Archive for the ‘Aging in Brooklyn’ Category

How to Take Care of Our Seniors All Year Long

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018
Take care of our seniors

What do we need to do today to take care of our seniors tomorrow?

Baby Boomers, those who were born from 1946 to 1964, are the largest generation in U.S. history. And they are now surging into what we call their golden years. According to Census.gov, projections of the senior population says that Seniors in the United States surpassed 50 million in November 2016. And this surge in the aging Baby Boomer population presents many challenges for us as a country. Why? Because there will be “more Medicare beneficiaries and higher Medicare spending with fewer citizens paying into the system.” So how will we take care of our seniors?

Plan Now to Take Care of Our Seniors Later

Aging happens. Since aging is inevitable, shouldn’t we take steps to take care of our seniors financially and medically? Shouldn’t we make sure their living needs will be met when it does happen? It’s kind of like Christmas, it comes every year, inevitably, so make a plan in January and start saving to make sure your gift-giving and festivities are not a financial burden.

What about your aging parents? Did they make sure they would be taken care of financially and medically as seniors? Did they make sure their living needs would be met in their golden years? If they didn’t, you need to start planning for their future now.

Start Here

No matter where your parents are in their golden years, plan now to take care of their financial, medical, and housing needs. I recommend you seek the assistance of an elder care attorney. They advise on legal issues and financial arrangements and draw up legal documents for you as well.

Get your parents in to see their doctor for a geriatric medical assessment. This will determine their overall health and whether or not there are any health problems that need to be addressed. Knowing about current health issues or the possibility of those that may occur in the future will help you plan ahead for their care. Your parents’ healthcare team can help you make sure their living arrangements are safe and that they will serve their needs in the years ahead.

Implement 5-Point Personal Security Plan

Seniors face many decisions later on in life. And although it isn’t particularly enjoyable to do, make time to talk about your parents’ money, healthcare, life and death, independence, and their home. Planning ahead makes the future easier for them and you if and when the time comes to deal with the following five issues:

  • Money – Saving for retirement is important. Make sure there is enough money for your parents to live on and enjoy life in their old age. You also want to make sure that their money is protected, that they can get to it if they need it and that they have enough to take care of themselves. Prepare a will or trust document and decide what should happen to their money if they were to die.
  • Healthcare – More healthcare may be needed in their old age than when your parents were younger. Health insurance coverage is important to have. Consider even a second plan to cover costs not covered by Medicare. Make sure you understand the coverage and that there is enough money on hand to cover whatever the plan doesn’t. Store their health and life insurance policy information in a safe place that you can access if necessary.
  • Life and Death – A debilitating illness such as Alzheimer’s disease, heart attack, terminal illness, or a serious stroke can quickly deplete your financial resources. And when they happen is not the best time to make important decisions. Prepare for such health crises in advance. Advance directives and other important documents should be in order before a health crisis hits. Determine your parents’ end-of-life wishes and get them documented legally.
  • Assisted care – One’s independence is priceless and tough to give up, no matter how old you are. It’s hard not to be able to take care of yourself, but that point may come to your parents. While your parents are healthy and able-bodied, encourage them to make decisions about potential living arrangements. Depending on their condition, would they prefer a nursing home or assisted living facility, hospice care, home health care, and some other available care option? They should choose which option they would prefer according to different situations. Then, talk about how each option will be paid for.
  • Their home – Their home may be comfortable and easy to navigate right now, but what if a wheelchair or walker becomes necessary? Are there stairs to the bedroom or laundry room? A house with stairs could become a big problem if your parents were to develop health or physical challenges. Assess their home’s layout. Consider selling their home and buying a ranch-style home with access to everything on one floor. Remodeling or safety modifications may be a possibility. But now is the time to purchase a home with a ranch floor plan or remodel.

