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Looking Forward Planning for Life After 50

With informative features on ďŹ nance, health and wellness, retirement living and more!

Kane County

CHRONICLE


Kane County Chronicle / KCChronicle.com • Saturday, July 28, 2012

| LOOKING FORWARD

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Tips to help seniors avoid identity thieves a phone call is very difficult to get back. The bureau recommends taking re precautions when doing p business over the phone, b including: in

(ARA) - Tommy and Susie aren’t the only ones who love Grandmom and Grandpop. Identity thieves love seniors too. Identity theft among Americans 50 and older is rising, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics. In 2010, more than 3.5 million households headed by people 50 and older experienced identity theft, according to bureau figures. Identity thieves find seniors attractive targets for a number of reasons, according to the FBI, including for their financial stability. Seniors are more likely to have savings, own a home and have good credit. Fortunately, taking precautions - including monitoring one’s identity and credit through products like ProtectMyID.com - can help seniors reduce their risk of identity theft. Two types of identity theft that have targeted seniors in the past are phone scams and medical fraud. The FBI advises seniors to be wary of telemarketers and phone solicitations, since money lost through

• Never sign blank claim forms or give a medical provider blanket authorization to bill for services.

• Asking for written material before m committing to any charitable request or special offer. If you receive written material, review it with someone you trust. • Avoid dealing with companies you don’t know, and research unfamiliar companies through consumer agencies like the Better Business Bureau, state attorney general or National Fraud Information Center. • Know who you’re talking to. Ask for the person’s full name, business title, phone number, physical address, mailing address and business license number. Verify the information before any transactions take place. • Don’t pay in advance for services, and be wary of high-pressure tactics that require you to act immediately in order to receive a special price or offer. Medical fraud is another area of particular risk for seniors, who tend to have more doctor visits, hospital trips and prescriptions, and since Medicare can be confusing and complicated.

It’s important to protect your identity by guarding Medicare and health insurance information, just as you would your bank account number or Social Security number. The FBI offers these tips for avoiding health insurance fraud:

• Make sure you understand what your medical providers will charge and how much of it you will be expected to pay out of pocket. Review your coverage with your health insurance company so you understand what your financial responsibilities are. • Don’t do business with anyone selling medical equipment door-to-door or over the phone, or who tell you that you can get services or equipment for free. • Provide your insurance or Medicare information only to those who have given you a medical service. • Keep accurate records of all your medical appointments and prescriptions. Finally, if you’re having trouble keeping track of your medical information, ask for help from a trusted friend or family member. Navigating Medicare, health insurance and health care can be challenging. Getting assistance and staying on top of your medical information are key steps toward protecting your identity, and help minimize the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft.

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Once a person has built a portfolio of $500,000 or more, he or she should ask the following questions to any current or potential portfolio manager:

portfolios do not work on commission.

• Do you act as a fiduciary at all times?

Albert Einstein once said “The only source of knowledge is experience.” Was your portfolio manager selling medical equipment or homes 5 years ago? The markets are more volatile than ever. Look for someone who has at least 10 or 15 years of experience in the markets.

Once an investment portfolio reaches $500,000, and certainly by the time it reaches $1mm, the costs associated with having that portfolio managed need to be examined closely. Both large and small institutions regularly ask investment advisors to “bid” their services and in the same way, individuals can do the same.

• Have you or your firm ever been involved in a customer dispute or complaint?

Often, there are fees ranging from 2% to as high as 4% hidden in investment portfolios. For a younger investor with a smaller portfolio, a 2% hidden fee might not represent a large dollar cost. However, for a larger investor with a several million dollar portfolio, 2% in hidden fees can mean $60,000 in hidden costs. That equates to $5000 a month that should be going to the retiree and is probably going to the investment advisor or a high expense mutual fund.

An investment advisor acting as a fiduciary is required by law to put client interests before advisor interests. Only 11% of investment advisors are full time fiduciaries.

Ask to see the investment advisor’s Form ADV Part IIA. This report is filed annually and tells exactly what sorts of complaints and disputes the advisor has had. It also lists the exact investment advisory costs a client will pay if he or she hires that advisor. If the ADV cannot be produced, run for the hills!

• What are your fees and how are you compensated?

• How many years of experience do you have?

• Do you understand fixed income instruments? Most retirees use their portfolios to provide income. A portfolio manager who manages investments for retirees needs to understand fixed income instruments inside and out. Obviously, portfolio management is only one part of retirement planning. However, with some careful questioning, retirees may be able to boost their retirement income levels and maintain exactly the lifestyle they wish to maintain.

An advisor who focuses on larger portfolios will use Institutional level instruments which carry no 12b-1 fees, have no commissions, and have extremely low internal costs. This can cut as much as 4% from your portfolio costs, increasing portfolio returns dramatically. Portfolio managers handling larger

• 25 years of financial market experience • Full fiduciaries • Fixed Income Specialists • Serving the retirement needs of individuals nationwide

312 West State Street Geneva, IL 60134 630.588.3800 (office)

We welcome the opportunity to explore client relationships in excess of $500,000 Donald B. Cummings, Jr., Managing Partner

• Saturday, July 28, 2012

According to the Washington Post, for the next 19 years the United States will see 10,000 people a day turn 65 years old. As this group makes its way into retirement, the retirees need to examine their lifestyles, their income needs, and the ability for their portfolios to generate the income stream they find necessary. In a low interest rate environment, every 1% decrease in portfolio expenses can mean a dramatic increase in portfolio yield.

