When You Are Looking for a Home at the Lake

Screen Shot 2014-05-17 at 8.45.34 PMBe sure to contact Shirley Smith!

Shirley is originally from the Midwest.  She was in sales/marketing and owned her own business for many years.   She and her husband Don moved to Georgia in 1993 and, when they discovered the Lake Oconee area, they fell in love with its beauty and vacation-like atmosphere.

The Smith’s have two children, William, and Dr. Ted. While the boys were in college they would come to visit their parents and both knew that they would like to live in this beautiful state.  William is in management for a large equipment company inCobb County and Dr. Ted is a Dr. of Chiropractic in the Lake Oconee Area.   Both have two sons and a daughter.

Shirley is one of Lake Oconee’s top Realtors. Having lived here for over 20 years, she feels that she has a lot to offer when it comes to assisting buyers or sellers in Real Estate.  She can relate to the experiences clients encounter when they relocate.

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Seven Tips for Staying Sane and Savoring This Holiday Season

Marla Tomazin

Without a doubt, the holidays are a crazy time of year (as well as “the most wonderful”!). From the end of November to the beginning of January, most of us rush around nonstop, trying to fit in dozens of events, activities, and responsibilities. And even though most of us look forward to this special season all year long, it’s still easy to stretch yourself too thin in the midst of all the festivities. According to Marla Tomazin, that’s why it’s very important to take care of yourself as well as taking care of everyone else.

“Most of us don’t realize just how demanding the holiday scramble can be until we’re exhausted, overwhelmed, or even sick,” points out Tomazin, who has been an image consultant for twenty years after earlier experience in the fashion industry. “The good news is, with a little prior planning and prioritizing, you can enjoy and cherish the things that are most important to you without having to run on fumes to make it through New Year’s Eve!”

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Don’t Wait to Enroll in Medicare

By Ross Blair

In 2011, a record 2.8 million Americans will turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare. If you’re a newcomer to Medicare in 2011 there is one piece of advice I recommend you take to heart: don’t wait until the last minute to start planning your Medicare enrollment.

Relax. You’re not locked into the same Medicare plan forever. You can change your Medicare Advantage coverage and prescription drug coverage once a year, and some Medicare supplement plans allow you to enroll at any time. If you take your time before your 65th birthday, the decision-making process should be easier.

Learn the basics. Trying to understand Medicare can make anyone’s head spin. Medicare is a different type of health insurance plan than you may be used to, so before you get inundated with sales pitches and unsolicited advice, try to understand the basics.

There are three basic ways to cover yourself: Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), with a Part D prescription drug plan; Medicare Advantage Plan, which can include vision, dental and prescription drug coverage; and a Medicare Supplement plan which fills certain gaps in Original Medicare.

Figure out what you can afford. It sounds simple, but if you haven’t estimated what your retirement income will be, start doing that math before you enroll in Medicare.

Calculate your income after Social Security benefits, pensions, IRA and 401(k) savings, etc. Then, create a list of monthly expenses including rent, utilities and food, as well as other things like your prescription drug costs. Subtract your expenses from your income to develop a good sense of what you can afford to spend on Medicare on a monthly basis.

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Born for Baby Boomers: How “Aging-In-Place” Can Help You Live in your Home as you Grow Older

By Bonnie Joy Flamm, CAPS

The statistics are simply staggering. The “Baby Boomer” generation – those born from 1946 to 1964 – currently account for fully one-third of the American population. That means there are about 77 million Baby Boomers! And two-thirds of those Boomers are now over the age of 50, which means they are starting to experience age-related issues in their homes.

In fact, what some Boomers once strived for – bigger homes with sweeping staircases, polished floors and large sunken tubs – is now coming back to haunt them, as the dawn of middle age and its physical changes is no longer a possibility, it’s a reality. Luckily for them, a concept has been invented which addresses the problems that Boomers are going to have as they grow older in their homes.

“Aging-In-Place” is a term that some Boomers may have heard of, but it is frequently confused with “Universal Design,” and most of them are still unfamiliar with it. All that is about to change. Very soon, Aging-in-Place will no longer be just the latest catchphrase – it will be synonymous with how the Baby Boomer generation is going to be able to continue living in their homes as they age.

The concept was conceived as a result of a study that was conducted by the AARP in 2000, which came to two remarkable conclusions:

  • Americans want to remain in their homes as they mature, rather than seeking assisted living or other arrangements;
  • Older consumers want reliable professionals they can trust to remodel and modify their homes as they begin to face the challenges of aging.

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Del Webb at Lake Oconee

Del Webb at Lake Oconee is just 75 miles east of Atlanta on Lake Oconee, the nation’s only Del Webb community with direct lake access. Enjoy a host of activities including fishing, boating, golfing on several championship golf courses, The Ritz-Carlton Lodge and Spa to name a few. Within 30 minutes you can explore the historical town of Madison, watch the Masters in Augusta or tailgate in Athens, GA. Learn more about Del Webb.

