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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 23, 2005 / 21 Mar-Cheshvan, 5766

Seniors crippled by dwindling finances, ailing health

By Jan L. Warner & Jan Collins


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Q: My wife and I were blessed to be able to raise and educate our two children. But as difficult as the financial burdens were before retirement with both of us working, we are finding it more difficult now, after retirement, to make ends meet. Our incomes consist of Social Security, two pensions - both of which are less than we were promised because our former employers were bought out several times, and a bit of interest and dividend income from our meager investments. Recently, my wife was diagnosed with dementia, and I take medications that cost me more than $500 monthly because the company retiree health plan that I was promised was dropped. We are in our mid-70s and seem to be going backward with higher bills and less income. We thought about selling our home to get the equity and move into one of those graduated living communities, but economically, we would not be able to make it. We don't want to sell our home, but I feel I have to make some decisions about our future, especially based on my wife's diagnosis and my not knowing how long I will be able to care for her and myself. Any suggestions?


A: Unfortunately, the "golden years" that so many seniors were looking forward to have been tarnished by broken promises. Despite painstaking preparation for retirement, more and more seniors are being subjected to unanticipated economic challenges for which they could not have planned. For example, who would have believed that former employers would renege on promises to pay pensions and provide health benefits, leaving millions of seniors without the income and benefits upon which they relied? And, to add insult to injury, who would have believed that these breaches of trust would be blessed by the same U.S. Congress that seniors helped elect to protect them?


When you couple the dismal job done by our elected officials in protecting seniors with the rising prices of health care, prescriptions, gasoline, taxes and just about everything else in what we are told is a "non-inflationary" economy, it is little wonder there are millions of folks just like you who are being caught flat-footed because no one could possibly have planned for what you are facing. And when you add family illness to economic insecurity, it is simply overwhelming.


More and more seniors, even those fortunate enough not to be suffering from chronic illnesses, are finding the need for "post-retirement readjustment" of their financial considerations in order to try to generate more cash flow to either replace income loss or make up for higher expenses. The challenge is not to go into assets to the extent that you will outlive your money.


Not too long ago, employer or work-related pensions were a major source of income for retirees, and about one-third of retirees received some amount of private pension based on prior employment, not to mention health care. While Social Security was never intended to, and does not, totally replace the loss of employment income, it stretches even less when former employers are allowed to pull the economic and health care rugs out from under retired employers while CEO's get a pat on the back and a big, fat bonus for reducing expenses and increasing stock prices at the expense of former employees.


But even with private pensions, retirees are seeing their spendable income reduced over time, and what might have seemed to be a generous pension at retirement age may seem small at age 80. And, as the value of the static pension payment declines, so do retirees' ability to maintain a semblance of their former standard of living.


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JAN L. WARNER received his A.B. and J.D. degrees from the University of South Carolina and earned a Master of Legal Letters (L.L.M.) in Taxation from the Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a frequent lecturer at legal education and public information programs throughout the United States. His articles have been published in national and state legal publications. Jan Collins began co-authoring Flying SoloŽ in 1989. She has more than 27 years of experience as a journalist, writer, and editor. To comment or ask a question, please click here.

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