Month: November 2015

Tax Free Retirement Skokie IL | AGT The Safe Money People 847-933-9222

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Annuity Skokie IL | AGT The Safe Money People 847-933-9222

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Assessing Risks Reduces Severity, Frequency of Falls – AGT The Safe Money People

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Following the adage “Knowledge is power” can literally keep us from falling down.

In the U.S., one out of every three people over 65 takes a tumble each year, and 20 to 30 percent of those who survive incur moderate to severe injuries. Yet, those who have taken the time to assess the risk of falling in their homes are less likely to be in that one-third.1 It may not be surprising that, once someone has taken a spill, they inherently develop a fear that makes them more cautious about preventing another fall. For the majority of the population, that’s a good instinct. But for seniors, it can make them withdraw from certain activities. Ironically, this new caution can increase their risk of falling again, particularly by preventing them from taking routine walks or another form of exercise.

To help address this phenomenon, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sponsored a study to measure whether a personalized program of intervention could help reduce the risk of an older person taking a fall. The program includes an in-home physical, emotional and cognitive functioning evaluation, a detailed record of a person’s history of falls, an assessment of the home environment and an inventory of current medications that may impact the person’s sense of balance. All of these factors are taken into consideration and used to create a customized recommendation for the individual.
Some risk factors are intrinsic, meaning they are linked to the person’s health and habits. Other risks are extrinsic, which refers to those associated with the home environment.”

As part of the study program, participating seniors are educated on both types of risks and how they may be avoided. For example, someone who routinely gets up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night may have been doing it for so long they do not need to turn on a light. However, as they age, their senses may not be as sharp and they may not notice a new obstacle in the path. Installing a nightlight to guide their path to the bathroom could be a simple solution that greatly decreases their fall risk.

Participants in the study who received intervention training and recommendations experienced a 13 percent lower rate of falls than ones who did not, and those who did experience falls were less likely to suffer a serious injury. Moreover, their long-term insurance claims were 33 percent lower over a three-year period, suggesting that this awareness may have had a long-term impact on both cognitive and physical health. This isn’t terribly surprising, seeing as the study also found participants were nearly 20 percent more likely to make fall-preventing modifications to their home than nonparticipants.

1. Aug. 3, 2015. “Elders’ Risk of Falling Is Falling.” Accessed Aug. 5, 2015.

Equity Indexed Annuity Skokie IL | AGT The Safe Money People 847-933-9222

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Power of Attorney Variations, Based on Need | AGT The Safe Money People

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There are numerous reasons why a person may wish to assign an “attorney-in-fact” role to an agent to make financial decisions and/or conduct transactions on his or her behalf. Say you’re purchasing a second home in another state, but can’t make it to the closing. You can grant your real-estate agent the right to sign closing documents in your place. Note, however, that without proper limits on his power, you may also have given him the authority to go drain your bank account.

This is why there are several different types of powers of attorney. It’s a good idea to consider what you may need — and even make the assignment ahead of time — because you never know when you may become suddenly and unexpectedly incapacitated. Granting power of attorney to someone you trust who understands your wishes in advance of such an event allows you to ensure your finances can continue working for you even if you are not capable of controlling them.

While there are many prepackaged do-it-yourself forms available, it’s a good idea to have an experienced attorney draft a power of attorney document for your specific situation. At AGT we offer you a free consultation with an expert, experienced estate planning attorney, who can meet you in the comfort of our office, at a time that is convenient for you. The following are four types of power of attorney to consider:

Limited Power of Attorney grants another person the power to act on your behalf for a specific purpose and for a limited period of time, which is detailed in the document.
General Power of Attorney assigns an attorney-in-fact all powers and rights to act on your behalf, including the ability to sign documents, pay bills and conduct financial transactions.
Durable Power of Attorney is specifically for when a person becomes incapacitated, and can be either for all general purposes or limited in scope. It is designed to remain in force until you pass away or rescind it (while not incapacitated).
Springing Power of Attorney will take effect should you become incapacitated. The document should provide a specific definition of incapacitation, as well as the factors that will determine this status and trigger the installation of the power of attorney.
Elder Law Answers. March 4, 2015. “Powers of Attorney Come in Different Flavors.” Accessed June 10, 2015.