Musings

Riding Out Financial Ups and Downs if You're Retired

Pexels-olya-kobruseva-7873553Retirees tend to live on a few income streams, typically made up of (1) Social Security monthly payments (2) RMDs (Required Minimum Distributions) from deferred income retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s, (3) pensions and other long-term investments and (4) savings accounts. Financial conditions affect all of these financial vehicles one way or the other, especially if retirement, pension or savings are invested in stocks or bonds. Last year, for example, the stock market probably rewarded most retirees with healthy gains, while so far this year, stocks haven't fared nearly as well.

Currently, there is another factor that more directly affects retirees: Inflation. As we've seen over the past several months, inflation has caused a spike in the prices we pay at the gas pump and in the grocery store. In fact, prices are broadly higher everywhere, and for those retirees living on a tight budget to begin with, that is not good news. A recent hike in Social Security benefits due to the higher cost of living didn't help so much because, at the same time, Medicare premiums went up.

So what can retirees do to ride out the financial ups and downs we're experiencing? A recent article in The New York Times by financial writer Tara Siegel Bernard cites a few sound strategies. Retirees who turn 72 must take RMDs from retirement accounts, so some of your options are limited, but you still have control over your other assets. Here are some suggestions from the article:

  • Reframing: Covering your needs is more important than spending money on wants. Think about how much of your basic living needs can be covered by such regular income as Social Security and pensions and keep withdrawals for other items to a minimum.
  • A Cash Bucket: Set aside cash to cover a year's worth of basic expenses not accounted for through Social Security and pension income. Use this "bucket" when necessary instead of withdrawing from investment accounts.
  • Guardrails: Consider being flexible with annual withdrawals from investment accounts instead of being locked in to the same percentage or withdrawal amount. Consider taking higher amounts when financial conditions are favorable and lower amounts when they are unfavorable.
  • Check up: Do periodic reality checks based on your retirement age and anticipated longevity. Look at your entire portfolio and, using the widely accepted withdrawal rate of 4 percent annually, estimate how long your money will last if you withdraw at that rate. You could also determine how higher or lower annual withdrawal rates will affect your overall picture.

Of course, none of these strategies should be applied in a vacuum. It is best to do your own evaluation in conjunction with a Certified Financial Planner, who can objectively assess your unique situation and help you determine which of these strategies, or others, will work best for you.

Read more about advice for handling retirement during a financial downturn here:
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/11/your-money/retiring-recession-financial-math.html?

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Helping a Loved One with Alzheimer's Disease Live Safely at Home

Guest Post by Carla Lopez

Pexels-matthias-zomer-339620If your loved one has Alzheimer’s Disease, you know that significant changes tend to come as the disease progresses. Not only can this make it difficult to get into a normal life routine, but it can also pose problems with home safety.

However, if you take certain measures and make the necessary home adaptations, you can keep up with the changes and ensure your loved one is able to live safely and comfortably in their own home. Check out this practical guide.

Understanding the Challenges     

Before you make any plans or modifications, it’s important to understand how your loved one’s disease impacts their safety. For example, Alzheimer’s can affect their judgment, which is why it is common for people with the disease to forget how to use certain appliances and devices.

Those with Alzheimer’s are also prone to wander and get lost around their home because their sense of time and place is not what it once was. Maintaining balance and problems with hearing, vision, and depth perception are common as well.

Assessing the Situation      

Evaluate your loved one’s home to get a plan together for the modifications you should arrange to accommodate their needs. First, discern whether their current home can be modified. Is the home adaptable, or will it cost too much time and money to make the necessary changes?

If you and your loved one decide that it isn’t practical for them to remain in their home, one option is to move them into yours, especially if you both want to put off a move to memory care just yet. Ask yourself a few questions first, however, so you know this is the right setup for you. How does this situation make you feel? Do you have time to take on a caregiving role? How will this affect your family? Will it affect me financially? If you decide that it’s the right move, you will want to put the pieces in place for a smooth transition with minimal stress.

If you decide to have your loved one move in with you, you’ll already be facing quite a bit of change, so one way to simplify the process and cut down on stress is by enlisting the help of professional movers. Luckily, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Simply search online for “moving companies near me” and browse ratings and reviews, then request a quote in advance. This will also free up your attention so that you can focus entirely on your loved one’s well-being, rather than fretting about and struggling with each box and piece of furniture.

