Your disaster kit needs a home inventory

By Barbara Marquand
Posted on January 15, 2018

Imagine losing everything in a disaster like Hurricane Harvey, then having to list all of your possessions to file an insurance claim — every plate, holiday decoration and piece of clothing for starters. Without a home inventory, this would be the toughest memory test you’d ever face, and forgotten items could cost you in the form of a lower insurance payout. “You can lose... READ MORE

Divvying up family belongings peacefully

By Jim Miller
Posted on January 12, 2018

Dear Savvy Senior: What’s the best way to distribute my personal possessions to my kids after I’m gone without causing hard feelings or conflict? I have a lot of jewelry, art, family heirlooms and antique furniture, and three grown kids that don’t always see eye-to-eye on things.  — Planning Ahead Dear Planning: Divvying up personal possessions among adult children ... READ MORE

Four steps to disaster-proof your finances

By Liz Weston
Posted on January 11, 2018

Mother Nature could be excused if she wondered, “How much more prompting do you people need?” Last year delivered epic wildfires, devastating hurricanes, massive floods and some pretty horrific earthquakes. Yet many people still haven’t taken a few critical steps to protect their financial lives from such disasters. Consider setting aside a few hours to take care of these four... READ MORE

Plan ahead if caring for a parent from afar

By Mary Kane
Posted on January 10, 2018

Dave Nickerson’s mother, Catherine, is almost 95, but he said she’s as independent and self-sufficient as ever. A former schoolteacher, Catherine has lived for 65 years in the same house where Dave grew up, near Boston. And she’s made it very clear she intends to stay there. “She’s embedded in the community,” Dave said. Dave helped remodel the house a few years ago, so his... READ MORE

Home improvements for aging in place

By Mary Kane
Posted on January 09, 2018

In response to demands from baby boomers, improvements that help people stay safely in their homes as they age are more stylish and functional than before. Think of a curved and tiled shower soap dish that also serves as a grab bar. Or a decorative kitchen cabinet pull with a wider loop for arthritic hands. More forward-looking homeowners are including aging-in-place features in home... READ MORE

How to make a move as smooth as can be

By Daniel Carlson
Posted on January 02, 2018

Editor’s note: The following article is excerpted from the new book, Home Sweet Apartment: Getting Rightsized in Our Seventies, about how Daniel Carlson and his wife moved from their long-time house to an apartment. When we were younger, moving from one home to another was a fairly simple process: Pack belongings in old cardboard boxes from the A&P, rent a truck, line up friends... READ MORE

Assisted living for comfort, conversation

By Carol Sorgen
Posted on January 02, 2018

Lisa Cini is one of the nation’s foremost experts on making living spaces comfortable and functional for seniors. Through Mosaic Design Studio, her firm based in Columbus, Ohio, she has been designing assisted living facilities for 25 years. Cini is also a speaker on the subjects of design, aging and technology, and has written two books — The Future is Here: Senior Living... READ MORE

As a landlord, can you ever truly retire?

By Brian Evans
Posted on October 19, 2017

There is a major dilemma facing many older investors today. Their successes in real estate have produced a failure in quality of life. What is the problem, and is there a solution?Let’s start with the problem: a “good problem” to have. Twenty to 40 years ago, you bought rental real estate, maybe a small apartment complex or several rental houses.This can be a great... READ MORE

Why older patients resist help at home

By Judith Graham
Posted on October 18, 2017

The 84-year-old man who had suffered a mini-stroke was insistent as he spoke to a social worker about being discharged from the hospital: He didn’t want anyone coming into his home, and he didn’t think he needed any help.So the social worker canceled an order for home healthcare services. And the patient went back to his apartment without plans for follow-up care in place.When... READ MORE

Ways to use your house for extra income

By Anya Kamenetz
Posted on October 17, 2017

People over 65 average $150,000 in home equity, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.That amount dwarfs the rest of their assets combined.This generation of retirees is facing the decline of traditional pensions, while the 401(k)s that replace them are less generous and more uncertain.So the case for employing one’s home as a source of retirement income... READ MORE