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Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Heart Has No Wrinkles

There are no wrinkles on the heart because love is ageless.

When we think of love, and romance, we tend to default to an image of youth, idealized  attractiveness, and vitality.  It is no surprise then that we also tend to think that as we grow older, love, and romance wear thin.  However, studies show that the reality of the situation is that our perceptions are, to a large degree, false.

Let’s be real here – love is love and it has no boundaries, not even in the realm of romantic love.  The tendency to think that the aging population has no interest in romance is incorrect.  On the contrary, the more time we spend with someone we love, the deeper that love grows.  On the surface, it may seem that couples who have been together for many years progressively lose interest in each other romantically, but that is not always the case.  It is true that in many cases, these couples have gotten to a such a comfort level with each other that they rarely engage in courting or romantic rituals anymore, but that does not mean that their love for each other is not as deep, or deeper, than it ever was.   The fact is that many couples are still fully engaged in their love lives well into their senior years.

So, what do wrinkles really mean?  They’re a physical representation that we’re all getting older but that’s about it.  There really are no wrinkles on the heart as love can never be defined by our age.  If there is any doubt, simply stop an elderly couple who is walking hand in hand down the street and ask them how they feel about each other.  I am certain that they will explain it much better than I, or any research statistic, ever could. ~Gia (
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sally Quinn On Her Husband'sFinal Days

Legendary Washington Post Editor Ben Bradlee rose to prominence for exposing the Watergate scandal, for publishing the Pentagon Papers and for guiding the paper to 23 Pulitzer Prizes during his tenure. He died Tuesday at age 93 in his Washington, D.C. home. He had Alzheimer’s disease.

In September, Bradlee’s wife, Sally Quinn, spoke to C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb about her husband’s health and her own transitions as a caregiver. She moved from thinking his dementia wouldn’t be so hard, to witnessing its ravages, to facing it realistically and ultimately finding peace with the disease and her role.

“A certain peace has come over me,” she said. “Caretaking has become almost sacred… I don’t think we have ever been as loving with each other as we are now.”

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Ways To Keep Your Health And Your Wealth In Retirement

Surprisingly, many American women have an irrational fear of becoming bag ladies.

According to Women, Money and Power study made by Allianz, almost half of the women respondents said that they are "often" or "sometimes" afraid of losing all their money and becoming homeless.

The real worry is not about losing everything. It is about the slow and steady drip of increased health care expenses in retirement, which can leave you financial burden.

In order to do both, it’s important to plan ahead for health care expenses in retirement.
Check out some ways to prepare here:
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The Effect of Parents' Medical History to Long Term Care Insurance

Long term care insurance providers now take into account your parents' medical condition/ history when deciding how much they will charge you.. Genworth, one of the top insuranc eprovider for long term care has started rating applicants based in part, on the applicant's parents' medical histories.

The said insurance company has annouced that it would rate applicants based on wether their parent's suffered from early onset of heart disease before age 60 or dementia before age 70.

Read the full article here:
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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

How Adult Children Can Prepare for Loss

There’s no way around it – preparing for the loss of a loved one is wrenching. But, there are things that you can do during this time that may give you and the person you love better peace of mind. Learn more about how adult children can prepare for the loss of a loved one.

Preparing for Loss

Polly Cummings was not prepared for the death of her husband Walter 13 years ago. Although the 53-year-old had a grim prognosis and year-long illness, she was so focused on driving him to chemotherapy and mothering her two children that she didn’t think about the time when he would no longer be there.
“It was a source of pride for Walter to do the finances, so I let him,” says Polly. “But, when he died, I was not prepared. I didn’t know where to start. Instead of flailing around, I should have talked ahead of time to his accountant, financial advisor, and bank. It made the loss even worse.”
You can chalk up her lapse to caregiver exhaustion, inexperience, and something else: our society’s extreme discomfort with discussing death, whether it’s our own or someone else’s.

Slowly, though, that attitude is shifting, thanks to 76 million “tell-it-like-it-is” boomers who turn 68 this year.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Life Gives Back What You Give Out

Life gives back... what you give out.

