Author Archives

Transferring a Small Estate

Published by . Filed under Legal, Legal Tools. Total of no comments in the discussion.

In California, when someone dies intestate – without a valid will – the right to inherit automatically passes to the closest surviving relatives, also known as next-of-kin. If the decedent left a valid will, living trust or life insurance policy, chosen beneficiaries trump rules of intestacy. Having the legal right to inherit does not formally […]

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Choose the Right Finanical Planner

Published by . Filed under Finance, Planning Tools. Total of no comments in the discussion.

It’s been said that the three most important choices you make in life are your spouse, your career, and your financial planner. Since you may have long since chosen your spouse and your career, you may be more interested at this point in choosing the right financial planner. Right planners are the opposite of wrong […]

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Staying in Charge

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Description: Powers of attorney for healthcare and financial matters allow you to avoid conservatorship should you become incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself. Location: Belmont Village of Rancho Palos Verdes, 5701 Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275 Description: Powers of attorney for healthcare and financial matters allow you to avoid conservatorship should you […]

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Senior Baby Boomers

Published by . Filed under Government Benefits, Legal. Total of no comments in the discussion.

In 2011, 2.5 million baby boomers – those born between 1946 and 1964 – became “senior citizens.” For many, Social Security, Medicare and veteran benefits provide special tools and options: Social Security Retirement The Social Security retirement benefits workers may receive when reaching the age of full retirement are referred to as their primary insurance […]

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Talking With Your Doctor

Published by . Filed under Healthcare, Taking Charge. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Question: Why does my doctor want me to bring all my medications to my scheduled wellness exam. Answer: By reviewing all your medications – both prescription and over-the-counter drugs – your doctor can better work with you in preparing your personal health plan. For most patients, a doctor’s medical file only lists prescribed medications and […]

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Keep Your Eyes On Your Vision

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Because the risks of developing eye diseases often increase as we age, it is very important that everyone aged 60 and above has a yearly eye exam with either an optometrist or ophthalmologist. An optometrist is licensed to examine, diagnose and treat common eye conditions and diseases, and prescribe proper glasses and contact lenses.  An […]

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Medi-Cal: A No-Interest Loan for Nursing Home Care

Published by . Filed under Government Benefits, Legal. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Because current costs for nursing-home care are incredibly high, more and more Californians are seeking financial support through Medi-Cal. Those who are eligible can receive the equivalent of a no-interest loan.  With it, Medi-Cal pays a portion of the patient’s monthly nursing home fees, while the patient’s continued income defines his or her monthly deductible […]

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Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly

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As people age, many find themselves needing help with routine types of care – getting dressed, bathing, preparing meals or keeping the household clean. Although many older adults either rely on family members or friends or hire at-home care providers, others move to Residential-Care Facilities for the Elderly or RCFEs. California law defines RCFEs as […]

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Flu Shots are Important!

Published by . Filed under Healthcare, Taking Charge. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Every year, between 5 and 20 percent of people in the U.S. come down with the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 200,000 people are hospitalized from complications, and flu-related deaths average 23,500 each year. More than half of such hospitalizations involve people age 65 and older. Keeping that […]

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Hiring Household Workers

Published by . Filed under Finance, Planning Tools. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Question: The person I just hired to provide in-home care was referred by an agency. Since I’ll pay her directly, will I need to make payroll deductions? Answer: California law says the person hiring the household worker becomes the employer if the employment agency’s only involvement is employee placement. So people who hire caretakers, domestic […]

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CLASS Insurance for At-Home Care Needs

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The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act, signed by President Obama in March, authorizes establishing a voluntary insurance program to provide financial assistance for at-home care needs. Employers will offer it to cover insured workers’ future needs for nonmedical services and support.  These will include home modifications, assistive technology, accessible transportation, homemaker services, […]

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Innovative New Hearing Tools

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According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, one-third of people aged 60 and above have problems hearing. Certain sounds come through well; others not so well, and others not at all. Few age-related hearing problems can be completely cured, but innovative new tools are available. Well known symptoms of age-related hearing […]

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Dementia…or Not?

Published by . Filed under Healthcare, My Health. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Many people fear that older adults who start to be very confused might have dementia – a slow, progressive decline in one’s ability to think. Besides confusion, dementia symptoms often include short-term memory loss and an inability or refusal to communicate with others. Fortunately, with proper medical diagnoses and treatments, certain dementia-like symptoms can be […]

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Short-Term Medicare Coverage for Long-Term Care Needs

Published by . Filed under Government Benefits, Legal. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Many older adults think of Medicare as the insurance that will cover most of their future care needs. They are often surprised to learn that Medicare’s coverage for skilled nursing home care is quite limited. Specific rules determine if and when such coverage will start, continue and definitely end. Medicare’s coverage for nursing home care […]

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Diabetes: The Silent Killer

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Question:  Am I at greater risk of becoming diabetic just because I’m 65? Answer: According to the American Geriatric Society, diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases related to aging. More than 40 percent of all diabetics in the U.S. are aged 65 and above, and this current percentage is expected to increase. […]

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Making Final Arrangements

Published by . Filed under Legal, Staying In Charge. Total of no comments in the discussion.

