Friday, January 27, 2012

2012 Limits You Need to Know: Government Programs and Tax Deductibility on LTC Insurance

Register for CSAs February educational webinar, 2012 Limits You Need to Know: Government Programs and Tax Deductibility on LTC Insurance, presented by Nancy Dykeman. Nancy will be providing you with a one-stop experience, to enhance your discussions about the limits or increases in:

• Medicare
• Medicaid
• Social Security
• and updating the tax incentives for long-term care insurance premium payments

Nancy Dykeman
is the owner of Long-Term Care Planning Consultant, LLC and founder/principal of LTCares, an education and planning company. Nancy provides education to individuals and business groups on planning for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Senior Housing, Final Planning and Long-term Care.
She is recognized nationally as a premier educator in the LTCi field, serving as a core instructor for The Corporation for Long-Term Care Certification, and is a Director of the CLTC Board of Standards. She is a faculty member of the Society of Certified Senior Advisors, and an instructor of the Colorado Partnership Plan Training for LTC Connection.
As a speaker and lead presenter, she and her team of top presenters represent the nation’s large-group LTCi carriers, conducting onsite informational meetings across the country. She and her team positively impact LTCi group benefits participation.
Nancy’s experience in planning began more than 30 years ago as co-owner of her family-owned funeral services company and Pre-Planning Specialist. After becoming a licensed nursing home administrator, she operated large retirement communities, assisted living facilities and nursing homes. She was a caregiver for her mother for 20 years, her father for five years, and most recently, her husband, who has severe degenerative back problems. Nancy’s goal is to help families prepare for aging issues.

Knowing as much as you can to help your customers is the goal of this new webinar.

Date: Thursday, February 2, 2012

Time: 11:00am (PST); 12:00 Noon (MST); 1:00pm (CST); 2:00pm (EST)

Cost: Free for CSAs; $49 public

Register Now!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Growing Senior Market Creates Demand for Resources on Aging

(December, 2011 – Parker, CO) A Colorado company has come to the aid of well intended, yet often stressed and uninformed, senior caregivers. Research shows that approximately 83% of caregivers are related to the care recipient and are not professional caregivers. UniversalSeniorLiving.com may be the first online site of it’s kind to help hold the “cyber” hand of seniors and their families by giving them the resources they need to be able to navigate through the mass of information on the aging process. UniversalSeniorLiving.com, launched in Beta on 11-11-11, and is a one-stop shop geared at providing easy to find resources on over 300 senior related topics, providing a non-threatening ‘entry point’ into the planning process for seniors and their families.

Starting in 2011, and continuing for the next 20 years, America will witness an explosion of the senior population as 10,000 baby-boomers begin to turn 65 every day. They will become the nations fastest growing demographic group, putting a heavy strain not only on our nations resources, like Medicare and Medicaid, but also putting an enormous strain on the psyche and pocketbooks of the adult children and caretakers of this greying population.

“Seniors demand for resources, care and information is staggering. Unfortunately we’ve seen how the enormous emotional strain of a crisis can tear families apart at a time when they most need to come together. Without a plan in place many seniors and their families will continue to suffer needlessly. We believe that aging is inevitable, but crisis is not, and know that we can help families avert, or at least better manage, tragedy.” says Carrie Roberts, Co-Founder at UniversalSeniorLiving.com.

The new site is unique in that it integrates a large provider network (currently over 50,000 providers in 20+ industries, all related to senior care needs) with it’s content rich Resource Library, which consists of over 1500 articles, videos, and expert advice, a combination of which creates a powerful resource to captivate and educate users.

“We believe we’ve created the first site of its kind aimed at helping seniors and their families navigate and plan for the future by providing a complete, comprehensive and easy-to-navigate website. Instead of browsing hundreds of other sites and trying to piece information together, or flipping through volumes of print trying to find service providers, we have created a site that centralizes information for users. Whether looking for information on assisted living, information on applying for Medicare, caregiver stress, or a multitude of other senior related topics, it may all be found on one site. UniversalSeniorLiving.com now contains massive amounts of information (over 9000 pages already indexed by Google), yet is designed to be very easy to navigate and is user friendly. The site is a free resource for seniors and their families to use.” Roberts said.

“Our goal for 2012 is to help 10 million seniors and their families. Some people have said that we could never accomplish that in just 1 year. We say it’s just a start.”

