Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Dental Hygiene and Your Health - Take Care of Your Teeth to Extend Your Life

Many people who are currently retired or near retirement grew up in a time when dental hygiene consisted of brushing your teeth before bed and visiting the dentist only when you were in pain.  Using dental floss and going to the dentist for regular check-ups was not a priority for many middle class and low-income families in the 1940s and 1950s.  Today, after decades of neglecting their teeth and gums, millions of seniors now suffer from dental problems, including inflammation and gum or periodontal disease. What many do not realize is that neglecting your teeth can also contribute to a wide variety of illnesses which affect your entire body and could even shorten your life.

The good news is that taking a more aggressive approach toward dental care, even in your later years, can reverse or slow down the damage the inflammation may have caused to other organs in your body.

Does Medicare Cover Dental Care?

The bad news is that Medicare does not cover most dental care, dental procedures, or supplies, including fillings, cleanings, tooth extractions, dentures, dental plates, or other dental devices.  Patients pay 100 percent for these non-covered services, which means the patients carry the burden of most dental care.  As a result, it is smart for Medicare recipients to buy a dental supplement or choose a Medicare Advantage plan which includes dental coverage.  Both choices are available and are a good idea for retirees.  You should discuss your options with your insurance agent.

In addition, you may want to find a dental school in your area which might provide some types of dental care at a discount.

Taking care of your teeth as you age can be life saving, so it is important to make sure you find a way to access the care you need.

Medical Advantages of Better Dental Care

Fewer Lost Teeth - The most obvious advantage to caring for your teeth and gums is that you are less likely to lose your teeth as you age.  According to AARP, the current average amount an American over the age of 65 spends on dental care is $15,340 over a 20-year period.  People who spend the last decades of life getting dentures, implants or undergoing multiple root canals may actually spend significantly more than that amount.  Learning to take proper care of your teeth could reduce this expense substantially.

Healthier Heart - People who have poor dental hygiene may develop endocarditis, which is an infection or inflammation of the inner lining of the heart chambers and valves.  This can be a fatal heart problem.  In other words, ignoring your teeth could kill you.

Healthier Kidneys and other organs - Research has shown a correlation between poor periodontal health and atherosclerosis, which is the hardening and narrowing of the arteries.  They now know that atherosclerosis is suspected to contribute to a variety of health problems, including chronic kidney disease. 

Lower Cancer Risk - According to a study done in 2017, postmenopausal women who have a history of periodontal (gum) disease are also a a heightened risk of developing breast, esophageal, gallbladder, skin and lung cancer.  

Clearer Lungs - Another study showed that patients who practice good oral care during a hospital stay are able to decrease their risk of hospital-related pneumonia by 39 percent. Even if you are so ill you do not feel like taking care of your teeth, forcing yourself to do so could save your life. Brushing your teeth and using floss regularly at home may also help protect your lungs from unnecessary infections.

Reduced Blood Sugar Levels - People who have periodontal disease and diabetes at the same time may have a more difficult time controlling their blood glucose levels.  Doing everything possible to deal with both these medical issues in appropriate ways will help minimize your risk.  

Less Erectile Dysfunction - Most men have never considered that there may be a link between caring for their teeth and their sexual function.  The reason for the connection is because chronic inflammation in any part of the body, including the gums, can eventually damage the lining of blood vessels in all parts of the body, including the sexual organs.  This one reason alone may make men more willing to care for their teeth and gums!

How to Properly Care for Your Teeth and Gums

See a Dentist at Least Every Six Months - Your dental hygienist and dentist will check your mouth, looking for signs of oral cancer, decay and periodontal pockets in your gums.  If they notice a problem, they will recommend a course of treatment.  It is smart to follow their advice, whether that means flossing your teeth more often, having cavities filled, getting a root canal, or undergoing gum surgery.  While some of these treatments may seem expensive at the time, in the long run they can be less expensive than allowing dental problems to go untreated.  If your dentist suggests that you see him more often than every six months, it is a good idea to follow their instructions.  It could save you money on more expensive treatments in the future.

Follow Your Dentist's Instruction for Oral Care - Between visits to the dentist, it is important you follow your dentist's instructions regarding flossing, the type of toothbrush you should be using, and the type of mouthwash, toothpaste and other products which will work best for your particular dental hygiene issues.  For example, they may recommend products specifically designed to treat dry mouth or tooth sensitivity. If you have any questions about which products are best for you, you should ask them directly.

