Dear Savvy Senior, Are there any financial assistance programs you can refer me to? The coronavirus pandemic has cost me my part-time retirement job and has shrunk my measly IRA account. Needy Retiree Dear Needy, Absolutely! In addition to the $1,200 federal coronavirus stimulus check that was distributed in April and May, there are many other financial-assistance programs (both public and private) that can help struggling retirees, as well as give relief to family members who help provide financial support for their loved … [Read more...] about Financial help for retirees affected by COVID-19
Dear Savvy Senior, Can you offer some good stretching tips for seniors who are staying home during the pandemic? I’ve gotten so stiff and achy in recent years that I have a hard time doing basic activities like bending over to tie my shoes. Stiff as a Board Dear Stiff, Of all possible exercises, stretching tends to be the most neglected, yet nothing is more vital to keeping an aging body limber and injury free. As we age, our muscles naturally lose their elasticity if you’re not active, which can make common day-to-day … [Read more...] about Stretching tips to help seniors gain flexibility and reduce pain
Dear Savvy Senior, What happens to a person’s possessions if they die without a will? I’m almost 60 years old and have never gotten around to making one, but the coronavirus crisis has made it a priority. Will-less Willie Dear Willie, The coronavirus crisis has lit a fire under many Americans when it comes to getting their affairs in older. Currently, fewer than half of American adults have prepared a will or living trust. If you die without a will, the state you reside in will determine what happens to your assets. Every … [Read more...] about What happens if you die without a will?
Dear Savvy Senior, Can you recommend some simple devices that can help tech-challenged seniors with video calls? My 80-year-old mother has been isolating herself for months now in fear of the coronavirus and I haven’t been able to see her face-to-face in quite a while. Concerned Daughter Dear Concerned, Video chatting is a great way to stay connected and keep tabs on an elder parent when you can’t be there, but it’s even more important now during this pandemic as many isolated seniors are also suffering from chronic … [Read more...] about Video calling solutions for tech-challenged seniors
Dear Savvy Senior, I lost my job last month because of the coronavirus crisis. With little savings, I’ve been thinking about starting my Social Security benefits early to help me get by. But my question is, if I find a new job can I stop my Social Security benefits and restart them at a later date so they can continue to grow? Almost 63 Dear Almost, Yes, there are actually two ways you can stop your Social Security retirement benefits (once you’ve started collecting them) and restart them at a later date, which would boost … [Read more...] about Can I stop Social Security if I go back to work?
Dear Savvy Senior, Can you write a column on RV travel for novices? My husband and I have been cooped up all spring and summer because of the coronavirus and would like to take a trip using a rented RV but could use some tips and want to be safe. Recently Retired Dear Recently, Recreational-vehicle travel has become a very popular option among U.S. retirees over the past few decades and is probably one of the safest and most convenient ways to get away this summer. Because it’s a small home on wheels, RV travel will … [Read more...] about RV travel tips in the Summer of COVID
Dear Savvy Senior, Are people with high blood pressure at increased risk of getting coronavirus? Hypertensive Helen Dear Helen, If you have high blood pressure, you definitely need to take extra care to protect yourself during the coronavirus pandemic. Research shows that people with hypertension are more susceptible to getting COVID-19, are more likely to develop severe symptoms if they do get sick, and are more likely to die from the infection, especially if they’re older. High Risk Links A weaker immune system is … [Read more...] about Why high blood pressure is even more dangerous in the COVID-19 era
Dear Savvy Senior, I manage a large doctor’s clinic that treats hundreds of seniors each month. We are moving to more telehealth visits to help keep our patients safe at home during the coronavirus pandemic, but this new way of seeing a doctor is befuddling to many of our elder patients. Can you write a column educating patients on how to prepare for a telehealth appointment? Regular Reader Dear Reader, I’d be happy to help! To help keep patients safe and at home during the coronavirus crisis more and more doctors and other … [Read more...] about How to make the most of your telehealth appointment
Dear Savvy Senior, Because of the coronavirus pandemic, I just got laid off from my job of 22 years and need to find health insurance until I can get another job or enroll in Medicare at age 65. What are my options? Scared to Death Dear Scared, I’m very sorry about your job loss. It’s estimated that as many as 45 million Americans could lose their health insurance as businesses continue to lay off workers due to repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s where you can find health insurance coverage while you’re … [Read more...] about How to find health insurance after a job loss
Dear Savvy Senior, I’m concerned about my 80-year-old mother who’s at high risk for coronavirus. She lives on her own about 100 miles from me, and I’ve been keeping close tabs on her since this whole pandemic started. What tips can you offer long-distance family members? Concerned Daughter Dear Concerned, Because the elderly and people with chronic medical conditions are the most vulnerable to the new coronavirus, following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guideline of social distancing and staying home … [Read more...] about How to protect your elderly parents from coronavirus