Live with joy and enthusiasm!
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Long Term Care Insurance Costs - Key in Family Decision Making

Researchers say that Older parents' independence and their desire to avoid to be a burden on their adult children stimulates interest in ourchasing long term care insurance.

There are certain themes that dominate parents' decision when it comes to buying a coverage for themselves. those themes could talk about aging parents' needs and everyones' expectations.

“Adult children in particular have a role to play in their parents’ long-term care, because they will likely be affected by whatever their parents decide,” said lead author Nina Sperber of the Durham VA Medical Center and Duke University, both in Durham, North Carolina.

Read the full article here:

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

What questions about LTCi should I ask?

All of us can agree that once we reach a certain age in our older adulthood, most of us are likely to need some form of long term care. The best way to secure it is by owning a long term care insurance policy.
Most people assume that LTCi is only good for paying nursing home costs. In truth, long term care insurance helps you pay for many forms of care costs and are not exclusive to covering nursing home care.
Many Americans are either unfamiliar or misinformed about long term care insurance. However, the best way to understand LTCi is to ask the right questions.
Here are LTCi questions you should be asking:
1. Is LTCi for everyone?
LTCi is designed to cover long term care expenses. Although LTCi itself is not for everyone, virtually all of us will need some form of long term care at one point of our life.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services stated that at least 70% of people age 65 or older will need some form of care based on their needs.
2. Can other insurance policies cover LTC expenses?
Only long term care insurance is specifically designed to cover for LTC expenses. Neither Medicare nor health insurance will cover much of long term care costs.
Although Medicaid will pay for LTC costs, it requires you to spend down all your assets to $2,000 before you can be eligible.
3. Doesn’t LTCi only pay for nursing home care?
Long term care insurance pays for a wide variety of LTC services. Most LTCi can pay for the cost of various forms of care such as:
Assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs)
Facility-based care
Home care assistance
LTCi allows you to choose the depth of your coverage after talking with your doctor or an LTCi specialist.
4. Who should buy LTCi?
LTCi can be expensive, especially if it will be purchased by an individual in their 70s or 80s. Many LTCi specialists advise people to buy their policy within their late 40s until mid 50s.
Premiums are higher for those who plan on purchasing it later in life. Health is another factor that can affect the rates of premiums. The healthier and younger you are, the lower your premiums will be.
It’s clear that the need for long term care is not exclusive to older adults. LTC can be needed by anybody from any age group and gender.
However, there is still the matter of how an individual can pay for care without being left in financial ruins.
The best way to avoid financial risks involved with paying for care costs is by planning for your future care needs with an LTCi policy.


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When to consider long-term care and care insurance

When is somebody ready for long-term care?

“When people need assistance with everyday activities like feeding, dressing, toilet, bathing, or they might need supervision,” Yee said.

Read the full article here:
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Strategies To Pay For Elder Care

To avoid being a burden to your spouse or other love ones, you need to learn more about these ways to help you survive the care costs when you become mentally or physically frail.

On the other hand, healthy seniors should use this information to plan ahead for care they might need in the future.

2. Private ANNUITIES or promissory notes.
3. Pooled trusts.
4. Personal care agreements.
5. Spousal transfers and spousal refusal.
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A Father And His Son

There was a small child who was brought up by his father. His father was a highly successful and extremely bright business man. He was about 50 years old with dark brown hair and deep brown eyes. He was a very neat man but he rarely smiled. He was strict, impatient, quick with anger and very passionate. These attributes all contributed to his great success in business life, but at the same time the same qualities led him become a not very pleasant father. He drove the newest Mercedes and had the fanciest suits. He was incredibly wealthy. As he traveled a lot he didn't spend a lot of time with his son. But this boy was compensated with expensive presents and private schooling. This was the way his father expressed his love for him. The son got used to getting everything he wished for.

When he turned 21 he was getting ready to graduate college. For many months he had admired a beautiful black sports car in a dealer's showroom and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted. He went to see the car everyday for weeks. He took the car for a test drive, he smelled the leather seats, imagined buying it and taking it home for the first time. He took pictures of it and put them all out on his wall.