LOOKING FORWARD | Kane County Chronicle / KCChronicle.com

5 Questions for Retirement Investment Planning


Kane County Chronicle / KCChronicle.com • Saturday, July 28, 2012

| LOOKING FORWARD

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Exercise for healthy aging

(ARA) - Sixty-year-old Ester Kurz does a lot of things, but taking prescribed medicine isn’t one of them. While most people her age take a pill for one thing or another, Kurz, from Baltimore, self-prescribes exercise for healthy aging. On a daily basis Kurz, who will turn 61 in June, goes to the Life Time Fitness in Rockville, Md., to enjoy everything from boot camp to yoga. Her favorite day is Monday, she says, when she goes from kickboxing to indoor cycling class to boot camp. “Each year, I seem to up the number and types of routines,” she boasts. Kurz’s attitude is counter to the majority of her peers. Just 30 percent of people between ages 45 and 64 say they engage in regular leisure-time physical activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2010 National Interview Survey. As people get older, they move even less: 25 percent are active between the ages 65 and 74 and only 11 percent of those 85 and older say they are active. That’s a problem because studies indicate there’s a correlation between activity and a lower death rate in older adults.

“Healthy aging is the ability to maintain your mental, physical and cellular health,” says Jason Stella, a personal trainer at Life Time Fitness, The Healthy Way of Life Company. “The process of aging is inevitable, but the choices you make, good or bad, throughout your lifetime dictate the rate at which you will age and the positive or negative health affects you develop.” In particular, Stella says behaviors that sabotage healthy aging include eating processed foods, taking too many medications, not controlling stress and inactivity. “I have had almost no injuries and very few aches and pains other than when I push myself too hard,” Kurz says. In addition to staying physically active, Kurz is a lobbyist for a grassroots advocacy organization, a wife and mother of two sons, ages 19 and 21, as well as a volunteer with several organizations. “A few years ago, I fell down a flight of stairs and, other than a few bruises and scrapes, did very little damage to my body,” Kurz says. “I have to believe exercise had a great deal to do with that.”

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Regular exercise and physical activity are critical to helping older adults stay independent as they age. Strengthening bone and joint health to protect mobility is all the motivation most active older adults need to exercise. Kurz appreciates those benefits, too, but likes the added challenges. In February she competed in the Life Time Fitness Alpha Showdown, a national competition that tests the body’s core energy systems: power, strength and endurance. Most competitors were much younger than Kurz. “I did not win,” she says, “But I don’t think I came in last either, which was an achievement.” Firmly in the second half of her life, Kurz is certain she has never been healthier or felt stronger. Life Time Fitness is part of her health aging program, but the facilities, programming and events cater to all ages and abilities, from those new to an exercise routine to those who are emphatic believers in exercise as good medicine, like Kurz. “Every checkup, my doctor asks me, ‘Still exercising like crazy?’” she says. “And then he adds, ‘keep it up.’”

630/208-3933 www.delnorwellness.com 296 Randall Road, Geneva, IL


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Anjali S. Hawkins M.D./Ph.D

Early detection by your ophthalmologist (Eye MD) is the key to prevent optic nerve damage and blindness from glaucoma. Glaucoma is diagnosed by tonometry (measurement of intraocular pressure), gonioscopy (inspection of the drainage angle of the eye), ophthalmoscopy (dilated exam looking for optic nerve damage), and perimetry (visual field test of peripheral vision). It is very important to start treatment for glaucoma when it has been diagnosed since damage to vision caused by glaucoma is irreversible. There is an instrument that ophthalmologists now use to try to detect glaucoma before

there has been any damage to the central vision or peripheral vision. This instrument is called Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). It is able to provide quantitive measurement of the Nerve Fiber Layer (NFL) of the retina (wall paper of the back of the eye that contains the photoreceptors cells that help us to see). This is the specific part of the eye where glaucoma damage can occur. With this device, light is emitted and sent into the eye. The light reflects off various layers of the retina and this information is processed into measurements of density and thickness of the nerve fiber layer. This test is performed in the Eye MD’s office. It is noninvasive, painless and takes only a few minutes to do per eye. A typical OCT print out compares the patient’s eyes nerve fiber layer measurements to thousands of normal eyes. If it is abnormally low, it could mean that you have glaucoma even though your central vision and peripheral vision is normal. Since 30-50% of the nerve fiber layer has to be damaged before more standardized testing such as perimetry can actually detect this damage, it is very exciting to have this newer tool that can help

ophthalmologist detect glaucoma before any real visual damage has occurred. Treatment options for glaucoma include medicines (eye drops), laser and surgery. In general, most types of glaucoma are very treatable. However, it continues to be one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. This is because patients are often diagnosed at a late stage of the disease since glaucoma is insidious in onset, painless and slowly progressive. Because central visual acuity is relatively unaffected until late in the disease, peripheral vision loss may be quite significant before symptoms are noted. Risk factors for glaucoma include having a family member that has or had glaucoma, older age (older than 65), race (African Americans), diabetes, myopia (near sighted), and cardiovascular disease. If you have one or more of these risk factors, you should see an ophthalmologist every year for a dilated comprehensive eye exam.

