result of a mental ailment, such as depression resulting from loneliness. Just like everyone else, seniors need to share their problems and concerns as well as their good times with others. Just because you're retired from work does not mean you're retired from life. Stay actively involved in your community, and be sure to maintain regular contact with friends and family members. Socialization comes in many different forms, and seniors should take advantage of communitybased programs to connect with other seniors or even share their experience with younger generations whenever possible. * Develop a daily routine. Part of the joy of retirement is having the freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want to do it. However, many retirees find that a daily routine helps them instill

ic. She said it’s one of the hardest things a family will have to deal with. from Page 2 “For us it is rewarding to help them financial burden. get through the process,” she said. “We Reynolds said she always asks a very cry right there with them, but we do our simple question when people talk to her best help them through the process.” about pre-planning their funeral or a Reynolds-Love funeral home does not loved one’s funeral: What would you be charge their service fee for children doing if someone you loved died today? under the age of 18. “You would be planning a funeral,” “We have done that for a long time,” she said. Reynolds said. “Families of children When a grandparent dies, Reynolds who have died have so many other said, in some ways it is easier to handle things they have to worry about, this because their relatives know they have way it is just one less thing.” led a full life, but when at younger perPlease see PLANNING, Page 4 son or a child dies it is much more trag-

PLANNING:

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a sense of order in their lives and avoid stress. The daily routine can include a morning round of golf, a weekly lunch or dinner with the kids, or anything else that promotes a sense of purpose.

LOOK BEYOND TODAY Trust Your Eyes to the Experts

Most of us don’t like to think about the idea of our passing, but it is, in fact, a life event, and pre-need planning of our own funeral arrangements is one of the most caring and thoughtful things we can do for our loved ones. By planning ahead, we protect them from the burden of making difficult decisions at a time of emotional pain and grief.

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page 3

It’s How You Live 2010

Lexington Clipper-Herald

Reynolds-Love Funeral Home

106 W. 8th St. • Lexington

324-2221 www.reynoldslovefuneralhome.com

• Go to the store • Visit the doctor • Have lunch with a friend • Attend church or school functions • Take a nap • Go out of town for a few days • Relax knowing the person you care for is not alone!

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page 2

It’s How You Live 2010

Lexington Clipper-Herald

Funeral planning is always hard, but it can be made easier DAVID PENNER C-H editor

LEXINGTON – Coping with the loss of a loved one is hard enough, but compounding the issue with questions like, “What do we do next?” and “How much will this cost?” is never easy. Making funeral arrangements now is a way to get all of one’s proverbial ducks in a row before anything happens later. “The other day a woman called us and said her mom was in a care home and that she wanted to get her funeral arrangements taken care of now,” Tami Reynolds, of Reynolds-Love Funeral Home, said. Reynolds said getting started now on the process, even though it is a sad thing to think about, is the smartest way to

services for: employees multi-state filers farmers business owners parents self-employed seniors and retirees students

handle dealing with the loss of a loved one. “When people call us to get the process started, we tell them, we can either come to you or you can come to us,” she said. “Whichever is easiest.” The advantages of planning ahead are numerous, including: – Providing the service in accordance with your own wishes, values and personal preferences; – Avoids family disagreements and emotional over-spending; – Relieves loved ones from the emotional burden of having to make difficult, irreversible decisions at this worst time of their lives; – Relieves family from unexpected

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your current income, unlike home equity loans, etc. These loans are generally available from traditional lenders. There may be fees associated with application and loan closing, which vary from lender to lender. You can shop around for the best lender. It is not recommended to use an estate planning service to recommend a reverse mortgage lender. In terms of receiving the cash value of the loan, there are a number of ways to receive the money. You can select equal monthly payments for as long as you're living in the home; equal monthly payments for a specified term; a line of credit, where you can withdraw funds of various amounts as needed until the line of credit runs out; or a combination of methods. To learn about available lenders for reverse mortgages, The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Assoc-

iation (NRMLA) publishes a list available at ReverseMortgage.org. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also publishes a list of approved lenders. Be sure they are part of the HECM program. AVOID THESE REVERSE MORTGAGE PITFALLS

While reverse mortgages can be a boon to seniors looking to receive cash now, there are some dangers to be aware of that can prove costly to unsuspecting homeowners. 1. The money for taxes, insurance and various fees is subtracted from the amount the mortgage holder receives for their monthly payment, thereby reducing the net amount of the money you will get each month. 2. Be aware that if you move into a nursing home or other assisted care facility, which is likely for many sen-

iors, your home is no longer your primary residence. The lender can then come for the loan. The same is said if you move to another residence for half of the year, which is common in a "snow bird" situation. 3. You could be asked to pay higher fees and closing costs for a reverse mortgage than a traditional mortgage. 4. Many unsuspecting homeowners are sucked into adjustable rate mortgages for their reverse mortgage. ARMs, as many know, have a fluctuating interest rate that can go quite high. Consider fixed-rate loans if you're concerned about adjustable rates. 5. You can use the money gained from a reverse mortgage on any expenditure. That can make splurging very tempting. However, should an emergency arise down the line, you may have depleted the cash available from your home already.

