Thursday, June 21, 2012

Premier CSA Class in Chicago, IL

Early-bird registration is ending soon! Enroll today to reserve your spot at the discounted rate!

Chicago is a great location to attend and earn the prestigious Certified Senior Advisors designation, enhance your knowledge and access to resources about seniors and grow your network with other CSA professionals. We only come to Chicago once a year, so don't miss your opportunity to get face-to-face instruction and education from our expert instructors.

Contact us today to enroll:
800.653.1785
society@csa.us



Friday, June 15, 2012

Premier CSA Class in San Jose, CA!

Early-bird registration is ending soon! Enroll today to reserve your spot at the discounted rate!

San Jose is a great location to attend and earn the prestigious Certified Senior Advisors designation, enhance your knowledge and access to resources about seniors and grow your network with other CSA professionals. We only come to the Northern California area once a year, so don't miss your opportunity to get face-to-face instruction and education from our expert instructors.

Don’t wait, call your Education Representative today.

Contact us today to enroll:
800.653.1785
society@csa.us



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

No.

This was named the word of the year for 2010 by Geoff Nunberg, National Public Radio’s renowned linguist. No has real power, and any toddler knows this. In fact, it is one of the first words he learns, along with Ma-ma and Da-da. Yes comes late, but doesn’t have nearly the same impact.

For us seniors, it continues to be imperative that we appreciate the many ways of delivering the answer no: there’s the full-frontal-in-your-face approach with teeth, the whispered response, the head-shake. Or saying nothing, doing nothing. This also registers as a no.

Mike Robbins, author and keynote speaker, claims that he used to have trouble saying no. “After all, we don’t want to disappoint people or hurt their feelings. No has consequences; it can close possibilities that would otherwise remain open. No one wants to hear no in response to his question. To offer it too soon can be too hasty and unexpected; to present it too late exhausts both of you,” he cautions.

While no seems negative, closed, cynical, or weak—it is not necessarily any of these things. It can be about being real, knowing who we are, and above all, honoring and respecting ourselves. We can live more authentic lives, based on balance and harmony, if we are more comfortable with the concept. Knowing how to deliver a kind, confident, and honest no is important. And it empowers us.

As a very young woman, I learned one of the first of several significant no lessons when my youngest child was in the third grade. The other class mother approached me, asking me to make two dozen cupcakes for the party the following week. At the time I was overwhelmed—my father was dying, my mother was seriously declining, I was an only child and single parent trying to do everything on my own. I remember saying, in my head, NO! Of course not! Good grief, no!

Instead, I heard the word yes leave my lips. I stood there stunned, almost having an out-of-body experience as the word yes betrayed me. In that instant, I was furious with myself because the commitment I had made was truly dumb and more dumb, to say the least. And while I learned the lesson here, there were still so many other valuable no lessons to be learned over the years—with grown children, relatives, bosses, friends…

In short, the older we get, the more No can validate us: it sets boundaries, establishes parameters. In any language, no is no: pas, nicht, non, aon, nie, oxi, ekki, ne, geen, He, jo, ez, ingen, ei, hindi, pa gen okenn, nincs, tidak ada, nullum, tiada, I-ebda, nu, HET, brez, hakuna, inga, yok…

For more information about Geoff Nunberg, visit National Public Radio: http://www.npr.org/

Laraine Jablon

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

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Sierra Club

Since 1892, the Sierra Club has been working hard to protect communities, wild places, and the earth in general. This is the largest and most influential environmental organization in the country. Its goal is to help people to “explore, enjoy, and protect the planet.”

Approximately 1.4 million people take part in the Sierra Club activities. These people are active seniors, in addition to beginners and families who select from over 300 itineraries with an abundance of options for all ages, abilities, and budgets. Its members are interested in hiking, backpacking, canoeing, rafting, kayaking, bicycling, sailing, and both downhill and cross country skiing.

Sierra Club outings are both national and international. In fact, there are about 350 trips around the U.S. and abroad. And, this group makes a real difference in the world. Literally. Sierra Club members are the most effective advocates for our environment, both locally and globally. Their strength lies in focusing on specific community issues, in addition to lobbying for a greener environment. State senators are called and emailed on a regular basis to do this important work.

Most significant though, is this club’s commitment to protecting our planet in order to leave our children clean air, clean water, and natural grandeur. This would be a truly rich legacy.

For more about the Sierra Club programs, visit www.sierraclub.org.

Laraine Jablon

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

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Saving Money as a Retiree

As a financial advisor, senior clients look to you to guide them in their financial affairs. This also includes passing on tips on how to save money, especially when retired.

How often have you heard the question: “As a retiree, how can I save money and still buy quality goods and services?” Though expenses normally decrease overall when retired, some expenses stay the same or increase, depending on lifestyle choices. This is especially true if a person plans extensive travel or purchasing a ‘big ticket’ item such as a cottage or large boat.

The following are some proven ways to help your senior clients cut costs:

Transportation
A. Airline Fares
1. Compare low-cost carriers with major airlines. Remember, the best fares may not be out of the closest airport.
2. Money can often be saved by including a Saturday evening stay-over or purchasing a ticket at least 14 days in advance.
3. Check airline and internet travel sites for special deals.

