Friday, May 27, 2011

Our Brains Need Exercise Too!

In our Certified Senior Advisor® (CSA) course work, we learned certain types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, are not a normal part of aging. Even though I’m aware of this fact, I still think about my own personal risks of developing cognitive challenges in the years to come.

In the last few months, I’ve been reading more and more about the many things people can do to increase a person’s brain health to help decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. A good diet and physical exercise are at the top of the list, of course, but what I found interesting was the idea of “brain fitness” as an important part of successful and healthful aging. It seems our brains need exercise too!

Krisha McCoy, MS, in her article entitled, *Brain Fitness: Continue Learning for Longevity said “Researchers believe that brain fitness improves mental functioning and decreases dementia risk because mental activity stimulates your brain cells and increases their ability to communicate with each other. Plus, this mental stimulation is thought to strengthen the connections within your brain, enhancing your brain’s ability to cope with dementia-related changes that may occur with age.”

I was encouraged to know I can keep my brain sharp by pursuing new interests and trying new things. This concept was mentioned in another article, *Learning New Skills Ensure A Healthy Brain As We Age, and according to Marie Pasinski, M.D., a neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospitals Health Care Centers, “Learning a new skill is one of the best brain workouts there is.” This is because the act of “learning” seems to zoom in on the very “area of the brain responsible for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia – the areas of the brain that age the fastest.”

So, I guess I’m on the right track because since March of this year, I’ve not only enhanced my physical activities and exercise, I’ve also taken up a new hobby – rock climbing! It gets me outdoors, requires me to do a lot of hiking and challenges my brain (and my fear of heights!) in a whole new way!!

*Brain Fitness: Continue Learning for Longevity, by Krisha McCoy, MS; Medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH -

Link: http://www.everydayhealth.com/health-report/brain-fitness/continue-learning-for-longevity.aspx

*Learning New Skills Ensure A Healthy Brain As We Age, Submitted by Kathleen Blanchard, RN

Link: http://www.emaxhealth.com/1020/8/29422/learning-new-skills-ensure-healthy-brain-we-age.html-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Christie Munson, CSA, lives and works in Phoenix, AZ and is the Communications Manager for a retirement community and a Professional Organizer, specializing in senior services. She can be contacted via email at simplify-life@cox.net.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Midsummer Night's Wish

An organization dedicated to enriching the lives of seniors. That’s what Jeremy Bloom’s Wish of a Lifetime (JBWOL) is all about!

On Saturday, July 16th, 2011 JBWOL will be hosting its 3rd Annual Evening Affair, A Midsummer Night's Wish.

Come join JBWOL for this magical evening to include cocktails, dinner, silent and live auctions, dancing, celebrities and more! All proceeds help benefit the organization and support their efforts in making a senior's wish come true!

Click Here to purchase a table or individual tickets

For detailed information on Table Benefits click here or call Tom Wagenlander @ 720-975-3009

Interested in donating to the auction? Please contact Suzanne Halvorson @ 720.975.3009

www.seniorwish.org

Friday, May 20, 2011

NAIFA - Atlanta Announces Top Financial Advisors Under 40

The Atlanta chapter of the National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors has named Certified Senior Advisor, Timothy P. Gelinas, as an inaugural recipient of its prestigious Top Advisors Under 40 award for 2011. This award recognizes excellence and achievement in the Insurance and Financial Services field measuring production, years in business, and community involvement for professionals less than 40 years of age. The Society of Certified Senior Advisors would like to congratulate Timothy on this exceptional achievement.

When our Certified Senior Advisors achieve outstanding awards and recognition, such as Timothy's, we love to hear about it. Even better...we love to share it with our audience. If you're a CSA and would like to share your success story with us, send us an email at society@csa.us.

Friday, May 13, 2011

TRICKS OF THE TRADE: OUTSMARTING INVESTMENT FRAUD: PRE-RECORDED WEBINAR

Reserve your copy of this outstanding educational webinar, Tricks of the Trade: Outsmarting Investment Fraud, presented by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation, along with AARP and the Colorado Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). This presentation focuses on recognizing and responding to fraud tricks used on seniors and boomers. Hear about investment fraud, who is at risk, and the simple steps you can take to avoid fraud from Gerri Walsh, Vice President of Investor Education with FINRA and Doug Shadel, Fraud Expert and advisor for AARP.

Information also includes:

> Analyze risk – debunking stereotypes of “typical” fraud victims
> Persuasion tactics
> “Ask & Check” – SaveAndInvest.org, checking licensing information, etc.

Date: Pre-recorded video now available
Price: Free to all CSAs, $49 for non-CSAs

Reserve your copy now!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Why Did I Do That?

Have you ever asked yourself that question? Why did I spend that $500 for retail therapy when I cannot pay my bills? Why did I write the check to the guy who promised a guaranteed 25% investment return if only I would follow his secret steps to success?

Enter the science of Behavioral Economics. To oversimplify, behavioral economics helps us identify why we do what we do . . . especially as this relates to money decisions. It’s possible that you wrote the check, in part, because of a human tendency toward Herd Behavior. If I can convince you that lots of other people are making money doing this same thing, you might just want to join the crowd.

