Sunday, March 27, 2022

Late in Life Second Marriages - Things to Consider if You Remarry

By the time most seniors reach their 60s, 70s or older, many of them will be divorced or widowed.  Afterwards, some of them will remarry, and others will find someone to cohabitate with, even if they do not get married.  Adjusting to the single life after a long marriage can be difficult, and it is not unusual for people to find a new partner with whom they can share their remaining years.  

However, a second marriage has many different things to consider than a first marriage.  People this age are not starry-eyed young romantics.  Usually, they come into the marriage with assets, adult children, and possibly grandchildren.  There are a number of issues to consider.  Even the wedding ceremony is often different the second time around.  Among the questions you need to ask are: What will the wedding ceremony and honeymoon look like?  How should you combine your finances?  How will it affect your Social Security and pension payments?  What else should you consider?

Some of the issues you need to consider when you remarry are covered in this guest post by Donna Erickson, with extra information added by the author of this blog.  In addition to the information provided here, it is also important for the couple to meet with their investment advisors, tax advisors, and a lawyer to make sure they have dealt with the most serious pitfalls in advance. In some cases, this advice is also true for couples who do not remarry, but choose to cohabitate instead. Combining your finances and families can also present challenges.  Below is the guest post.

Getting Married After Retirement: How to Build the Life of Your Dreams


by: Donna Erickson

When you get married later in life, you face a unique situation with its own challenges. Fortunately, by approaching it correctly, you can build the life of your dreams while ensuring your long-term financial health. If you aren’t sure where to begin, below are some tips for getting married later in life.  In fact, many of these tips would be useful for couples of all ages who are planning to marry.

Be Creative in Planning Your Wedding and Honeymoon


A second marriage is less likely to be traditional, although that is certainly one choice for couples who prefer it.  However, many couples who get married later in life decide to have a smaller wedding, often at a fun destination.  You may choose to get married at a resort, in another country, or even in Las Vegas, which likes to be known as the wedding capital of the world!  The book, "Your Guide to a Fabulous Las Vegas Wedding,"  (Ad) may be a useful tool in planning a wedding in that city.  Travel agents can also help you discover alternate locations for a second wedding. 

Wherever you get married, you first have to decide if the two of you want to elope and celebrate with your families after you return from your honeymoon, or whether you want to include members of your families in the ceremony. You may want to try to blend your families from the very beginning by including your children or grandchildren in the ceremony.  On the other hand, if some of your family members have reservations about the new marriage, you may want to go off and get married in private and deal with any backlash later.  The choice is totally up to you.  It is important to accept your children's reservations, however, and not expect them to cheerfully participate if they really do not wish to.
 
Combine Your Finances Strategically

When you are established in life, there is a good chance that both you and your spouse have some well-worn financial habits which are not likely to change. Additionally, you may each have substantial personal assets, as well as specific ideas of what will happen to those assets after either of you pass away. As a result, this can make combining your finances a bit trickier.  However, it is absolutely essential you decide in advance how you wish to handle your finances, if you want your second marriage to be successful. 

These issues also need to be addressed, even if you are just going to live together.  For example, you have to decide which residence you are going to live in and what will be done with the unused residence.  Will it be sold or rented out?  Will the money from the rental or sale be kept separate or shared?  How will that affect your heirs?

You will have to decide on a fair way to handle your money, and each of you will need to talk to a lawyer about protecting your individual assets. 

Before you attempt to merge your financial lives, it is wise to discuss where you do and do not see eye-to-eye. In some cases, you may want to find a certified financial advisor or estate planner to assist with the process.  You should also talk to a lawyer about writing your wills and setting up a trust. If you both have assets you are leaving to your separate children, a trust is especially important so everything is spelled out in detail and the transfer of the assets can be handled as smoothly and quickly after your death as possible.  You need to discuss the best way to handle your assets with an attorney in your state, since community property and estate laws can vary from state to state.  

