About LoveBeingRetired

Dave Bernard is a California born and raised author and blogger with an extensive 30 year career in Silicon Valley. He has written more than 300 blogs for US News & World On Retirement and his personal blog Retirement –Only the Beginning. Dave has written three books to date: "Are you just existing and calling it a life?"; "I want to retire! Essential Considerations for the Retiree to Be"; and " Navigating the Retirement Jungle". He has been quoted in various articles and magazines including The Wall Street Journal, The Times of India, Prevention Magazine and Erickson Tribune. Dave lives in sunny California with his wife and a shared passion for the San Jose Sharks.

The Aging Sandwich Generation: Where to Find the Finances You Need to Retire

Written by Olivia Bailey

Finding yourself in a situation where you need to take care of your parents while looking after your own family at the same time can be a real body blow to your finances. Without careful planning and some good fortune the consequences to your future can be worrisome. You might feel you need to put your retirement plans on hold while under such budgetary strain, but there are ways to balance the books and keep your goals on track.

Here are some suggestions to organize your finances to cope with immediate financial pressures and plan for current and future expenses. Consider this an overview of some of the financial challenges you might face and some tips on ways to find the cash you need now and in the future.

Plan ahead to stay ahead

The odds are in your favor you will live to an older age than previous generations, which is great news in one respect, but presents a financial challenge when you try to plan your finances to have enough money to live out your golden years in comfort.

Add in the additional complication of looking after one or both of your parents who are over 65 along with the financial support you need to provide for your children and you can see why this scenario makes saving for your own retirement seem like a bridge too far for your finances.

There is no question that you want to provide support for your parents and children when they need it. The trick is to organize your finances so your own future prosperity and comfort is not thrown into question.

When it’s time to pool your resources

If you find you need to provide for your elderly parents, both emotionally and financially, the subject is not open to debate for most of us who assume that degree of responsibility without a second thought.

The financial consequences of such commitment can be significant. Your own financial situation can quickly deteriorate unless you find a way to pool your resources to reach a solution that provides the help they need and makes the most of the money available in the family pot.

Attitudes towards money have changed in recent generations but elders often have an ingrained reluctance to discuss their finances even with their children. However, it makes a lot of sense to try and overcome this barrier by addressing key issues like estate planning, medical insurance, current income and expenses, and any other relevant finances to gain an accurate insight into their financial position and future financial security.

Perhaps you can find a way to persuade them to downsize from their existing property, for example, to something more suitable and cheaper. This could help ease their own financial burdens and in turn relieve the pressure on you.

Explain to your elderly parents the value of an in-depth look at their finances. A thorough review could be beneficial and may result in a greater annual income than they currently enjoy, which would reduce the burden on your finances at the same time.

It is always a good idea to explore all the possibilities and options as part of the potential solution that could help everyone. It could even lead to a situation where you pool your resources and combine your finances to provide a way forward that works for everyone.

Getting them through college

College is a major financial event for parents. If you are struggling to find money to meet all those college expenses, there are some options to assist with your efforts. You can find a college near home where they can go so they don’t have to move out and you won’t have board and living expenses.

Don’t forget to check what financial aid you might be entitled to or whether your child might be able to get a scholarship.

It is a challenge to get young adults through college without racking up huge debts. But if you can plan and prepare and somehow stay on top of things you will have negotiated one major financial hurdle without putting too much of a dent in your retirement plans.

Lower your monthly commitments

If you are paying off several credit card debts each month as well as loan repayments, it might be worth looking at consolidation as a way of making your debts more manageable. It could make sense to find out before you apply whether this solution could work for you.

Sit down and work out your current monthly budget to see where your money is going each month. Find where you can cut back on some outgoings that could then go towards your retirement plans.

Putting your feet up might seem a distant dream at certain times when your finances are under so much pressure, but you can and will find a way to see it through and enjoy your own retirement at some point.

Olivia Bailey writes about a range of personal finance matters in her online articles. When not typing up a new article she’s busy with everyday family life, raising 3 kids and keeping home for a hubby.

How the Amazon Echo could help you to continue to live independently throughout retirement

Written by Emily Ryan

Until recently, Personal Virtual Assistants (PVAs) were the preserve of those with a high level of disposable income who love to own the latest gadgets and gizmos. What couldn’t have been predicted though, was the positive impact these PVA’s could have on people with mobility or accessibility issues around the home.

One recent development in this line of gadgets has been the Amazon’s own version of the personal assistant, the ‘Echo’ and it’s personable PVA ‘Alexa’. Both affordable, accessible the possibilities are endless when it comes to independent living.

The device has gained support among elderly adults as well as their families and caregivers with more than 30,000 customer reviews on Amazon praising the Alexa for its ability to assist. The reviews discuss how Alexa has given them a sense of independence and freedom that was once thought to be impossible.

We’ve spoken to the independent living experts over at Ability Superstore about just how some of their customers have made use of the Amazon Echo device, and how it has allowed some of their customers to live more independently as a result.

How the Alexa can help combat loneliness

As well as being practical, Alexa can help to alleviate the pain of loneliness in older adults. In the elderly community, loneliness can be the difference between good health and poor health. Alexa attempts to provide as much assistance and companionship as possible through its voice activation controls, as well as being able to connect with other internet users through communication software such as Skype.

The Amazon echo is a fantastic piece of technology that sits neatly on your table without causing too much clutter or without clashing with any decor. One specific feature of the echo is that it can connect to your devices such as your radio and your tv. From here, you can talk to your echo and command it to control these devices. Imagine being able to just ‘call out’ to Alexa to instantly find out information about your local neighbourhood, rather than having to use a fiddly timetable?

The additional features of Alexa

Additional features include being able to gather information, read the news, listen to music, check for sport scores, add an alarm or even check the weather. It’s a fantastic assistant that is available to you whenever you need it. Not only that, but with its voice command, there’s no need for handheld controls. To ‘wake up’ your device, simply call out the name “Alexa”. Once activated, the virtual assistant will ‘wake up’ and listen to your commands.

This is particularly handy for those who have trouble navigating around the house or if you tend to lose remotes fairly often! Your Alexa is in the room with you as far as your voice can travel. Once set up the Alexa couldn’t be easier to use making it ideal for even the biggest technophobes.

Help aids such as Alexa are a brilliant way to ease you into retirement. The possibilities are endless with Alexa – you can with send emails and text messages, update your Facebook and communicate with the grandchildren through Skype – you can even do your weekly shop through its voice activation!

Alexa isn’t just an aid for the disabled or the elderly it’s a tool that many people both old and young can use in their day to day lives. So don’t see it as an object of defeat – see it as an object which can help liberate your life and improve your everyday independence.