Generation 50+ How to pay for care now and in the future Is your family prepared financially for the expense of assisted living care? This can be a financial hurdle for many families with parents who are on a fixed income or who may not have properly planned for future care needs. Fortunately, there are resources and options to help find a solution to your financial situation.
How to Pay for Assisted Care
Here are a few options to consider when determining how to pay for assisted living for your parent now.
Tom Laborde, Chief Operations Officer, Aegis Living
If you have savings, investments, real estate options that can we used to pay for care this is the best option. Of course, this may not be possible for all families. As you assess your assisted living or care options, it’s a good idea to have a budget in mind that you are comfortable with. First, have a clear understanding of your parent’s financial picture and what finances and assets that may have available. If they own their home, you may want to consider selling the house or renting it for additional income. Second, determine if you or any other family members are able to contribute money towards expenses. Once you have this determined, you will be able to create a budget. Like any search for housing whether renting or purchasing, the cost of an assisted living community can vary greatly depending on the location, the types of amenities that are offered and the quality of care. We strongly suggest that you tour and meet with multiple assisted living properties to compare costs and savings.
If your parent has served in the military or is a military spouse, this is a great option to research and inquire about to help defray the expense of assisted living. Under the VA Aid and Attendance Special Pension, also known as the A&A Pension, qualified veterans or their surviving spouses can receive tax-free monthly sums meant to help defray the costs of assisted ➧ CARE, Page 7
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From skin conditions to Parkinson’s Disease: How a New Therapy is Helping Patients (StatePoint) New research suggests that cannabidiol (CBD), a compound extracted from the hemp plant, could help manage everything from anxiety to psoriasis to Parkinson’s disease. With a better understanding of its potential medical benefits, experts say that millions of lives could be improved. And while the use of CBD to provide relief of health conditions is beginning to gain mainstream attention, it’s still often misunderstood.
of CBD is ongoing, anecdotal patient reports are hard to ignore, and the CBD hype has caught the attention of researchers and doctors across many medical specialties. Dermatologist Jeanette Jacknin recommends CBD products for patients suffering from a variety of skin conditions. “The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD appear to dramatically improve symptoms for many patients,” says Dr. Jacknin. “Recent studies in medical literature found that applying a high-quality CBD topical, such as Medterra’s CBD Tincture, can improve many skin conditions including acne, psoriasis, and eczema.”
WHAT IS CBD?
CBD, a compound known as a cannabinoid, is found abundantly in the hemp plant. Cannabinoids work by binding with a series of cell receptors found throughout the body, known as the endocannabinoid system. This system is responsible for regulating a variety of functions, including mood, appetite, sleep, pain management and inflammation. CBD is non-psychoactive, so it doesn’t make you feel “high.”
WHAT ARE ITS MEDICAL BENEFITS?
While research about the medical benefits
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Are You Having Challenges With Retirement? Are You Lost Without Structure? Alberta Conrad is coaching for those in transition from the work world. She is offering a 30 minute FREE consultation and has several pricing options. Call 206-679-1273 www.RetireInspiredCoaching.com
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GENERATION 50+ | SUMMER 2018
Five emotional steps to consider as you face retirement Many people look forward to retiring especially if their job has been less than fulfilling and they look forward to more freedom from the 8-5 routine. Others may be anxious about what their new life will look like. In addition, some people have barely given a thought to how they will make this important transition. Each of these groups may face some unknown challenges of adjustment. While there are many resources and articles about the practical aspects of retirement (financial, legal, health, location), there has been less written about the psychological and emotional aspects of this major life change. Here are some tips for navigating this course whether you are still contemplating retirement or already there.
1. Give yourself time and patience with adjusting to your new life.
Sometimes retirees expect that with more free time, they will accomplish all those unfinished projects they have not had time for. While it is important to have interesting things to do (see next section), it is also vital that you you don’t guilt yourself for not being as productive as you may have been at work. It takes time (maybe a year or so) to make the adjustment—often that first year you may find yourself floundering without the direction of a work-oriented structure. This can be confusing or frustrating especially if you have prided yourself on being a successful, accomplished worker and/ or someone used to working 50-60 hours a week.
2. Explore or revisit the interests you have not had time for while working.
This can be a time to dig deeply into your passions—either by exploring new ones or revisiting the hobbies, projects, ideas that excited you when you were younger. This could take the form of art, music, literature, sport, politics, cooking, building, travel or whatever excites you. You may find joy in having the time to pursue these interests at a deeper level or you may find brand new ones. The important thing is to find things you like to do, not have to do. Also, without the social element of work environments you may need to expand your social network in order to avoid loneliness. Experts all agree
that having a strong social network along with exercise are vital to staying healthy as we age.