The Doctors of Geneva Eye Clinic are committed to providing you with the highest level of eye care available. Ronald J. Simone, M.D.

Anjali S. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D

Norbert M. Becker, M.D.

Katherine Z. Brito, M.D.

Kevin M. King, M.D.

Patricia A. Steiner, O.D.

Geneva Eye Clinic 1000 Randall Road • Geneva, IL • 630.232.1282 www.genevaeye.com

• Saturday, July 28, 20122

Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve, which is the part of the eye that carries images to our brain. The optic nerve can be compared to an electric cable. The nerve fibers are similar to the numerous wires that a cable might have within it. If damage occurs to the optic nerve fibers, blind spots may result that can never be corrected. However, these blind spots can remain undetected until 3050% of the nerve fibers are damaged. If the entire nerve is destroyed, blindness occurs.

LOOKING FORWARD | Kane County Chronicle / KCChronicle.com

Early detection key for treating glaucoma


Kane County Chronicle / KCChronicle.com • Saturday, July 28, 2012

| LOOKING FORWARD

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Ingenious gadgets keep smart gardeners playing in the dirt

(ARA) - Gardeners who like things easy, have mobility issues or get muscle fatigue are always on the lookout for smart gardening gadgets designed to keep them playing in the dirt. This season some of the best gardening gadgets are ingenious and, often low-tech, doing the job they’re designed to do brilliantly without added fuss or bother.

easier to apply Preen pre-emergent granules atop garden soil or mulch. Gardeners who have tried the new applicator found it comfortable to use, providing a steady, even application rate. Quickly cover large areas and easily direct the granule flow into hard to reach places such as under shrubs and between plants. Weeds that don’t root, don’t grow. No weeds, no weeding.

Make heavy lifting easier - Why risk back strain lifting garden pots, rocks and bales that are too heavy for one person working alone? With a nifty labor-saving sling device called Pot Lifter, two people working together can move big bulky items with ease. Just slip the sling around the object and lift. The product can handle objects up to 200 pounds and as big as six feet across.

Spare knees while kneeling - Jolly Kneeler is a molded polyurethane knee-rest that is orthopedically designed to support gardeners comfortably while they’re on their knees planting, plucking or playing in the dirt. The simple one-piece kneeler has a handle for carrying ease. Its bright red color makes it hard to lose in green garden beds or grass.

Stop weeds before they start growing - Preen garden weed preventers cut down significantly on the onerous task of weeding by stopping new weed seeds from rooting and growing for up to three to four months per application. Now Preen offers a smart battery-powered spreader-applicator cap that makes it even

* Water plants from the porch - Have a cool drink on the porch, then repurpose a soda, tea or water bottle into a remarkably low-tech garden container watering device. AquaCones from Achla Designs are super easy watering spikes that attach to plastic bottles. Just flip over and sink the spike into the soil. The water in the

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upside down bottle slowly drains to the plant roots, rewarding gardeners with more free time on the porch. Try raking in circles - Raking can be a pain, especially when moving heavy wet leaves or debris or mulch. The Ground Hog Circular Rake has a circular head with teeth. Its encompassing design minimizes raking labor by gathering and keeping raked materials together as it’s being pulled or moved. Less spillage means fewer strokes and raking jobs are quickly done. For gardeners who like to get backyard tasks done efficiently, quickly, and easily, these smart, well-designed solutions make good sense. Above Photo: Stop weeds before they start growing ‚ Preen garden weed preventers cut down significantly on the task of weeding by stopping new weed seeds from rooting and growing for up to three to four months per application.

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(ARA) - Just a few decades ago, the phrase “granny shoes” implied a tragic lack of coolness, and that the wearer had allowed comfort to trump style in their slow shuffle toward getting old. Those days are definitely gone. Today’s baby boomers and seniors are stepping out in everything from frisky flip-flops and hot heels to righteous running shoes and powerful hiking boots. Footwear is no longer dictated by age, but rather by the activity level and fashion sense of the wearer. Still, like everything else about our bodies, our feet change with age. Because of this, the steps we take to keep them healthy have to adjust accordingly.

APMA offers some information on common foot ailments to watch for as you age:

Arthritis While many health issues can cause arthritis, and it can affect people of any age, those older than 50 are most prone to it. The feet are more susceptible to this painful inflammation of the cartilage and lining of the joints because each foot has 33 joints all of which help bear the weight of the entire body every day. Arthritic feet can lead to a loss of mobility if the condition is not diagnosed and treated.

Arthritis can be treated, but early diagnosis is important. Treatment options may include physical therapy, exercise or medication.

Diabetes Foot-related complications are common among the nearly 26 million Americans who have diabetes. Proper diet, exercise, medical care and careful home management can help people with diabetes avoid the most serious complications of the disease, including amputation. In addition to regular checkups with their podiatrist, people with diabetes can reduce their risk of complications with some basic foot care, including: • Inspecting their feet daily. • Choosing thick, soft socks without seams that could rub or cause blisters. • Exercising daily. • Having new shoes properly measured and fitted. • Avoiding going barefoot. • Seeing a podiatrist for treatment of calluses, corns or warts, rather than trying to treat these conditions themselves.