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Southeast Discovery—Advising Clients on Finding the Right Retirement or Second Home

Southeast Discovery was founded in an effort to provide a centralized source for buyers who are actively looking for a retirement or second home in the Southeast.  Early on, the retirement and second home real estate market in the Southeast was very fragmented, making it difficult for buyers to ‘wrap their arms around’ the choices available to them in an organized fashion.

They recently provided a wonderful snapshot of Lake Oconee. Check it out..

Alzheimer’s Conversation Tips

Capturing and leveraging memories that trigger an emotional response can effectively help manage the behaviors of someone with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.

Asking questions can spark a meaningful conversation full of special memories. Someone living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias will particularly appreciate the opportunity to pass on personal history and wisdom before it’s too late.

When you begin a conversation, prompt the person with dementia to elaborate by asking open-ended questions and then listen patiently. Here are some questions you might ask:

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Disagreement over the TV Volume Setting

By Rich Filar

Disagreement over the television setting can be problematic even in families where no one has hearing loss, so it is no great surprise that this is a great issue among families with one or more hearing impaired members. Market research shows that enhancing the television viewing situation was rated the most desired improvement in terms of wireless capabilities.

Many in the hearing healthcare industry predict that overcoming the obstacle of an inconvenient gateway device would represent a breakthrough for the industry and for users.

The ReSound Unite TV Streamer accessory is such a breakthrough- it connects to the audio output of a television or other audio device and transmits the sound directly to the hearing instruments. The hearing instrument program used for audio streaming can have the hearing instrument microphones turned off or on according to whether the user also wants to be able to hear and converse with others while listening to the streamed sound.

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Parenting Your Aging Parents

© Copyright 2011 by Robert Moskowitz

Dear Robert:

Mom and Dad are in their late seventies, and my brothers are starting to be concerned about the cost of a nursing home. So far, they’re able to live safely and happily in their own apartment. But from watching our parents’ friends we know that illness or accidents can change the situation for the worse.

What portion of long‑term care will Medicare and medical insurance cover? Are there ways to save on long‑term care costs? What can we do to prevent this possibility from draining our parents’ and our own resources?

Signed, Nervous About Nursing Homes

Dear Nervous:

You’re right. The steady drain of long‑term care is a potent threat to your parent’s financial well‑being. According to one recent survey, the median cost of a single bedroom in an assisted living facility is not more than $3,200 per month. And it’s increasing fast.

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Use It or Lose It: Body & Brain Endurance

By Nora Weston

Feed your brain—it’s just as hungry for sustenance as your body. As we age, many people slow down and accept the aging process without much ado. All too often, the body becomes tired and broken, while the mind drifts away unable to remember what it was like to hunger for both physical and mental strength. Why slow down? Maybe some people become lethargic because getting older means heading for retirement, which unfortunately can be associated with leaving work behind to take it easy, but that is exactly what your body and brain do not need. Nowadays, becoming a century old is doable, and research like the MacArthur Study shows it’s better to rev up the body and brain with challenging exercises as we age to ensure optimal health.

The MacArthur Study, one of the most well-known longitudinal studies  dealing with mental abilities, gathered data on healthy people from middle age to 80 years old. After tracking the high-functioning people between 70 and 80 years of age, the results led researchers to identify three factors that set the high-performers apart from the rest.

• The high-performers were more physically active; for example…daily walks were part of their routine.

• These individuals stayed mentally active. Continuing education, hobbies, books, puzzles, crafts, and playing bridge three times a week helped keep their brains in top shape.

• The high-performers possessed a personality quality sometimes referred to as “self-efficacy.” Challenges met head on with a zest for life fit this group, rather than a “woe is me” outlook.

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Grumpy Old Lady

By Sally Franz

Being a Baby Boomer is fantastic. More choices, wisdom from the past and memories. You know what you like, you know how to get what you like and you like the life you have…

Or not. There are a few snafus along the way. Divorce, financial ruin, loved ones dying and then of course there are the health issues that plagues a lot of us. So what are you going to do? If you’re like me you’ll look at the funny side of life.

In my humor book, “The Baby Boomers Guide to Menopause” I make fun of ,well, ur, um, all the fun I am having with the change of life: hot flashes, memory loss, mood swings, you name it. There is a something funny about every one of these weird morphing moments. And it helps if you have lots of silly friends who are going through this with you. Even better if you can remember their names.

In my book, “Scrambled Leggs…a snarky tale of hospital hooey” I chronicle my mandatory performance into the hospital system when I was struck down by a rare auto-immune disease. Your brain really gets challenged when you go from having the body of a 34 year old (okay I was 54, but I was super athletic) to that of an 84 year old in 30 minutes. And here’s a hot tip, morphine does not enhance mental acuity. As if becoming paralyzed from the waist down wasn’t bad enough I found the healthcare system to be completely out of touch with reality. Or at least with my reality. Seriously, I still have to push a button for help and wait 20 minutes for a response. I could get faster service if I called 911 from my hospital bed.