As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car. He was full of excitement like a little child. He had absolutely no doubt of getting what he wished for. Finally after days of waiting impatiently, on the morning of his graduation his father called him into his private study. He sat him down on a designer brown leather chair and looked deep into his son's eyes and said: "I am very proud to have such a fine son and for the first time he said: "I love you". His son not even hearing the words waited impatiently for his present. After all, he was used to expensive presents but his father expressing his feelings were unknown for him. Finally, the father handed his son a beautiful wrapped gift box. The son held his breath back while quickly opening the box. He had his dream car floating before his eyes. As he opened the box he found a book called "Put Your Dream to the Test". He was disappointed almost shocked. He threw the book on the floor. Angrily he raised his voice at his father and said, "With all your money you give me a book?" and stormed out of the house, leaving the book behind. He moved out of the house immediately and went on his own way.

Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business just like his father. But business was not all he took after his father. He was as strict and impatient with his own children as his father was with him. He had a beautiful home somewhere in the countryside.

One day the man realized his father was very old and thought perhaps he should go see him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. They hadn't even spoken a word since then. The father hadn't even met his grandchildren. Although the son decided to contact his father he kept putting it off. Many times he walked to the phone, took it up, sat down on the white leather sofa in his living room, looked at his wife for support and dialed holding his breath back and shaking all over. But before the phone could ring he hung up. This went on for weeks until one day he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to him. He needed to go home immediately and take care of things.

When he arrived at his father's house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. He went into his father's study where they last spoke and thought about the last words he heard from his father. He began to search his father's important papers and in one of his drawers he found the still new book, just as he had left it years ago. He sat down on the same chair he was sitting those years before and recollected his memories of the situation that had separated them. With tears rolling down his face, he read the title: Put your dreams to the test. Then he opened the book and began to turn the pages. After the third page he saw a hole in the book with a car key in it. It had a tag with the dealer's name, the same dealer who had the black sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words…


Many times we prejudge people we meet and things we experience in life because they are not packaged as we expect them. We make drastic choices based on misunderstandings or simple ignorance and let the emotions resulting from these guide us. My advice to you is to stop for a moment and think before you make overall conclusions of a person or a situation and most importantly learn to forgive yourself and others!

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Married Or Not... You Should Read This Husband's Story

When I got home that night my wife served dinner. I held her hand and said, "I've got something to tell you." She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking about divorce. I raised the topic calmly. She didn't seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, "Why?"

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, "You are not a man!"

That night, we didn't talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn't love her anymore, I just pitied her.

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% of my company. She glanced at it and then tore it to pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources, and energy but I could not take back what I had said. I loved Jane now.

Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came home late and found her writing something at the table. I didn't have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast after an eventful day with Jane. When I woke up, she was still at the table writing.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions. She didn't want anything from me, but needed a month's notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month, we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple; our son had his exams in a month's time and she didn't want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me, but she had something more. She asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day. She requested that every day for the month's duration, I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door every morning. I thought she was going crazy, but just to make our last days together bearable, I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife's divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. "No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce," she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn't had any physical contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, "Daddy is holding Mommy in his arms."

His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the living room and to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly, "Don't tell our son about the divorce."

I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn't looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying. Our marriage had taken its toll on her, and for a minute, I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me. On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing. I didn't tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, "All my dresses have grown bigger." I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, and that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me. She had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, "Dad, it's time to carry mom out." To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the living room, and to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly, just like on our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, "I hadn't noticed that our life lacked intimacy."

I drove to office, jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind. I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door. "Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore."

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. "Do you have a fever?" she replied.
I moved her hand off my head. "Sorry, Jane," I said. "I won't divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn't value the details of our lives, not because we didn't love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day, I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart."

Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away. At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The saleswoman asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, "I'll carry you out every morning until death do us apart."

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face. I ran up the stairs only to find my wife in the bed – dead. My wife had been fighting cancer for months, but I was too busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and wanted to save me from any negative reaction from our son, in case we push through with the divorce. At least, in the eyes of our son, I'm a loving husband.