High blood pressure Hypertension can be related to a buildup of plaque in the blood vessels, a condition which can lead to decreased circulation in the legs and feet. Poor circulation can lead to the development of open wounds on the skin. Symptoms of poor circulation in the feet and legs include cramping, sores that take a long time to heal, changes in the color or temperature of the feet, and loss of hair on the feet and legs.

Heel pain One of the most common foot complaints, heel pain can be caused by walking gait abnormalities, an injury, wearing poorly constructed footwear over the long term, or being overweight. Heel pain is often very treatable. A podiatrist can examine the heel, and may take X-rays to rule out bone problems as the source of the pain. Treatment may include anti-inflammatory medication, exercise and shoe recommendations, taping or strapping, or use of shoe inserts or orthotic devices. To minimize risks of developing heel pain, wear shoes that fit well and have shock-absorbent soles, rigid shanks and supportive heel counters. Wear the proper type of shoe for the activity you’ll be doing. Warm up before exercising, and pace yourself while participating in athletic activities. “Foot pain does not need to be an inevitable part of growing older,” Caporusso says. “Wearing the right type of footwear for your needs, and paying attention to foot health can help keep boomers moving into their senior years.”

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• Saturday, July ly 228, 2012

“While staying active is a great way to preserve overall health and can positively impact foot health, aging can naturally increase the risk of certain foot ailments,” says Joseph Caporusso, DPM, a podiatrist and president of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). “It’s important to know the symptoms of age-related foot ailments and take steps to minimize their impact on your overall health.”

The causes of arthritis can range from heredity to injuries to bacterial or viral infections that affect the joints. Arthritis may take several forms, so if you’re experiencing foot pain, it’s best to have it diagnosed by a podiatrist. Symptoms that indicate it’s time to see the doctor include: • Swelling in one or more joints • Recurring pain or tenderness in any joint • Redness or heat in joints • Loss of mobility in a joint • Stiffness in the early morning • Skin changes such as rashes or growths

LOOKING FORWARD | Kane County Chronicle / KCChronicle.com

Foot care tips to keep boomers moving


Kane County Chronicle / KCChronicle.com • Saturday, July 28, 2012

| LOOKING FORWARD ORW

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Paying off your mortgage early

Living through the foreclosure crisis, more people want the security and the psychological benefit of owning their home free and clear. If you want to pay off your mortgage early, you’ll find plenty of experts recommending ways to do it. All strategies work, but you’ll find some methods of paying off your mortgage are safer, faster, and more painless than others. Compare these ways you can pay off your mortgage early, starting with the simplest and moving toward the more complex.

1. Pay More!! If you want to see magic, start playing with mortgage calculators and see how adding a little payment to your principal here and there can shorten the length of your loan. You can use mortgage calculators to see how $100 or any other amount added to your payment reduces your interest and shortens the length of your loan. If you pay a little more principal, you get a bonus. The lower your principal gets, the more every payment from then on is applied to principal, as less goes to cover interest expense. If nothing else, round your payments up. For example, when people have a payment for $644,

they think of it as $650. Why not just pay $650, then? An extra $6 a month on a $200,000, 30-year loan can save you four payments at the end of the mortgage loan. When you pay extra, make sure the extra is applied to the principal balance, not just set aside for the next payment. And before you make extra payments, read your contract and make sure you won’t have to pay prepayment penalties.

2. Refinance with a shorter-term mortgage. You can refinance into a mortgage for 10, 15 or 20 years, but 15-year mortgages are the most common. Your payments will be higher on a 15year loan, but perhaps not as high as you think. One advantage of a 15-year loan is that you’re committed to the higher payment. There’s no dithering about whether you can afford to pay extra this month. With a 30-year, $100,000 loan at 5 percent, your principal and interest payments are $537. At the same rate, but on a 15-year payoff schedule, your principal and interest payments are $791. That’s $254 more a month.

To get the effect of a shorter-term mortgage without the risk, take out a 30-year loan, but make payments as if you had a 10- or 15-year loan.

3. Switch to Biweekly Payments. Biweekly payments take advantage of the fact that there are 52 weeks in the year and 12 months. If you pay half your regular mortgage payment every other week, you’ll have made 26 half-payments, or the equivalent of 13 full monthly payments, at year’s end. See how it works with a biweekly mortgage calculator. The extra annual payment can chop about six years off a 30-year mortgage. You shouldn’t have to pay an outside company to set it up for you. Check if your bank will set up a biweekly payment plan. Some banks do it free; others charge. Ask the bank to credit extra payments toward principal so you save more on interest expense. Some banks set aside extra payments until the end of the year.

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(ARA) - The he life expectancy for average Americans is longer than ever before - 78 years for a child born in 2007 versus 71 who was born in 1970, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s the good news, and it’s been evolving over decades. Until recently, however, that positive change has come with a less happy corollary: More aging Americans are entering long-term care facilities, where they cope with basic issues of dignity such as incontinence, and independence, like the ability to choose their own waking and meal times. The need to address the issues of dignity and independence is spurring change in the health care and extended care communities.

