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The challenges of aging

Two well-known social psychologists named Alter and Oppenheimer did an experiment in which they had groups of people take a quick, three-question intelligence test called the CRT. This particular test is rigged so that the most obvious answer is wrong. Eighty-three percent of people miss at least one question. However, the researchers found when they made the test harder, people did better. They did this by writing the test in a font that was difficult to read. The conclusion the researchers drew from the experiment is that making people slow down their reading made them make fewer mistakes. In this case, less speed made for more processing time, which in turn led to more careful answers.

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Top ways to use a reverse mortgage

Reverse mortgages, also called Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs), are government-insured loans that allow qualified senior homeowners to convert illiquid home equity into available tax-free cash for immediate or future use. Although reverse mortgages have been available since 1987, they still only account for about 1 percent of the total mortgage industry.

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Moving on

Let’s face it, moving is hard for anyone. For an elder, especially one leaving their family home, moving involves extraordinary courage, a financial commitment, and a lot of hard work. Not everyone gets to plan their move, but great things happen when they are able to be part of the process. Here are a few of my favorite stories about the people who have done this.

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Reverse mortgage: A lifesaver

Reverse mortgages have helped tens of thousands of older homeowners avoid serious financial difficulties by converting illiquid home equity into available tax-free cash. Recent changes in this government-insured loan program have helped to significantly reduce the cost while also strengthening protection for the borrower.

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If not grace…

I think often of what it means to age gracefully. Of the hundreds of elders I have met, I am most awed by those who make aging well seem so easy. One of my role models is Janice. Janice puts herself together every day. Her outfit is matched and her hair is coiffed. She is the quintessential lady. She doesn’t have an unkind word for anyone. She is upbeat and forward-thinking. She is sharp as a tack and attentive and engaging in conversation. This month she turns 105 years old.

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The market rollercoaster stops here

If you are like many Americans, some or all of your retirement income is tied up in the stock market. Perhaps you own stock directly, or participate in a mutual fund, or an annuity, or have invested in a 401(k) or company pension plan. So you probably pay attention to how the market is doing, hoping that your savings will be protected and – hopefully – continue to grow.

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