For further information, please contact: Carrie Roberts, Co-Founder, 303-929-8786, carrie.roberts@usl-usa.com, or visit www.universalseniorliving.com.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tax Preparation Help for Seniors

Tax season is overwhelming for many seniors. Many services are available to assist seniors with both federal and state income taxes. Supermarkets and malls have preparers from a variety of firms. Senior centers often host tax preparation days with professionals available to assist with preparation. And, this year the IRS is providing a new service for preparing and filing federal returns, called “Free File”, in conjunction with approximately 20 tax preparation software companies. The tax software providers must meet specific government standards and must qualify with the required security systems. Information transferred over the Internet must be appropriately encrypted so it is protected.

Two programs are available. Taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes of $57,000 or less can use the software programs without charge by linking to www.irs.gov/freefile. Taxpayers of any income level may use “Free File Fillable Forms” from www.irs.gov. Both programs permit E-filing at no charge. The Fillable Forms system requires a basic understanding of IRS tax forms and includes some basic calculations and links to IRS publications.


Frank Vidin, CSA, CFP, has more than 30 years experience in financial and nonprofit services. He teaches the financial and government sections of the CSA training program.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

2012 Limits You Need to Know: Government Programs and Tax Deductibility on LTC Insurance

Registration is now open for February's educational webinar, 2012 Limits You Need to Know: Government Programs and Tax Deductibility on LTC Insurance, presented by Nancy Dykeman. Nancy will be providing you with a one-stop experience, to enhance your discussions about the limits or increases in:

• Medicare
• Medicaid
• Social Security
• and updating the tax incentives for long-term care insurance premium payments

Nancy Dykeman is the owner of Long-Term Care Planning Consultant, LLC and founder/principal of LTCares, an education and planning company. Nancy provides education to individuals and business groups on planning for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Senior Housing, Final Planning and Long-term Care.
She is recognized nationally as a premier educator in the LTCi field, serving as a core instructor for The Corporation for Long-Term Care Certification, and is a Director of the CLTC Board of Standards. She is a faculty member of the Society of Certified Senior Advisors, and an instructor of the Colorado Partnership Plan Training for LTC Connection.
As a speaker and lead presenter, she and her team of top presenters represent the nation’s large-group LTCi carriers, conducting onsite informational meetings across the country. She and her team positively impact LTCi group benefits participation.
Nancy’s experience in planning began more than 30 years ago as co-owner of her family-owned funeral services company and Pre-Planning Specialist. After becoming a licensed nursing home administrator, she operated large retirement communities, assisted living facilities and nursing homes. She was a caregiver for her mother for 20 years, her father for five years, and most recently, her husband, who has severe degenerative back problems. Nancy’s goal is to help families prepare for aging issues.

Knowing as much as you can to help your customers is the goal of this new webinar.

Date: Thursday, February 2, 2012

Time: 11:00am (PST); 12:00 Noon (MST); 1:00pm (CST); 2:00pm (EST)

Cost: Free for CSAs; $49 public

Register Now!

Monday, January 16, 2012

On the Market Again

Baby boomers and their parents are dating again. Death and divorce are causing single seniors to search for someone special—again.

In the past, people in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s who have lost a spouse would live alone for the rest of their lives. But social norms have changed dramatically, and people are living longer than ever before. Today, more older people are looking to fill the gap, share their lives with another person. They’re looking for relationships.

If you are thinking about dating again, here are a few things to consider:

• Tell people you’re interesting in finding a new relationship. This is just another form of networking. Tell family members, friends, peers, fellow-office workers or volunteers that you’re ready. Perhaps someone can introduce you a lovely individual he or she knows. Readiness is the key here.

• Explore your options for meeting new people. There are dozens of places to find new partners: church or temple, classes, the gym, civic organizations, museums, book stores, sporting events…you can meet people of both genders with whom you can take part in different activities. And then there’s on-line dating which is increasingly popular among seniors who seem to be more successful at it than younger generations. There are numerous websites that are designed specifically for seniors.

• Relax. Enjoy meeting new people and try not to put pressure on yourself to find someone immediately. Things happen when they happen.

You may find this site helpful: www.top10bestdatingsites.com/SeniorDatingServices-Comparison

~Laraine Jablon

Laraine Jablon, BA, MA, is a freelance writer specializing in social, health, and spiritual concerns of seniors. She lives in Nesconset, New York, and welcomes your thoughts. Lhjablon@gmail.com

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Last Great Game: Scrabble

Just ask Alec Baldwin how compelling a game this is for many of us. Recently, he was asked to leave an American Airlines flight for refusing to turn off his cell phone…he was playing Words with Friends at the time and it was his turn.

There are dozens of word games that have been invented over the years. Some have greater longevity than others, and Scrabble is one that has thrived over time. This true classic in the category of word games was invented in 1938 by Alfred Mosher Butts--interestingly, an architect.

