Staying At Home With A Reverse Mortgage

I was asked to give a speech to a group in Boise, ID about how seniors can stay in their homes by using a reverse mortgage. This was an easy one for me because I had helped my mother do this very thing. She didn’t need as much help as some of the other seniors I have spoken with who worked with companies who specialize in home remodeling for seniors.

Some senior homeowners use reverse mortgages to help them financially by retiring debt or generating income. But there are also many seniors who love their homes and want to stay in them but find that their homes just don’t accommodate their needs any more. In fact, according to an AARP housing survey, 83% of older Americans want to stay in their current homes for the rest of their lives. Of the 83%, many are looking for some help to make it possible. Here is how a reverse mortgage can help seniors stay in their homes by allowing them to make improvements and alterations to their homes enabling them to stay at home where they are comfortable.

Depending on the homeowners budget, some changes are small and can be made relatively easily. Items such as hand rails, grab bars and lever handles on doors are fairly minor alterations and not terribly expensive. However, sometimes an older home may need some more expensive updating or home improvement for the senior borrower to be comfortable or practical for seniors to stay. Some of these items can get very expensive.

Some of these improvements or updating include new windows, doors and screens that open and close easily and updated kitchens for easier meal preparation. The home may require general maintenance of roofs, heating and air conditioning, flooring and anything else in the home that may need updating. Some of the items that may need to be considered which are expensive are items such as elevators and lifts, ramps, enlarging doorways and halls to allow wheelchairs to move freely through and installing emergency communication systems.

Some seniors also require alterations to the bathrooms and there are some very nice tubs and showers made with the senior user in mind enabling them to be self-sufficient. Still others use the proceeds of a reverse mortgage to hire in-home care so that they can stay at home in that manner.

I always encourage senior borrowers to check out places like the AARP website. It’ full of great information on projects to make their homes more livable, how to choose a good contractor and avoid bad the ones, and products geared to the senior homeowner. Many homeowners get into the chicken or egg scenario they don’t know what projects they want to do or what they will cost until they look into the available improvements; but then they don’t know how much money they will have to spend until they look into their financing.

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Enhancing Your Health and Fitness With Technology and Gadgets

Technology is everywhere in our lives today. We spend more time than ever watching a screen. It may be TV’s, computers or phones. This can make us much more inactive leaving us less fit and prone to the problems that come with being unfit. However, the world of fitness and how you approach it is now being opened up to whole new levels through the use of technology.

Sure we’ve had fitness DVDs and websites directing us in fitness but this can only go so far. How about a device being aware of your current weight, height and age and directing you personally on achieving your fitness goals? How about a device that can motivate you and keep you going? Now it’s possible. Products are popping up everywhere that can do these things. These include fitness tracking watches, sophisticated heart rate monitors, computer console games and even apps for your smart phone.

The first of these we want to look at is the range of watches produced by Garmin. These watches are designed specifically for running but can be easily adapted to cycling and other physically activities. The watches produced by Garmin track your time, distance, pace and calories burned giving you an accurate record of how well you performed. The top end of Garmin’s range feature GPS which can map your location and map your run. To top it all off you can download your data onto your computer or the Garmin connect website where you can share data with other users. This adds a social networking element which we all love to do these days.

Following from this is the Adidas Micoach. Again you can set up the device to your body weight, height and age enabling it to give much more accurate data in your reports. The good thing about Mi coach is that it provides an assessment workout. This is perfect for the beginner who doesn’t know how to start. The voice feature alerts you of vital stats and information during your run. As with the Garmin you can upload your data to a computer and Mi coach page.

The next big thing to hit the market is the Nintendo Wii with Wii fit and the Wii sports package. This technology revolutionised the games industry and has started taking a piece of the fitness industry. This console uses unique technology to track your movements with motion and touch sensitive equipment. Wii fit will is a good starting point for beginners to fitness. The package allows the user to focus on muscle condition, balance, flexibility and aerobic capacity. It may not provide the most accurate data but we support anything that gets you up and moving and being at least a little more active in your day to day life.

The question is can any of these products make you more fit. The answer is of course. Using these products and responding to data intelligently can mean you get more fit week in week out. You still need to put in the hard work but technology should be embraced.