08 Jan New Year’s Resolutions for Older Adults
Happy New Year and welcome to 2020! Older adults have most likely made dozens of resolutions over their lives. And after a certain age, you may think you don’t need to make these yearly intentions like you did in your younger years (i.e., job promotion, buy a house, or learn a new skill/hobby.) However, setting certain practical resolutions can be a real value for seniors and help provide an overall better quality of life for you and your family.
Get Legal Affairs in Order
It is crucial for all seniors to have certain legal documents prepared and in place. These include: Advanced Health Care Directive (which states you wishes for end-of-life care and also names a healthcare Power of Attorney for all medical issues); Durable Power of Attorney (for financial, property, and personal affairs); last will and testament; and, if necessary, a living trust.
Along with these documents include military records/discharge papers, birth/marriage certificate, copy of Medicare/supplemental insurance cards social security card, and driver’s license. Be sure to have your attorney’s business card or contact information clearly labeled on the outside of these documents. Don’t forget to show your adult children, or trusted family member/friend the location of these important documents.
It is important to note that if you move to another state you should update your legal documents to reflect the laws in your new state. Although out-of-state legal documents are still valid, it is a lot simpler if all are updated and recorded in the state in which you reside.
Get Financial Records in Order
There are a number of important financial records that you should have in place. Show an adult child or trusted family member/friend the location of these records.
- Sources of income and assets (pension from your employer, IRAs, 401(k)s, interest, etc.);
- Insurance information (life, health, long-term care, home, car) with policy numbers and agents’ names and phone numbers;
- Names of your banks and account numbers (checking, savings, credit union);
- Investment income (stocks, bonds, property) and financial advisor’s name and phone number;
- Copy of most recent income tax return;
- Liabilities, including property tax— what is owed, to whom, and when payments are due
- Mortgages and debts—how and when they are paid;
- Location of original deed of trust for home;
- Car title and registration;
- Credit and debit card names and numbers;
- Location of safe deposit box and key;
- Computer passwords for bank and security accounts.
A new year is also a good time to consolidate financial accounts. Seniors often have multiple accounts in different banks or credit unions when assets exceed the $250,000 limit for FDIC. However, if you have assets under this amount but your money still is spread out between many banks, it is wise to consolidate everything now. Furthermore, clean house with your investments. If you have a few shares of stock in different corporations, now is the time to sell or gift those equities to make it easier for your heirs.
You are never too old to begin some type of exercise. In fact, regular exercise is essential to maintain a healthy body and mind as you age. Studies have shown that exercise over long periods will produce amazing health benefits for seniors.
For example, exercising about 30 minutes a day not only helps older adults maintain independence by reducing disease and risk of falls, but also helps lift spirits by producing feel-good endorphins from the brain. Exercise will also increase muscle stamina and strength, help reduce insomnia, and even lowers the risk of dementia. Check with your doctor on what is the best type of exercise for you.
Have a happy and health 2020 from all of us at Senior Living Consultants!
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