Category Senior Issues

Retire Inspired

Product DetailsRetire Inspired
By Chris Hogan
Ramsey Press
Retail Price: $24.99
Amazon Price: $18.69

Book Description:  When you hear the word retirement, you probably don’t imagine yourself scrambling to pay your bills in your golden years. But for too many Americans, that’s the fate that awaits unless they take steps now to plan for the future.

Whether you’re twenty-five and starting your first job or fifty-five and watching the career clock start to wind down, today is the day to get serious about your retirement.

In Retire Inspired, Chris Hogan teaches that retirement isn’t an age; it’s a financial number—an amount you need to live the life in retirement that you’ve always dreamed of. With clear investing concepts and strategies, Chris will educate and empower you to make your own investing decisions, set reasonable expectations for your spouse and family, and build a dream team of experts to get you there.

You don’t have to retire broke, stressed, and working long after you want to. You can retire inspired!

Review

I was a little hesitant to read this book on planning for retirement because usually these types of books are written by financial guys who have made a lot of money and will have no worries in retirement.  In this case the author does not come across this way, but writes in a helpful, down to earth way, giving advice and tips on how to get where we want to be so we can retire comfortably.  He encourages us to set our own goals and take steps necessary to make these goals our reality.  As you do this, the author is confident that you will be able to retire in a way that will help you maintain your current lifestyle.  The younger you are, the better this book is for you because you will have more time to stash enough money aside. But I’d recommend to anyone who is nearing retirement age as well.

~Reviewed by Rich W.

 

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    ABA/AARP Checklist for My Family: A Guide to My History, Financial Plans and Final Wishes

    Book Description: 

    Put your life in order with this valuable new resource from AARP and the American Bar Association. Checklist for My Family guides you through the process of gathering in one place your finances, legal documents, online accounts, wishes about medical care, and more. Plus it tells you what you need, why you need it, what’s missing, and where to get it.

    While giving you peace of mind, this book is also a gift to your loved ones. It spares them stressful decisions and needless frustrations when you’re ill or upon your death. And it presents them with your legacy, by providing specific knowledge of family history and recollections about your life, interests, and accomplishments.

    Whether you choose to gather this critical information in the book itself or through the forms available free online, you can easily customize and organize your information.

    With this one-of-a-kind guide, you’ll stay in control of your life and feel satisfied in knowing that if anything happens to you, you—and your family—will be well prepared.

    Review

    If you are looking to get your affairs (and documents that go along with this task!) in order than you will want to get a copy of this helpful book.  Paperwork and personal information isn’t always easy to find, and organizing your records can seem like an intimidating task. But, whether you need to organize records for yourself, your family or your executor, this book will help you with leaving instructions for survivors, secured places and passwords, final arrangements, estate planning documents, insurance policies, tax records, retirement accounts….and so much more!  This is really a complete system for structuring and organizing your records for yourself and your  loved ones.

     

    ~Reviewed by Allie B.

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      Being Mortal

      Product DetailsBeing Mortal(Unabridged)
      by Atul Gawande
      Macmillan Audio
      Retail Price $14.95
      Amazon Price: $14.95

      Book Description: 

      In Being Mortal, best-selling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: How medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending. Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession’s ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person’s last weeks or months may be rich and dignified.Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.

      Review

      Wow.  This book was enlightening.  I have aging parents and have a deep interest in the topic of elder care.  I want to make sure my parents are comfortable in their old age.  I want to repay them for all they have done me as their child by making sure they die with the greatest amount of dignity possible.  This audiobook was quite an eye opener for me about what really goes on in nursing facilities and other long term care facilities and how modern medicine sometimes fail those who need it most.  The author doesn’t spend time pointing fingers, he just lays out the truth for us to see, ponder, and then apply what we can to our own lives.  His words are honest, but sometimes hard to bear, but they spur us on to help give quality of life to those we love who are aging or suffering from terminal illness, helping them to end their stories on their own terms.   While I wouldn’t say this book is uplifting, I did find it comforting as it inspired me to do right by my parents.

      ~Reviewed by Pat C.

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        Delaying Social Security Could Increase Lifetime Income

        For those who are nearing retirement age can increase their lifetime income if they can wait a bit to start drawing Social Security benefits.  It is between the ages of 55 to 64 when folks start thinking seriously about retirement.

        Workers can start taking Social Security at age 62. But for those who can wait, the benefits go up.

        “If you need Social Security early, take it – you’ve earned it,” said Virginia Reno with the National Academy of Social Insurance, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. “But waiting even a year or two can make a big difference in the long run. The extra benefits are there for life.”

        Payments increase by 5 to 7 percent for each year of delay between ages 62 and 66, and by 8 percent for each year of delay between ages 66 and 70. The increases stop at age 70.

        For someone who can wait until age 70 to take Social Security, the reward is a lifetime monthly benefit that is 76 percent higher than if taken at age 62.

        For example, a worker who qualifies for a Social Security benefit of $750 at age 62 would receive $1,000 by waiting until full retirement age (66 for people born in 1943 to 1954). By waiting until age 70, the retiree would receive $1,320 a month.

