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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tips for Staying Hydrated During the Summer Months

I live in Phoenix, Arizona and for the last few days it’s been over 110 degrees! This time of year, I start to think about the importance of staying hydrated, especially for older adults. As we age, our thirst sensation decreases so seniors may not realize they are thirsty.

Because of this and other reasons, many seniors have problems with dehydration and this concern is ranked in the top ten most common reasons for hospitalization among people over 65. *In fact, “about one half of those hospitalized for dehydration die within one year.”

According to, *“Dehydration happens when the body loses more water or fluid than it takes in, which can also have serious effects on blood pressure and other body functions.”

So, with summer in full swing it’s important to take steps to avoid serious dehydration for you and your loved ones.

Here are five tips for staying hydrated this summer:

1. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink, by this time you are already dehydrated.
2. Carry a water bottle with you and drink from it regularly.
3. Drink at least eight cups of water every day (and it can be more during the summer months!)
4. Keep a full water bottle in the refrigerator door and take a drink every time you open the refrigerator.
5. Make your water more interesting by adding lemon or lime (or other fruits) to your water to add flavor.



Christie Munson, CSA, lives and works in Phoenix, AZ and is the Communications Manager for Beatitudes Campus (a Continuing Care Retirement Community) and a Professional Organizer, specializing in senior services. She can be contacted via email at

Friday, June 24, 2011


As professionals in the senior housing industry plan for what the future looks like, the rules of the past may not apply to this new generation of seniors. We are now seeing the largest flood of people in history entering the senior citizen ranks. This generation has already shown signs of not following their predecessors in the products and services they desire. They will work longer, prefer to age-in-place and desire more active retirement scenarios. For professionals working in the senior market, it’s vital to understand how this impacts the future of senior housing.

This guide provides important information to help senior housing industry professionals understand the retirement goals of senior citizens and to forecast a solid plan for future company growth. Important information includes:

• New regulatory changes
• Recent Statistics
• Current Trends
• Related market research
• And much more

Download your copy now!

Blog posting provided by SCSA

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How to Disinherit Your (Step)Children

It’s really simple. Do nothing and you will almost certainly make sure that none of your stepchildren will receive any benefit from your life insurance policies, your IRAs, your 401(k)s – nothing.

But, you say, I love my stepchildren, just like I love my biological children. I would never want to disinherit them. How could that possibly happen?

It’s actually quite easy, and quite common. Unless you legally adopt your stepchild, he or she normally has no legal right to any of your property. Most inheritance laws follow bloodlines, i.e., natural-born/biological children inherit. In the absence of specific guidelines, this is what will usually happen. If you want your stepchild to inherit (and/or your step grandchild), you have to make it so. Here’s how.

It is just as simple to ensure your stepchildren are in line for any inheritance as it is to lock them out. First, you could legally adopt them. Once adopted, that person shares the same legal status as a natural born child. However, maybe you do not want to adopt, or even more commonly, cannot adopt your stepchild. What do you do then?

Specifically name your stepchildren as beneficiaries. That’s it. All you have to do is name names and identify the sharing arrangement. For example, on your life insurance policy, list Susie Stepchild as a beneficiary. Do the same thing with your retirement plans and be sure to include Susie in your will. Now, you don’t have to worry about inadvertently disinheriting your stepchildren or their children.

Blog posting provided by:

Michael Snowdon, CFP ®

Michael is president of WealthRidge, a wealth management and financial planning firm, and is a professor emeritus of the College of Financial Planning. His focus in financial planning is to coach people in the process of meeting their goals and achieving their dreams.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Adult Children Losing $3 Trillion in Caring for Aging Parents - ElderLawAnswers Articles

Americans who take time off work to care for their aging parents are losing an estimated $3 trillion dollars in wages, pension and Social Security benefits, according to a new MetLife study. Meanwhile, the percentage of adult children providing basic care for their parents has skyrocketed in recent years.

Nearly 10 million adults age 50 and over care for an aging parent, MetLife says. For the individual female caregiver, the cost impact of caregiving on in terms of lost wages, pension and Social Security benefits averages $324,044. For male caregivers, the figure is $283,716.