3. Find some ways to structure your days.
Many people get a lot done with the structure of a work day—the more busy they are, the more productive. When this structure disappears, retirees may wander around the house, wondering what they are supposed to be doing. Some people faced with this lack of structure decide to go back to work but in a different field or a different role.( A May 4 Boston Globe article discussed how some hard driving professionals used to working an 80 hour week have cut back to working 40, and dividing their time between paid and volunteer activities.) Most retirees don’t want to be so tightly scheduled but finding the right structure can take some time. Many retirees feel better if they are involved with some regular daily or weekly events—walking with friends or the dog, other exercise programs, time socializing, spiritual practices or church activities, classes, etc. The structure not only makes days more predictable, but also can help with prioritizing how you want to spend your time.
4. Determine what your priorities are. As you go through this new journey into retirement, you will be exploring new or previous interests, being patient with
yourself for taking some time to figure this out, and finding an appropriate, but not too rigid, structure to your days—all of this will, over time, help you determine your priorities. Do you want to spend more time with family, with friends, traveling, volunteering to a favorite cause, staying physically fit, babysitting grandchildren? Are you financially and physically able to do everything you would like or will you need to make some choices as to what is really important to you? Do you have others who may need your care? This really gets to the question of values and how you find meaning in life. Maybe you have been thinking about your values throughout life, but now you may be able to better match your values with your lifestyle.
5. Take care of business.
While this article is focused more on the emotional aspects of retirement, there certainly are practical factors that need to be addressed if they haven’t been already. Having a current will, managing finances, planning for later life, taking care of health issues (possibly your own or another family member) are all very important and require time and thoughtful conversations with those involved. When these significant “business” details have been thoroughly addressed there is more peace of mind and less anxiety about the future. In conclusion, there are many reasons why retirement can be an exciting, fulfilling and fun timeand there are a lot of resources available to help with this. As the experts are now predicting many of us will live into our 90’s —that may mean 20-30 years of retirement. What these years will look like depends on planning. Alberta Conrad is a retirement coach. You may contact her at www. RetireInspiredCoaching.com or 206-679-1273.
➧ DISEASE, from Page 1 “As with any topical,” Dr. Jacknin suggests, “apply to a small area to test for irritation before using.” But the benefits of CBD are not skin deep. Because endocannabinoid receptors are abundantly found in the nervous system, CBD has been associated with marked improvements in many diseases that affect the brain, such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction and insomnia. Moreover, there is some animal research and preliminary human research suggesting that CBD is a potent inhibitor of both cancer growth and spread.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT THERAPY
CBD is often consumed orally or used topically, for example, as a skin cream. For skin conditions and inflammatory issues such as arthritis, a topical therapy may be best. A CBD tincture (an easily absorbed solution of CBD and oil) can be taken alone or incorporated into foods or drinks. CBD vape, powders, edibles and infused drinks are also available. Products containing less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are legal in all 50 states. However, not all CBD is created equally. While there are many products on the market, quality and THC levels can vary significantly. Choose high-quality, ultra-pure options extracted from U.S.-grown industrial hemp. Those sourced from Kentucky under the strict guidelines of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Industrial Hemp Pilot Program, such as Medterra CBD, are particularly trustworthy because they are third-party tested and guaranteed to be free of contaminants. To learn more about the CBD extraction process and reliable sourcing visit medterracbd.com. Experts say that increased education about this remedy will potentially offer a greater number of patients relief from a diverse array of symptoms and conditions.
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If you’re a senior wartime veteran or the surviving spouse of a veteran, the Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit* could be an ideal solution for financing your senior housing needs. Whether you’re beginning your search or just have questions, you’ll find the help you need. With Independent Living, Assisted Living and Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care communities**, there’s a Brookdale that’s ideal for you. *A single veteran may be eligible for up to $1,830 per month based on needs. Actual amount is determined by the VA based on eligibility. Source: https://americanveteransaid.com/ **Services may vary by community.