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It's not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. 
These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves.

So find time to be your spouse's friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Have a real happy marriage!

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Friday, October 17, 2014

How can I get the most out of my long term care insurance?

Most people who get their LTCi policy want it for the same practical reasons: to secure their future care needs, their assets, as well as the financial stability of the people that matter to them.
However, many are not aware of how they can maximize the value of an LTCi policy. In order to get the most out of your insurance, you need to consider certain benefits when buying your policy and how they can affect you or the type of care you can receive.

Here are LTCi benefits/options you should consider:

1. Guaranteed Policy
Make sure to ask about the life of your LTCi policy and the rules you need to follow, otherwise, it may cause the insurance company to cancel your policy.

2. Qualified policy
Both tax-qualified and non-qualified LTCi policies are, in general, considered tax-free. However, non-qualified benefit payments can be traced by IRS and opting for a tax-qualified policy may be a stress-free decision to make.

3. Custodial Nursing Home Care and Home Health Care
Considering these benefits will give you the option of receiving care at home or nursing home care, whichever is needed. Many prefer to receive care at home out of convenience.

4. Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)
Your chosen daily benefit is increased yearly by COLA in order for it to keep up with inflation. Having COLA is significant to your LTCi policy.

5. The Financial Strength Rating of the Insurer
Get peace of mind by getting your policy from a reliable company by checking its financial strength rating through insurance rating sites such as A.M. Best or J.D. Power.

In order for you to maximize your LTCi policy, you need to be practical with your priorities, specifically with what you can afford and getting benefits that will meet your needs.

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October is Resident's Rights Month

Nursing homes, long term care facilities along with family members, staffs, citizen advocates, residents of nursing homes across the country will celebrate Resident's rights Month by honoring the individual rights of long term care residents.

"Better Staffing: The Key to Better Care" is this year's current theme. It aims to encourage residents and others to be educated about staffing and long term care.

By focusing on the rights of residents and listening to their voices, we acknowledge the contributions and sacrifices many long-term care residents have made to better our community.

Read the full article here:

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

How To Pay For Long Term Care?

America’s aging baby boomers will double the older population to an estimated 77 million by 2030.

According to Sandra Timmermann, director of the Met Life Mature Market Institute, New York City, New York, as the population ages, more and more people will need long term care. The U.S. government reported long-term care insurance policy costs increased by 5 percent in 2011, and by 2015 costs are expected to increase by 13 percent.

Here are six things that you should know before buying or starting the process of obtaining long term care insurance.

1. Pay for experience
2. Due diligence
3. Know what you are buying
4. Daily Benefit
5. Benefit period
6. Inflation protection

Read the full article here:
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Long Term Care Insurance - Facts and Statistics

The infographic above shows vital information about long term care insurance that one should know before he or she jump into buying a policy. Getting a LTC insurance can be a bit overwhelming or complex process, it is still advisable to seek a professional ltc agent for advise.

Some of the Highlights:

  • 70% of people over 65 will require some care at some point in their lives.
  • The projected average cost for 2 years of long-term care 30 years from now is $500,000. 
  • Today, the average per-hour cost of home care in the U.S. is $30 with per-day cost reaching $250. 
  • Mid-50s is the best age to buy LTC insurance. The average purchase age of group insureds is 47yrs. 
  • The highest cause of claims after age 65 is Alzheimer’s. 
  • 20% of people will need care longer than 5 years.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

What LTCi benefits should I consider?