As you can imagine, inheritance issues can be challenging in a second marriage.  By working with experts, you can determine how to best treat your various personal and joint assets, as well as create a strategy for navigating different money management styles, ensuring everything is set up properly.

There can be an infinite number of issues to discuss.  Here is one common example:  The new wife moves into the husband's home.  Ten years later he dies.  Will the wife be able to remain in the home until her death, or will it pass immediately to his children and she will have to find somewhere else to live?  All these issues need to be discussed and planned for in advance.  If possible, adult children need to be informed of the estate planning you do, so there are no misunderstandings after you pass away.

A second marriage can also affect your Social Security and pension benefits. This is another matter which is important to discuss with your financial advisor, as well as an administrator at your local Social Security or pension plan office. They can help you decide if this marriage will help or hurt you financially when you retire, and how to use these programs to the best advantage. 
 
Have a Plan for Health-Related Needs

As people age, their healthcare needs typically increase. In many cases, you want to create a reliable plan to address how your healthcare circumstances may shift in the future.

Typically, the first step is to explore medical coverage options. Even if you both qualify for Medicare, it is smart to explore the various supplemental plans or Medicare Advantage plans, to ensure that you both can get the most comprehensive medical insurance coverage at the best price.  Do not forget to include plans that cover vision, dental care and hearing aids.  

You may find it helpful to read the book, "10 Costly Medicare Mistakes You Can't Afford to Make."  (Ad) It will help you avoid choosing the wrong Medicare plan, signing up at the wrong time, or making changes which you might later regret. It is written by a Medicare expert who is licensed to work with clients in 47 states to help meet their Medicare needs.   

In addition to Medicare, it is also wise to explore long-term care coverage. Medicare does not offer any financial support for long-term care, and Medicaid is only available to lower-income households. If you do not fall in that category, looking for private long-term care options could be wise.

By purchasing long-term care insurance, you give yourselves critical safety nets. Additionally, it ensures that one spouse is not put at financial risk if the other requires care and there is not enough in your savings or retirement accounts to cover the cost of a nursing home.  
 
Plan Fun Date Nights (or Days) to Keep the Spark Alive

Doing fun things together can keep your relationship strong, regardless of your age. That is why having regular date nights is vital. It allows you to spend time bonding, potentially in unique ways, and create lasting memories.  This is just as important in a second marriage as in a first marriage.  In some ways it may even be more important for a second marriage, because no one wants to be married to someone who only has good memories of their previous marriage.  You want to create your own memories.

Thankfully, there are plenty of great options for spending time together, no matter where you live.  For example, in the Sarasota, Florida area, you could head to Myakka River State Park for some hiking or kayaking. A trip to the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens can also be an excellent choice, particularly during the warmer months when many of the plants bloom.  Similarly, there are state and federal parks and botanical gardens all across the country, and most of them offer great opportunities for outdoor activities.

For those that prefer to stay indoors, try finding someplace new and fun which will create memories that are totally unique to your new relationship.  Again in Florida, the Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy is a quirky destination that is almost guaranteed to make you both smile. You could also check out The Ringling, a large complex brimming with entertainment opportunities. In other parts of the country you should be able to find lots of fun places to explore, whether you want to go to Disneyland in Southern California, Bourbon Street in New Orleans, or on a cruise to an interesting location. Look for places which neither of you visited with your former spouses, at least for some of your trips.  You do not want to be constantly comparing your current trip with the great time you had 30 years ago!

If you are both sports fans, why not take in a sporting event together? You can find discount tickets to watch the Houston Astros (Ad) or other sports teams online. Plus, you can use this site to filter your selection by date, price, and seat rating, all while taking advantage of the virtual seating chart with 360° views, making it easier to find the perfect spot.  Tickets to a sporting event you both enjoy is a great way to relax together.  Do not forget the sporting events of your grandchildren, too.  That can be a great way to help your families bond!


You can find gifts for retirees and others at my Etsy Store, DeborahDianGifts:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/DeborahDianGifts

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us. You will receive a weekly email with the most current post. You will never be contacted for any other reason.

