One-stop Resource for Boomers on the First Coast

12 Tips on Saving Money

Posted in: Finance // 108 Comments

How to cut corners and save cash
By Adam Wolf CPA/PFS, CFP®

Everyone wants financial freedom. Here are 12 ways to help save money now and for the future:

Self Protection-
Pay your self first – Every month put away a portion of income for savings. Use it for emergencies or retirement.

Reduce credit card debt – Every $1K in credit card debt balance costs approximately $200/year in interest, assuming a 20 percent interest rate.

Review your life insurance – Life insurance policies have the ability to provide some long-term care/living benefits. Older policies may need a second look. Your needs may have changed and a new policy may be more advantageous.

Purchase long-term care insurance – According to a recent study, 70 percent of people over age 65 will need some type of long-term care in the future. Covering yourself now can protect you in the future from health care expenses.

Health-
Choose generic drugs instead of name brands – Generic drugs cost you and the health insurance company less. If generics are available, this is an easy choice.

Pick health insurance plan that fits your life – Lower premium plans may save you money now, but may cost you more later. Higher premium plans cost more in monthly premiums but may mean less overall out of your pocket.

Auto-
Avoid fast start-ups and stops when driving – Over time, this saves hundreds of dollars on lower gas and maintenance costs.

Shop auto insurance – Annual review of your auto insurance is smart. My new broker recently saved me $400/year in premiums with a different company and identical coverage.

Home-
Update home insurance – If you have wind insurance ask your insurance company or broker if a wind mitigation study can help lower your premiums. I recently saved approximately $800/year with a $50 wind mitigation study.

Refinance your mortgage to lower interest charges – Reducing your mortgage rate from 6 percent to 4 percent on a 30-year loan may save approximately $90,000 in total in interest and approximately $250/month.

Ask the local electric or gas utility for a free or low-cost home energy audit – The findings may help you improve your home energy costs.

Adam Wolf CPA/PFS, CFP® in president and owner of Wolf Retirement Navigation LLC (WRN), a full-service financial services firm, including tax services. The primary goal of the firm is to help individuals prepare for, transition to and enjoy retirement. WRN is located behind Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL. For more information call (904) 232-8760 or visit www.wolfretirement.com.

Local Caregiver Resources

Posted in: Family // 1926 Comments


By Paula Huffingham-Suhey

“Someday you will be glad you did this.” These are words caregivers hear again and again.

Accurate words? Probably. But do they help when the physical and emotional responsibilities are becoming more and more demanding? Probably not.

So what does the caregiver do? Is there help?

If one googles the words “caring for the caregiver in Northeast Florida,” there are 268,000 sites to search through. The Florida Department of Elder Affairs website offers a myriad of opportunities (http://elderaffairs.state.fl.us/index.php). One can learn about the programs available and ways to fund them, about homecare, companionship and some of the legal complexities that are a part of the aging (and ultimately dying) process.

However, most of us want to actually communicate with a person about this.

The Caregiver Coalition of Northeast Florida is comprised of nine local
community-based nonprofit organizations that formed the Caregiver Coalition of Northeast Florida in 2010. Their mission is to promote awareness and knowledge of, sensitivity to and support for family caregiving in Northeast Florida. Along with Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, they host six “Caring for the Caregiver Family Workshops” at regionally directed locations. (http://www.mycaregiverconnection.org/).

Toula’s Tips is a weekly broadcast featuring Toula Wootan, who used to work as a social worker assisting elders and their caregivers. She is keenly aware of the responsibilities of a caregiver because she is one. She assists with the care of her elderly parents. Her radio show and offers advice, encouragement and resources for the caregiver. Toula invites listeners to call in with comments or questions and she connects the caller with an organization that will fit his/her needs (http://www.toulastipsforcaregivers.com/). You can also communicate with her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ToulasTipsForCaregivers The show is on Saturdays on http://www.wbobradio.com or AM 600 at 11:00.

And then there are the very practical things one can do:

1) Laugh – and encourage the person you are caring for to laugh with you.
2) Rest – don’t sit when you can lie, don’t stand when you can sit.
3) Talk – to your siblings/friends/or a counselor. Share the little things that are getting on your “last nerve” and once they have left your lips, you will probably realize that it wasn’t really that big a deal.
4) Realize – the person you are caring for may not be able to communicate this, but he or she wants what’s best for you, too. When we recognize that our mental and emotional health reach a happier balance.

And that happier balance enhances the giving – and thus the living – of the one who is being cared for. And that is our ultimate goal.

photo courtesy freedigitalphotos.net

Life-Long Learning for Senior Adults

Posted in: Health // 1922 Comments

College Courses Open New Avenues for Retirees
By Paula Huffingham-Suhey

Over ten years ago, I was completing the requirements for my Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication at the University of North Florida. My minor was music history and one of the classes was Great Age of Vienna. The professor was M. J. Palmer and the class met in the auditorium of the J. Brooks Brown Building. It was a great class.

The first person to get to class (at least he was always there when I got there and I usually arrive everywhere “early”) was a man named Joe Fraden. He was about 80 years of age.
Dr. Palmer would walk into class and Joe would say, “Hello, Professor,” and we would hear, “Hello, Joe.”

Joe was auditing the class.

What a special memory that is for me. Joe’s respect for Dr. Palmer, his interest in classical music and just the fact that he had completed a successful career in the produce business, but was not ready to throw in the towel was so inspirational.

Joe Fraden was practicing the advice that advice Marisol Lance, D.O., a board-certified family practice physician, recently provided when she was asked to share some tips on the aging process. One thing Dr. Lance suggested was to keep learning.

Auditing a class remains an option at the University of North Florida and information is available at “Learning for a Lifetime” on the University website. Read the rest of the story

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