September 8, 2015

Age is Only a Number

By Donna Crescenzo, Controller, Chelsea Jewish Lifecare, North Shore Campus
Most of us have heard the adages “fifty is the new forty” and “sixty is the new fifty” implying that aging does not carry the same connotations it once did. We can look to current news and find lots of exciting stories that support age is only a number. For example, Harriette Thompson is a 92 year old runner who made headlines in May of this year for completing the San Diego Marathon! Nola Ochs became the world’s oldest college graduate in 2007 at 95 years old and was reported to be working toward a master’s degree at the spry age of 100! And then there is George Kirby from the U.K. who at 103 years old married his 91 year old sweetheart Doreen Luckie on June 13, 2015 making them the world’s oldest newlyweds! Even though these and many more wonderful stories exist, we all need to plan for unexpected life events that can occur at any age.
The Consumer Financial Protection Board states that families and individuals who plan ahead are in a better position to cope when health problems arise or disabling events occur. Some of their recommendations include the following:

  • Prepare a plan
    • Start with reviewing your income and expenses.
  • Make sure trusted family members know where to find personal and financial documents in an emergency.
    • This should include current medical insurance and other insurance information.
  • Set up direct deposit for income and benefit checks.
    • Direct deposit delivers your Social Security, retirement benefits or other income sources directly to your bank quickly and safely.
  • Consider automatic payment of important, recurring bills.
  • Consider a Durable Power of Attorney (POA).
    • Generally, a POA goes into effect as soon as it is signed unless the document specifies a different arrangement.  A durable power of attorney remains in effect even if the maker loses the capacity to make financial decisions. Talk to an attorney for help in making a POA that is appropriate for your circumstances.
  • Make sure you are properly insured.
    • Speak with a financial planner or an insurance agent you trust and review your policy regularly because your needs can change.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle!

Below are some resourceful materials available for download to help you plan ahead:
Money Smart for Older Adults: Prevent Financial Exploitation

MassHealth Senior Guide to Health Care Coverage

Medicare & You 2015

Social Security Administration: Guide for Representative Payees