A1. INVESTMENT AND REAL ESTATE MARKETS WORRY ABOUT SENIORS
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A1. Investment and Real Estate Markets Worry About Seniors
A recent article by Tom Petruno in the Los Angeles Times business section talked about the impact of mutual funds and stocks plummeting when larger numbers of baby-boomers start cashing out investments so that they will be able to live comfortably in retirement. Between now and 2030, Petruno states, there will be a 78 percent increase in the number of Americans over the age of 65--that's an estimated 72 million people.
With many out of work (the young, as well as the "waiting to retire") beginning in 2008 and on-going, stock prices dropping and therefore nest eggs being depleted, many investment nest eggs have already taken quite a hit.
Liquidation of stocks and mutual funds by these "imminent retirees" could impact the market and cause its own market crash unless there are sufficient new investors, i.e., younger or foreign-market investors) to buy what these retirees have to sell.
Is it possible that this is a too-negative prediction? In the near term, perhaps. The aged-65+ American in 2009 had a median net worth of $170,494 (Pew Research Center). Seniors who retire at 65 have a statistical longevity of another 18.6 years. Thatís a long time to keep investments in a money market, bank, or even bonds without taking advantage of market growth.
Realizing the need for growth for 18.6 years, savvy senior investors take some of their investments out of the market--enough capital to weather two to three years of market swings and meet living expenses. That translates to a percentage of their investments hitting the "sell" desks each year. As more and more baby-boomers retire the number of sell orders will grow.
What Petruno's article did not touch on, since it was part of a "Mutual Fund Quarterly Report," is the compounding investment-whammy from the sale of baby boomer homes.
In addition to wealth in market investments, the aged-65+ population also has wealth in real estate. Not all of them mortgaged their properties to the hilt in the early years of this century. Per their parents' teachings, they paid down their mortgages, heading toward holding their homes free and clear.
These people could sell their home at retirement and downsize, or sell it later when health dictates a move, or their heirs could sell it upon their death. In any case, that real estate will impact the market starting now and increase in volume for the foreseeable future. Between now and 2030, the homes of the 40 million aged-65+ homeowners can be expected to come on the market.
Parallel to the question of who will buy the baby-boomers stock as they liquidate, the question of who will buy their homes when they downsize or die arises.
For instance, If you ask the children of a well-to-do couple in Akron, Ohio, if any of their three children want their house, they'll tell you the kids would consider coming back to Ohio to live. This house will be sold upon the parents' death. But with a lot of manufacturing having left Ohio, one has to wonder: will there be a sufficient affluent aged-35-55 population to buy all the large old homes on large parcels of land that the present 65+ population will put on the market?
With much food for thought, it is important to add taht investment and real-estate markets are treading new territory with this "aging baby-boomer" speculation and projection. Maybe none to it will play out with a shortage of buyers for increased investments and greatly appreciated real estate.
That said, there is much to ponder when deciding which of your investment holdings to liquidate and which to hold on to at any one time. From where should you take assets to donate to charities? How best to gift the children and grands--now, or in the years to come? Will you give them stock, or cash from liquidated assets? Since sales timing impacts value (and it does from market ups and downs or implications from baby-boomers selling assets) when should you sell, and in what order?
This article is meant to be a wake-up call, not an answer.
Find more financial information at: http://www.seniorresource.com/finance.htm
A2. Sleep Apnea in Older Americans--The Not-So-Silent Epidemic
No one knows exactly how many people have obstructive sleep apnea, but it's estimated that it affects between 30 and 70 percent of older Americans. Sleep-disordered breathing, or sleep apnea, is characterized by repeated awakenings and pauses in breathing during the night, and it's usually associated with loud snoring episodes.
Because sleep plays a role in the consolidation of long-term memory, loss of sleep and frequent awakenings caused by a lack of oxygen during apneic episodes (which may number as many as 80 during a night) and getting less sleep as a result, may be associated with mental decline and dementia.
This is what sleep apnea looks like: When people with the disorder fall asleep, their throat muscles collapse, constricting the airway, causing the body to fight for air, with resulting oxygen deprivation and loud snoring. Some people with this sleep disorder use the standard treatment of continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machines. The machines work by forcing air, under mild compression, into the airway to keep it from constricting. However, many CPAP devices "end up as doorstops," says Dr. Joseph Golish, former chief of sleep medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. "It's very effective in the sleep lab. But when people go home, there's a good chance they won't use it, and the success rate of an unused CPAP machine is absolutely zero." (One user describes it as "being reborn as an elephant. Every time I turn over, the hose comes with me.")
However, there's a new form of CPAP, called Provent. There's no hose or face mask. It consists of a patch that fits over the nostrils and holds two small plugs, which fit into the nostrils. They create just enough pressure to keep the airway open at night. It's far less intrusive than the traditional CPAP machine--but it's also more expensive to use, and it doesn't work for everyone.
Provent works much as a CPAP mask does, but on a smaller, less obtrusive scale. The device contains a tiny pinhole valve in each plug, one for each nostril. The valves let air in easily--most people breathe through their nose when asleep--but there is resistance as the user exhales. That creates a backpressure in the airways, dilating the muscles that otherwise would collapse during the night's sleep. In the morning the patch is discarded, and a new one is used the following night.
The cons: Provent doesn't work for people who breathe through their mouth when asleep, and it often doesnít work well for those with nasal allergies that block the nose. At this writing it's not covered by Medicare and most major insurers, though that is expected to change in the near future. The patches currently run from $50 to $80 for a month's supply, and that is the primary reason that people discontinue its use (although a starter kit of 10 patches is available for about $27.00).
CPAP continues to be the gold standard for apnea, especially for those with severe sleep breathing disorders, but for those who canít or wonít use it, Provent seems to be the wave of the future.
Find additional health information at: http://www.seniorresource.com/health.htm
B. DID YOU KNOW...?
1. Purpose in Life Deters Alzheimer Disease
"Purpose in life" (PIL) has been linked to positive outcomes, including better mental health and happiness, and it was recently reported that PIL is associated with longevity. PIL is defined as the psychological tendency to derive meaning from life's experiences and to possess a sense of intentionality and goal directedness that guides behavior.
PIL has long been hypothesized to protect against adverse health outcomes. In a study by the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center1 the hypothesis was studied using data from more than 900 participants. The results indicate that a person with a high score PIL measure was approximately 2.4 times more likely to remain free of AD than was a person with a low score. Thus, greater PIL can be associated with a reduced risk of AD in the community-dwelling older person.
1) Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center, 600 S Paulina, Ste 1020B, Chicago, IL 60612
Find additional health information at: http://www.seniorresource.com/health.htm
Read a more comprehensive set of flag etiquette rules for display of the American flag
C. THOUGHTS FOR THE MONTH
We present here some words from those with a birthday this month.
More "Thoughts" at: http://www.seniorresource.com/thought.htm
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D. SPECIAL SURFING SITES
1. Actions That Can Make You Happy
Explore these actions here:
Learn about the Aging Process here: http://www.seniorresource.com/ageproc.htm
2. Stop the Ringing in Your Ears
Learn more at: http://www.soundcure.com/for-patients/
More health information here: http://www.seniorresource.com/health.htm
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E. OH MY AGING FUNNY BONE
1. Things My Pop-Pop Told Me
- Meanness don't jes' happen overnight.
2. TV Shows of Days Gone Bye
"Oh My Aging Funny Bone" is at: http://www.seniorresource.com/jokes.htm
SPONSOR AN ISSUE
This issue has been edited by Betsy Day (Betsyjday@aol.com).
Aging in Place