We all weaned our children on the game, imparting the joy of making words for the greatest number of points. Of course word knowledge is important, but a truly challenging game of Scrabble depends on more than that alone. Strategy is key: one must consider the balance of his rack of letters, a solid offense, along with a strong defense. This can get complex and competitive—much like Chess.

Smart phones have revolutionized the game by allowing it to be played 24/7 in cyberspace with family, friends, and complete strangers. And if you’re looking for a reliable word source, you can use the 4th edition of the Official Scrabble Player’s Dictionary, or the Enable List which can be downloaded.

I’m guessing that few are thrown off planes for playing Scrabble, but many of us still enjoy a good game with our children who probably beat us these days.

This blog is posted by Laraine Jablon whose favorite word is qat.


Laraine Jablon, BA, MA, is a writer specializing in social and health concerns of seniors. She is based in Nesconset, New York, and welcomes your thoughts. Lhjablon@gmail.com

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Professional Testing Acquires Society of Certified Senior Advisors

The Society of Certified Senior Advisors (SCSA) is excited to announce that it has been acquired by Professional Testing Inc., a leading developer of high performance credentialing and assessment programs serving professional associations, federal and state government agencies and private industry.

Excerpt from the official press release:

SCSA will continue to operate under its current name as a division of Professional Testing and will maintain offices and present staffing in the Denver, Colorado area. To increase value in the quality of the Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) designation, SCSA will draw on the credentialing, exam development and accreditation management of Professional Testing’s team headquartered in Orlando, Florida. Ed Pittock, founder of SCSA, will continue to serve as a consultant to SCSA.

“To successfully manage today’s high performance credentialing programs requires proficiency and collaboration across a range of unique disciplines,” said David Cox, President, Professional Testing. “This acquisition is a win-win for both organizations as we expand our expertise in education, training, assessment development, community building and provide support for the evolving needs of credential holders.”

“With the addition of the team from Professional Testing, SCSA has never been more confident in its ability to offer our certification holders even greater value in their credential,” said Pittock. “Together we look forward to building a brighter and more prosperous future – for our members, credential holders and ultimately the seniors they serve.”

To read the full press release on the acquisition, click here.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Checklists for Life – How Using Checklists Can Help Ease Stress and Avert Crisis for Both Seniors and Boomers Alike

For many people, as they get older, their needs change dramatically. Depending on a person’s age, health and mental capacity, there may be many things that a senior just can’t keep up with the way they used to, or many things a Boomer doesn’t have (can you say “Advanced Directives”) and doesn’t know they need until it is too late.

We believe that one of the best ways to get boomers prepared for their futures, as well as to keep seniors organized in the present, is by equipping them with checklists that cover major areas of their life. We believe that while checklists may not have the minute details laid out (checklists are meant to deliver concise advice), they are a great planning tool that give people a macro-view of what needs to be learned, gathered, prepared, and ultimately executed, especially when preparing for the most unexpected moment; moments where without a plan in place becomes a crisis situation.

Many times a checklist can prevent an unavoidable situation from turning into an emergency situation. By implementing a checklist you likely will have planned well enough that you will be able to quickly put a plan into action and avoid the crisis.

To really be prepared (there are so many aspects to our lives that integrate together, yet are distinctly different) there are many different types of checklists that are needed so you are ready when any given situation arises. Here is a list of some of the checklists you will need to start your planning process:


Checklists for Maintaining Independence - Losing one’s independence, in many cases, is the most frightening and feared things for many seniors as they grow older. Having checklists in place with such things as how to avoid falls and other accidents, how to avoid loneliness, how to approach senior driving issues, aging in place concepts and caregiving/caregiver stress management are all good checklists to have on hand to help seniors (and their adult children/caregivers) maintain their independence and be prepared for the future.


Checklists for Estate Management - Your estate management checklist will make sure that you have done all the necessary paperwork to make things manageable after you are gone, ensuring that your life and legacy are carried out how you intended them to be. This list will include things like wills, estate planning, titling assets and funeral planning and expenses.


Checklists for Financial and Legal - Money and legal issues go hand in hand with aging. Financially, life is different after you are retired and it takes good planning to make sure your money lasts long enough to cover your expenses or leave a legacy behind. Your checklists for financial and legal should contain things like how to hire an attorney, what to look for in a good financial planner, how to set up a power of attorney, things to consider in retirement, or how to avoid scams targeted at the elderly.