Final Thoughts

Your parents might not be physically able to participate in many social events, but always ask,
invite, and keep them in various circles of social life. Depression is easy for seniors to develop if they feel alone and no longer productive. Let’s take care of our seniors today and all year long:

  • Check on them regularly
  • Encourage their independence as long as possible
  • Include seniors in your everyday social activities
  • Encourage them to volunteer and be active in the community
  • Be vigilant! Check for signs of elder abuse

Start planning and taking action today for their best tomorrow.

No one really likes to think about growing old or planning for the life you want to live in those golden years. But putting a plan in place now will give your parents and you great peace of mind later. Do you see how important it is to take care of our seniors today as well as all year long?

Charles D’Alessandro cares about our seniors who live in Brooklyn. Let’s take care of our seniors in Brooklyn now for their best life later. Contact Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. Call (718) 253-9600 ext.206 or email [email protected] today.


Brooklyn Real Estate Agent

 Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]

Why It’s Important to Talk About Money Matters Now

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018
Money matters

Money matters matter, a lot. Talk about them with your kids now and prevent the sadness of family discord after you’re gone.

You’re dead and buried. Your adult children are gathered around a table in your lawyer’s office. Fights among your children ensue … Your heart breaks thinking about the possibility of your family being torn apart. And there’s nothing you can do about it. Or is there? What can you do now to prevent bitter arguments over who gets what when “that” time comes? There is something you can do about it, and the solution is simple. Talk about money matters now.

When It’s Most Necessary to Talk about Money Matters

Do you struggle with talking about money matters with your children? Most parents and even grandparents do. But if you want to keep your children from making a scene at your estate attorney’s office, you really must overcome your feelings of discomfort now, while you are “of sound mind and body.” Here are three occasions when it’s important to start the money matters conversations:

  1. At retirement
  2. During health care planning
  3. And during estate planning

How to Prevent Family Feuds Over Money Matters

Michigan estate attorney P. Mark Accettura and Lori Sackler, a senior vice president at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in New Jersey offer this advice:

  • Draw up an estate plan, and tell your children the basics.

Call a family meeting to discuss any plans that might impact adult children, such as money allotted for grandchildren’s education. It’s time to set children straight. “Sometimes they have a grandiose vision of an inheritance,” Sackler says. But there’s no need to go into detail. “Estate planning is not a democratic process. You don’t need children buying into it, and you don’t want to open a can of worms while you’re alive,” Accettura says.

  • Divide the estate equally.

Resist the temptation to give more to the neediest among your children; it often leaves the more successful kids feeling penalized and causes resentment among siblings, Sackler says. “The will that provides equal distribution is the will that probably provides the least conflict,” she adds. Accettura also is adamant that an estate should be divided equally. “Even getting a dollar less than another sibling can be a psychological blow,” he says.

  • Name an executor.

Try to have some reason for choosing one child over another. Perhaps it’s the oldest child (unless he or she lives too far away) or another child with specific legal or financial skills. Also, think about including a fee for the executor. “Handling an estate can be a lot of work, and if the executor is going to charge a fee, he probably deserves it,” Sackler says. Accettura suggests that parents include everyone in some capacity in the will. “Get people’s names on the pages either as executor or helping in another way.”

  • Specify gifts and loans.

If parents have given adult children money, they should make it clear in the will whether it’s a gift or a loan. If a loan, is it to be forgiven or repaid to the estate? When parents aren’t clear, it can cause conflict, Sackler says.

  • Make a plan for family jewels.

Even if it’s not expensive, Grandma’s engagement ring can cause fights because of the sentimental value attached. “Have a family conversation, and come up with a plan for people choosing and getting on board with the selection process,” Sackler says.

Mark Accettura wrote a book, Blood & Money on how to avoid family feuds. Lori Sackler is the author of The M Word. It is a guide to family financial matters that helps families overcome the difficulty felt when discussing money matters.