To better pre preserve the dignity of those in long-term care, a culture change movement is afoot in longfacilities, which is good news for older term care facilit Today’s long-term care facilities are Americans. Toda services for older adults through better transforming serv attention patient-directed values that include tention to pa choice, digni dignity, respect, self-determination and purposeful living, according to the Pioneer Network, purposefu a not-for-profit advocacy group. “The resident-centered care in long-term care

In fact, incontinence is a good example of a simple, yet pervasive need that directly impact’s an individual’s sense of dignity. More than half of all nursing home residents are incontinent, and it’s the second leading cause of institutionalization, according to the National Association for Incontinence. Yet in the past, incontinence products have been little more than extra-large diapers that did little to preserve an individual’s dignity. Demand for better fitting products prompted Medline to develop a new design in adult briefs. FitRight provides a more comfortable, garmentlike fit, with odor protection and leak guards that enhance the wearer’s dignity, mobility and independence. Visit www.medline.com/pages/ fitright to learn more about incontinence products. “By switching to better-fitting, discreet and more absorbent incontinence products, facilities have taken steps toward mitigating the embarrassing effects of this issue,” Love says. “It’s a good example of how facilities are emphasizing the need to listen to - and respond - to residents’ needs and concerns.” With Americans living longer, that means there will be a lot more of them. About 13 percent of the population (nearly 40 million people) are 65 or older, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. By 2030, that

number is expected to rise to 72 million, or nearly one in five Americans; and the need for quality extended care facilities and products like FitRight will almost certainly rise with that number. If you need to seek extended care for a loved one, the Pioneer Network offers some advice on how to evaluate whether a facility is on board with, and acting on, the concept of patient-directed care. The organization recommends you ask these questions: • How will they get to know your family member? - The facility may have a questionnaire to gather information about your loved one, and should be prepared to spend time with you and the patient to learn about their preferences, past, current interests, goals and wishes for the future. • Will your family member be able to choose his or her own wake-up and meal times? • Will your loved one be able to choose to have a shower or bath, and when that will happen? • What recreational activities will be available? “Every day, we’re learning more about how to extend life,” Love says. “Now, the challenge is to ensure that extra time is lived with the most dignity and best quality possible. Extended care facilities are finding that they can achieve that goal, often by taking some of the simplest steps.”

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• Saturday, July 28, 2012

“With people living so much longer, a sea change is occurring in the health care community, and especially among providers of extended care,” says Dan Love, president of the personal care division for Medline Industries, Inc. “The focus is shifting away from simply extending life and toward a greater emphasis on enhancing quality and maintaining dignity in the later years of life.”

encompasses nearly every aspect of life, from simple things like incontinence products that fit properly, to allowing residents to determine when they would like to get up in the morning and have dinner at night,” Love says. “These changes focus on preserving an individual’s dignity and autonomy as much as possible.”

LOOKING FORWARD | Kane County Chronicle / KCChronicle.com

Longer life spans shifting focus toward dignity, quality of life


Kane County Chronicle / KCChronicle.com • Saturday, July 28, 2012

| LOOKING FORWARD

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Five money-saving tips for boomers and seniors Easy ways to reduce costs without sacrificing quality of life

(ARA) - Many Americans are in the process of reassessing their spending patterns, and boomers and seniors are no exception. Seventy-three percent of adults over age 50 started saving more or cutting back on spending last year, compared to 2010, according to a November 2011 report by the AARP.

forces you to pay for more service than you need, and complementary usage alerts mean you don’t have to worry about accidentally exceeding your maximum allowance. Flexible family plans where couples and families share minutes can save an additional $20 to $30 per month.

In many cases, the new spirit of frugality is not necessarily born out of financial necessity, but also out of a desire to simplify life, avoid excessive consumption and focus on what’s really important family, friends and community.

Increase energy efficiency. Another way to reduce your bills is by increasing the energy efficiency of your home. You can unplug battery chargers when not in use, turn off appliances rather than leaving them in standby mode, use energy-efficient light bulbs and turn off the lights when you leave a room. If you’re able to invest a little to ensure longer-term savings - whether through weatherproofing or upgrading aging appliances - you can schedule an energy audit to find out how to get the biggest bang for your home-improvement buck.

If you’re an adult over 50, maybe you’re exploring the hidden treasures of your own region instead of taking exotic vacations. Maybe you’re barbecuing with friends in the backyard instead of going out to eat. Maybe you’re spending more time playing with your grandkids instead of buying them the latest electronic gadgets. In short, you’re trying to cut back on spending without sacrificing quality of life. Here are five tips to help. Examine recurring expenses. It’s easy to overpay for utilities and other recurring expenses if you don’t periodically review your options and make sure you’re getting the best deal. Many utility companies offer senior discounts, for example, but you have to ask. Also consider a lower-cost no-contract cellphone plan. Consumer Cellular, for example, offers a variety of affordable no-contract voice and data plans that can be changed without penalty at any time. You’re never locked into a plan that

Be a smart shopper. If you’re not into clipping coupons, that’s OK. There are other ways to save. For example, try store-brand products rather than automatically reaching for the brands you’ve always purchased - in many cases, you won’t be able to tell the difference. Buy in bulk if you use large quantities of something. Watch for sales on items you purchase regularly, but don’t buy something just because it’s on sale - if you wouldn’t have bought it otherwise, you’re not saving money. For bigger-ticket items, be sure to comparison shop to make sure you’re getting the best price. Websites such as pricegrabber.com allow you to research numerous retailers without leaving your home.

GENEVA PLACE

A Covenant Retirement Community Covenant Retirement Communities is a ministry of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

27 North Bennett | Geneva, Illinois 60134 Covenant Retirement Communities does not discriminate pursuant to the federal Fair Housing Act.