The study also identified a dramatic rise in the share of men and women providing basic parental care over the past decade and a half. In 1994, only 9 percent of women and 3 percent of men and were providing care. By 2008, the percentage of women caregivers had more than tripled to 28 percent, while the figure for men had quintupled to 17 percent. "Basic care" is defined as help with personal activities like dressing, feeding, and bathing. Daughters are more likely to provide basic care and sons are more likely to provide financial assistance, the study found.

"Undoubtedly, the impact of the aging population has resulted in increased need within families for family caregiving support," the study notes.

At the same time, MetLife found that adult children age 50 and over who work and provide care to a parent are more likely to have fair or poor health than those who do not provide care to their parents.

The study was based on an analysis of data from the 2008 National Health and Retirement Study (HRS).

The findings have implications for individuals, employers and policymakers, MetLife concludes. Individuals, it says, should consider their own health when caregiving and should prepare financially for their own retirement. Employers can provide retirement planning and stress management information and assist employees with accommodations like flex-time and family leave.

On the policy side, although only a few states mandate paid family and medical leave, "clearly this policy would benefit working caregivers who need to take leave to care for an aging parent," the study notes. MetLife also notes that the CLASS Act, a voluntary long-term care insurance program that is part of the new federal health reform law, will provide some coverage for long-term care needs as well as raise public awareness of the issue.

For more on the study, "The MetLife Study of Caregiving Costs to Working Caregivers: Double Jeopardy for Baby Boomers Caring for Their Parents," click here.

Blog posting courtesy of Elder Law Answers

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

NFCSP 10th Anniversary – “The Year of the Family Caregiver”

The U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) has designated 2011 as “The Year of the Family Caregiver,” a yearlong celebration to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the NFCSP. AoA is working in concert with national caregiver organizations and associations to mark this important achievement. AoA is also encouraging states and communities to recognize the important role family and friends play in caring for friends and loved ones, and to celebrate the impact of caregiver support services, including the NFCSP. AoA has created a new web site ( to assist states and communities in designing and holding NFCSP 10th Anniversary events. Here you will find materials and resources to assist in planning events and recognizing caregivers.

Information courtesy of the Administration on Aging

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Time Management – Helping Clients Achieve Retirement Success

One of the most common complaints of retirees is not being aware of where the time goes. Often a retired person has the greatest intentions to accomplish a number of goals and activities, but the days and weeks seem to disappear without much progress. This time trap of seeming to be busy without results can leave a retiree frustrated and annoyed.
Time management is important at all stages of life, especially in retirement. The greatest retirement plan can fail if a client fritters away his or her time. As a caring advisor you can help clients manage their time efficiently and accomplish their goals.

Here are some time management tips to pass on to clients:

Tip 1: Clarify the Retirement Plan. Ensure your client’s entire plan is in writing and priorities are identified. Assign the most important part of the plan as ‘priority number one’. The second most important part as number two. Keep going until each goal has been ranked.

Tip 2: Focus on Priorities, Not Activities. Encourage clients to keep their priorities in plain view – on the refrigerator door, by the computer or by the bed. Priorities should be reviewed daily to help stay focused.

Tip 3: Set One Major Objective Each Day and Accomplish It. If a client has set a priority to gain greater health, the objective is to allocate time each day for exercise. Whether it is going for a walk or playing tennis, doing something will keep the client active and motivated. Suggest the client give him/herself a small reward for achieving their daily objective.

Tip 4: Keep a Time Log. People often say that they just don’t know where the time goes. Keeping a time log helps track and understand how time is spent. When logging time, have your client write down everything they do and the amount of time it takes including the time spent napping, daydreaming, telephone interruptions – don’t leave anything out!

Tip 5: Analyze Everything. At the end of two weeks, your client should analyze their time log. Questions to ask when reviewing a time log:

• How much time did I spend on my number one priority?
• Was it a sufficient amount of time based on what I want to accomplish?
• What could I do differently to ensure I am spending sufficient time on my top priorities?