I have become that grumpy old lady and I like her a lot.

Download the first 3 chapters from Sally’s Amazon listed book, “Scrambled Leggs.”.

6 Things Every Caregiver Should Know

By Ross Blair, CEO of Plan Prescriber

An estimated 2.8 million baby boomers turn 65 this year putting even more pressure on a growing number of family members and friends as they help loved ones face the daunting task of enrolling in Medicare for the first time. Consider these facts from the National Alliance for Caregivers:

  • 43 million Americans provide unpaid care to family members or friends age 50 and older.
  • 64 percent of these caregivers also manage these friends’ or family members’ finances.
  • 26 million of these caregivers are full-time workers; that’s 16 percent of the American workforce.

Many baby boomers need advice the first time they enroll in Medicare. And, many adult caregivers face the same challenges when they try to help family members review new or existing Medicare coverage, or understand changes from one year to the next. For baby boomers and caregivers, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to navigate the complexities of a system that isn’t getting any easier to understand.
Finding your way through the Medicare maze can overwhelm anyone, especially with all of Medicare’s moving pieces. Medicare has four parts and ten supplemental coverage options. For example, Medicare Advantage plans include different benefits and provider networks, which should be compared. Prescription drug plans change each year to counteract rising drug costs, and each of the ten supplements has different coverage levels that should be evaluated.

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Parenting Your Aging Parents

By Robert Moskowitz

Dear Robert:

My mother is planning to be remarried next month. She is an 81 year old woman who has lived alone quite well for several years since my father’s death from cancer. Also, Mom has a considerable amount of money from savings, the sale of the house, and my father’s life insurance.

Her fiance is 85, and frankly has a few health problems. This man has been taking care of himself for many years since his wife died. I’m afraid he’s rushing my mother into marriage to get her money, or worse. I must admit she seems happy with him, and she says she loves him. But she has many friends and activities near where she lives, and doesn’t need to get married. How can I tell my mother I don’t want her to marry this man without making her angry?

Signed, Anxious About The Future

Dear Anxious:

Sorry, but I don’t think that’s possible. Unless your mother’s intended husband has serious health problems that threaten to turn your mother into a live-in nurse immediately, or unless you have evidence that he has designs on your mother’s money, I suggest you grin and bear it. Although your mother has been living alone for years, she may crave the companionship that a marriage brings. Wouldn’t you? Many people feel more comfortable in a committed relationship.

By all means, encourage your mother to request a prenuptial agreement that keeps her assets from passing to her husband and his family. But it might also be constructive for you to consider why you feel uncomfortable with a new relationship that is clearly making your mother happy. If mother and this man remain happy together for several years, why not try as hard as you can to learn to appreciate him?

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An Excerpt from Retire To–Not From

By Phil Saylor
Author of Retire To-Not From 

Retire is a word I never liked. The word retire, along with dramatic emphasis, sounds like you’re going to die. Of course death is inevitable weather we retire or not. Some people use the word retire when going to bed; “I think I’ll retire for the evening.” My guess is the same person came up with the “now I lay me down to sleep” prayer.

Wisdom satisfies the notion that a lot of times when you don’t like something it’s just a pure case of tough stuff. In other words, the word retire is here to stay. I can’t do anything about it. I think it’s highly over-rated and for sure over used.

Maybe the following dialogue can help make my point: “What do you do?” – “Oh, I’m retired.” – “You’re retired. So does that mean you don’t do anything, or is retired what you do?”

If you’ve ever heard or had this conversation chances are you weren’t talking to a wise guy who confronted you about your “I’m retired” answer. My concern would be how many times you have given that answer. Consider the career military retiree who joined on their eighteenth birthday, did twenty years of service to their country and retired, pension and all. Because they retired at 38 years old they may go to work for someone else or start a business. Two years later when they’re 40 years young and someone asks them what they do, chances are they are not going to say anything about being retired from the military. Most likely they are just going to say, “I own the last chance gas station out in the desert”, or whatever it is they do.

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Changes and the Empty Nest

By Natalie Caine

Across the country, hugs goodbye, cheers and tears, are marking the roads. The number one relief parents share with me is, “Thank goodness I am not alone with my new feelings. I thought I was being over sensitive and selfish.”  Who doesn’t need support when walking a place you have never been before and you aren’t sure where you are heading?

There are different stages of empty nest.  Each person shifts and discovers in their style.  Keep that soft aloe Kleenex in arms reach.

Some leap and are thrilled with the lack of responsibilities.  Others grieve for both a short and long stretch of time for the role they loved and know has changed.

Singles have different longings and married wonder how their relationship will weather the lack of children at home.

Wives and husbands grieve differently, so their rhythm of let’s get going needs awareness.

Children out of their bedroom are excited and anxious about their new responsibilities and dreams. They honestly miss the anchor that home provides, even if they don’t express it.

School community is lost and therefore, connections and relationships for adults change.

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