Retirement planning: Older Americans face tough long-term care choices

Growing old in America can be wrought with legal problems arising from health concerns, long-term care, and the need for appropriate housing.

The good news is that there are tools and products and strategies that older Americans can use to live as well as possible in the last decades of their lives.

So, what are some of the more common problems older Americans face, and how might they solve or at least alleviate them?

Cognitive decline

Who will make decisions for you when you are no longer able to make them yourself?  According to Bernard Krooks, a partner with Littman Krooks and chair of that firm’s elder law and special needs department, the best way to address this problem is by searching for and retaining a certified elder law attorney who can draft the appropriate documents that you’ll need, including durable power of attorney, advance health care directives and the like.

Full story at USA Today

More seniors are working past retirement age

For more and more people, turning 65 is no longer the time to put away the old working boots.

Senior citizens across the country are choosing to stay on the job well past the time they qualify for Medicare. Work offers not only cash to supplement Social Security checks, but also a chance to engage in the world around them.

“For me, when I turned 65, I was amazed I was that old. I thought, ‘how could I be that old and feel so young?'” said Roni Johnson, executive director of the Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County, will retire at the end of the year at the age of 70. “Turning 65 was just another birthday to me. It wasn’t enough to erase my enthusiasm for coming to work.”

Presently, 23 percent of Americans over the age of 65 are still working, with more than a third of this group clocking in because they are forced to financially, according to a 2012 Gallup poll.

The rest do so because they love going to work, opting to wake up early and even stay at the office late to do the things that need to be done.

Full story of seniors working past retirement ages at My San Antonio

Seniors try artist colony as retirement option

Dwan Smith-Fortier and her husband were ready to downsize. But they had no interest in the old-fashioned traditional senior citizens living.

“I refuse to be old,” she says. “I don’t mind aging, but I will never be old.”

Smith-Fortier, 69, is an actress who was a regular on General Hospital for three years and starred in the first movie version of Sparkle as well as The Concorde … Airport ’79. She had spent five years helping her husband, a former L.A. firefighter, recover from a stroke.

They were ready to get rid of the big house, but both also wanted to remain active. Then she saw an ad — for the Burbank Senior Artists Colony. And her life has been a whirlwind of activity since.

Now her days consist of Zumba, classes, rehearsals for the plays at the on-site professional theater company, acting classes. Her husband, who was also a songwriter, uses the gym every morning.

“It’s just real busy,” she says. “There are computer classes. There are filmmaking classes. There’s how to use your iPad to make films. It’s really an active building, but not the kind of activity where you are overwhelmed. You do what you feel like doing.”

Full story of seniors and retirement option at USA Today