While hiring professional movers is a justifiable and worthwhile expense, remember that with another person living in your home and another mouth to feed, you will likely have to find creative ways to cut down on monthly expenses. That could mean canceling subscriptions you never use, dining out less or tackling a bigger payment such as refinancing your mortgage. For example, by taking advantage of lower interest rates right now, you can quickly refinance your home and see a lower mortgage payment to help free up cash that you can put toward updates.

Precautions in the Kitchen

Perhaps the most useful step you can take to maintain a safe kitchen for your loved one with Alzheimer’s is to invest in appliances that come with an automatic shut-off feature. Adding stove knob covers or removing the knobs from the stove can also prevent your loved one from harm, as can securing any prescription drugs and sharp objects.

Precautions in the Bathroom

The bathroom is a common place for accidents for people experiencing cognitive decline and impaired balance. Consider installing grab bars, a walk-in tub, and/or a shower chair so that your loved one can maintain their personal hygiene and remain out of harm’s way.

Adding Extra Lighting   

Because people with Alzheimer’s often deal with vision problems, they can become disoriented when the levels of light in a home change. You can help your loved one stay safe and comfortable in their home by installing additional lighting in hallways, stairways, entries, and other areas where the lighting fluctuates. Also, consider putting in nightlights in the bathrooms, bedrooms, and hallways.

Upkeep in the Home

Finally, try to keep your loved one’s home clean and decluttered. And regularly check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and other safety devices to ensure that they are in proper working order. It’s best practice to replace the batteries at least twice a year. Furthermore, make sure you have access to fire extinguishers, and consider installing sprinklers to add an extra layer of protection.

As your loved one’s Alzheimer’s progresses, it’s essential that you make the changes necessary to their living environment. Learn about the challenges they are facing, and determine whether the best path forward is to modify their current home or move them into yours. Follow the tips above for creating a safe and comfortable home for your loved one, and keep researching other modifications and precautions that can make life easier and safer.

Carla Lopez retired a couple of years ago, but she didn’t lose her entrepreneurial spirit. She created Boomer Biz for retirees like herself who still have a desire to work and achieve. The site is a resource for people in their golden years who want to start their own business or go back to work doing what they love.

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Multigenerational Households: Choice or Circumstance?

Pexels-andrea-piacquadio-3768177The Pew Research Center recently reported that "young adults in [the] U.S. are much more likely than 50 years ago to be living in a multigenerational household." Pew Research Center indicated that "A quarter of U.S. adults ages 25 to 34 resided in a multigenerational family household in 2021, up from 9% in 1971. ... In 2021, 68% of 25- to 34-year-olds in a multigenerational home were living in the home of one or both of their parents."

Pew Research Center also notes the following: "The growth in multigenerational living among 25- to 34-year-olds has been especially pronounced among those without a college degree. Multigenerational living has tripled among these young adults, compared with doubling among young adults with at least a bachelor’s degree. ...financial issues are a major reason why adults live in multigenerational households."

From the research cited above, it seems pretty clear that young adults are not necessarily choosing to live with their parents; rather it is circumstance, i.e. financial reality, that drives them into the multigenerational household.

Now imagine if there were a silver lining in this perhaps forced co-habitation. Could it be that such living arrangements turn out to be beneficial for both parties? Is such a living situation conducive to a new kind of family closeness and harmony -- or does it result in unpleasant interactions?

Some Boomers may recall childhood memories of grandparents living under the same roof with them, or perhaps, very close by.  When I was very young, I had a grandmother who lived with us for a time, and I remember treasuring the feeling of being spoiled by her! Is this a bad thing for three generations to be integrated into one household?

The fact is, multigenerational living arrangements are far less common in the United States than they are in other parts of the world. The Japanese culture, for example, has long been known for its belief in multigenerational living. This also translates into a respect for older adults that we seem to lack in the United States.

Financial circumstances may present some families with what could be a challenging choice. It is interesting to think about the dynamic that occurs when parents and adult children live in the same household -- and whether they can forge a new kind of relationship that's different from their previous parent/young child interaction. Who knows? Maybe accepting this new reality and accommodating each other's needs and wants may end up being an unexpected benefit to everyone.

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Combatting Ageism Locally

Pexels-ron-lach-9830837My last post regarding "everyday ageism" got me thinking about the kinds of actions ordinary citizens could take to combat ageism on a local level. Turns out there are communities around the United States that have launched local campaigns for just that reason. I'm highlighting two such initiatives here as examples of what can be implemented locally.