We are living in tough times, and the financial well-being of many seniors has suffered. As a result, there may be more incentive than normal to fall into the trap of financial scam artists. If I sound sincere, produce “real” statistics, and promise that you can make up your lost ground in a hurry, that‘s pretty tempting.

Resist the temptation, and remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. At least ask yourself whether it’s logical that this one person could truly have such amazing inside information when no one else does.

Following conservative savings and investment principles may be frustratingly slow, but at least you won’t be throwing your money away. Who knows, your savings might even grow enough for a little retail therapy!

Blog posting provided by:

Michael Snowdon, CFP ®
www.wealthridge.com
msnowdon@wealthridge.com

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, May 6, 2011

PROFESSIONALLY-WRITTEN BIO AN IMPORTANT TOOL FOR SENIORS

The vast Seniors community, including retirees, baby boomers and those actively employed or seeking jobs, benefits greatly from a professionally-written Biography. Whatever their profession, vocation or natural talent, whether marketing themselves for the workplace, posting a web Bio for professional or social networking purposes, or providing an important biographical family legacy, it is essential that Seniors maintain a current Bio.

A professional biographer can best assist in the sometimes difficult tasks of preparing, organizing and writing Senior's personal Biography, no matter how short or how detailed the desired Bio. Biographer, Steve Berent has been working with and writing for seniors for many years, educating them on the importance of maintaining a personal Bio. Through his websites, ShortBios.com and StarMemoirs.com, he continues his mission to provide affordable, professional Biographies to all seniors.

Berent emphasizes, “Seniors are by and large healthier and more active these days and many, by necessity, are staying in the workplace longer, pushing retirement back for many years. For them, the Bio is a vital tool for remaining in the employment pool. For others, continuing their personal legacy for future generations to read and gain inspiration from, is an important motive for creating a lasting, more in-depth Biography.”

He further stresses the therapeutic and healing benefits of the Senior Biography as well. “Aside from the practical use of the Bio for today's Seniors, the beneficial jog to the memory circuits often serves to heal and restore. The burden that many Seniors encounter, fearing they've lost substantial long-term memory or that they have become increasingly incapacitated in that regard, is lifted significantly and goes a long way toward promoting healthy memory activity.”

Regardless of the guiding motivation for the Senior's Biography, the professional biographer serves an integral role in the Senior community, effectively facilitating the process of organizing and writing one's Bio and life story.
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Blog posting courtesy of Steve Berent
www.Starmemoirs.com

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Guiding Clients to Better Health & Wellbeing in Retirement

Many clients contemplating retirement believe it is a time to throw cares away, just relax and smell the roses. True, retirement is a time when we focus on our self and it’s a time when work priorities change. However, keeping healthy should be part of every client’s journey into retirement.

Being healthy means having good physical, mental and spiritual well-being. As an advisor you can encourage your clients to create a health and wellbeing strategy.

Each health and wellbeing strategy should include a plan for achieving (a) physical wellness, (b) improved diet and nutrition, (c) mental health and (d) spirituality.

A. Physical Health
Regular exercise is a major contributor to overall wellness. Without activity, we deteriorate at a rapid rate. Other benefits of regular exercise are weight control, balance and flexibility. Exercise can help clients feel better and protect their bodies from disease, fatigue and lethargy.

Encourage your clients to try a variety of different exercise activities before committing to one. During their testing period, have them refrain from buying expensive equipment in case the activity they thought was ‘great’ turns out to not be. Ask clients to share their progress with you and, in turn, provide positive feedback and accolades, both of which can act as a stimulus to clients for achieving physical fitness success.

B. Diet and Nutrition
As we get older, our nutritional needs change. Our metabolic rate, the speed at which our body burns calories, tends to decline. This means our body needs fewer calories. This also means we need less food.

Encourage clients to examine their diets including reducing sugar, butter and salt intake. Suggest your clients consult with their doctor regarding food products and nutritional supplements he/she recommends given the client’s health history and body type.

C. Mental Health
For many newly minted retirees, the first months can be difficult because of strong identification with ‘work’. Upon entering retirement, they may experience butterflies, sweaty palms, upset stomach and other anxieties.

Talk to your clients about creating a plan to deal with ‘retirement stress’. Such a plan can include physical exercise, deep breathing and muscle relaxation. Open the door for clients to share their retirement challenges with you. Ask for their thoughts and suggestions on how to handle the situation. Show sympathy, understanding, objectivity, knowledge and encouragement. Remind your clients they are not alone – their friends, family and you are there to support and help.

D. Spirituality
Recently the U.S. National Interfaith Conference on Aging related happiness, morale and health to spirituality. People with less spirituality, in general, are not as happy or healthy as those with a high degree of spirituality.

As part of each client’s retirement plan, encourage them to think about how he/she can increase their spirituality. This includes: developing a positive sense of hope, leveraging past experiences to help resolve current situations, recognizing the power of prayer, finding and using artistic abilities and utilizing relaxation and meditation techniques.

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As a caring advisor, include health and wellbeing as part of your client discussions. Provide thoughts and direction you have found useful when building a healthy regime and underline the importance of creating a retirement health and wellbeing strategy.

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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. www.dontjustretire.com. Twitter: @dontjustretire.