Spring 2020

Retiring Debt-Free is Great … But is it Realistic?

Ideally, we would all like to retire without a cent of debt. In reality, few of us

probably will. Large loan balances may remain with many of us into our

“second acts.”


The TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies says that 40% of retirees rank cutting debt as a financial priority – but not necessarily as their top priority. While reducing debt is a great financial goal, it is hardly the only goal within an overall retirement strategy. An effort to erase debt for retirement should not come at great cost to a retirement strategy’s other important financial objectives – such as adhering to an accepted and long-followed investment approach, making ongoing contributions to retirement accounts, or managing income withdrawals and linked income taxes. Some debts may be worth carrying into retirement, as they could be necessary steps on the way to positive financial outcomes. All nonrecurring debt needs to be seen in the context of a larger financial picture.

When Alzheimer’s Disease Is Diagnosed

Imagine the outlook for your life changing in minutes. A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can be that stunning. If your parent is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, how can you help them as they strive to make the most of the years ahead?

An Alzheimer’s diagnosis may bring stages of grief and anxiety – when and how should your parent share the diagnosis with loved ones, friends, and colleagues?

Sharing the news is part of coping with the news. If Mom or Dad tries to hide their Alzheimer’s from family members, friends, or even coworkers (if they are still working), it could inevitably lead to tension and stress. They may already have a diagnosis, or at the very least, be suspicious of one.

Some of your parent’s friends may not know how to respond to the news. But if they are open with those friends about their diagnosis – and how they are trying to cope with it – it can help to reduce any confusion and apprehension. Some of their acquaintances may shy away; their true friends will not.

As the Alzheimer’s Association notes to those finding out they have the disease, “You are the only person who can change how you feel about your diagnosis.” Many people in the early phase of Alzheimer’s learn that they must be proactive – they must build a care team of family, friends, doctors, and caregivers for the present and future, and additionally, seek out support groups. Simply waiting for the world to help is never the route to take.

Your parent(s) will need to come up with a coping strategy. To stay engaged with the world, stay active as long as possible, and keep meeting the challenges of daily life, your parent will need a plan. It can be fine-tuned as needed.

The Alzheimer’s Association identifies three key steps of all such coping strategies: identify, prioritize, and strategize.

What tasks do Mom or Dad have the most trouble with? Can someone help them accomplish them, while your parent remains wholly or mostly in charge, or should those tasks be assigned to a loved one or caregiver? Can the process of the task be simplified with fewer steps, so that your parent can still keep doing it? There may be multiple ways to solve most of these issues. Let Mom or Dad know that asking for help is not an admission of weakness.

Alzheimer’s affects not only an individual, but an entire family. It is an adjustment, and some spouses, siblings, and children adjust more quickly than others. Let Mom or Dad know that they should forthrightly express the degree of understanding and help they need from you. You understand they want to enjoy a full, rich life for as long as they can, and you want to be a good – no, great – son or daughter and help them as much as you can.

Families must also address future caregiving and financial aspects of living with Alzheimer’s. Meeting with a financial professional and/or an eldercare provider can help an individual, couple, or family arrive at a ballpark estimate of extended care costs. Perhaps the place where your parent lives can be modified to permit “aging in place” for a very long time with the help of caregivers.

Where can families find help? The Alzheimer’s Association maintains a website, communityresourcefinder.org, where you can find local programs, resources, and service providers responding to the needs and wants of those with the disease.

Invest in Mom or Dad’s joy. This is no time for your parent to retreat from life; this is a time for them to live fully, each and every day. While they may need to explore adaptations to activities they love, or find new ones altogether, they should continue to pursue their passions, as their minds and bodies permit. In time, they will simply live in the moment; resolve to share as many precious moments as you can with them, today and tomorrow.

A Development to Dwell On
Suburban House

A gradual demographic shift might make homes more affordable in some areas of the country during the 2020s and 2030s. As baby boomers in their sixties and seventies elect to downsize (or “age in place” and eventually leave their homes to their heirs), the supply of existing homes for sale may grow by as much as 12% by 2027. That housing availability may help to increase the ranks of younger homeowners and create more buying opportunities for real estate investors and move-up buyers.


Zillow Research projects that certain Florida housing markets could be the most affected by all this, ranking Tampa, Miami, and Orlando in its top-five metro areas that could potentially see the greatest ownership shift. (The other two cities in the top five are Tucson and Dayton.) Other areas that could be greatly impacted include Palm Springs and the San Francisco Bay Area as well as the Hamptons in New York.


This development might also impact residential construction, as a larger inventory of existing homes may soften demand for new housing. Zillow believes that Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Houston, and Salt Lake City will be the cities least affected by this wave of housing turnover.

Did You Know?

Teddy bears honor a President


During a wilderness trip, President Teddy Roosevelt refused to shoot a black bear that

some hunters had captured. After hearing about this, a toy manufacturer of that era

decided to create a stuffed animal that kids could hug and play with, named after

Roosevelt.   -parade.com/966564/parade/fun-facts/ [12/16/19

Image by Sandy Millar
Golf Tip

You may need more club in the cold?

If you’re playing a round in temperatures below 60˚ F, keep in mind that the ball will not travel as far. Research from Trackman, the maker of indoor golf simulators, concludes that you lose a yard of carry for each 10˚ F change in temperature. So, an iron shot that would travel 170 yards on an 85˚ F day will travel four yards less on a 45˚ F day.   Source: Golf Digest

Health Tip

Minimize Your Sugar Intake

Added sugar is one of the worst ingredients in the modern diet, as large amounts can

harm your metabolic health (67Trusted Source).

High sugar intake is linked to numerous ailments, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many forms of cancer.

Meringue Kiss
Travel Tip

Mark your bags with an easily recognizable item.

The days of flower-pattern steamer trunks are long gone; now we all buy our

bags at the same stores from the same manufacturers.

The result: an endless stream of nearly identical bags on the baggage carousel.

The solution: mark your bags by tying a colorful ribbon, stitching a unique patch

or putting a large sticker on your bags. You won’t see other passengers pulling your bags off the carousel to check for their tiny name tags, and you’ll be able to see your suitcases come out the door from miles away.

Brain Teaser

1) What 3 positive numbers give the same result when multiplied together as when added together?


2)  I am an odd number. Take away a letter and I become even. What number am I?


3) I sound like one letter but I'm written with three. I show you things when you look through me. What am I?


4) It's 3:35. If the clock is rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise, what time will it be?


5) Only one color, but not one size, stuck at the bottom, yet easily flies. Present in sun, but not in rain. Doing no harm, and feeling no pain. What is it?

1. 1,2 and 3, 2. Seven , 3. An Eye, 4. The most important detail to consider here is counterclockwise'. So the hour hand will turn 90 degrees to rest at 12, and the minute hand will move to the right to 4. That's why the answer is: 12:20  5. it's a shadow


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