Changing the Narrative

Changing the Narrative in Colorado builds on five years of national work initiated by eight leading aging organizations that recognized a shared challenge: that what they were seeking to communicate about aging and ageism, and the social challenges and opportunities posed by demographic change, was not getting through in the way intended to the general public. A core strategy of the Initiative is the use of Change AGEnts—trained volunteers of all ages who will “call-in” ageism, educate their networks in reframing aging, and recognize individuals and organizations that are advancing a positive view of aging and eliminating ageist practices.

Changing the Narrative sponsors numerous anti-aging campaigns, among them:

  • Anti-ageist birthday cards
    Changing the Narrative has selected a diverse group of Colorado artists to design anti-ageist birthday cards. The designs defy negative views of aging and celebrate the joys of getting older
  • Age-friendly workplaces
    Changing the Narrative encourages Colorado employers to become Certified Age Friendly Employers
  • Age-friendly healthcare
    Changing the Narrative created an age-friendly healthcare guide for both individuals and health care providers and offers a list of academic and other sources that go into deeper detail about topics related to ageism and healthcare
  • Intergenerational conversations
    Changing the Narrative partnered with the local PBS television station to produce "on the same pAGE," a series of facilitated intergenerational discussions; this was expanded through virtual conversations
  • Changing the Narrative partnered with organizations in Douglas County, Colorado to sponsor an "Every Age Counts" poetry contest to raise awareness about ageism and how it negatively affects everyone in the community.

End Ageism

The San Francisco Reframing Aging Campaign is a collaborative effort to increase public awareness of ageism, disrupt negative stereotypes of aging, and connect residents with supportive resources and services. The campaign is a partnership between the San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS), the Community Living Campaign, the Metta Fund, and numerous community-based organizations and neighbors. Together, they are embarking on a multi-pronged approach to increase public awareness of ageism and help San Franciscans of all ages recognize implicit ageism, connect residents with valuable aging resources, and foster inter-generational connections.

A comprehensive website features capsule biographies of five older San Franciscans, offers the opportunity to take an anti-ageism pledge and become a volunteer, and provides links to resources, articles and videos.

These are two excellent examples of what can be accomplished on a local level when ageism is acknowledged as a serious community issue. Find out if your local area is doing something productive and join the fight against ageism!

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Everyday Ageism is No Small Problem

Pexels-andrea-piacquadio-3831634New research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association examined the prevalence of everyday ageism, demonstrating that exposures were "associated with multiple indicators of poor mental and physical health." The study employed a newly developed multidimensional "Everyday Ageism Scale" to measure exposures.

Among 2,035 adults ranging in age from 50 to 80 years old, most respondents in the study (93.4 percent) reported regularly experiencing one or more forms of everyday ageism. Internalized ageism was reported by 81.2 percent of respondents, ageist messages by 65.2 percent of respondents, and interpersonal ageism by 44.9 percent of respondents. Mean Everyday Ageism Scale scores were higher for several sociodemographic groups. For example, ages 65 to 80 experienced higher exposures than ages 50 to 64, women experienced higher exposures than men, and White and Hispanic adult respondents experienced higher exposures than Black adult respondents.

The study showed that everyday ageism was associated with poor physical and health across four outcomes examined: Fair or poor physical health, Chronic health conditions, Fair or poor mental health and Depressive symptoms. Odds of negative health outcomes increased and the associated number of chronic health conditions also increased. The researchers stated:

"Everyday ageism may affect health outcomes via multiple pathways. Ageism may hamper quality of older adults' interactions with health care clinicians. Ageist cues, beliefs and interpersonal interactions may serve as stereotype threats, primes for stereotype embodiment, and models of normative expectations for older adults, all of which have been associated with poor health outcomes. Accordingly, everyday ageism may be a chronic stressor in the lives of older adults. ... Older adults with poor health may experience more ageist messages and discrimination (and discrimination based on health and disability) and personally relevant evidence supporting negative beliefs associated age with health."

While major incidents of ageism have been shown to be associated with poorer health and well-being among older adults, this study is unique in its focus on routine types of age-based discrimination, prejudice, and stereotyping that older adults encounter in their day-to-day lives, known as everyday ageism.

We should all be vigilant in recognizing all forms of ageism, whether external or internal. As we age, we should speak up when we are confronted with ageist attitudes, not practice ageism toward others and not beat ourselves up for being old. As this study indicates, everyday ageism in all of these ways can negatively affect our physical and mental health.

