Making the Golden Years Golden

July 5, 2009 5:47:20 AM PDT
In the next decade, there will be 77-million people 55 years old and older living in the United States. That's an increase of 44%. Yet, few baby boomers are ready for their parents' aging, let alone their own. Dr. Eva Mor, author of "Making the Golden Years Golden" joined us with tips. 1. Keep track of your will:
Write a will and update it every 2-3 years.
choose executors

2. Have a Health Proxy in place:
Designate a person that knows your wishes to make medical decisions for you when you are unable to do so.
Review the Health Proxy every few years to make sure that the designee is able to be your health proxy.
Review with the health proxy your wishes.

3. Keep all your Medical Records and lists of prescriptions drugs that you are taking in files, stored in one place.
Make copies of all documents and let someone you trust keep a duplicate file.
Add to that a list of all your doctors with their phone number, and their specialty or reason for using them.

4. Make your home safe:
Have a safety bar in the bathroom
Have a phone reachable in the bathroom
Keep a chair in the bathtub or shower
If using a wheelchair, have a door that swings both ways
In the kitchen as well as in the bathroom, make sure items used daily are placed low and easily reached
Place a smoke and fire alarm in the kitchen

5. Make a list of items that you will need in time of emergency:
List all medication taken
List emergency contacts: kids, friends, doctors, pharmacy, health insurance, etc.
Have ready food, water, flash light, extra eyeglasses, batteries, etc.

6. Protect yourself against scams:
Scams can come by telephone, email and mail
The elderly are especially targeted
Half of the $40 billion swindled away from Americans by unscrupulous telemarketers was taken from the elderly.
Some 500,000 cases of elder abuse were reported in 2006. Many more cases go unreported.
The names of 4.7 million seniors with advanced illnesses such as Alzheimer's and cancer have been sold to buyers looking to make money, according to The New York Times.

7. Make sure you have Long Term Insurance:
The best time to buy is at the age of 50-55.
Increase the coverage every 5 years, or as financially it is possible.
Medicare covers only 80% of medical expenses. When planning your financial future, make sure to take into account that you will need to cover the remaining 20% of medical cost.
Medicare covers 100 percent of costs for only 20 days and partial cost for 80 days.
A year's stay in a nursing home averages $70,000 with the average stay being 2.5 years.
Assisted living facilities are not covered by Medicare and can range from $40,000 to $100,000 a year.
A licensed, reputable home health aide is $20 per hour.
Adult day care averages $64 per day.

8. Create financial and legal plan early:
Estate Planning
Power of Attorney

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