If you are interested in learning more about common medical issues as you age, Medicare, Social Security, financial planning, where to retire and more, use the tabs and pull-down menu at the top of the page for links to hundreds of additional helpful articles. 

Source of facts used in this article:  AARP Bulletin, October 2018

You are reading from the blog:  http://www.baby-boomer-retirement.com

Photo Credit: Dental School at the University of New England

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Caregiver Burnout - Regain Your Life and Health

Millions of Baby Boomers across the nation are caregivers for a family member, whether that person is their elderly parent, a spouse, a handicapped child or another relative.  If you have cared for a sick loved one who had the flu or some other illness for a few days, imagine how demanding the experience would be if it continued for years.  It is not unusual for a caregiver to become exhausted, stressed, overwhelmed, depressed, lonely and, in some cases, the caregiver may even become ill themselves.

In addition, a caregiver who is married and responsible for their own family may find that devoting themselves to the care of an ill relative can take a toll on their other relationships.

As a result of the many problems which can affect a caregiver, it is important they learn how to take care of themselves, as well as the people under their care.  This balancing act can be essential if they want to maintain their own health.  Below are ideas to help caregivers regain their lives, keep themselves healthy and maintain their relationships, without abandoning the people who need their help.

Caregivers Need to Ask for Help

Check out respite care - Many communities offer a public adult daycare program.  This gives you the opportunity to drop off the person under your care for the day.  Often you will find that elderly people, even those with serious health problems or dementia, enjoy being able to get out of the house, spend time with other people, and engage in stimulating activities.  Meanwhile, you can use the day to run errands, schedule doctor's appointments, see friends or simply take a nap.  Adult daycare services are frequently offered on a sliding financial scale, so caregivers can pay an affordable amount based on their income.  In addition, some private nursing homes offer temporary stays on a space-available basis, which make it possible for you to leave an ill patient with them for a few days while you take a trip with your family.  This is an ideal solution when you need a break, but do not have anyone else in the family who can help you. It can also be a solution if you become sick, need to go into the hospital yourself, or have other problems which make it temporarily impossible for you to keep up your caregiver duties. 

Ask friends and family for help - I have a friend whose husband developed severe Parkinson's disease in his mid-60s.  He likes to sit at home all day and watch Westerns or football on TV.  He rarely speaks or engages with anyone.  Naturally, my friend is not comfortable leaving her husband alone at home.  As a result, she often asks friends and family members to simply come to her home and sit with her husband while he watches TV.  This gives her a break and the opportunity to get out of the house and do things for an hour or two several times a week.  If you know someone who is caring for a family member in a similar situation, reach out and offer to sit with their loved one occasionally.  It will just take a few hours of your time, and there is no better gift you can give a caregiver than a little of your time.

Say "Yes" When Someone Offers to Help - Many caregivers believe they are the only person who can take care of the patient under their care.  However, both you and the patient need to learn to accept help when it is offered.  You do not want to feel you are being held hostage by a demanding relative who will not let you out of their sight.  It is beneficial for both the caregiver and the patient when they allow other people to help as much as possible.  In addition, you are also helping the person who offered to help you.  People feel good about themselves when they do something nice for someone else, even if it only happens occasionally.  Having someone sit with your family member while they sleep or watch football on television is an easy way for your friend to help you and feel good about themselves at the same time.  Even if a friend is not comfortable staying alone with the patient, but they offer to bring over food or mow your lawn, accept the offer.  It is one less thing you will have to do.  Learn to be gracious and appreciative in accepting whatever help you receive.

Let the Patient Help Themselves as Much as Possible - The person under your care may not be able to do much for themselves, or they may be able to do some basic things such as feeding themselves or using the remote control for the TV.  Let them do as much as possible for themselves.  It will lessen their boredom and help them feel good about themselves.  It will also take some pressure off of you.  You can make their self-help easier if you make sure your home is as safe as possible.  You may want to install handrails in the bathroom, remove rugs which make it difficult for them to use a walker, order a remote control or telephone with extra large buttons, or make other simple adaptations to your home.  The more they can do for themselves, the easier it will be to care for them.

