Latest Blog Post

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

Don’t Just Downsize – RIGHT SIZE!

Pretty much everyone is familiar with the term “Downsizing.” What this can mean to a lot of older adults is a sad parting with things they have used and loved for many years, and as a result, downsizing can have a negative connotation. Instead of just experiencing loss as you clear out your home of many years in preparation to move to something smaller, think about “Rightsizing” instead.

So what is Rightsizing and how is it different from Downsizing? Rightsizing is a shift in perspective from Downsizing and puts the focus on what you need in your new home rather than what you are leaving behind in your old home. In other words, it looks forward rather than only backward. It is an approach that can help bring joy and anticipation to change rather than only feeling a sense of loss. Some basic concepts of Rightsizing are noted below:

• Focus on the furniture that will work in your new home: consider size and function.
• Use furniture and artwork in new ways and/or different rooms.
• Buy something new for your new home such as a kitchen or dining table that is smaller in scale better suited to your new space.
• Perk up an old lamp with a new lampshade.
• Add some color to you bathroom and/or bedroom with new towels, shower curtain and/or a new bedspread.
• Make a scrapbook of family photos that you don’t have space to hang.
• Edit your kitchen – how many sets of china, glassware, silverware, pans, etc. do you really need? Keep the things you use and love the most.
• Have a bunch of mismatched glasses or dishes that have seen better days? Get something new and treat yourself.
• Keep clothes and shoes in good condition that fit you, that you like, and that you wear.

While Rightsizing can involve buying a few new things, this does not have to be expensive. Let your family and friends know what you would like. Buy things on sale. Check out consignment stores, thrift stores, antique stores, yard sales, etc. Rightsizing might sound like it is the opposite of downsizing, but it is not. It does include letting go of old things that you have accumulated over your lifetime. Thank these belongings for the pleasure and service they have given you, and let them go on to be of use to someone else. This could be a family member, a friend, or a complete stranger who gets something of yours through your charitable donation. This is truly a wonderful and satisfying way to help people who need things that you no longer need or use.

Another aspect of Rightsizing is that it can be used to organize your home. Kitchens, bathrooms and closets are the areas to focus on here. There are a number of containers, trays, shelf extenders, bins, etc. that can help organize and maximize the usefulness of a variety of spaces in your new home. Repurpose an old basket a bin, a piece of plastic ware. Maybe something you used in the office would work well in a kitchen or bathroom for organizing miscellaneous items. Think about old things in a new way. Check out the variety of styles and sizes of silverware, utensil and other containers that are available. A final note to say about Rightsizing is that it can bring some fun, creativity, and joy into a moving process that is otherwise stressful.

Holly Hansen, Partner
Brilliant Moves
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

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

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

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

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

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

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