Earth Day 2014

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Going green is good for the planet and good for your wallet. Here are some changes that can make a big impact.

$23-38

If the average household lowers the thermostat by two degrees, from 70 degrees to 68, they could save $23-$38 a year. 

$270

Switch all the light bulbs in your home to compact fluorescent light bulbs. You can save about $270 in one year. 

$200

Unplug appliances and electronics that glow when you’re done using them. You could save $200 a year. 

$150

For someone who typically buys a $1.50 bottle of water twice a week, the annual saving of drinking from a reusable BPA-free water bottle can top $150. 

$109

Repair a leaky toilet and you can save $109 a year with water at $1.50 for every 1,000 gallons. A leaking toilet leaks up to 73,000 gallons a year. 

$900

By upgrading the insulation in your attic, walls, and basement to R-50 standard, you can save up to $900 a year. 

$650 – $1,000

By car pooling with just one friend, you can each save about $650 a year. If four of you carpool, you can each save nearly $1,000. 

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Are you aging well?

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This infographic outlines a number of important factors that impact our ability to age well, including personal capacity to react to life’s transitions, individual behaviors and health status, societal factors, and the individual’s ability to engage with their community and remain independent. More information is available at http://www.philips-thecenter.org/aging-well

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What Should I Keep and What Should I Shred?

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By Kathy Cooper

Our clients often ask which records they should keep for what period of time. Some have every bill they ever paid. Some keep nothing. Most of us are somewhere in between, with documents spread in piles all around the house, on the coffee table, home office, safe and safety deposit box.

One good thing about going through the process of planning what we call your “Life Plan”, is gathering all of the important documents about your life in one place: important information about your children, copies of your military discharge papers, deeds, titles, life insurance and annuity policies, statements from bank accounts and so forth. Once you have the basic set of documents, particularly the “permanent” items, it’s easier for you – and eventually for those who need them when you are ill or at your death. You can’t stop at one-time organization, however, you need to revisit and refresh your records. We revisit these documents periodically when our clients come in for a review of their Life Plan.

So what should you keep? Like so many other things, the real answer is – it depends. Recently I saw an infographic that offers solid direction about how to approach the task of sorting through your piles of stuff to make sense of what to shred, scan or store. It is included below for your reference.

What matters most to U.S. seniors

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The United States of Aging Survey, conducted by the National Council on Aging (NCOA), UnitedHealthcare and USA TODAY, explores what underlies American seniors’ perspectives on aging, and how the country can better prepare for a booming senior population.

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Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 8.57.04 AMWhat matters most to you?  It takes planning to protect your wealth.  It takes planning to assure that your wealth is not adversely affected if you have a catastrophic health condition or require long term care at home or in a nursing home.  See your elder law attorney to help you put a plan in place for you and your family.  It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.