If you are interested in the full report of this study, click on the PDF link below.

Download JAMA-Ageism

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5 Ways to "Spend Safely in Retirement"

Pexels-magda-ehlers-1329292Have you heard of the "Spend Safely in Retirement" strategy? It is a research-based approach developed by the Stanford Center on Longevity in collaboration with the Society of Actuaries to give the highest number of retirees the biggest amount of income possible that would last their lifetimes.

According to Stanford researchers:

"The spend safely in retirement strategy is designed to help middle income workers and retirees decide when to retire, how much to spend in retirement, and how to best deploy your financial resources. The main goal of the strategy is to help you turn your assets – Social Security, the ability to work, savings, and home equity – into the most retirement income possible."

These are the five components of the Spend Safely in Retirement strategy:

  1. Delay Social Security
    "Maximizing the value of this benefit means waiting to start until at least your full retirement date. The longer you wait to start Social Security, the greater your monthly benefit will be."
  2. Plan Your Withdrawals from Savings
    "The Stanford researchers recommend that your retirement savings be invested in low-cost mutual funds, target date funds, or index funds. And then, use the required minimum distribution (RMD) formula to determine your annual withdrawals from these savings."
  3. Get Detailed with Projected Expenses
    "You need to see if the income from the above sources – as well as a pension if you are lucky enough to have one – is adequate to cover all of your projected expenses. The more accurate you can be with projecting your expenses, the more reliable your plan will be."
  4. Explore Other Sources of Income to Fill Shortfalls
    "The spend safely in retirement strategy recommends you consider delaying retirement, reducing expenses, getting a retirement job, and/or tapping your home equity to fill in the gaps."
  5. Explore More Sophisticated Withdrawal Strategies if You Have a Lot of Savings
    You could consider "annuities, a bucket approach, varying your withdrawal amounts based on investment returns (applying floors and guardrails), setting up a bond ladder, or establishing a more sophisticated allocation for your assets."

You can read more about this plan here.

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A New Study Shows How Different Generations Perceive Aging

Hands-g2e08d1b29_1280In a novel collaboration, AARP and National Geographic teamed up to create the "Second Half of Life Study," a research study in which more than 2,500 people ages 18 to 90+ were asked questions about aging. According to AARP, the results revealed some surprises in that "most prevalent opinions and stereotypes of aging were proven wrong."

Here is a look at some of the findings:

Younger and older generations are generally optimistic about their future.
More than half of those under 40 (57 percent), and those ages 40 - 49 (51 percent) said they were optimistic about their future. Less than half of those ages 50 - 59 (48 percent) and those ages 60 - 69 (44 percent) said they were optimistic about their future. More than half of those ages 70 - 79 (51 percent) said they were optimistic about their future. Less than half of those ages 80-plus (46 percent) said they were optimistic about their future.

Happiness generally grows with age.
34 percent of respondents age 80-plus said they were very happy, compared with 27 percent of those ages 70 - 79. Only 21 percent of those ages 60 - 69 said they were very happy. For those ages 50 - 59, 40 - 49, and under 40, 20 percent or less said they were very happy.

Brain health, independence, and relationships are the top concerns in the second half of life.
At least half of all age groups selected brain health, independence, and relationships as the top concerns in the second half of life. The most significant variance was that relationships become the most important concern of those ages 70 - 79 and an even larger concern of those 80-plus.

People are surprisingly positive about their health, even if they have at least one serious health condition.
At ages 70 - 79 and 80-plus, 49 percent of respondents said they were in excellent or very good health, even though 83 percent of those ages 70 - 79 and 81 percent of those 80-plus had at least one serious health condition. At ages 60 - 69, 44 percent said they were in excellent or very good health, even though 75 percent said they had at least one serious health condition. Still, 57 percent of those across all age groups who said they were in excellent or very good health also said they were extremely or very concerned about their health.

Retirement expectations and reality shift with age.
Percentages of those actually retired grow from 50 percent (ages 50 - 59) to 59.1 percent (ages 60 - 69) to 63.5 percent (ages 70 - 79) to 65 percent (ages 80-plus). That means almost 35 percent of those over the age of 70 have not yet retired. On the other hand, of those not yet retired, 67.7 percent of those ages 60 - 69, 77.6 percent of those ages 70 - 79, and 91 percent of those ages 80-plus expect to retire.

