Latest Blog Post

Read the latest article written by EPPIA members, published in the Eden Prairie News.

Get Your Affairs in Order

It’s an old black and white film. The doctor, in a business suit, sits behind a desk and delivers the line, “You need to get your affairs in order.” Back then it was an aphorism -- a way not to say, “You have cancer.” But the words have meaning for us at all stages of our lives. Whether in our 20s or our 80s, we need to get our affairs in order. The documents and the plans for when we are gone are a gift to ourselves and to our loved ones.

In our 20s we may just need to find a job and develop a sound credit rating. A few years later, it’s settling down, buying a house, perhaps raising a family and managing what can be a rather chaotic transition in our lives. But at a certain age, it’s not just about planning to live, it’s about planning for those who will live after us. It’s not just about wills and related documents. It’s about making our lives successful while we are here and providing for our loved ones after we are gone.

Simplify your life! A wise man once said, “You don’t own things, things own you.” Sort, organize and give away, throw out, donate, or recycle what is not used or needed. Clothes you haven’t worn in two years, out they go! Got furniture in the basement, attic or wherever that is old and unused? Someone else can find a use for it. Piles of books you’ll never read, or read again - mementos that mean nothing to you, and less than nothing to your heirs, tools unused for years? Get them to someone who will get good use out of them.

Simplify your financial affairs. If it’s hard to figure out what’s going on with one brokerage account, do you really need three? And if you have two or three bank accounts in different places, is there a purpose? If so, keep them. If not, consolidate and keep the best one. Review expenses for things you don’t use, like the top tier cable, when you don’t watch the premium channels, or an unused health club membership. And perhaps the biggest gift to yourself and loved ones is to simplify your business affairs if you still have business interests. For lingering disputes with partners in a real estate or business investment, someone will have to sort it out; better you take care of it than leaving it to your spouse or children to resolve.

What are you good at? What do you love to do? What fuels your passion? Getting your affairs in order is about finding meaning and purpose for our lives and being grateful for what we, or friends and family do to bring happiness and joy to ourselves and others.

Make or review your will. Check to see if your will still does what you want. And make sure you have a health care directive and some form of power of attorney to allow medical and financial decisions to be made for you when you can’t make them for yourself. Check that beneficiary designation (or other transfer on death provisions) for life insurance, bank and brokerage accounts are set up to do what you currently wish. And for those whose spouse has passed on, consider looking again at your estate plan. You may want to check and see if a few simple actions can avoid probate. Plan your funeral. What do you want? Consider preplanning and pre-paying the funeral you want either directly or through insurance.

Are your affairs in order? That doesn’t mean you are preparing for death, but rather that you are prepared to enjoy life no matter your age. Take comfort in knowing that your family will not have additional financial and legal stresses when you are no longer here. Every day do a little dance, give a little love and get on with life. That’s the best part of getting our affairs in order!

Richard Jensen is an attorney who does estate planning (952) 944-0406, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

EPPIA is a networking group whose members are committed to the welfare of seniors in our community. EPPIA members meet to learn, exchange information and discuss issues in the field of aging. For more information on EPPIA and local senior resources, please visit our website at www.edenprairieaging.org

Reach Out and Touch Someone, With Words

Do you have 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes or a little more? Most of us do. Use this time to take a walk toward emotional wellness. Grab a pen and paper, (doesn't have to be anything fancy) and begin writing a note to someone special to you. This is the next best thing to being there with your special friend or family member, by putting your thoughts in writing and giving them a gift to read over and over again. Yes, something special just from you. Once you begin your note the words will flow as you share your life and catch them up. Then as you address your envelope think about the joy they will receive when they see that hand written note from someone who truly cares. Imagine their surprise that this is a note especially for them, not a bill or junk flyer for everyone, but a note just for them from you.

There are days when I am blue for no real reason and I find this is the best time to sit down and connect with someone I care about. The gift of time is so valuable and so appreciated. It is often hard to see the value in what 5, 10, 15 or more minutes can do to lift you up and/or lift up someone else. This is a simple way to touch those you care about, an easy way to fill that emotional tank that can sit near empty some days.

I often talk about small changes, mini shifts and small habits that lead to a bigger outcome. This is a place where you can recharge emotionally one hand written note at a time. At first it will seem random but in time you might want to pick a day of the week to write 2-5 notes to those you want to stay connected with. This is great for family members, after all how many times do you make a business call to a stranger or pop off an email to someone you barely know, now switch your thinking to friends and family and make that time for just for them. A handwritten note is a special gift in these days of emails, tweets, Instagram and Face Book and other forms of electronic communication. You can even enhance the writing experience for writer and receiver by using special paper, stationery, or note cards. Using a favorite pen can also enhance the writing experience, and a touch of cologne can be another pleasant reminder of you for the recipient for a special personal touch.

Wellness isn't just about being physically fit, it also about being emotionally fit. Sometimes we feel isolated, this is a great way to stay or reconnect. I encourage you to pick up that pen and paper and start today on a road to emotional wellness.