        The higher benefit would also be the basis for future inflation adjustments.

        Around New York, only about one in three residents who are currently receiving Social Security retirement benefits waited until full retirement age to start their payments, according to the Social Security Administration.

        Getting the most out of Social Security benefits becomes more important the longer retirees live, said Leticia Miranda, a policy adviser with the National Council of La Raza, a nonprofit that focuses on Hispanic issues, including retirement.

        “You may be here longer than you think,” Miranda said.

        About half of seniors aged 65 to 69 get most of their income from Social Security. Many have other assets or work part time. But for three out of four seniors in their 80s, Social Security is the main source of income.

        Nationally, a woman who is 65 years old today can expect to live until she is 86. For men, it’s 84 years.

        Another consideration is how the timing of benefits will affect a spouse’s income, Reno said.

        “If you are the higher earner in a couple, delaying benefits not only means a higher benefit for you for the rest of your life,” she said. “It also means a higher benefit for your spouse if she or he outlives you in old age.”

        In more than half of couples who are 65 today, one spouse will live beyond 90, she said.

        But residents of nonmetropolitan areas  may have a harder time delaying their retirement.

        “In rural areas there is often a challenge as folks move toward retirement,” said Deanna Sharpe, a personal finance professor at the University of Missouri. “They are more likely to face unemployment. Jobs are not as available. And when they are, they tend to pay less.”

        Economic downturns can also affect when people decide to start receiving Social Security, Sharpe said.

        “One of the coping mechanisms during the recent recession was to pick up Social Security at age 62, even if they might not have planned to do that before the recession,” she said.

        Retirees need to make informed decisions, Sharpe said, but too often that doesn’t happen.

        “We find in surveys of financial literacy that quite a large portion of folks don’t understand the basics,” she said. “That’s a concern.”

        But retirees can easily find free or low-cost advice. Sharpe said many USDA Extension Service offices can provide information on retirement planning. She also recommended nonprofit organizations such as the National Endowment for Financial Counseling and Financial Education (www.nefe.org).

        The Social Security Administration website (ssa.gov) has a calculator that allows workers to estimate their retirement earnings based on their own work records and estimated retirement age.

        And the National Academy of Social Insurance has materials online about the impact of delaying Social Security benefits (www.nasi.org/WhenToTakeSocialSecurity).

        With national discussions about Social Security frequently in the news, some workers may worry whether the system will be there when they need it. Sharpe said people should stay abreast of the issues. “That’s part of making an informed decision,” she said.

        But Reno said that should not influence a personal decision about when to draw benefits.

        “Social Security will be there if you wait,” she said. The system is fully financed for about the next two decades and is three-quarters financed thereafter, she said.

        “Despite what you may hear, lawmakers have some good options to fix the system for the long haul,” she said.

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        Tim Marema is editor of the Daily Yonder (www.dailyyonder.com), a national website that covers news about small cities and rural America.

        Roberto Gallardo is an associate professor at the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

        Support for the research and production of this article was provided by the National Academy of Social Insurance. The content of this article is solely the responsibility of the Daily Yonder, which is published by the Center for Rural Strategies, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Whitesburg, Ky.

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          Changing the Way We Die

          Changing the Way We Die: Compassionate End of Life Care and The Hospice MovementChanging the Way We Die
          By Fran Smith Sheila Himmel
          Viva Edtions
          Retail Price $16.96
          Amazon Price: $12.99

          Book Description: 

          There’s a quiet revolution happening in the way we die. More than 1.5 million Americans a year die in hospice care—nearly 44 percent of all deaths—and a vast industry has sprung up to meet the growing demand. Once viewed as a New Age indulgence, hospice is now a $14 billion business and one of the most successful segments in health care. Changing the Way We Die, by award-winning journalists Fran Smith and Sheila Himmel, is the first book to take a broad, penetrating look at the hospice landscape, through gripping stories of real patients, families, and doctors, as well as the corporate giants that increasingly own the market.

          Changing the Way We Die is a vital resource for anyone who wants to be prepared to face life’s most challenging and universal event. You will learn:

          — Hospice use is soaring, yet most people come too late to get the full benefits.

          — With the age tsunami, it becomes even more critical for families and patients to choose end-of-life care wisely.

          — Hospice at its best is much more than a way to relieve the suffering of dying. It is a way to live.

          Review

           

          My mom and I used Hospice Care for the last week of my father’s life.  The organization was very helpful, the workers compassionate and knowledgeable, and our hearts were filled by their tender care of my dad.  This book opened my eyes to all Hospice COULD have been to my dad and my family, months before he died, and I just didn’t know it.  I recommend this book for looking in to Hospice care or end of life issues.  The book is easy to read and is loaded with good, practical information. I enjoyed the stories that addressed the issues faced by hospice patients and their family members. Every aspect of hospice care is covered… from symptom management and medication use to the emotional challenges faced by patients and their caregivers. I wish that I had this book available to me when my dad first became ill.  I can’t think of one thing that the book didn’t cover.

          ~Reviewed by Allie B.

           

           

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