Take advantage of free entertainment. Wondering what to do this weekend? Low-cost, or sometimes free, options are abundant. Check the events sections of local newspapers and websites to see what’s happening in the area - festivals, exhibits and other special events are often free, and high schools and colleges frequently host sporting events, plays, concerts and lectures that are open to the public. Libraries are also an excellent source of free entertainment - you can try out new authors, artists and genres with no risk by borrowing books, audiobooks, DVDs and CDs instead of purchasing them. You might even meet some interesting people while you’re out and about in the community. Reassess your gift-giving habits. If you’ve ever found yourself rushing to the mall to buy a last-minute gift for a loved one’s birthday, chances are you’ve spent more than you originally planned, settled for something you suspected the recipient might end up exchanging, or avoided the decision by purchasing a safe but impersonal gift card. However, most of us don’t really need more things. Instead, consider giving your loved ones the gift of a shared experience. If your grandson loves animals, take him to the zoo. If your sister is into jazz, take her out for an evening at a jazz club. Of course, you might not end up spending less money this way - experiences come in all price ranges - so do keep your budget in mind. The point is that instead of wasting money on something that might just sit in the garage for years, you’ll enjoy a meaningful experience together. And that’s what quality of life is all about.

A Rental Lifestyle Community

• Refined, affordable rental retirement • Short-term rentals available • One- and two-bedroom apartments • 125 years of Christian ministry

Call today for more information: 630.232.7733 | www.genevaplace.com


11

(ARA) - As with most things in life, it’s never too early to plan. And even if you are not at the doorstep of retirement, there are some critical dos and don’ts related to retirement planning, that anyone could benefit from. “While not a full-blown retirement planning strategy, we’re offering these tips with one goal in mind: helping Americans achieve a more secure retirement,” says Robert Fishbein, a tax planning expert at Prudential Financial, Inc.

1. Don’t think of your home as a retirement asset.

2. Don’t think maximizing investment return is a savings plan. Maximizing investment return is an important focus of retirement planning. However, sometimes we fall into the trap of seeking outsized returns to compensate for our failure to save consistently over time. There is no substitute for disciplined and regular saving.

A Roth IRA or 401(k) can provide tax-free income, if you hold the account for 5 years and have attained age 59 1/2. Roth IRAs also have the added benefit of being exempt from the tax rules requiring distributions starting at age 70 1/2. Prior income limits on converting a traditional IRA or 401(k) to a Roth IRA were eliminated in 2010, which makes these unique retirement planning products more broadly available. Of course, converting a non-Roth retirement asset into a Roth retirement asset triggers recognition of the tax gain on the converted value.

4. Do have a retirement income plan. Some financial professionals suggest 80 percent of your pre-retirement income is a good retirement income goal. With this goal you can then compare your expected monthly retirement income from Social Security and any pension plan to your target monthly retirement income amount. Any shortfall is the amount you will need to make up each month by tapping your other savings. Also consider an annuity contract from a life insurer to provide additional guaranteed lifetime income, which will both cover more of your target retirement income and manage the risks that you invest poorly or live longer than expected.

5. Do plan for inflation and increasing health care costs. Inflation and health care costs are twin traps that can erode the value of your retirement plan if you

do not consider and plan for them. One strategy is to calculate a more modest income at the beginning of retirement and then increasing the income amount each year by the inflation rate (or a rough proxy such as 3 percent).

6. Do maximize Social Security as insurance protection. For most Americans the decision to defer Social Security payments as long as possible is an important action to ensure not outliving one’s assets. Social Security is typically a large source of retirement income, and its value is enhanced because it is government guaranteed and provides inflationadjusted payments.

7. Do stress test your retirement plan. The 2008 economic recession gave rise to bank bailouts and, in turn, the stress testing of banks to ensure ongoing viability. This thinking can and should also be applied to your retirement planning. For example, how would your retirement plan work if your investments grow at 3 percent a year instead of 8 percent? What if your income declines over time? Stress testing your retirement plan could suggest you change your planning assumptions. You might decide to work longer, which reduces the number of years that you will need your retirement assets to support you. Other adjustments that you can make include saving more now, changing the risk profile of your investments, and buying products with a lifetime income guarantee so you are less exposed to market risk and the risk that you will live longer than expected.

Michael Walschot ‘‘Your Personal CFO’’

No time like now to prepare for your 50+ years Call me today for a no obligation 2 hour consultation.

• Retirement Planning • Financial Planning • 401 (k) Analysis • College Savings Plans

• IRA’s/Mutual Funds/Annuities • Tax Planning • Estate Planning • Independent Investment Advice

525 Tyler Road, Suite U • St. Charles, IL 60174 • Direct: (630) 778-6169 630-762-9352 • Cell: (847) 987-5761 • michael@AmCapMgmt.com Registered Representative of the securities offered through Financial Network Investment Corporation, member SIPC. Advisory services offered through Total Clarity Wealth Management, Inc. Total Clarity is not affiliated with Financial Network.

• Saturday, July 28, 2012

Whether you are a new homeowner or near retirement, you should not think about your home as a retirement asset, for these reasons: • A home is, first and foremost, a place to live, and you will always need a place to live. • Your home is an inherently un-diverse investment. • A home may be subject to debt, which means it is less valuable than it appears and could be an ongoing expense when living in retirement. • Relying on a home as retirement savings tends to discourage other saving.