To learn more about maintaining your health, financial planning, Medicare, Social Security, financial planning, common medical problems as we age, 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.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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

Images from: Pexels and Amazon

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Thursday, March 17, 2022

Activities Which Promote Longevity - Add Years to Your Life


This month's guest post is by Corey Doane, who has also provided a fascinating infographic from adidas, describing the different activities which make up the Five Pillars of Longevity. You can see the helpful infographic at the end of this article. Baby Boomers who hope to continue to live long, active lives will appreciate the useful information in this guest post.

How Movement Helps Increase Longevity


by Corey Doane

We all strive to live a healthy and long life, and it may be possible by adopting simple, yet effective, habits which can help increase your life expectancy and wellbeing. According to the Stanford Center on Longevity, the five lifestyle pillars which help increase longevity and overall quality of life are fitness, stress management, sleep, social relationships and nutrition. Find out which activities and habits you can incorporate into your life to ensure you stay young and healthy into your golden years.
 

Exercises Which Support a Longer Life


Research shows that regular exercise may contribute to a longer life. Keeping your mind and body active is important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few exercises you can start today.
 
Yoga

Yoga is great for the mind and body as it helps increase the mind-body connection. It also helps improve physical function and balance, while decreasing the risk of injuries and falls. As we age, gentle movements such as yoga works well, since it is easy on the joints.

If you are new to yoga, try incorporating a 10-minute flow into your routine which focuses on slow breaths and movements. As you get comfortable, opt for a more intense or longer flow, if your body allows. If you have trouble stretching or holding poses, chair yoga is also a great option.
 
Walking

Research shows that walking for just 10 minutes a day may help lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Daily walks also help improve your mood, increase your endurance, improve your heart health, lower your blood sugar and reduce pain.

Start with a 10-minute walk in the morning or in the evening, then gradually increase your time and pace as you feel comfortable. Make sure you have a supportive pair of workout shoes (Ad) when going on your walks to decrease the chances of injury.
 
Gardening

While it may not always be the first thing you think of when it comes to exercise, gardening is great for strengthening muscles, while also helping to lift your mood and relieve stress. Garden activities like digging, lifting and carrying are all muscle strengthening tasks that actually burn quite a few calories.

Gardening can also be a great way to socialize. If you are up for it, join a local community garden to meet new people and learn from more experienced gardeners.
 

More Lifestyle Habits Which Support Longevity


Aside from exercise, there are many other lifestyle habits you can start incorporating into your routine which will help support the key pillars of longevity.
 
Get Outside to Reduce Stress

Getting outside for 15 minutes a day and exposing yourself to sunlight can help you maintain healthy Vitamin D levels—which are essential to supporting your overall health and life expectancy. Being outdoors also helps improve your mood, which will help keep stress levels low, another important pillar of longevity.
 
Hang Out With Friends

Staying connected with loved ones has a profound impact on our overall health. People who engage in meaningful relationships with friends and family can often expect to have longer life expectancies. Make it a priority to speak to someone you love every day and make plans to meet in person with someone at least once a week. Socializing and meeting new people are also great ways to keep you feeling young and healthy.
 
Eat a Balanced Diet

As one of the five pillars of longevity, nutrition is essential in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As we age, the food we eat can impact many organs in our body even more than before. Things such as our heart health, blood pressure, kidney function, mental clarity, and blood sugar can all be affected by the food we put in our bodies. Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and veggies and try to limit your consumption of alcohol.


 

One way to make sure you get the right type of diet for your heart and brain is to read "The Mind Diet: A Scientific Approach to Enhancing Brain Function and Helping Prevent Alzheimer's and Dementia." (Ad)

Similar to the heart-healthy Mediterranean Diet, the Mind Diet has been one of the the most successful programs for helping people maintain a healthy brain, avoid or postpone cognitive decline, and prevent some types of dementia.  The good news is that the same foods which are good for your brain are also good for your heart!  The food in this program is delicious, too! 



Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is another pillar of longevity which can be easy to maintain, as long as you set yourself up for success. To get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night, stick to a consistent sleep schedule and routine. Daily exercise, low-stress levels and proper diet can all help contribute to a healthy sleep scheduleIf you still have trouble sleeping, discuss the issue with your doctor.  Many medical reasons for insomnia can be resolved.

To find out more exercises and habits which help increase your longevity, check out the infographic guide from adidas, shown below.

(Guest post by Corey Doane)



You can find gifts for retirees and others at my Etsy Store, DeborahDianGifts:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/DeborahDianGifts

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us.  You will receive a weekly email with the most current post.  You will never be contacted for any other reason.
 
To learn more about maintaining your health, financial planning, Medicare, Social Security, financial planning, common medical problems as we age, 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.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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

Images from:  Anupam Mahapatra on Unsplash, addidas, and Goodreads

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Monday, March 7, 2022

Cut Your Dementia Risk by 40% in 12 Steps!

Dementia is the umbrella term used to describe a wide variety of illnesses which cause memory loss and other cognitive and physical problems. These diseases include Alzheimer's Disease, vascular dementia, Parkinson's dementia, Lewy body dementia, frontotemporal dementia, Creutzfeldt-Jakob, Wernicke-Korsakoff, and others.  Diagnosis can be difficult, because there are so many different causes of dementia, and seniors can suffer from more than one cause at the same time.  For example, it is not unusual for someone to have both Alzheimer's Disease and vascular dementia, simultaneously.  Other combinations are also possible.

Because there are so many causes of dementia, it makes finding a cure even more complicated. However, a new study by the Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention, Intervention and Care has shown that when people change their behavior to modify twelve risk factors, they are able to delay or prevent approximately 40% of dementia cases! 

Below are the risk factors they identified which increase your risk of developing dementia as you age. This includes their original nine risk factors, plus three risk factors which have only been added by the Lancet Commission in their most recent report.

Original Nine Risk Factors for Dementia

Your risk of developing dementia near the end of your life goes up with the number of risk factors you have.  Obviously, age is the greatest risk factor.  However, some people manage to age without getting dementia. The people who do develop it are more likely to have experienced one or more of the following risk factors. 

Less Education in Early Life

Hearing loss beginning in middle age

Hypertension and Obesity

Smoking

Depression

Social Isolation

Physical Inactivity

Diabetes after Age 65

New Risk Factors Added by the Lancet Commission

Excessive Alcohol Intake beginning in mid-life

A Head Injury in mid-life or later

Exposure to air pollution in later life

How to Lower Your Dementia Risk

Obviously, we cannot go back and change the past.  However, regardless of your age, it may not be too late to make lifestyle changes which will protect your mental function for years to come.

As a result of this research, there are obvious steps you can take throughout your life in order to reduce your risk of experiencing severe dementia in your later years

Continue to educate yourself throughout your lifetime.  Even if you stopped your formal education at an early age, there is no reason you cannot take continuing education classes in your field, and learn new skills or improve old ones. Spread your wings and try something new. You do not have to limit yourself to the basic classes you took as a child.  Take classes which interest you, including music lessons, foreign language classes, or anything you always wanted to learn.   This is one way to keep your brain sharp for decades.  Reading books and newspapers also helps to keep your brain sharp.

A good book to read in order to learn more about how to protect your brain from cognitive decline is:


Link: The Alzheimer's Prevention Program: Keep Your Brain Healthy for the Rest of your Life (Ad)

This book covers some important aspects of dementia prevention.  This includes "how to strengthen memory and avoid everyday lapses. How to incorporate the top ten brain-protecting foods into your diet. How to cross-train your brain, exercising both the right and left hemisphere. And how to reduce stress, a risk factor for developing dementia and Alzheimer’s, through meditation and 11 other relaxation strategies."

In addition to educating yourself, reading, and learning new things, you will also want to try the following tips from the Lancet Commission in order to protect your brain from early dementia.