When family members or close friends die, those experiencing the greatest sense of loss are often the ones who must make funeral and burial arrangements. If decedents not only planned ahead, but also communicated their final wishes to those who care, resulting tasks may be accomplished more efficiently, and the emotional burden lessened. Respecting decedents’ […]

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Making Sense of the Census

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Remember to return your Census 2010 questionnaire! You may be wondering:  Does it really matter if I mail my answers back?    The answer is: Yes, it matters! According to the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Census 2010 information will provide government representatives with helpful information to: Forecast the number of people entitled to […]

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California’s Donate Life Registry

Published by . Filed under Legal, Staying In Charge. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Question:  Why does grandma’s driver’s license include a pink donor’s dot? Answer: People filling out the California Department of Motor Vehicles form to renew a driver’s license or identification card must answer this question: “Do you wish to register to be an organ and tissue donor?” Those who check “YES” will automatically become enrolled in […]

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Seniors Beware: Ask First!

Published by . Filed under Staying In Charge. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Many of us need legal, financial, retirement, accounting, estate, long-term care or similar planning services. We seek help from planning advisors possessing the necessary training. Many planning advisors are well-qualified, capable, and make fair disclosure of pertinent information to their clients. Unfortunately, unqualified or dishonest individuals masquerade as expert planning advisors. Many of them provide […]

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Elder Financial Abuse: A 21st Century Crime

Published by . Filed under Consumer Protection, Finance. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Financial abuse of seniors – the improper or illegal use of an elder person’s resources – seems to be growing at an alarming rate. Due to lack of awareness, a fear of retaliation and the loss of personal independence, most elder abuse victims do not report what occurred. Should the truth finally get out, many […]

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Elder Financial Abuse Continues to Escalate

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Elder financial abuse is very much on the rise. According to the National Council on Aging, between one and two million Americans age 65 and above have been injured, exploited or otherwise mistreated by someone on whom they depend for care or protection – including both family members and friends. All employees of banks and […]

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Professional Fiduciaries…On Your Behalf

Published by . Filed under Legal, Legal Tools. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Conservatorships are often necessary to protect the incapacitated who did not prepare powers of attorney identifying agents to speak for them. The court may appoint conservators of the person to be in charge of their personal needs, physical health, food, clothing and shelter. Conservators of the estate may be appointed to take responsibility for identified […]

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Video Games for Seniors: An Innovative Technological Tool

Published by . Filed under Healthcare, Taking Charge. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Although many people think of video games as mindless kid activities, current research confirms that they may actually enhance one’s ability to think, reason and respond quickly. According to the National Science Foundation, many seniors, who have experienced declines in their perceptual, motor and cognitive skills, increase hand-eye coordination, memory and muscle control by playing […]

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The Modern Patient’s Right to Privacy

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It used to be very clear that communications between a doctor and patient were confidential. However, as the healthcare community started relying on electronic equipment to transfer medical records, different issues arose. The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA specifically states its respect for each patient’s right to privacy. But the true […]

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Electronically Transferred Medical Records

Published by . Filed under Legal, Staying In Charge. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Because of technological advancements, medical information and records are no longer found solely in the treating doctor’s office, but are often transferred electronically to other treatment providers, insurance companies, law enforcement agencies and government programs. As a result, should incorrect information be included in a specific patient’s file, the consequences may be much more far […]

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In Case of Emergency, Who Will Speak for You?

Published by . Filed under Legal, Staying In Charge. Total of no comments in the discussion.

If you have a medical emergency and become incapacitated or unable to speak for yourself, you will want to make sure that someone else can speak for you. Advance directives are the legal documents that identify the person or persons you have chosen to speak for you should you become incapacitated. Since seniors often have […]

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Are You Forgetting to Remember?