Deciding to purchase a long-term care insurance (LTCi) policy requires you to consider the benefits, including a wide range of options that will answer your future needs.
You need to keep a balance between your budget and the policy’s premium and coverage.
Here are LTCi benefits you should consider:
1. Daily Benefit Amount
Most LTCi policies pay a daily benefit from $50 to $250, based on the amount of coverage you purchased and the type of care you receive. Any charges above the daily benefit amount will not be covered.
2. Elimination or Waiting Period
Elimination or waiting period is the length of time between the day you started receiving LTC services and the day your policy starts to pay your benefits.
You will have to pay for any long-term care you receive within the waiting period. Elimination periods are offered from 0 to 180 days.
3. Maximum Policy Benefit
LTCi policies have a benefit limit, which could be the maximum dollar amount or period of time which LTC benefits will be paid. After buying a policy, you can decide getting a benefit period ranging from a fixed number of years or one that lasts the remainder of your life.
Some LTCi policies allow the conversion of the benefit time periods into dollar amounts but not limit the number of days they will pay for LTC services.
4. Pre-Existing Condition Limitation
Pre-existing condition limitation is the period of time (commonly six months) after you purchased the policy that: benefits are not going to be paid for any care related to the pre-existing condition.
Other policies only apply a pre-existing condition limitation for medical conditions that were not disclosed on application.
Virtually all long-term care policies have specific exclusions and these may include:
Mental and nervous disorders, except for organic brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and senile dementia
Attempted suicide or self inflicted injuries
Drug and alcohol addiction
Treatment already paid for by the government
5. Inflation Protection
It is common for most long-term care insurance policies to include inflation protection, which each year increases the amount of the daily benefit amount, based on the level of inflation.
Inflation protection is commonly offered as an option benefit, but it necessary to increase your monthly premium and for the policy to continue to afford your care expenses.
Getting LTCi will protect you from being unable to afford care, especially when you need it. However, you have to be sure that you understand the benefits that your policy comes with. Buying LTCi is one thing but maximizing its benefits is another, which you would definitely want to do.


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Friday, October 10, 2014

Dollar-For-Dollar Asset Protection - An Added Benefits of LTC Insurance in Virginia

Long Term care in Virginia is somehow similar to the long term care partner ship programs in other states, it is different because it has added advantages such as Dollar - For - Dollar Asset Protection wherein for every dollar paid out by an LTC partnership policy, a dollar of assets of the policyholder will be protected for Medicaid eligibility purposes.

To learn more about long term care insurance in the state of Virginia read the full article here:
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Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Practical Advice You Should Take

"The only time you should look in your neighbor's bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don't look in your neighbor's bowl to see if you have... as much as them."

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Steps to Self Care to Add to Your Life

1. Feed yourself the best foods when possible.
2. Move everyday.
3. Make sleep a priority.
4. Develop a breathing & meditation practice.
5. If possible, do something you really enjoy daily.
6. Tweak your supplement routine.
7. Get outside.
8. Make time to be alone.
9. Develop a gratitude practice.

Read the full article here:
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A Must Read: The Most Unexpected Cab Ride Ever.

There was a time in my life around twenty-odd years ago when I was driving a cab for a living. It was a good life for someone who didn’t want a boss, but liked constant movement and the thrill of a dice roll every time a new passenger got into the back of the cab. One night something amazing happened.
I was responding to a call from a small brick apartment in a quiet part of town. I assumed I was being sent to pick up some party goers, or someone who had just had a fight with a lover or someone going off to an early shift at some factory in the industrial part of town or something. As per usual. 

When I pitched up at the address, the building was dark, except for a single light that was on in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute or so and then drive away. I was certainly tempted. I’d done it before. But something stopped me. So I walked to the door and knocked. 

‘Just a minute‘, answered a frail and noticeably elderly voice. I could hear something heavy being dragged across the floor. 

After a long pause, the door finally opened. A small woman, somewhere in her late eighties or early nineties, stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned to it, like the kind you might see in a costume shop or a thrift store or in a 1940’s movie. By her side was a small little nylon suitcase. The sound had been her dragging it across the floor. She looked sad but calm. 

The apartment looked as if no one really lived there. All the furniture was covered with sheets and fabric. There were no clocks on the walls, no knick-knacks or utensils on the counters or anything. 

‘Would you carry my bag out to the car please? I’d like a few moments alone. Then, if you could come back and help me? I’m not very strong’, she said. 

I took the suitcase out to my cab, then returned to help the woman. She took my arm, and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me. 

‘It’s nothing’, I told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated.” 

When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, and then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?’ 

‘It’s not the shortest way.‘ I answered. 