3. Do maximize Roth assets.

LOOKING FORWARD | Kane County Chronicle / KCChronicle.com

Retirement planning dos and don’ts


Kane County Chronicle / KCChronicle.com • Saturday, July 28, 2012

| LOOKING FORWARD

12

Volunteering: small acts, big change

(ARA) - For many communities across the country, the smallest acts of kindness can make the biggest difference. Whether it’s working at a local soup kitchen, visiting a nursing home, mentoring youth, or helping to paint a local house in disrepair, there are many ways to get involved. Not only does volunteering help others, but it can actually help you too. In fact, the health benefits of volunteering can include reduced stress and an increased feeling of self-worth. Additionally, research has shown that for people with chronic conditions, being physically active can help to control joint swelling and pain. When Debbie McGrady, a 56-year-old mother of two, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), she decided she was not going to allow the condition to take over her life. RA is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the lining of the joints, causing pain, swelling

and stiffness. While McGrady has had to deal with occasional pain and stiffness, she was determined to regain control of her physical and emotional health and to keep active. She decided to get involved with Hand in Hand for RA, a national campaign that found that 40 percent of RA patients would like to give back to their communities by volunteering. For McGrady, volunteering has proven to be very rewarding and fun. She drives seniors to their doctor’s appointments, to the drugstore and helps them with other errands. “Volunteering is such a gratifying feeling and allows me to focus on helping others as opposed to my disease,” says McGrady. “The smallest things can make a world of difference for somebody and certainly make me feel good too.”

benefits of volunteering and share their own inspirational stories. It allows people living with the disease to discuss their experiences with others going through the same obstacles. “We’ve seen that many people with RA share a common desire to volunteer,” says Seth Ginsberg, co-founder and president of grassroots arthritis group CreakyJoints, an online community for people with arthritis and a partner of the campaign. “I am inspired when I hear that others are giving back, despite their diseases.” This year, give back to your community and lend a helping hand. For more information on how to get involved visit www. handinhandforRA.com.

Founded in 2009, Hand in Hand for RA is a national awareness campaign that encourages people with RA to learn about the

Retirement is your

time to thrive! Live the retirement you want. Lifelong personal growth. Friends who share your history. A community of faith-based fellowship. A town center of amenities and resources. A financially strong sponsor. Assured future care.

• Residential apartment, duplex and cottage homes • Continuum of wellness from residential retirement to skilled nursing • Financially strong, national organization committed to seniors since 1886

See for yourself! Come for a free lunch and tour. (630) 879-4100 HolmMarketing@CovenantRetirement.org

Covenant Retirement Communities is a ministry of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

700 W. Fabyan Parkway • Batavia, IL 60510

www.CovenantRetirement.com

Covenant Retirement Communities does not discriminate pursuant to the federal Fair Housing Act.


13

(ARA) - The American baby boomer generation isn’t content sitting still - they live full lives working, traveling and pursuing their favorite hobbies. Age is only a number for this determined group whose population is pushing an estimated 78 million. If you are one of the many active baby boomers, you understand your health is a priority, but that doesn’t mean you want to spend long hours each day making sure you stay well. Luckily some of the best things you can do for yourself only take a matter of minutes each day.

1. Be flexible with gentle stretches Stretching might seem like a basic physical activity, but its positive effects can be substantial. Especially for boomers, stretching for five to 15 minutes each day can help keep muscles and joints flexible, and help increase overall body health. Plus as you age, stretching can help maintain your mobility levels and p mai decrease risks of falls. Try gentle stretches rease the risk

2. Get an oil change in your kitchen The right kind of oils can benefit your health and wellness, and the wrong ones can put you at risk for high cholesterol, heart disease and even cancer. Cooking healthy means stocking your pantry with the right kinds of oils so you can enjoy the foods you love the right way. Two to keep on hand are extra virgin olive oil and organic grapeseed oil. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats which can help boost healthy HDL cholesterol while at the same time help to reduce unhealthy LDL cholesterol levels. Lower cooking temperatures or cool/ room temperature usage is best. Organic grapeseed oil has a more neutral flavor and a high smoke point, allowing for higher temperature cooking while using a lighter hand in measures with this healthier cooking oil. Time requirement: five minutes or less

3. Consider taking an omega-3 fish oil supplement Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about omega-3 essential fatty acids and their ability to prevent common disease as well as benefit brain and overall health. Because you can only get these essential fats through

what you eat, Americans often don’t get as much as they need. Include food sources like wild salmon and sardines, as well as plant sources like walnuts and flaxseeds. Luckily, you can fill a nutritional gap by incorporating a high-quality fish oil supplement into your daily routine. A high-quality supplement can mean more benefit to your health; Ultimate Omega-D3 from Nordic Naturals is a good example and great option. Time requirement: two minutes or less

4. Eat more fresh fruits and veggies each day Few foods can provide the high levels of nutrients your body needs than fresh produce, yet more than 80 percent of us are not getting enough. It’s important to aim to make half your plate fruits and vegetables at meals every day. And try to incorporate fresh fruits and veggies daily, and don’t forget about frozen and dried options without added sugars or preservatives. They’re super nutrient-rich, t-ric too. The tasty options are endless - from rom berries, apples, bananas, and cherries to broccoli, tomatoes tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, and kale. Be adventurous and try a new recipe that features a v veggie you’ve never ver had before. Or, taste local flavors by visiting your our neighborhood farmers market. Whether for a snack or with a meal, fresh diet. produce is great for any baby boomer’s die Time requirement: five minutes or less

