Ambushes

How is it you can go to bed feeling great and wake up in the morning with a pain in your leg that turns out to be osteoarthritis? (For the younger readers of the column, osteoarthritis is a degeneration of joint cartilage the and underlying bone, causing pain and stiffness, usually in the hip, knee, spine or thumb.) It makes no sense. The right hip

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Worst Reverse Mortgage Mistakes (Part One)

While there are lots of errors you can make in getting a reverse mortgage, one stands out among the worst: that is deciding to wait until you are older and have greater financial needs before setting up a reverse mortgage. I’ve heard it all too often, “We can manage a few more years before the money runs out. Then we will call you.” Now, don’t get

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With Whatever We Have Left

Years ago, I heard a story about the great violinist, Itzhak Perlman. I often share it during the talks I do about aging. Here is how it goes. Mr. Perlman was playing a concert at Carnegie Hall. Just as he got settled in and began, one of the strings on his violin snapped with a loud, “twang”. The audience immediately became restless because they u

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Holidays and New Traditions

Some of the most dramatic changes of aging can be centered on the holidays. Each family has its own customs. Whether that means placing an ancient and honored menorah in the front window, or being the first house on Main St to light and decorate a tree in the big bay window, these are ways we define ourselves as individuals and families. Time can f

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Athletes at 80

Among the most fascinating men I have met are two athletes, both well into their 80’s. Both, when we met, appeared remarkably healthy, strong and robust. The odd thing is that what I learned most from each was not about fitness, but about aging. We will call the triathlete Pete. Pete competed in triathlons around the country. He flew to them in his

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Hating My Cell Phone

It isn’t so much that I hate this phone as it is that I miss its predecessor. I’d just gotten where I was comfortable with it when they took it away. The guy at the phone store said it wasn’t compatible with the new 4G network. “No problem” he said, “you’re overdue for a free upgrade.” Then I got this phone and have spent the past year trying to fi

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Calling the Senior HelpLine

After touting the Senior HelpLine all these years, it seems like a good idea to find out what actually happens when someone calls 1-800-642-5119. To find out, I called John Barbour, Executive Director of the Champlain Valley Agency on Aging (CVAA). Barbour explained that a call is answered at the Agency on Aging office nearest the caller, by a nati

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Understanding a HECM Reverse Mortgage as an Unstructured Loan

Let us begin with understanding that there are no institutions loaning money in a reliable and predictable manner for free. When money is borrowed, it must be paid back and some amount of interest will be due. For the borrower, what matters is how much interest, when payments are required, and at what point the entire debt must be repaid. Ideally,

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Reverse Mortgage Calculator – What’s my Problem?

Reverse Mortgage Calculator – What’s my Problem?
Reverse Mortgage Calculator – What’s my Problem?

It’s been an issue since the decision not to include a reverse mortgage calculator on my first website over 10 years ago. “Everyone is looking for a reverse mortgage calculator” was the argument or “Every other reverse mortgage website has a calculator. You have to have one.” A decade later, I still don’t have a calculator on my website.   But

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After the Move

Over the years, I’ve encouraged people I met with that if they are going to have to move, the sooner they do it the better off they will be. Well, as true as that may be, I could never really appreciate the depths of what it means to move when you are older until I did it myself.   The house I left was my home for nearly 30 years. It is where

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