Caregivers Need to Take Care of Themselves

Stay in touch with friends - It is not enough that you find ways to get out of the house if you only use the time to buy groceries and run other essential errands.  You also need to spend time with your friends, go out to lunch, and keep up your favorite activities, whether that means staying involved with your place of worship or joining a book club.  Do not feel guilty about having fun.  In addition, chat on the phone with your friends whenever you cannot see them.  You will only resent the person under your care if you feel you had to give up everything and everyone important to you.

Pamper yourself - Whether you get an occasional massage or go away for the weekend, doing something special for yourself once in a while is essential.  Make a list of things you used to enjoy and try to schedule a few of those activities as often as you can.  Make appointments to get a manicure or have your hair done; go shopping; take a walk in the park. 

Join a caregiver support group - Many senior centers, community recreation departments and churches offer caregiver support groups. This is an excellent way to make new friends, share your feelings, and learn about community resources which could help you.  If you cannot find a support group near you, there are online groups available.

Take care of yourself - Make sure you take care of your own health.  Be sure to go to the doctor yourself, get exercise, take a relaxation class like yoga or meditation, eat well and get plenty of sleep, even if that means taking a short nap in the afternoons.  If you enjoy reading, exercising, gardening, spending time online or knitting, do not give up your favorite activities.  Set aside some time each day to engage in one of your favorite activities and take care of yourself. You cannot care for someone else if you become ill yourself.

Get all the information you can - You may want to purchase a helpful guide to being a caregiver.  If you are taking care of someone with dementia, a particularly helpful guide is:  "The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People with Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementias and Memory Loss."  You will find this book is an invaluable resource and will help you maintain your own sanity.

If you want to learn more about common health issues as you age, Medicare, Social Security, financial planning, where to retire and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

You are reading from the blog:  http://www.baby-boomer-retirement.com

Photo credit:  morguefile.com

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Low Investment Costs on Retirement Funds can Save You Money

As people approach retirement, many of them plan to take a conservative approach to handling the money in their 401(k) or IRA.  At the same time, they want to be sure that every penny they have saved over the years can be put to work earning an income for them, with as little as possible going towards unnecessary fees.  What is the best way to achieve those goals?

According to the AARP Bulletin columnist and author, Jane Bryant Quinn, who wrote the book, "How to Make Your Money Last," most retirees do not need to use a broker or financial advisor if  they decide to simply invest their money in a mutual fund and collect the dividends.  They can put their savings into funds with diversified investments, be charged either no fee or very low ones, and still be able to take a hands-off approach to their investing.

When You Should Hire a Financial Advisor

Before we discuss the low cost and zero cost funds which are now available, it is important to point out that if you have a lot of assets, a complicated financial situation, or prefer to be personally involved in choosing individual stocks and similar investment products, you should seek out a financial advisor who can help you put together a comprehensive financial plan and assist you in making investment decisions. In these situations, hiring a financial planner and utilizing their services is a wise choice.  If you decide to do this, expect the advisor to charge you up to 1 percent of the value of your assets annually for handling accounts under $1 million.  If their investment strategy is successful, it can be well worth the money.

When using a financial advisor, be sure to take full advantage of all the services, research reports, and advice the company offers.  You and your advisor should watch your investments carefully, re-balance your portfolio periodically, and make investment changes as market conditions shift.

Low-cost and No-cost Funds are Becoming More Available

For investors who do not want to spend their later years following the stock market daily, the decision to invest in mutual funds is an easier option.  Like a financial advisor, most funds will charge annual fees, which can be as much as 1.1 percent of the amount you have invested.  This will reduce the expected return on your investments.

In the past few years, consumers have discovered that they can do just as well, and sometimes better, by investing their money in low-cost and no-cost mutual funds.

In 2018, Fidelity began to offer consumers a Zero Fee Total Market Index Fund which is invested in a variety of U.S. companies, plus a Zero Fee International Stock Index Fund, another fund which focuses specifically on major U.S. companies, and one which invests primarily in midsize and smaller U.S. stocks.  There is no minimum investment in these funds, so even those retirees with very modest retirement savings can benefit from one of these funds.

In addition to the no-cost funds offered by Fidelity, both Charles Schwab and Vanguard offer a variety of low-cost funds which charge as little as 0.02 percent annually.  Before making a final decision, investors may wish to check out all their choices and talk to the staff at more than one company.  Ask about the minimum required investment, the amount of income their funds have historically paid their investors, the stocks held in each fund, and any other questions you may have.