Take Care of Your Family Before You Die

Protect your family relationships after you’re gone. Get prepared now. You can prevent feuds over your inheritance by talking through your wishes with your children before you die. But getting prepared now goes beyond overcoming the difficulty of talking to your children and making sure your wishes are known to them. It also means taking care of them after you’re gone by getting your legal documents in order now.

Secure and protect your family assets and your family’s relationships long after you’re gone. Put the uncomfortable feelings you have in regards to talking about money matters with your children and get your legal documents in order today. Doing so will go a long way in keeping the peace tomorrow.

Charles D’Alessandro cares about all of us who live in the Brooklyn area. Do you have questions about getting your affairs in order or how to address money matters with your family before you die? Contact Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. Call (718) 253-9600 ext.206 or email [email protected] today.


Brooklyn Real Estate Agent

 Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]

Can You See the Warning Signs of Dementia?

Sunday, July 30th, 2017
Warning signs of dementia

Early detection matters! Talk with your doctor right away if you think you are seeing the warning signs of dementia.

My mom lives alone now. While we were visiting her the other day, she told us she had forgotten where she put her keys and locked herself out of her house. Then, while we were making dinner, I noticed she was having trouble following a recipe for a dish we make every time we get together. My husband helps her with her bills. On our way home from Mom’s house, he mentioned that she hasn’t been keeping track of her monthly bills very well at all. We’re wondering if these are typical age-related changes or early warning signs of dementia.

Dementia Statistics

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Sixty to eighty percent of dementia cases are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States
  • Every 66 seconds someone develops the disease
  • One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia
  • Since the year 2000, deaths from heart disease have decreased by 14% while deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have increased by 89%
  • It kills more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined

This year there are an estimated 5.5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s dementia.

  • Ten percent of people age 65 and older have Alzheimer’s dementia.
  • Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women.
  • African-Americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older whites.
  • Hispanics are about one and one-half times as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias as older whites.

And the onset of Alzheimer’s disease is growing fast. Because the number of people age 65 and older in the United States is growing, the number of new cases of Alzheimer’s and other dementias is projected to soar. Today, every 66 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s dementia. But by mid-century, this is expected to increase to someone developing the disease every 33 seconds.

What are the Warning Signs of Dementia?

Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills so memory loss that disrupts daily life may be the first warning sign. There are ten warning signs and symptoms to look for and be aware of. Since everyone is different, individuals may experience one or more of these signs in different degrees. If you think you’re seeing any of them in a loved one or in yourself, visit your doctor right away.

  1. Memory loss disrupts daily life

Memory loss is the most common sign of Alzheimer’s.

  • Forgetting recently learned information, important dates or events
  • Asking for the same information over and over
  • Needing to rely on reminder notes or electronic devices or family members for things they used to handle on their own

Forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later is not a warning sign.

  1. Planning or solving problems is challenging

Working with numbers or developing and following a plan may be challenging with Alzheimer’s. Following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills is difficult now when it didn’t use to be. Making occasional errors when balancing a checkbook is an age-related change and not one of the warning signs of dementia.

  1. Familiar tasks at home, work or leisure are difficult to complete

This warning sign is somewhat similar to number 2. But people with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete daily tasks such as driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules of a favorite game. Needing help to use the settings on a cell phone or recording a program on the TV is not a warning sign.

  1. Dates, seasons and the passing of time are confusing

Someone who suffers from Alzheimer’s may have trouble understanding something if it isn’t happening right then. They can forget where they are or how they got there. An age-related change is getting confused about which day of the week it is but figuring it out later.

  1. Reading, judging distance, and determining color or contrast is difficult

Vision problems are a sign of Alzheimer’s for some people and may cause problems with driving. Vision problems caused by cataracts, for example, are age-related, not a warning sign for Alzheimer’s.

  1. Following or joining a conversation is troublesome

Someone with Alzheimer’s may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue. They may also repeat themselves and struggle with finding the right word. For example, they may call a watch a hand-clock. Many of us have trouble finding the right word sometimes, but if these symptoms happen often, it could be a warning sign of Alzheimer’s.