Tip 6: Make a To-Do List Every Day. Suggest to clients that they make a daily to-do list outlining, in order, the tasks that are essential for the day. These are their ‘musts’ that are to be completed before bedtime. At least one of the ‘musts’ should be an activity that advances one of your client’s priorities.

Tip 7: Making the First Hour Productive. Patterns of accomplishment are set in the first part of the day. If a client has a habit of lounging over breakfast for an hour, this laid-back behavior will, in all likelihood, last for a good portion of the day. On the other hand, if the client gets busy accomplishing things on their to-do list immediately, this productive behavior is likely to continue throughout the day. Encourage your client to ask throughout the day, “Is this a good use of my time right now?” By answering this question, the client assigns value to their time and ensures he/she is spending time in the best way possible.

When clients control time, they control their life. In doing so, they will accomplish more, experience more satisfaction and feel more fulfilled. As these feelings increase, the quality of their retirement life increases. Satisfaction lies in accomplishing the things that are really important. This is another secret of having a successful retirement.
Richard (Rick) Atkinson, Founder and President of RA Retirement Advisors, is an expert in pre-retirement planning. He is author of the best-selling book, Don’t Just Retire – Live It, Love It! Rick facilitates workshops for clients of advisors and others. He is available for speaking engagements. Twitter: @dontjustretire.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Walk for Alzheimer's

I am, and have been fortunate enough to represent The Society of Certified Senior Advisors in working with Always Best Care for a year and a half. Recently, I was able to meet many of my CSAs and Students at the ABC annual conference, Building a World Class Brand, in Florida. When I got my welcome pack, I was surprised to find a large bag of bracelets that had Walk for Alzheimers printed on each of them. I told Stacey, “I think there was a mistake, I got a whole bag of these!” She said that all of the attendees received them, and to use them how I wish. Understanding that this is a very important cause, I started to brainstorm…

My significant other and I both work in the senior industry, and have a passion to positively impact the lives of seniors through the professionals we serve. On a personal level, we have been spending a lot of time with our girls to teach them about “servant mentality” and the importance of integrity. To that end, we signed up to volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association on Saturday, May 14th. Katie (3) and Meredith (7) had never volunteered before and what a great lesson in service!

We woke up at six a.m. to a balmy 34 degrees here in Denver. We bundled the kids up, and went to the King Soopers near my office building. Armed with a huge bag of bracelets and packets of Forget Me Not seeds, we began our two hour fundraising block. Each person who contributed received an ABC bracelet and seeds for their garden. Our family was very proud to raise $165.13 in the two hours we were there, and successfully handed out every single one of the bracelets that I received at the conference.

Thank you Always Best Care for providing a gift for the donations we raised for the Alzheimer’s Association, and here is to our continued partnership!


Liz Gramm
Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Choosing a Financial Advisor

Once you decide to work with an advisor, how do you determine the right one?

Things to ask include the advisor’s background and education, areas of expertise, their planning approach and how they are compensated. You will want to learn about any conflicts of interest and any regulatory issues on their record. How do they do business and where is their focus? Do they adhere to a professional code of ethics?

Still, codes of ethics and clean regulatory histories only go so far. Ask yourself how you feel about this person. Do you feel you can trust them. Do they hold to the same broad world view as you do? Are you compatible?

As you consider working with an advisor, ask yourself these questions:
• Do you feel comfortable sharing your dreams, your concerns, your financial details?
• Does your advisor really listen to you?
• Is your advisor supportive or does he or she intimidate you?
• Do you get the sense of transparency from the advisor (meaning, do you believe him or her to be open and truthful)?
• Do you communicate well?
• Does the advisor respect you ?
• Do you get the sense that what matters most to your advisor is what matters most to you?

After checking professional credentials, trust your gut. See how you feel about working with this person. Don’t be afraid to interview several advisors. Doing so might lead you to an advisory relationship that will make a real, long-term, positive difference in your life.

Blog posting provided by:

Michael Snowdon, CFP ®

Michael is president of WealthRidge, a wealth management and financial planning firm, and is a professor emeritus of the College of Financial Planning. His focus in financial planning is to coach people in the process of meeting their goals and achieving their dreams.