You may also want to discuss your options with a financial planner, by scheduling a one-time appointment with one who will go through all your options.  Make sure you feel confidant in your decision before making an investment.  

You may also consider low-fee exchange-traded funds, some of which have low minimums and no sales fee.  ETFs, like mutual funds, will mirror the rise and fall of specific sectors of the larger market. They are traded on the stock market throughout the day.  

More Information on Handling Your Retirement Savings

In addition, you may wish to read my recent post on this blog, "Your Retirement Savings Can Last for Decades - Learn How."  That post goes into additional detail about the investment recommendations of Jane Bryant Quinn, and explains the 4 Percent Rule for withdrawing money from your retirement account, so you can assure yourself that your money will last as long as you do.   It also explains when it may be more realistic for some retirees to follow a 3 Percent withdrawal plan, instead. 

While you are at it, order a copy of  Jane Bryant Quinn's extremely helpful book and learn more about how to get the most from your retirement savings.  The name and link to her book is: "How to Make Your Money Last."

If you learn everything you can about handling your retirement savings, invest your money wisely, and avoid unnecessary fees and other expenses, you should be able to maximize the amount of income you will have during retirement, without running the risk that you will run out of money.  Preparing in advance and investing your assets wisely will save you a great deal of stress as you age.

For those who want to learn more about wise financial planning during retirement, Social Security, Medicare, where to retire, common medical problems (including dementia) and more, use the tabs or pull-down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

You are reading from the blog:  http://www.baby-boomer-retirement.com

Photo credit:  Graphic courtesy of Pixabay

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Your Retirement Savings Can Last for Decades - Learn How

The single issue which concerns nearly everyone on the brink of retirement is how they can be sure the money in their retirement account will last for the remainder of their life.  This is a significant and understandable reason to worry.  No one wants to reach their 80's or 90's and realize they have run out of money.  As a result, AARP teamed up with personal finance expert Jane Bryant Quinn to come up with a simple way to make sure your money lasts as long as you do.

Start with Your Guaranteed Income

Almost everyone in the United States will have a certain amount of guaranteed retirement income, even though it may not be enough for you to completely depend on.  The most common source of this income is Social Security. However, if you worked for a school or government agency, you may have a state or federal pension instead.  In addition, you may have a private pension, an annuity, income from rental property or some other source of regular, reliable income.  If you have not yet retired and your guaranteed retirement income seems to be very small, you may want to work a few more years in order to enhance the amount of guaranteed income you will have for the rest of your life.  At age 70, workers will have maxed out the amount of Social Security benefits they can receive; at age 65, their spouse will have maxed out the amount they can receive in spousal benefits.  There is no point in waiting to collect your benefits past these ages.

If your savings and assets are limited and your Social Security or other pension is small, arrange a personal appointment with someone in your local Social Security office and with your Department of Social Services.  You may be able to increase your guaranteed basic income and benefits by qualifying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), SNAP (food stamps), or low-cost senior housing assistance.  These extra benefits are available to low income citizens and you have paid for them through your taxes, so there is no reason not to take advantage of them.  If you qualify, they can go a long way towards helping you have a modest, but survivable retirement.  

Total Up the Amount in Your Savings and Retirement Accounts

Once you have worked as long as possible and secured the highest level of Social Security benefits you can, it is time to evaluate how to make the money in your retirement savings accounts last the rest of your life.  If you have been saving a portion of your income in a 401(k) or IRA during your working years, you will be able to use income from that money to supplement your Social Security, pension or other sources of guaranteed income.  Total up the amount of cash you will have to work with upon retirement.

In addition to the money in your retirement savings accounts, you may decide to sell your current residence and downsize to a smaller home when you retire.  In some cases, this move may also give you extra cash which can be used to supplement your retirement income.  There may also be other non-income producing assets you can sell, such as coin collections, jewelry you no longer wear, or similar valuables. Pool together all the cash you can, total it up, and see how much money you will be able to put to work.