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primary home. You are still required to pay property tax, home insurance and other monthly utility payments, etc. There is no worry about foreclosure or being evicted from the house if you outlive the loan, because payments are being made to you from the lender. You can never owe more than the value of the home, so there is little worry about being in financial peril. What's more, should you sell the house or if it is left to relatives as an estate, the lender is repaid the amount of money you received in the reverse mortgage. The rest is available to you or your heirs. Reverse mortgage amounts are based on a few factors, namely your age and the value of your home. The older you are, the higher the amount you can potentially receive on average. Also, reverse mortgages are available regardless of

EUSTIS

DREAMING UP THE IDEAL RETIREMENT

.

Reverse mortgages, also known as FHA Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM) in the United States, are growing in popularity among the senior set. With this type of plan, homeowners who own their home outright or have a very small mortgage payment can actually receive cash from the home that doesn't require immediate payback. This money can be used for improvements, medical expenses or to supplement social security. Over time your home is worth money thanks to increased value gained over the years. This is called equity. With a reverse mortgage, a homeowner age 62 or older qualifies to receive a percentage of the equity as cash payments. Unlike a home equity loan or second mortgage, however, the loan does not have to be paid back as long as the you or another borrower is living in the residence as a

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page 7

Use reverse mortgages to access equity for retirement

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It’s How You Live 2010

Lexington Clipper-Herald

WEL-Life at Plum Creek

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page 8

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s How You Live 2010

Lexington Clipper-Herald

Golden years are turning into green years The adage, "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" is apparently a misconception. When you consider how many people of the senior demographic are continually trying new things, such as making green changes to their lifestyle, it would seem that change is possible no matter a person's age. The green movement in the media tends to be skewed toward the younger demographic. However, plenty of older individuals are making strides to adopt earth-friendly changes and spread the word about helping the environment. Seniors comprise a considerable chunk of the population. For instance, nearly 13 percent of the United States. is over the age of 65. Also, with high numbers of seniors retired or working minimal hours, they are a demographic that has a lot of time to devote to going green. Seniors are not new to the issues of going green. Many grew up during the Great Depression, when recycling and reusing were par for the course. However, doing so back then was a necessity rather than a widespread social movement. Seniors are also less reticent to go without modern conveniences that may do more to hurt the planet than protect it. They are used to walking or bicycling to get around. And the concept of hopping on a train or bus instead of driving individual cars is something many embrace. Retailers, housing developers and other business-

minded individuals are finding that it pays to target the senior market in terms of going green. This demographic that grew up on being frugal finds many benefits to incorporating green concepts into their lifestyle. A popular housing builder and Harris Interactive polled Baby Boomers ages 45 to 62 in 2008 about their interest in the environment. Some findings include: * 94 percent of Boomers had taken steps in the last 6 months to go green. * 79 percent wanted to do more to reduce their carbon footprint. * 81percent were concerned about what type of world they're leaving for their grandchildren. * 25 percent said that a green house is one of the smartest investments a person can make. With that in mind, here are some ways seniors can make environmentally friendly changes around the house in an effort to both save money and help the planet. - Look for a retirement community or assisted living facility that boasts green practices. It has become commonplace for these communities to use solar panels to harness energy and green building materials to compromise the majority of the structure. - Beef up insulation and weather-stripping. Replace drafty windows and doors to save consider-

ably on heating and cooling costs. - Consider using low VOC paints and carpets made of organic materials. Fewer chemicals in the air make for a safer living environment and world. - A high-efficiency dishwasher may use less water than washing dishes by hand. Wait until the dishwasher is full before running a load. - Now is the time to upgrade to energy-efficient appliances to use less energy and save money in the long run. - Go yard sale shopping. Furnish the home with items that may be someone else's trash but your treasure. You will limit the number of things that end up in landfills.

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Its About How You Live 2010