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Mild memory lapses are part of the normal aging process.  The types of problems that often arise include forgetting where you left things, your neighbor’s first name, or even the reason you picked up that phone. Such a scenario is quite common with older adults. Although for some seniors, memory problems may be indicative of […]

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Be Sure to Get the Right Amount of Sleep

Published by . Filed under Healthcare, My Health. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Although most retired people are not as busy as they used to be, many report that they get very tired during the day, yet have trouble falling asleep at night. The inability to sleep is one of the most common complaints that older adults report to their treating physicians. Seniors who do not get enough […]

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Curb-to-Curb Transportation

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Anyone who cannot drive and has a disability that makes reliance on public transportation difficult may be eligible for assistance from Access Paratransit. To apply, you must call 800-827-0829 (and then Press 1).  You will be asked a few basic questions including, “What places do you usually travel and how often?” If your answers show […]

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Safe Driving for Seniors

Published by . Filed under Taking Charge. Total of no comments in the discussion.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) estimates that by the year 2030, one out of every five licensed automobile drivers will be 65 or older. Although the DMV may not discriminate against adult drivers because of age, the agency has the responsibility to make sure that all licensed drivers have the physical and mental […]

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Government Benefits for Seniors: Navigate the Maze!

Published by . Filed under Government Benefits, Legal. Total of no comments in the discussion.

There’s a confusing maze of government income, health and care programs for seniors out there. Here’s a quick guide to eight of them: Monthly Income Programs Social Security Retirement (SSR): SSR is a program for seniors funded by the federal government. Eligibility to receive SSR is based on one’s work history, while the amount of […]

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Protect Yourself — Ten Terrific Tips

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We’ve gathered 10 tips for protecting yourself and your privacy from those nasty folks trying to grab your savings. 1. Do Not Call Registry Avoid telemarketers by signing up with the national Do Not Call Registry, run by the Federal Trade Commission. You can register cell phones and home phones (but not business lines) by […]

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Is Long-Term Care Insurance Right for You?

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Many seniors mistakenly believe that Medicare will cover most of their future health care costs. Unfortunately, Medicare coverage for long-term care is very limited. For example, should a Medicare recipient require skilled nursing home care after undergoing surgery, Medicare’s coverage will not exceed 100 days. Long-term care (LTC) refers to custodial or personal care received […]

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Reverse Mortgage: What’s It Really All About?

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These days, because the costs of living seem to be higher than ever before, a record number of senior homeowners are considering reverse mortgage loans that convert their home equity into available income. Although reverse mortgages may provide an affordable way to obtain needed funds, they can sometimes turn out to be much more expensive […]

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Keep Your Social Security Number Secure

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Question: I always thought that my Social Security Number was my most acceptable ID.  Why do I often see it printed with “Xs” in place of the first 5 numbers? Answer: Although SSNs continue to be very acceptable forms of identification, they are neither as confidential nor as private as they once were. The first […]

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Telemarketers: Don’t Call Me!

Published by . Filed under Consumer Protection, Finance. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Question: What can I do to protect myself from those pesky telemarketers? Answer: It seems that more and more businesses are trying to sell products, and charities are seeking donations, by telephoning people at home. Seniors, who are no longer employed and spend more time alone, are definitely being sought out by these telemarketers. Luckily, […]

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Fact Sheet: Estate Planning

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Who shall inherit assets upon the owner’s death is often determined by: Joint tenancy ownership supersedes other arrangements, so assets a person holds as joint tenant, if any, will be transferred on death to the surviving joint tenant(s). Other assets for which a person has named a beneficiary or made a pay-on-death (or transfer-on-death) arrangement […]

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Who Will Manage My Finances?

Published by . Filed under Finance, Legal, Planning Tools, Staying In Charge. Total of no comments in the discussion.

Hopefully, you’ll always be able to handle your own assets and finances. If, however, you became incapacitated, how would your assets and finances be managed? What about your home? Your IRA? Your bank accounts? Depositing your checks? Arranging and paying for home care? Paying your bills? Filing and paying your taxes? For most people, a […]

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Expressing Your Wishes About Organ and Tissue Donation

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Background At your death, you may donate all or part of your body for medical research or use by others. Your entire body may be donated. Or particular organs and tissues may be donated, including heart, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, liver, intestine, bone marrow, corneas and skin. The law requires hospitals to attempt to identify potential […]

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Medicare Fraud is on the Rise

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Be on the look-out! Medicare seems to be sending an increasing number of written statements indicating services from doctors the patients never heard of, and certainly never met. Although such billings can usually be explained as valid and correct, there is no question that Medicare fraud is on the rise. A Medicare Summary Notice or […]

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Nursing Home Dilemma: Was Missing Property Lost or Stolen?

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Misplaced or stolen belongings are a frequent complaint from nursing home residents, their families and visiting friends. Because clothing and money are easy to either steal or lose, nursing homes are required to establish formal policies to reduce theft and loss.  Such procedures must include : Training employees on how to respond to allegations of theft […]

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