Set Aside a Cash Cushion

Take a portion of your cash savings and set it aside for emergencies, upcoming expenses, or large medical bills. If you live another 20 to 30 years after retirement, it is likely you will need to tap into this cushion occasionally to cover surprise bills you may have above your normal monthly expenses.  Sooner or later, you may have to replace a hot water heater or pay a large medical deductible, and you want to be prepared. You do not want to deplete your other assets in order to do this.  Use this emergency cushion carefully. You should avoid burning through it during the first few years after you retire, especially on something like a big trip.

If there is a dream trip you want to take after you retire and you feel you can afford it without wiping out your retirement savings, set aside some travel money at the beginning of your retirement and do not exceed this budget.  Remember, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to replace any money you spend after you retire.  Use those funds carefully.

Invest the Remainder of Your Cash 

Jane Bryant Quinn, the AARP expert, recommends that the ideal way to invest your savings and assure yourself of an income for the remainder of your life is to invest half of it in low-cost index mutual funds or exchange-traded funds that hold stock in large companies and put the other half in Treasury bond funds.  (As an aside, this blog has reported in the past that Warren Buffet also recommends that retirees invest a substantial portion of their retirement savings in low-cost index mutual funds.  It seems like good advice for most people.)

If you are unsure about which investments would be right for you, you may want to purchase Jane Bryant Quinn's book, "How to Make Your Money Last."  It offers excellent advice.  

Follow the Four-Percent Rule

The four-percent rule is one which many financial experts recommend for most retirees.  This system allows you to use four percent of your retirement savings the first year after you retire.  You can increase your withdrawal rate by the amount of inflation each year.  For example, if you have $100,000 invested, you can spend $4,000 the first year.  Then, increase the amount you withdraw by the inflation rate for that year.  If inflation is 3 percent, you can withdraw $4,120 the next year.  Even if the market has ups and downs, this system should assure you that your money will last 30 years or longer, because your withdrawals will be at least partially replaced by the dividends and interest you receive on the principal.

If you decide to avoid the stock market and put your money only in bonds and CDs, you will have a lower return and may have to change the four-percent rule, discussed above, to a three-percent rule.  This works exactly the same, but you start with a lower withdrawal rate of 3 percent.  In other words, for every $100,000 invested, you can withdraw $3,000 the first year.  If inflation is 3 percent, you can withdraw $3,090 the next year.  This very conservative approach is another way to assure yourself that you will have supplemental income for the remaining years of your life.

The one thing you do NOT want to do is to begin retirement by taking more than four percent from your retirement savings, unless you have stock investments which are doing exceptionally well and you feel certain you are not putting your future financial security at risk. Even then, you should not take more than 4.5 percent.  If you withdraw more than that, you must be prepared to also cut back your withdrawals during times when the stock market falls. If you do not want your income to fluctuate in this way, stick to a withdrawal rate of 4 percent or less.

Rearrange Your Lifestyle to Fit Your New Income

Now that you know what your income will be from your retirement savings, add that to your Social Security or pension.  Compare the total to your realistic retirement budget.

If your Social Security and other guaranteed income, when added to four percent of your retirement savings, totals less than your current income, you may have to make some changes to your lifestyle.

As mentioned above, you may need to downsize to a smaller, less expensive home.  The advantage of this is that other housing related expenses, such as property taxes, utilities and maintenance, would also be lower.

You and your spouse may also find it advisable to adjust to sharing one car, or one of you may decide get a part-time retirement job.  You need to make adjustments so your retirement expenses and income match.

If it seems impossible to match your income to your desired lifestyle at the age when you planned to retire, you may decide it would be best to wait to retire until you have paid off your mortgage or until your Social Security benefits or pension would be larger.

It will be much easier and less stressful to start out retirement with a lifestyle which fits your new income, rather than try desperately to maintain your current lifestyle, even when your income and assets do not justify it.   A few hours of planning will save you years of grief in the future.

Make Sure a Surviving Spouse can Maintain this Lifestyle

What happens when you or your spouse passes away?  Will the other spouse be able to survive financially?  Before you finalize your retirement plans, make sure both you and your spouse will be financially secure even after one of you dies.  Calculate the guaranteed survivor income plus the investment income each of you would receive individually after the death of a spouse. Make sure this reduced income will cover the fixed expenses each of you would still have for items such as mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities, car payments, food and medical bills.  If the income of either of you would not be adequate to survive individually, come up with a plan to compensate for the difference.