See a hearing specialist every few years, starting in middle age. Get a hearing aid, when and if it is needed.  You can also reduce your risk of hearing loss by using ear protection when exposed to loud equipment or music. 

Do not smoke or use any tobacco products. They mess with your brain!  You should also avoid second-hand smoke. Ask guests who smoke to do so outside your home. (It should go without saying that you should also avoid illicit drugs if you want your brain to be fully functional in your later years.)

Get treatment for symptoms of depression or other mental illnesses.  They will only complicate any symptoms of cognitive decline you experience later, and make cognitive issues harder to treat.  Many mental illnesses, including depression, also make us more likely to isolate, which is another risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia.

Develop your social connections and spend time with your friends, family, and favorite social groups regularly. Do not drop your relationships, especially the ones you enjoy.   Positive friendships will enrich your life for years, and socializing is actually good for your brain.  Just the act of having a conversation is great exercise for your brain.  You constantly have to react to what other people say and almost instantly come up with an appropriate response. In a good conversation, you activate a variety of parts of your brain, including your ability to listen, speak, and look at the other person. Your brain is constantly picking up non-verbal clues, too. For example, it helps you determine if a comment is serious or meant as a joke. Depending on if you are sharing a meal with the other person, you may also activate your senses of taste and smell.  What seems like a simple conversation can be one of the best brain exercises you can do. 

Get exercise. Ideally, your regular physical exercise should include at least 30 minutes of walking, five or more times a week. However, it could also mean any exercise you enjoy, such as swimming, golf, bicycling or tennis. Moving helps move blood through your heart, brain and other organs.  Any exercise which is good for your heart is also good for your brain. In addition to aerobic exercise, you should add weight training and stretching exercises to maintain healthy muscle tone.

Eat a healthy diet to reduce your risk of diabetes and obesity. Many people have found success following the Mediterranean Diet. Another variation of it, called The MIND diet (Ad) is highly recommended by experts.  You should also avoid eating a lot of junk food, fried food, candy, pastries and similar low quality foods with little nutritional value. 

Maintain a systolic blood pressure of 130 Hg or lower after the age of 40. Prolonged high blood pressure is bad for both your heart and your brain.  If you cannot keep your blood pressure at a healthy level through diet and exercise, ask your doctor about prescribing blood pressure medication.

Keep alcohol use to a minimum, which is approximately three small drinks a week for women, and six for men.  A little alcohol is acceptable.  However, excessive drinking is a contributing factor for some types of dementia.  

Avoid head injuries.  Do not take physical risks which could cause you to have a concussion.  Frequent concussions can cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.  It has been detected in the brains of many former professional football players, as well as other athletes.  You cannot undo any damage you may have from past concussions.  However, avoid future activities which could increase the damage.

Minimize your exposure to air pollution as much as possible.  Take air quality into consideration when choosing where to live. Avoid close proximity to freeways and other major roadways.  Exercise outdoors in the early morning or go to a gym on high pollution days, and avoid walking or jogging near freeways or busy streets.  Cases of dementia are higher in communities with especially high pollution.

Continue to follow research about dementia, and take advantage of any new recommendations your doctors may have.  There is a lot of current research on medications and treatments for the different types of dementia, and researchers are trying to find various ways to prevent it or, at the very least, slow it down.

One book which many people have found helpful is:

This book has been very useful to people who are serious about changing their lifestyle in order to reduce their risk of developing dementia. 

While taking these steps may not guarantee that you will avoid dementia, they will go a long way towards eliminating as many causes as possible.  If you have ever had an older relative with dementia, you know that is not how you want to spend the last few years of your life.  Most of us will do anything possible to avoid it.


You can find gifts for retirees and others at my Etsy Store, DeborahDianGifts:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/DeborahDianGifts

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us.  You will receive a weekly email with the most current post.
 
If you are interested in learning more about Medicare, Social Security, financial planning, common medical issues as we age, 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.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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

Photo credit:  Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay; book covers from Amazon and GoodReads 

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