Living "in my own home" is more popular than living in a retirement community at every age.
The percentages of those preferring to live in their own home rather than a retirement community are: Under 40: 58 percent, ages 40 - 49: 66 percent, ages 50 - 59: 65 percent, ages 60 - 69: 56 percent, ages 70 - 79: 50 percent, 80-plus: 43 percent.

For more, download the PDF of the complete survey results here:
https://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/research/surveys_statistics/life-leisure/2022/second-half-life-desires-concerns-report.doi.10.26419-2Fres.00538.001.pdf

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Senior Home Safety 101

Guest Post by David Clark

Pexels-mart-production-7328474As we age, certain things need to be considered to ensure our safety. One of those things is our home. A trip down the stairs can be dangerous, and so can a slippery floor in the bathroom. Hence, the need to prep your home to increase senior home safety.

Following are three dangers seniors can face in their homes and three senior home safety upgrades that are worth investing in.

Top Three Causes of Injuries in the Home

Falls

According to the National Safety Council, “Every year, one out of every three adults age 65 and older will experience a fall.” Falls can happen anywhere in the house, but they are most common in areas where there is a lot of foot traffic, such as the kitchen and bathroom.

There are a number of reasons why seniors are more susceptible to falls. As we age, our bones become more brittle and our muscles weaken. This makes it easy to lose your balance and take a tumble.

Vision Problems

According to the National Institutes of Health, more than half of Americans age 65 and older have some type of vision problem. Common vision problems that can lead to falls include cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration.

These conditions make it difficult to see obstacles in your path, which can increase your risk of falling.

Unattended Cooking

Cooking is one of the most common causes of house fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, “Cooking equipment is involved in almost half of all home structure fires and one-quarter of home fire deaths.” 

Seniors could potentially start cooking fires because they are more likely to use outdated appliances or forget to turn off the stove. They also sometimes live alone, which means they may not have someone to help them if a fire does start.

Upgrades to Invest In

Now that you have a rough idea of what makes a home dangerous for senior living, the next step would be to make senior home safety upgrades to provide peace of mind for both you and your loved ones.

Bathroom Upgrades 

An essential senior home safety upgrade to consider is upgrading your bathroom. This can include adding grab bars, non-slip flooring, and a raised toilet seat. These upgrades can help prevent falls and make it easier for you to use the bathroom with independence.

Another thing you can do is add a walk-in tub or shower. These can be expensive, but they are worth the investment if you want to age in place safely. Walk-in tubs also have various benefits, such as providing a relaxing environment, helping with pain relief, and improving circulation.

Motion Sensor Lights

Stumbling across a room in the dark can be dangerous, especially if you have mobility issues and vision problems. To help prevent falls, it's a good idea to install motion sensor lights in your home. These lights will turn on automatically when you enter a room, providing you with the light you need to move around safely.

Motion sensor lights are also a great security measure, deterring burglars and giving you peace of mind. Not to mention, they also help you save on your energy bill!

Alarm Systems

Alarm systems can be costly, but they are a necessary senior home safety upgrade. For example, smoke and fire alarms are crucial because during a fire, every second counts. Smoke can travel faster than you can, so having an alarm system in place can help give you and your loved ones the time you need to evacuate safely. These alarms come in handy if you want to prevent fires in the kitchen.

A home security system can also give you peace of mind, knowing that your home is being monitored even when you're not there.

A Final Word

Knowing the basic dangers in a home and being informed of how to avoid them and prevent injury are crucial steps in keeping you and your loved ones safe. These are just a few senior home safety upgrades worth investing in. You can help prevent falls and live a safer, more independent life by making these upgrades. The key to increasing home safety for seniors is to understand the risks and mitigate them with the right precautions and tools.

David Clark is the CEO of Basement Guides with several years of experience in basement-related problems and home safety. He has written and published many resources and guides related to senior home safety, grants, and home modifications. David is currently working to spread the word about senior home safety and health through resourceful guides and articles.

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Retirement Stages and Paths

Harli-marten-M9jrKDXOQoU-unsplash For some time, I've been following the important age-related research conducted by Edward Jones and Age Wave in partnership with The Harris Poll for some time now. The latest edition of their landmark study reveals some interesting observations about retirement "stages" and "paths" that is worth highlighting.