You may want to start your retirement off by spending even less than the 4 percent rule would allow.  This would allow your assets to grow. Purchasing life insurance policies might also be an option for some couples.  Plan ahead and decide how each of you will deal financially with being widowed. This will reduce some of the stress when the time comes.

Jane Bryant Quinn goes through all this in even greater detail in her helpful book, available here from Amazon, "How to Make Your Money Last." 

Relax and Enjoy Your Retirement

Financial worries have been shown to increase the risk of death, so it is important for every couple and individual to carefully evaluate their situation before retirement.  Once you have made the necessary adjustments so you are confident your money will last the rest of your life, you will be able to relax and truly enjoy your remaining years.

If you want to learn more about financial planning, Social Security, Medicare, where to retire, common health problems and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

You are reading from the blog:  http://www.baby-boomer-retirement.com

Photo credit:  Google Images - Fool.com

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Keep Your Drivers License as Long as Possible

Most senior citizens in the United States hope to continue to drive as long as possible.  As a resident of an over-55 active adult community, many of my neighbors in the 80s and, in some cases, their 90s are still driving.  Others, however, have lost their driver's licenses or simply given up driving their own cars.  If you hope to be able to drive as long as you possibly can, there are a few facts you should know in order to continue to enjoy the freedom of driving.

Car Crash Deaths for People Over 70 Have Decreased

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the number of people age 70 and over who have been killed in crashes decreased by 18 percent over the past two decades.  People in that age group were involved in fewer crashes per mile traveled, too.

One reason for this good news is that cars are safer than ever before.  Side-impact protection, including side airbags, have contributed to better safety for older drivers.  More people are able to walk away from accidents which would have killed them in the past.

Another factor in the better driving outcomes is that many older people are healthier and are able to function better than people of the same age a few decades ago.

How to Maintain Your Driving Ability

Despite the reduction in car crash deaths, it is still important for senior citizens to do everything they can to maintain their driving skills at optimal levels in order to keep their drivers' licenses.  Below are a few ways to do that:

Review the Warnings on Your Medications:  Do you take any medications which make you drowsy or warn against operating machinery after taking it?  Check with your doctor and find out if those medications can be taken before bed rather than at a time when you might need to drive your car.  You may also want to ask if there is an alternative drug which will make you less groggy.  Your doctor might also suggest that you avoid certain situations, such as driving at night.

Take a Driving Course:  We all need to brush up on our driving skills and recent changes to the laws in our state.  You may find it helpful to periodically take a class designed specifically for older drivers.  AARP offers these courses throughout the United States.  Your insurance company may even give you a discount for taking it.  You can find more information about these classes at:  aarp.org/drive

Purchase a Safer Car:  You can keep yourself safer when you drive if you upgrade your older vehicle to a newer one which has a rearview camera to help you see while backing up, automatic emergency braking, collision warning systems, and blind spot or lane-departure warning systems.  All of these features are designed to help you avoid collisions.

Hire a Consultant if You have Become Nervous or too Scared to Drive:  A Driver Rehabilitation Specialist can help you feel more secure when you are behind the wheel.  They can assess your current skills, offer advice, and suggest vehicle modifications which could make driving more comfortable for you.  In some cases, you can get a senior discount or your health insurance may cover the cost of the evaluation.

When to Stop Driving

Eventually, nearly everyone will have to give up driving.  When should you turn in your car keys?  Without question, you should stop driving if you have uncorrected cataracts, severe arthritis which makes it difficult to control the car, or if you have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.  You should also consider giving up your car keys if you have severe sleep apnea which leaves you exhausted during the day, or if you are prone to seizures or other health conditions which can come on suddenly, such as sudden drops in your blood pressure or blood sugar levels.

You should also stop driving when you have too much difficulty reading the street signs, if driving makes you feel anxious or stressed, or if you cannot look over your shoulder to change lanes.  You should also do some soul searching about your ability to drive when your friends and family members begin to express concern about being in the car while you drive.

Until you reach this point in your life, follow the suggestions above to continue to drive and enjoy your freedom as long as possible.

If you are interested in learning more about common medical problems as you age, travel, Social Security, Medicare, where to retire, financial planning and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional articles.

You are reading from the blog:  http://www.baby-boomer-retirement.com

Photo credit:  morguefile.com