Retirement? Many leaving workforce years later

The transition from employment to retirement used to be marked by a date on a calendar, along with some sheet cake, and a maybe a gold watch. Those days are long gone for most workers in the United States.

Today, the journey toward complete withdrawal from the workforce can last many years. Economists refer to the transition period as “bridge employment.” As more and more Americans either choose, or are forced, into bridge employment, the expectation of what retirement actually means is rapidly changing.


Thinking of Downsizing? Here Are the Questions to Consider

What are some questions my spouse and I should be asking ourselves when considering downsizing?

You won’t be alone. Almost four in 10 baby boomers (37%) plan to move at some point in later life, according to the Demand Institute, which is jointly operated by the Conference Board and Nielsen. Of those, 42% say they will settle in a smaller home. (And 32% plan to move to a larger place. Which might be an article for another day.) Here are some questions to consider before going smaller:


Here’s The Down-Low On Down-Sizing

Not long ago I wrote about trying to sell a home in order to simplify life and move to a smaller place. Those of you who have sold homes in the past few years know that the process can sometimes involve “re-staging” your entire property so that it appeals to that mystical, but always “neutral,” buyer out there.

My husband and I followed our realtor’s recommendations, cast aside our personal feelings and scrubbed the condo clean of any personality, going so far as to paint the entire thing white. Update: our home is presently under contract. Say no more.


Saying goodbye to 20 years of family life

It was coming across some long-forgotten items from my children’s lives while clearing out the loft that made me pause. Hundreds of school exercise books full of excitable stories, written before inhibition set in; countless childish drawings, kept as early signs of artistic genius; vast boxes of Lego, a vintage Star Wars set and numerous once-prized action figures, including the bizarrely named Biker Mice from Mars.


A Quick Downsizing Quiz for the Undecided

We all consider downsizing for different reasons. Maybe we’re sick and tired of the maintenance and upkeep of a large home. It could be that we’re weary of the financial burden, or of being tied to a house and yard. Perhaps we want a smaller footprint for greener living. But is downsizing really for you?

If your circumstances make downsizing a necessity, go for it and decide to love it. But if you have a choice in the matter, take a few minutes with what I call the Knee-Jerk Reaction Test to see if downsizing is really for you. Gather a pencil and paper, look at each picture below and write down the number next to the response that most closely matches your own.


Whom Do Arts Benefit Most? Older Adults

There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence to support the idea that engaging in arts has benefits for older adults, but what about hard evidence? Over the past few months at Next Avenue, we’ve been sharing stories of the mounting body of research in the field of creative aging.

Increasingly, science is providing insight into what practitioners and participants already feel in their bones: the arts are good for you. A recent article from Createquity summarized several of these findings. A team of writers from the research-focused arts blog conducted a survey of studies and literature and found that “the most compelling evidence of the value of the arts revolves around improving the lives of older adults.”


How to organize your home and finances in your estate

My mom just passed away just shy of 105 years of age and her estate is a mess. I don’t want to make the same uninformed errors with my estate, so I need to plan and execute documents for my estate. Can you give me any suggestions?

First of all, our condolences on your loss. Sometimes it takes life-changing events to make us realize the importance of getting our finances and other personal matters in order. We think it’s a great thing for you to realize the need for you to order your estate and plan for the future. There are various underlying matters that come to mind when we hear people talk about getting their estate in order.


How To Spend Your Final Months At Home, Sweet Home

There’s no mystery about what older adults want when they become seriously ill near the end of their lives.

They want to be cared for at home. For as long as possible.

It’s easy to understand why. Home represents familiarity, safety and identity — the place where we belong.

Yet health systems aren’t rewarded financially for making “time at home” a priority like they are for reducing the number of patients readmitted to hospitals.