Terri Mattson
Beginning Today Lifestyle Wellness
612-208-0801
www.beginningtoday.com

EPPIA is a networking group whose members are committed to the welfare of seniors in our community. EPPIA members meet to learn, exchange information and discuss issues in the field of aging. For more information on EPPIA and local senior resources, please visit our website at www.edenprairieaging.org

How to Sell Your Home

So, at long last, you are considering a move from your long-held home. Just thinking about the many decisions you will face probably has you feeling very overwhelmed. It is helpful to separate the challenges and details of moving into a few smaller steps.

Step One: Decide where to move. The absolute first and most important step is to decide where you will be living. If you have made that determination, congratulations! If this has not been determined, I recommend you tour a few senior communities to identify those that meet your needs now and in the foreseeable future. When you find the one, or two, that you are comfortable with, place your name on the reservation list. With the opening of more and more senior communities you will soon find one that feels right and has your new apartment home ready for you. There are several companies that provide moving advice and coordination free of charge to you.

It is vital to confirm the guaranteed date when your new home will be ready for you. This is not the time to move twice. It is often best to move before your home is listed for sale. It will make the entire moving process much easier if you are able to do so.

Step Two: Choose a real estate agent to represent you. A Realtor will guide you through the process of selling your home. You might even interview a few Realtors to find the one that is the best fit for you. Realtors will help you with getting the proper inspections conducted that may be required by your city, they may also have resources if you need any work performed to bring something up to code in your home.

Step Three: List your home. Your Realtor will review the market in your area and advise you on a listing price for you home. We are experiencing a “Seller’s Market” that is forecast to continue for the next several years. That means there are, and will continue to be, more buyers than sellers. Before you list your home, you will need to decide if you should make changes to your home or to sell it “as is.” Is it wise to spend the time and money on updating walls, carpets, kitchens or bathrooms? There is no guarantee that you will get those improvement costs back, much less assure you that your home will be worth much more or sell more quickly with these projects completed. It is the perfect time to offer your home in its “As Is” condition.

Step Four: Sell your home. Your Realtor will get your home listed on their company website as well as the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to give your home maximum exposure. The Realtor’s company will also keep in touch with you regarding when private showings for individuals are schedule. When the potential buyers submits a Purchase Agreement to you, your real estate agent will review the offer with you and advise you on any counter offers or points you may want to make. Finally, there is the closing day. Your Realtor is there with you as you sign a number of documents and you walk out of closing with a nice big check! Mission accomplished.

Ted Field
Remax Results Senior Services
cell: 612-418-3901
www.seniorservices.net

EPPIA is a networking group whose members are committed to the welfare of seniors in our community. EPPIA members meet to learn, exchange information and discuss issues in the field of aging. For more information on EPPIA and local senior resources, please visit our website at www.edenprairieaging.org

Young at Heart

You have probably heard the term “young at heart” as it’s’ been around since the mid-19th century. But if you ask a variety of people what this term means, you probably will get, different but similar answers. Even dictionaries have slightly different definitions of what it means to be young at heart. Merriam Webster defines it as “thinking and acting like young people: active and having a lot of energy.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines young at heart as “Especially of middle-aged or elderly people: having qualities associated with young people, especially energy, enthusiasm, or optimism.”

So, what are the qualities of being young at heart and is this something we should attempt to cultivate as we age in years? Some basic qualities include optimism, enthusiasm and resilience. These qualities have a positive effect on one’s overall well-being. This has been confirmed by both short and long term studies of older adults. Findings include that those with positive outlooks are more likely to stay healthy and enjoy independent living than those with less cheerful perspectives. Some studies have also shown that people become more positive in their outlooks as they age. Optimism is something that can be learned: setting goals, believing in your dreams, being true to yourself and associating with positive-minded people can help you increase your optimism!

Resilience is another important factor in life and especially as we age. Older adults face a number of losses such as the end of a career at retirement, loss of friends or a spouse, health changes and financial challenges to name a few. Resilience enables a person to adapt well to adverse changes and stresses in life. Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves behaviors, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone.

Acceptance is another important quality to cultivate. Acceptance doesn’t mean that you have to accept the weight gain or lack of energy that can add up with the years. Fighting aging and trying to do the physical things you did in your 30s isn’t the answer either. Healthy aging means looking at your lifestyle and making changes in your diet, sleeping, and physical activity to stay as healthy as you can for as long as you can.

Ten tips to activate positive aging in your life from Manfred Diehl, PhD are:

  • Stay physically active
  • Exercise your brain
  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle
  • Stay connected to other people
  • Create positive conditions for yourself
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff
  • Set yourself goals and take control
  • Minimize life stress
  • Have regular medical check ups
  • It is never too late to begin

If you are young at heart, want to be more young at heart, or want to meet others who are young at heart, there are opportunities for you right here in Eden Prairie. Get to know the Eden Prairie Senior Center. There are countless activities available for all interests and abilities – from zip lining to lunch outings, biking, and more. If you have a special interest they will even help you get a group started! The Senior Center is a great place to try new things, meet new people, and just have fun. You will definitely meet others who are young at heart there. A well-known anonymous quote states that “Youth is an act of nature; age is a work of art.”

Holly Hansen, Partner, Brilliant Moves
www.BrilliantMovesMN.com - 612-605-7303

EPPIA is a networking group whose members are committed to the welfare of seniors in our community. EPPIA members meet to learn, exchange information and discuss issues in the field of aging. For more information on EPPIA and local senior resources, please visit our website at www.edenprairieaging.org

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