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Auburn Citizen - secureyourfuture
he topic of senior housing is a confus-
ing one at best. Today, there are many
residence options available for seniors who are
living longer, more independent lives. The trou-
ble can be deciding upon the type of housing
that's right for you and your family, and over-
coming the "nursing home" stigma.
While the home in which you've raised
your family may be close to your heart, by
retirement age, many seniors begin to feel
that their current residence is either too large
or too much of a burden to continue to main-
tain. As such, the search is on for a place to
spend their "golden years." There are sever-
al options available to you depending upon
your level of independence and health. Here's
a brief rundown on the choices to consider:
· Mother/daughter homes -- For those
seeking the security and familiarity of being
around family, mother/daughter homes, or
ones that boast an "in-law" suite, are a viable
option. Typically, these homes are charac-
terized by a main living area for the family and
a small apartment, which may have a bedroom,
living area, bathroom and kitchenette for a
couple or single person. The apartment may
be accessed through the main house or have
its own entry. While advantageous, this liv-
ing arrangement can pose problems for younger
family members not equipped to handle the
health or care issues required by their senior
tenant. Many family members, in an effort to
stave off a nursing home, take in an ailing
mother, father or grandparent without real-
izing it can be a full-time job.
· Active lifestyle -- Active adult com-
munities, also referred to as resort communities,
attract both retired persons and those near-
ing retirement age who wish to get a start
on owning a place where they will eventually
retire. Many are gated communities and offer
amenities typical of a resort, such as a pool,
golf club, exercise rooms and more.
· Independent/congregate living -- If
you're an active senior in good health, then
an independent living also known as con-
gregate living community or residence may
be the ideal situation. These homes range
from age-restricted housing communities
where you own your own condominium or
patio home to residences that are more like
hotels, complete with housekeeping servic-
es, meals, and activities. In most cases, buses
are available to transport you to area shop-
ping and other planned retreats. Some com-
munities have their own bank, supermarket,
hair salon and houses of worship on the
grounds so that residents can have easy access.
In addition, depending upon the setup of
the residence, there may be living quarters and
then a centralized dining area where meals are
served or company is hosted.
· Assisted living -- For those who are
still relatively independent but may require
a visiting nurse or need minimal assistance,
like bathing or dressing, assisted living facil-
ities can provide the care you need. Health-
care services are provided on the grounds or
may be from a neighboring hospital or med-
ical center.
· Nursing homes -- Seniors who require
round-the-clock medical care may seek out
nursing home situations. This is pretty much
the only option for those who have deterio-
rating mental or physical capabilities or great
difficulty with daily activities.
· Continuing care -- These facilities
marry independent, assisted and nursing care
living. They are often large communities
over acres of land that offer different sectors
of care, dependent upon qualifying factors. As
you age or become unable to care for yourself,
you simply move from independent living
to assisted living to nursing scenarios. Most
even have specialized care for Alzheimer's
sufferers. This presents the best option for
seniors who want the security of knowing
they'll be cared for as they move through
the years without having to relocate to dif-
ferent facilities.
Private care facilities have several bene-
fits, but also come with pricey monthly fees.
Depending upon the level of care, facilities
may charge upwards of several thousands of
dollars per month. It is wise to consult with
a financial planner or accountant to see how
much, if any, of these costs can be covered by
Medicare, Medicaid or other government
assistance. In addition, some facilities may have
waiting lists, so be sure to call ahead and
inquire about the application process and
wait time for entering one of these residences.
t a person's demise there are certain
typical problems which, if not planned
for, create a burden on those who are left
behind. proper estate planning can eliminate
or reduce these problems.
An estate plan is all of the documents
and laws that, together, should determine the
disposition of your property, and the manner
of care for your family members, in the event
of your death or incapacity. Through the use
of wills, trusts, powers of attorneys and other
estate planning tools you should be able to
protect your estate, your children and your
other beneficiaries.
If you die without a will or other estate plan-
ning documents in place, your property will
go to those people that your state's law requires.
These may or may not be the same people
you would have preferred to have received
your property or that may need it most. Also,
your estate may be subject to substantial taxes
that you might have been able to significantly
reduce with an estate plan. Furthermore, with-
out certain provisions included in your estate
planning documents, a series of court hearings
may be necessary to determine who will care
for you family and who will take care of their
In general, anyone who is concerned with
any of the following needs an estate plan:
· How property will be disposed of upon
· How much property will remain for
beneficiaries after federal estate and state
inheritance taxes are paid for; or
· Who will care for children or other rel-
atives after death or in the event of incapac-
Various issues or life situations may affect
a person's estate planning needs differently.
There are several basic steps to take in
planning your estate. A typical program would
be as follows:
1. Choose your team: Choose, as need-
ed, your attorney, tax professional, insurance
professional, trust officer, planned-giving spe-
cialist and financial planner.
2. Gather information: a completed fact
finder serves to list your goals and objectives,
shows names, ages, assets and liabilities, desired
heirs; goals and objectives.
3. Analyze data: pretend death occurred
yesterday. What happens to your estate, your
business, and your family? What if you die
ten years from now? Your team should analyze
that data to provide you the results.
4. Team makes recommendations: Review
the suggestions made by your team to overcome
current plan shortcomings.
5. Decide and implement: Select the plan
that best fits your needs and goals. Sign essen-
tial documents (i.e. wills and trusts), pur-
chase needed insurance, and change invest-
ments as necessary.
6. Periodic review: Because the world
(and your estate) is consistently changing,
any advisors recommend an annual planning
Daniel R. Cuddy, CPA, CFP, CSA, is a Registered
Representative of H.D. Vest Investment Services®. Based
in Texas, H.D.Vest provides financial services, including
full service brokerage, professional money management,
insurance and estate and retirement planning.
Housing options abound for seniors
What is estate planning?
January 29, 2006
Secure Your Future
The Citizen, Auburn, New York
The Citizen, Auburn, New York
Secure Your Future
January 29, 2006
Planning Ahead, It's a Good Thing.
84 South Street · Auburn
This can be done in the convenience of your own home or our
office. Weekends and evenings are available.
Mike O'Gorman · Cheryl Foster · Richard Parker
Over 50 Years at the Same Location

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