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GENERATION 50+ | SUMMER 2018 FAMILY RESOURCE HOME CARE
Dear Sheila: Aging Parents Care for Disabled Son you and your wife to Dear Sheila, find a wonderful home Our son is 41 and for your son, a place he disabled since a car accan age in place. You cident left him a quadhave time to research riplegic. He also suffered options, check them out a traumatic brain injury, and actually have your but he can understand son visit and help make us and respond enough the decision. You, your to let us know his needs. wife and family can supWe have been taking care port your son through of him for 20+ years. His this transition and siblings are urging us to advocate on his behalf. move their brother into a Transitions are always nursing home so we have Sheila McKannay hard, but with this one, some free time in our you can all support each retirement. I’m afraid our son other. No one will think badly of you, least will feel abandoned and could be neglected of all your son. in a nursing home. What do people do in our situation? —Sheila — Sad Dad Dear Sad Dad, You and your wife should be commended for being loving and caring parents. I am sure your son knows how much you love him. A time will come where the two of you will not be able to take care of him due to your own health decline or death. This may be an opportunity for
Sheila McKannay, MA, CMC, is Vice President of Client Care for Family Resource Home Care, greater Seattle’s largest provider of private caregiving services for seniors. For more Dear Sheila letters or other helpful articles, visit our website: www.familyresourcehomecare.com/blog
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Osteoporosis, a disease that causes bones to become weakened and brittle over time, affects millions of people across the globe. The International Osteoporosis Foundation says an osteoporosis-related fracture occurs roughly once every 3 seconds, accounting for more than 8.9 million fractures a year. Younger individuals typically heal from fractures more quickly than older adults, who often discover that fractures greatly impede their mobility and quality of life. Bone health is important at any age, but it is particularly crucial as a person gets older. Without a strong framework of bones, the body collapses on itself and rates of fracture increase. Fortunately, there are several ways to keep and maintain strong bones. Bones are largely made up of a protein called collagen, which is bound together by calcium and other trace minerals. Vitamin D and calcium work in concert, with vitamin D helping the body to absorb calcium so it can find its way into bones. Experts advise getting the right ratio of calcium, protein and vitamin D to safeguard against osteoporosis. The Institute of Medicine suggests that adults get between 600 and 800 international units (IUs) of vitamin D every day, and between 1,000 and 1,300 milligrams of calcium daily. Dairy products, such as low- and nonfat
milk, yogurt and cheese, are high in calcium. Dark green vegetables and almonds contain calcium in smaller amounts. Obtaining calcium and vitamin D through natural sources is always preferable, but doctors may suggest supplementation if foods are not providing what a person needs to meet the minimum recommended levels. Exercise is another important component of building strong bones. The National Osteoporosis Foundation says 30 minutes of exercise each day can help. Higherintensity exercises should be mixed with lower-intensity workouts for the best results. Weight-bearing exercises, such as hiking, dancing and stair-climbing, can build between 1 and 3 percent of bone. An exercise regimen also should include lifting weights or using resistance bands. Activities that promote good posture and flexibility can help improve balance and alignment of the body. Perform stretches smoothly and slowly after exercising to maintain your range of motion. Quitting smoking also can promote strong bones. Smoking has been linked to poor skeletal health in both men and women, and the longer one smokes, the greater one’s risk for fracture.
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GENERATION 50+ | SUMMER 2018 10
Checklist for your Social Security annual check-up By Kirk Larson Social Security Washington State Public Affairs Specialist Say “annual checkup” and most people imagine waiting at the doctor’s office. But, there’s another type of checkup that can give you a sense of wellness without even leaving home. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov and follow these five steps to conduct your own Social Security annual checkup. Your Social Security Statement is available online anytime to everyone who has a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity. gov/myaccount. Creating your account gives you 24/7 access to your personal information and makes it impossible for someone else to set up an account in your name. We still send paper Statements to those who are 60 and older who don’t have an account and aren’t receiving Social Security benefits. Your Statement provides information about work credits (you need 40 credits to be entitled to a Social Security retirement benefit), estimates for retirement, disability, and survivors benefits, plus a history of your earnings.
Work Credits Count
If you have earned 40 work credits, your Statement will show estimates for retirement, disability, and survivors benefits. If you don’t have 40 work credits, the Statement shows how many you have and how many you still need to qualify for benefits.
Review Earnings Record
Review your history of earnings year by year to make sure each year is correct. This is important because Social Security benefits are based on your lifetime earnings. If any years are incorrect or missing, you may not receive all the benefits you are entitled to in the future. If you need to correct your earnings, contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please have your W-2 or paystubs when you call.
Study Benefit Estimates
Review the section titled “Your Estimated Benefits.” Be sure to review not only your retirement estimate, but your disability and survivors estimates. No one likes to think about disability, but a 20-year-old worker has a one-in-four chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement age, underscoring the importance of disability benefits. Since the value of the survivors insurance you have under Social Security may be more than your individual life insurance, be sure to check your survivors estimates also.
Understanding your risk for Deep Vein Thrombosis (StatePoint) Anything that keeps the blood from circulating properly can cause a clot, including injury, illness, lack of movement, certain inherited conditions and lifestyle factors. Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a large blood clot that forms in one or more of the deep veins in the body. Knowing the symptoms of DVT could help save your life. For more information, visit clearingtheclot.com. Take control of your health to help decrease your chances of developing DVT by understanding the risks and treatment options available.