• Saturday, July 28, 2012

Dr. Wendy Bazilian (wendybazilian.com), a doctor of public health, registered dietitian and author of “The SuperFoodsRx Diet: Lose Weight with the Power of SuperNutrients,” knows the importance of optimizing health for baby boomers. Simple healthy activities, when done on a daily basis, can have a huge cumulative effect on health and wellness. Here are four big-impact health activities from Dr. Bazilian that you can do in 15 minutes or less:

to get your blood flowing in the morning or before you take a walk. Want to try something different? Yoga blends stretching and strength for a wonderful workout for people of all ages. Time requirement: 15 minutes or less

LOOKING FORWARD | Kane County Chronicle / KCChronicle.com

Boo Boomers: Big-impact hea health activities you can do in 15 minutes or less


Kane County Chronicle / KCChronicle.com • Saturday, July 28, 2012

| LOOKING FORWARD

14

Beware of “Simple” Estate Plans “I just need a simple will.” It is a phrase estate planning attorneys hear practically every other day. From the client’s perspective, there is no reason to do anything complicated, especially if it might lead to higher legal fees. Unfortunately, what may appear to be a “simple” estate is all too often rife with complications that, if not addressed during the planning process, can create a nightmare for you and your heirs at some point in the future. Such complications may include:

Probate Probate is the court process whereby property is transferred after death to individuals named in a will or specified by law if there is no will. Probate can be expensive, public and time consuming. A revocable living trust is a great alternative that allows your estate to be managed more efficiently, at a lower cost and with more privacy than probating a will. A living trust can be more expensive to establish, but will avoid a complex probate proceeding. Even in states where probate is relatively simple, you may wish to set up a living trust to hold out of state property or for other reasons.

Minor Children If you have minor children, you not only need to nominate a guardian, but you also need to set up a trust to hold property for those children. If both parents pass away, and the child does not have a trust, the child’s inheritance could be held by the court until he or she turns 18, at which

time the entire inheritance may be given to the child. By setting up a trust, which does not have to come into existence until you pass away, you are ensuring that any money left to your child can be used for educational and living expenses and can be administered by someone you trust. You can also protect the inheritance you leave your beneficiaries from a future divorce, as well as creditors.

Second Marriages Couples in which one or both of the spouses have children from a prior relationship should carefully consider whether a “simple” will is adequate. All too often, spouses execute simple wills in which they leave everything to each other, and then divide the property among their children. After the first spouse passes away, the second spouse inherits everything. That spouse may later get remarried and leave everything he or she received to the new spouse or to his or her own children, thereby depriving the former spouse’s children of any inheritance. Couples in such situations should establish a special marital trust to ensure children of both spouses will be provided for.

Taxes Although in 2011 and 2012, Federal Estate Taxes only apply to estates over $5 million for individuals and $10 million for couples, that does not mean that anyone with an estate under that amount should forget about tax planning. Many states still

impose a State Estate Tax that should be planned around. Also, in 2013 the estate tax laws are slated to change, possibly with a much lower exemption amount.

Incapacity Planning Estate planning is not only about death planning. What happens if you become disabled? You need to have proper documents to enable someone you trust to manage your affairs if you become incapacitated. There are a myriad of options that you need to be aware of when authorizing someone to make decisions on your behalf, whether for your medical care or your financial affairs. If you do not establish these important documents while you have capacity, your loved ones may have to go through an expensive and time-consuming guardianship or conservatorship proceeding to petition a judge to allow him or her to make decisions on your behalf. By failing to properly address potential obstacles, over the long term, a “simple” will can turn out to be incredibly costly. An experienced estate planning attorney can provide valuable insight and offer effective mechanisms to ensure your wishes are carried out in the most efficient manner possible while providing protection and comfort for you and your loved ones for years to come


George came to our facility in November of 2011 in hopes of being able to eventually return home. After several months of physical therapy, George had the pleasure of walking around comfortably again. The Best part of George’s Story is that he and his wife Gloria were able to return home and live independently again. Due to our dedicated personnel’s hard work ethic, George was able to complete his rehabilitation successfully.

• We accept Medicare, Medicaid & Most Insurances.

We would like to congratulate George on an accomplishing his trip home! After catching up with George and Gloria this summer, Gloria stated “George is doing better than ever, and we have Geneva Nursing & Rehab to thank”. Gloria also went on to say how much she appreciated everyone here and that we have a wonderful and caring staff.

• Admissions Accepted 24 Hours a Day.

• We Specialize in Short Term Rehabilitation & Long Term Care.

“Geneva’s Choice for Nursing and Rehab” 1101 East State Street Geneva, IL 60134 630.232.7544 Fax 630.232.4409 admissions@genevanursingrehab.com

• Saturday, July 28, 2012

ever, and we have “George is doing better than nk.” Geneva Nursing & Rehab to tha

LOOKING FORWARD | Kane County Chronicle / KCChronicle.com

Congratulations George!!

15


Kane County Chronicle / KCChronicle.com • Saturday, July 28, 2012

| LOOKING FORWARD

16

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KC Looking-Forward07-28-12  
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