  1. Misplacing things and being unable to retrace steps

Putting things in unusual places is common for someone who has Alzheimer’s. They may accuse others of stealing when they lose something and cannot retrace their steps to find it again. If this happens more frequently over time, check with your doctor for the possibility of Alzheimer’s. Again, everyone loses things from time to time, but since they are able to retrace their steps to find them, they aren’t displaying one of the warning signs of dementia.

  1. Poor judgment and a lack of self-care is a regular occurrence

Those who have Alzheimer’s are less attentive to proper grooming and cleanliness. They may show poor judgment with money by giving large sums to telemarketers or falling prey to scams. Making a bad decision every once in a while is an age-related change, but when this happens repeatedly, it could be a warning sign.

  1. Avoiding social activities

When someone has Alzheimer’s, they may withdraw from hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports. Because they are having trouble keeping up with their favorite team or remembering how to actually do a favorite hobby, they may avoid being social. With age-related changes, we grow weary of work, family, and social obligations at times. But if we withdraw for a short time, we’re usually ready to socialize once again. Taking a break from obligations for a short time is not a warning sign.

  1. Changing moods and personalities

When a loved one with Alzheimer’s is out of their comfort zone, they can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful, anxious, or easily upset. As we age, we develop routines and enjoy our specific ways of doing things. When a routine is disrupted, we can become irritated, but this doesn’t mean we have Alzheimer’s.

If You Notice Warning Signs

Early detection matters! If you notice any of the warning signs mentioned above in yourself or someone you know and love, schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Early detection allows you to:

  • Get the most benefit from the treatments available for Alzheimer’s patients
  • Explore treatments that provide relief of symptoms
  • Help you maintain your independence longer
  • Increase your chances of participating in drug trials that help advance research

Be Prepared for the Changes Alzheimer’s Brings

We need to be more proactive, make ourselves aware of the warning signs of dementia, and pay attention. Don’t brush it aside when your loved one tells you they lost their car keys or locked themselves out of their house. Dementia is progressive and our seniors need us. What if your loved one lives alone or in another state? It is best to know and understand what dementia is and what the warning signs of dementia are before your loved one is clearly in trouble.

Charles’ family like so many others has been affected by this terrible disease, and it is very difficult on all dealing with loved ones who have Alzheimer’s. The book “The 36-Hour Day” will help with understanding and dealing with this disease. If you think you may be seeing the warning signs of dementia, talk with an elder care lawyer, attorney, or broker about dementia and how you can help your loved one if and when dementia strikes.


Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate

718-253-9600 ext 206

[email protected]

Baby Boomers And Retirement: Are You Financially Prepared?

Friday, July 15th, 2016
Financially prepared

Baby Boomers, are you financially prepared for retirement?

America, we’re getting older. Those of us born in the USA after World War II and before 1964 (ages 51-69 respectively) are known as Baby Boomers, and we’re nearing retirement. Are you financially prepared to get to retirement or through retirement? Is there a chance you will not get through retirement because you are not financially prepared to do so? It’s time we evaluate our fiscal health.

None of us knows what’s ahead in the next 1, 5 or 10 years, but there are ways to prepare financially to get us through retirement One of the best ways to ensure your money lasts through retirement is to plan on living longer than you think. Here are four ways for Baby Boomers nearing retirement to get financially prepared:

Reduce Your Expenses and Get Rid of Debt

Take charge of your spending. It’s important to create a budget that you can stick to now in case your income is reduced in the future. If you’re looking for ways to save money, look here: Federal Citizen Information Center.

Stop Self-Investing and Go Pro Instead

The pros can manage a lot of money cheaply. How?

  • Their costs to do what they do for their clients are at an institutional rate
  • They get lower commissions on buying/selling securities
  • They can manage money for a lot less

Your 401(k) and IRA returns can amount to little because money managers charge you “retail” and overcharge for their commissions for sales, management and securities. Costs matter. Find the lowest-cost provider in every retirement fund you have, particularly in your 401(k) if you have one.