Checklists for Housing and Care - Where you live and who cares for you are things that can change quickly when you are older, especially if you are struck with an illness or accident. Having alternate plans in place that everyone understands ahead of time makes it less likely you will end up having to live somewhere you don’t want or where you won’t get adequate care. Checklists for housing and care will include things like how to make sure you ask the appropriate questions when looking for housing, the different types of housing options available, details about independent living, assisted living, nursing home care, in home care and even hospice care.

Checklists for Health and Medical - Health issues for senior are unique and there are many things to consider when deciding how medical decisions will be made if the need arises. Seniors also have different dietary and exercise needs too that should be considered. Your checklists for health and medical should include things like how to find a good doctor, creating a hospitalization plan, medicine management, vision, hearing, dehydration, heart attacks, Alzheimer’s and Cancer and information on other medical conditions affecting seniors.

Checklists for Discounts and Free Stuff - The one big upside to being a senior is the fact that there are so many discounts available to seniors. You can get discounts on everything from food, lodging and even senior shopping days in the stores. Getting a list of all the discounts available can save you big money which is always a good thing for your retirement budget.

Checklists for Fun and Travel – One great thing about retirement is that you have a lot more free time to do the things you love. Many people like to use these years to do all the traveling they wanted to and never had the time. Seniors can find many great travel discounts and checklists for safe travel available to them. Leisure time for seniors many times also equals great times and memories with grandchildren, so having checklists in place (especially for grandparents who haven’t had small children at home for quite some time!) are helpful.

Having a set of standard checklists will make life so much easier and more organized for you. When you have that kind of organization in play things don’t have to turn into emergencies, which equals better outcomes for everyone. It is a little bit of work to get it all set up but once you have worked through the steps the peace of mind you will get knowing that you have a plan is priceless.

At Universal Senior Living we have created a downloadable Checklist E-book called Checklists for Life with over 200 easy to use checklists covering all of the topics mentioned above, giving you or your clients instant access to the lists they need most. Also, if you find there are checklists you need that are not included in the E-book, we will create the checklist for you at no charge and add it in to the most current edition for others to benefit from as well.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Helping Clients Thrive in Retirement

Critical Fact #1: Clients are demanding more and are starving for a trusted advisor

• Clients often fear retirement and will bond to a trusted source of guidance and advice
• What keeps clients up at night?
o Managing their money
o Loss of employment and related status
o Living with purpose after retirement
o Fear of change and fading into the woodwork due to lack of social connections

Critical Fact #2: Your clients want to thrive in retirement

With the retirement of hundreds of thousands, as a financial advisor, you have a unique opportunity to extend and enhance your reputation as a trusted source of guidance and counsel. As a trusted advisor who recognizes your clients’ fears and engages expertise to help manage the fears, you will have a dramatically positive impact on the quality of retirement for your clients and their families.

Critical Action #1: What you need to do

• You need to fully understand the retirement concerns of Boomers (45+). Read books, articles, on-line resources about retirement. Talk to successfully retired people about what makes for a happy, productive retirement. Find out from clients and others what their retirement concerns really are.
• Enhance and grow your practice by hosting retirement planning workshops and events. Clients love receiving the information especially if profound insights, true-to-life stories and self-completing exercises are included. Encourage your clients to bring friends and colleagues – a great resource for referrals.
• Integrate retirement life planning into your client conversations. As one highly successful advisor said to me. “With my clients, we rarely talk about money and more often discuss family and the future. We regularly review their holistic retirement plan as to what’s working, what’s not working as well as they would like and I ask ‘how can I help?’

The Payoff for Clients:


• Sharpened understanding of their retirement needs and interests before crisis occurs.
• Creation of a fully integrated retirement life plan to protect their time and money after work.
• Discovery of opportunities that add excitement and heightened personal fulfillment.
• Living and loving retirement to its fullest!

The Payoff for You as their Trusted Advisor:

• Be recognized and rapidly referred as a trusted advisor who makes things happen.
• Retain clients forever, and build the bridge to their kids and families.
• You will love what you do even more than you do now.
• You will help more people, make more money and solidify your practice.

Here are comments made by satisfied clients:

“We just love Jim. It is so refreshing working with an advisor who just doesn’t focus on the financial side but rather all aspects of retirement.”

“Our advisor invited my wife and I to a retirement planning workshop. We found the discussions, lecturettes, brainstorming and case studies were great for expanding our planning.”


“Sharon is different from most advisors. She recognizes retirement is much more than the money! It’s what to do with time 24/7, it’s keeping healthy in body, soul and mind, it’s enhancing relationships with spouse/partner, family and friends, it’s living retirement to its fullest!”

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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.