‘Oh, I don’t mind’, she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice anyway.’ 

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. It looked as though she was about to cry. 

‘I don’t have any family now,’ she carried on. ‘The doctor said I should go there. He says I don’t have very long left.’ 

I reached over and shut off the meter. ‘What route would you like me to go?‘ I asked. 

For the next two hours we just drove around the city. She pointed out to me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We then drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they had first been married. She asked me to pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl with her sisters. We even stopped at a building she didn’t explain. She just stared out into the darkness, saying nothing. 

As the first hint of sun was appearing from beyond the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired. Let’s go to the hospice now.’ 

We drove in silence to the address she had given me at the beginning of our journey. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a tar driveway. It was plain and rather depressing looking. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. Without waiting for me, they opened the door and began assisting the woman. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase up to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair. She looked up at me, fumbling for her purse. 

‘How much do I owe you?’ she asked me. 

‘Oh, nothing…‘ I said. 

‘But you simply must take something. You have to make a living!‘ she answered. 

‘There are other passengers…’ I responded and smiled. She smiled back. 

Almost without thinking, I bent over and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly. There was nothing more to say. I squeezed her hand and walked into the dim morning light towards my taxi. Behind me I could hear the door slam shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life. I felt a lump in my throat as I turned the key. I drove straight home and reflected. What if that woman had gotten a driver who had been short-tempered, abusive or impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run or had honked my horn and then just  driven away? What if I had been in a bad mood and just refused to engage the woman in conversation? I thought about it… How many other moments in my life like that had I missed or failed to grasp? 

I don’t think that I’ve done anything in my life that was any more important. And I don’t think I ever will.

Read More at 
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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

18 Chances You Will Not Regret Taking in Life - Marc Chernoff

Almost two decades ago, when I told my grandmother I was worried about taking a chance and regretting my choice, she hugged me and said, “Trust me, honey, that’s not what you’re going to regret when you’re my age.  If anything, you will likely kick yourself a little for not taking more chances on the infinite number of opportunities you have today.”

And the older I get, the more I realize how right my grandmother was.  Life is about trusting yourself and taking chances, losing and finding happiness, learning from experience, appreciating the memories, and realizing that every step is worth your while…  But you’ve got to be willing to take each step.  You’ve got to give yourself a fair chance.

So here are some chances I would take if I were you – chances I have taken that I know you will not regret:

  1. Trusting your intuition on new opportunities. – Life is too short to wait.  Every new day is another chance to change your life.  Every great accomplishment starts with the decision to try.  Trust that little voice inside your head that says, “What if…” and then GO DO IT.  Give yourself a fair chance.  You would be surprised how often “what if” works.  And no, you’re not obligated to win every time.  You’re obligated to keep trying – to do the best you can do every day – to improve upon what you learned yesterday.
  2. Believing in your own abilities. – You have everything you need within you to become the best possible version of yourself.  Believe that you CAN.  Believe that you’re capable of pushing harder and farther than you have before.  Believe that you’re young enough, old enough, smart enough and strong enough to achieve your goals.  Don’t let false beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself.  And certainly don’t get sidetracked by other people who are not on track.
  3. Making moves in the face of fear. – It’s often difficult to grow into your greatest self, but it’s a tragedy to let the lie of fear stop you.  So realize right now that fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in your head.  Be courageous.  Go after your goals.  Never let your fear steer your present or decide your future.  And remember, courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is far more important than fear.  (Read Start: Punch Fear in the Face.)
  4. Taking a step forward today. – You will be dead one day.  Sorry to be so dramatic, but it’s true.  The question is: Are you choosing to live right now?  Take a moment and think about.  Life doesn’t start when “this, that, or the other thing” is resolved.  This IS your time.  Life is now.  Do something with it.  Don’t wait it away.

Continue reading the full article here:
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Reblogged: How To Shop For Long-Term Care Insurance

Medicare don't usually cover long term care, and a lot of people don't realize that.
Long assisted living or nursing home stays can still wrench even the best retirement plan.