Add to Your Income-Producing Investments

Take a look at your investment portfolio. Is it heavy on the stock funds side?  If so, now is a good time to increase the percentage of bond funds or other investments that are designed to provide a steady income for you throughout retirement. Ask your financial pro to review your money distributions.

Invest in Real Estate to be Financially Prepared for Retirement

Real estate is a secure investment, and homeownership is critical in building wealth and financial security over time. That’s important when planning your retirement. Owning is much wiser than supporting a landlord financially and having no equity to show for any of it. Homes appreciate. Owning is far superior to renting because it locks in your housing costs and over time your real costs decline.

In the past two years, home prices have increased more per year than the 4% average that rents have risen per year. And homeownership comes with valuable tax benefits, too.

If you don’t own a home, consider purchasing one. Real estate is a secure investment to use as your retirement fund.

Take advantage of the great real estate market situation. Brooklyn real estate is at an all-time high, but we don’t know for how long.

The bottom line

Because we are nearing retirement, don’t take unnecessary risks to get financially prepared. There is no wisdom in trying to recover losses we may have incurred by putting even more money in risky investments. We will need that money for living expenses throughout our retirement.

But do get financially prepared for your retirement now. Save with purpose and intensity, invest wisely and take advantage of the benefits of today’s great real estate market.

Are you financially prepared for retirement? Are you ready to downsize and simplify as you near retirement? Is it time to sell your real estate investment? Get the help of real estate agent Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate. Call (718) 253-9700 ext. 206 or email him at [email protected] today!

10 Ways to Prevent a Fall in Your Brooklyn Home

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014
Prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home

Prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home

The number of serious and fatal injuries caused by falls is rising in America.

The New York Times reported in November, 2014:

“The number of people over 65 who died after a fall reached nearly 24,000 in 2012, almost double the number 10 years earlier, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

“More than 200,000 Americans over 65 dies after falls in the decade from 2002 to 2012. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death in that age group.”

“And more than 2.4 million people over 65 were treated in emergency departments for injuries from falls in 2012 alone, an increase of 50 percent over a decade.”

You may not see your need to do anything to prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home until after you have fallen, but a bad fall will certainly make you wish you had! A fall can seriously impact your health and independence, but they are not an unavoidable part of growing older. They can be prevented!

Here are 10 ways to prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home:

  1. Exercise – Exercise strengthens your legs and improves balance, making a fall in your Brooklyn home much less likely.
  2. Be aware of side effects – Side effects such as drowsiness or dizziness caused by medicines and combinations of medicines will make a fall in your Brooklyn home more likely. Talk about possible side effects of your medicines with your doctor or pharmacist.
  3. Get your eyes checked every year – Wearing glasses or contacts with the right prescription and seeing clearly will prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home.
  4. Identify potential home hazards – Tripping hazards, (papers, books, clothes, shoes, rugs), clutter and poor lighting should be identified and removed or changed to prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home.
  5. Install handrails and lights on your staircases in your Brooklyn home.
  6. Install grab bars, too. Put them inside and next to your tub or shower and next to the toilet.
  7. Use non-slip mats in the tub and shower.
  8. Avoid the need for a step stool. Keep items you use most often within easy reach in your Brooklyn home.
  9. Use bright lighting – You need brighter lights in your Brooklyn home in order to see well as you grow older.
  10. Wear shoes – Going barefoot or wearing slippers will prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home.

Stay safe, secure and independent while growing older. Prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home before you fall.

I can help you find the perfect home with all or almost all of the 10 ways to prevent a fall in your Brooklyn home. Give Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, a call at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected]. Let’s start looking today!

Resources:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/11/03/health/bracing-for-the-falls-of-an-aging-nation.html?emc=edit_na_20141102&_r=0http://www.cdc.gov/Features/OlderAmericans/