Not surprisingly, today's pre-retirees and retirees have adopted a very different definition of retirement from previous generations. According to the study, "a majority (59%) want to work in some way during their retirement, with 22% looking to work part time, 19% hoping to cycle between work and leisure and 18% wishing to work full time."

The study defines the four new stages of retirement:

  1. Anticipation (0-10 years before retirement)
  2. Liberation/Disorientation (0-2 years after retirement)
  3. Reinvention (3-14 after retirement), and
  4. Reflection/Resolution (15+ years after retirement).

Each stage presents unique expectations, priorities, challenges, hopes and helpful planning for retirement.

The study also identified four distinct retirement "journey paths" as follows:

  • Purposeful Pathfinders: This group enjoys the greatest well-being in retirement and is happy, engaged, productive and contributory. They are best prepared for life in retirement and 78% say they are in great shape financially. They began saving for retirement earlier than all the other groups, on average at age 34.
  • Relaxed Traditionalists: Pursuing a more traditional retirement of rest and relaxation, this group had a smooth transition and are well-prepared. Most (81%) retired when they chose, and while they are the most open to relocating, including to adult-living communities, they have fewer aspirations for personal growth or giving back than Purposeful Pathfinders.
  • Challenged yet Hopefuls: This group leads active lives and have focused on self-improvement, but their lives in retirement are constrained and uncertain due to insufficient financial preparation. Half say they often worry about outliving their money and this taints nearly all their future hopes. They began saving for retirement later than all the other groups, at age 45, and over half with retirement accounts (54%) have made early withdrawals along the way.
  • Regretful Strugglers: The largest of the four groups (31%), these challenged individuals are the least prepared for retirement, are the most unhappy and overall feel the least positive about life. 43% say they are financially worse off in retirement than during their working years. The majority (59%) say they have many regrets in life, and 42% feel that life has dealt them a bad hand.  

The research draws the following key conclusion:

"Retirees who report better quality of life took more steps decades in advance to prepare and plan across all the four pillars of Finances, Purpose, Family, and Health. From saving early and consistently and developing healthy habits to communicating with close family and discovering passions and interests, there are several steps pre-retirees and those early in retirement can take to make the most of their retirement."

This research offers valuable insights for all of us. Learn more about it here:
https://www.edwardjones.com/us-en/market-news-insights/retirement/new-retirement

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Boomers on the Balance Beam

New-york-g88c730c27_1920One of the inherent advantages of being a Boomer is that we know about cycles. The current economic environment is a good example. Boomers have lived through inflation, global conflicts and workplace turmoil. We have cycled through these times before and, hopefully, we came out stronger for it.

Still, sometimes it feels as if we are living on a balance beam, doesn't it? We balance our budget allocations to accommodate rising prices. We balance our aging parents with our grown children and grandchildren. We balance our work lives with travel, volunteering and leisure. We balance our investments and savings with our expenses. If we're over 70, we balance our Social Security income with our RMDs from retirement accounts.

Balance is one of those things that may seem precarious, but the more you become accustomed to what it takes to achieve balance, the more able you are to achieve it. Interestingly, if you have been working full-time or even part-time, the COVID-19 pandemic may have contributed to a better understanding of balance. If you had to work remotely, that likely made you reorient your work/personal life relationship and find a new definition of balance. 

If you are moving into your next phase of life, you may view work through an entirely different lens. There may be more of a blurring between work and home life. Here are four potential ways to create a better work/life balance as you age, according to Pacific Life:

  • "Embrace new technology and become more tech savvy."
    Using Zoom and other interactive technologies will not only help you in the workplace, it will also ensure you can stay connected with family and friends, regardless of their location.
  • "Reconnect with old pastimes and create new passions."
    It's no accident that happy retirees are those who rediscover pastimes from their childhood or pursue passions they have always wanted to explore but never had the time.
  • "Focus on your health."
    Health issues become more pressing as we age, so it pays to adopt a healthier lifestyle the older we get. That typically includes a healthy diet, exercise, weight maintenance, good sleep habits, no smoking and limited alcohol. It's proven that healthy lifestyles can add significant disease-free years to life.
  • "Make decisions about where and how you want to live."
    According to Pacific Life, "Making more time for family and recreation now can help you make an informed decision about where to spend your future. You’ll have a better idea whether to stay put or make a move for family proximity, financial or healthcare considerations, or lifestyle amenities."

The above is sound advice -- and it just may keep you from falling off that balance beam.

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