B. New Cars
1. Great savings can be had by purchasing a car that combines a low purchase price with low depreciation, good financing rates, low insurance premiums, excellent mileage and low to average maintenance and repair costs. Search new car guides for this information.
2. Get price quotes from several dealers and let them know your shopping around. You may get a better price by taking a vehicle off the lot or one that is less popular in color.

C. Gasoline
1. Save hundreds of dollars by comparing prices at different stations, pumping gas yourself and using the lowest-octane called for in the owner’s manual.
2. Pay attention to price hikes. Buy gas when prices are traditionally lower, for example, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
3. Save over $100 a year by keeping the engine tuned and tires inflated to their proper pressure. Check tire pressure at least once a month.

Insurance
A. Auto Insurance
1. Get quotes from at least four of the lowest-priced, licensed insurers.
2. Talk to your agent or insurer about raising the deductibles on collision and comprehensive coverage to at least $500 or, if an older car, dropping this coverage altogether.
3. Ask about age-related auto insurance discounts and credit for being a good, accident-free driver.

B. Homeowner/Renter Insurance
1. As with auto insurance, shop around. Using an insurance broker may help save time and money.
2. Make sure insurance coverage is enough to replace your house and contents.

C. Life Insurance
1. Buy term life insurance only.
2. If you buy a whole life, universal life or other cash value policy, plan to hold it for at least 15 years. Canceling policies after only a few years can more than double life insurance costs.

Banking Credit
1. Save money by selecting a free checking account or one with no minimum balance requirement. Request a complete listing of fees including ATM and debit card fees.
2. Ask about free or lower fees through direct deposit or agreeing to ATM use only.
3. Ask the bank manager about senior service charge discounts.

Saving Plans
Before opening a saving account, compare rates and fees offered by different financial institutions. Rates can vary greatly.

Credit Cards
1. Avoid late payment fees and possible interest rate increases by sending in your payment a week to ten days before the statement due date.
2. Avoid interest charges by paying off the entire bill each month. Try to shift the remaining balance to a credit card or line of credit with a lower rate.
3. Be cautious of credit cards with rebates, cash back, travel rewards and other perks as they may carry higher rates or fees.

Mortgage Refinancing
Consider refinancing a mortgage if a new rate that is lower than the existing rate comes available. Mortgage professionals can calculate how much the new mortgage will be and whether, in the long run, it will cost less than the current mortgage.

Home Equity Loans
1. Be cautious of taking out home equity loans. The loans reduce or may even eliminate the equity built up in the home.
2. Compare home equity loans offered by at least four reputable lending institutions. Consider the interest rate and annual percentage rate (APR), which includes costs such as origination fees, mortgage insurance and other fees.

As a trusted advisor, you can help guide your clients make better spending decisions. By sharing with them the above tips and others you have found useful, your clients will not only benefit from you advice, they will appreciate your caring regarding their everyday expense management.

Next month, I will list saving tips related to the cost of utilities including heating and cooling, telephone service. Also how to save money on food purchases, prescription drugs and funeral expenses. Check out my comments on discounts and freebies, tipping and loyalty programs.

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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.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Story You Won’t See on Law & Order: Why Elders Are Targets for Scams and Financial Abuse

Registration is now open for The Society of Certified Senior Advisors June Educational Webinar, The Story You Won’t See on Law & Order: Why Elders Are Targets for Scams and Financial Abuse, presented by Hazel Heckers, Victim Advocate for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Specializing in issues of grief and loss, crisis intervention and trauma recovery, Hazel is an advocate counselor and resource for crime victims and their families. Her presentation will focus on:

  • crimes against the elderly and people with disabilities
  • caregiver abuse
  • crime prevention
  • collaborative team building
  • Kinship Care issues
  • grief and loss

Hazel Heckers has a graduate degree in Jungian Psychology and is the Victim Advocate for the Colorado Bureau of Investigations Identity Theft and Fraud Investigation Unit.

Hazel has been a leader in bringing to the forefront of the victim movement issues of elder abuse, crimes against people with disabilities and the special needs of those raising grandchildren and other kin due to crime. Hazel was a vital member of the committee that wrote and worked to pass Colorado's At Risk Adult legislation that defines crimes against elders and people with disabilities and provides guidelines for enforcing the law. Hazel assisted in writing and advocating for law enforcement protocols to respond to cases of caregiver abuse and facilitated the state's first Protocol for Response to At Risk Adults.

Hazel considers it an honor to be invited into the lives of crime victims and to join with them in the process of healing.

Register now by visiting www.csa.us/upcomingevents.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Registration is almost closed for the live Certified Senior Advisor class in Washington, D.C.!

Enroll today to reserve your spot in the upcoming Certified Senior Advisor course in Washington D.C., June 19 - 22nd, 2012 at the Sheraton Herndon Dulles Airport Hotel.

CSA only comes to the D.C. area once a year! Don't miss your opportunity to get face-to-face instruction from our expert instructors and earn the prestigious CSA designation while you network with professionals in your area who can refer business to you.

Registration is ending soon so don't wait!

Contact us today to enroll:
800.653.1785
society@csa.us