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Calculate Additional Estimates
You can use our Retirement Estimator to compute future Social Security benefits by changing variables such as retirement dates and future earnings. If you want to project what future earnings could add to your benefit, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/ estimator.
Schedule Your Annual Check-Up
Each year, make a date with yourself to review the most recently posted year of earnings on your Statement. By checking your record every year, you can be certain when you retire that Social Security will have a correct record of earnings to use when computing benefits for you or your family members. Social Security helps you secure your today and tomorrow by providing information to make your financial planning easier. Social Security is more than retirement; it is a family protection plan. For more information about benefits, visit us at www.socialsecurity.gov.
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GENERATION 50+ | SUMMER 2018
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GENERATION 50+ | SUMMER 2018 living. Two married veterans can receive up to a maximum of $2,837 each month in 2018 for this purpose, while a veteran and his or her spouse can receive up to $2,120. A sick spouse of a veteran may receive $1,788, and a surviving spouse may be entitled to $1,412 each month. For complete details and to understand if your parent may qualify, check out the website of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. ➧ CARE, from Page 1
If your parent has a life insurance policy, you may have the option to cash out their policy for a lump sum to help pay for the cost of assisted living. The first step is to contact the life insurance company to ask about “accelerated” or “living” benefits. The company that issued the policy will typically purchase it back for 50-70% of its value. The benefit is determined by the policy amount, monthly premiums, the policyholder’s age, or their health condition. But each company’s policy is different and must be contacted directly to clearly understand their rules, guidelines, and procedures. Cashing out a life insurance policy has both advantages and disadvantages, so we suggest that you research your options carefully to best understand if this is a good fit for your financial situation.
Medicaid is a federal program for older people with low income and limited assets. The program is administered by each individual state with each state setting its own guidelines regarding eligibility and services. Over 40 states permit some type of funding for assisted living, but it can vary greatly. To understand what could be covered under Medicaid within your state, visit the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services online. Also, research the assisted living communities in your area and ask if they take Medicaid as a form of payment.
Planning for Future Care Expenses
If you are planning for your future and the care needs that you may face later in life, here are a few suggestions to save and plan for those expenses.
Long-Term Care Insurance
If you are looking to plan for the future care costs, you may want to research long-term
care insurance. Long-term care insurance is different than traditional health insurance. The insurance is designed to cover the costs of services and support when you are unable to care for yourself. This might be at home, in an assisted living community, memory care community, short-term care, hospice, or in a nursing home. The policyholder has a full range of care options and benefits to choose from. Services may include caring for the activities of daily living (ADLs) such as dressing, toileting, or bathing. Or services can consist of healthcare options such as skilled nursing or occupational, speech or physical therapy. Long-term care insurance often covers what is not covered by health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.
Retirement and Savings
Planning for retirement and saving for your future housing or care needs is essential. If you are just starting to put away money for retirement, start saving and investing as much as you can now. Investing when you are young will give your compound interest an opportunity to generate more earnings for you. Also, contribute to your company 401K if offered by your employer. A 401K will enable you to contribute pre-tax money to a significant advantage with less of an impact on your monthly budget.
The benefit of saving early is that yearly contribution to your 401K and IRA plans are limited, but it allows you to save money over a more extended period of time. If you have not been able to save enough, the good news is you can catch up once you reach age 50 years old. At 50, you are eligible to invest beyond the usual limits with catch-up contributions to IRAs and 401Ks. Catch-up contributions can give a significant boost to your retirement savings. There are many options available to families to help find the best assisted living care for their loved one. It is always advised to speak with a professional in each of the areas of financial and estate planning to ensure that you fully understand the advantages and disadvantages of using the options available or to discuss the best way to plan for the future. For more information and clarification contact the experts at Aegis of Queen Anne on Galer at (206) 274-9440 OR Aegis of Queen Anne at Rodgers Park (206) 455-6464.
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GENERATION 50+ | SUMMER 2018
Living Life on Queen Anne! Visit Our Two Assisted Living and Memory Care Communities on Queen Anne Hill
Start your day with new friends and a fresh cup of coffee. Our dedicated staff are committed to serving our residents through all lifeâ€™s transitions. Choose between the intimate elegant boutique hotel feel of Ă egis of Queen Anne on Galer, complete with the warm Seattle marketplace activity spaces. Or, explore the grand Victorian style community at Rodgers Park. Both communities feature 24/7 care, excellent cuisine and daily activities to nurture the mind, body and spirit.
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