Long term care insurance is a complex product that leaves people in dilemma on wether to buy it or not. It also requires a long term commitment if getting one.
So, how do you know if it is right for you?
How to shop for long term care insurance to get the best policy fit for your needs?

Read the full article to find out how:
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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Reblogged: Financial Planning Made Easy

Do you have time to think about your financial plan?
Does it actually cross your mind?

It may seem overwhelming to keep track of your daily finances, the potential will later pay off in the form of financial security.
An easy way to build and maintain a financial plan is to make a checklist that will serve as foundation of your plan.

Each person’s individual plan will differ, but once you have the checklist, you can fill in the specifics and monitor it regularly. If you have doubts or questions, work with a trusted professional who can help make it easy for you.

Read the full article about the four essential pillars of a financial plan that should be included in your checklist here:
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Friday, October 3, 2014

When should I purchase LTCi?

There are many things that you can put on hold until you reach retirement; however, buying long-term care insurance is not one of them.
Even if you are physically fit during your 50s, you cannot avoid the fact that all of us will need some form of care at a certain period of our life, mostly during late adulthood.
Here are reasons why you should buy LTCi sooner:
1. Enrolling in your 50s has its benefits.
When you enroll for long-term care insurance during your 50s, the premiums will be lower and the payouts are going to be higher. Purchasing a policy in your 60s or 70s will be significantly more expensive than in your 50s.
2. Other payment options have tax implications.
Going for charitable remainder trusts can help you get placed in a lower tax bracket during post-retirement and lower your tax liability. It also functions like annuities and the payouts you receive can be used to fund for LTCi premiums.
3. You are still in good physical condition.
Part of getting eligibility for an LTCi policy is to be in good physical health, free of illness or other medical conditions. Do not wait to get diagnosed of an illness before you file for an application. Some illnesses only begin to show symptoms by the age of 60.
4. Insurance policies are increasing flexibility.
Most insurance policies today are composed of more than one benefit, which most consumers should start taking advantage of. Such flexibility are seen from hybrid policies which combine different benefits such as life, health, and long-term care insurance.
5. “Self-insuring” is becoming difficult.
If you are in your 40s or 50s, you still have around 30 years before you begin requiring care. By that time, the rates of care would have increased at least four times compared to today.
The thought of having to rely on other people to take care of ourselves on a daily basis isn’t a cheerful topic to talk about, but it is an unavoidable truth which all of us need to be ready for.
We cannot delay buying LTCi too long. Once we reach our 70s or 80s, it’s almost impossible to get eligibility and it will be too late.
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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

How can I tell if long term care insurance is for me?

When people start talking about long-term care or long-term care insurance, first thing to mind is the thought of ending up in a nursing home. However, LTC is more comprehensive than just being admitted into a nursing home and LTCi is not a waste of investment.
We have to accept the truth that all of us, at one point of our lives, will need some form of assistance with daily living or assistive care. Most of the assistance commonly takes place during our 70s or 80s.
Before we even come close to retirement, we need to start thinking if we can be financially ready for the rates of long term care services. 
Here are ways you can tell that LTCi is for you:
1. Your total assets make you unqualified for Medicaid.
Medicaid has a specific maximum total asset amount requirement depending on your state. Some people have to spend down their assets to qualify for Medicaid.
2. You don’t have relatives who can take care of you.
Some older adults are fortunate to have relatives that can provide assistance with daily living; however, most of us have family members who have other responsibilities to attend to such as their jobs or their own families. It can also be difficult for those who have no partners or children.
3. You can’t afford care out-of-pocket.
What you can pay for now may become unaffordable by the time you reach late adulthood. LTCi is flexible and is adjusted to suit your budget and future care needs. And with inflation protection, you can be guaranteed that your benefits will be able to meet the cost of your care.
It’s important that we prepare beyond what we are aiming at today. Some of us might plan to go on tour during retirement, but being prepared for your medical or non-medical future needs isn’t a bad idea too.
Some people may say that you may or may not need LTCi, but why take the risk when you can be guaranteed instead? Planning ahead will give you plenty of time to prepare for what really matters.


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